I recently got a hold of a Compaq Armada 1750 laptop, running Windows 95, that I plan to use for legacy gaming. The previous owner had it in a cabinet for years untouched, so I spent time cleaning up all the files and programs left behind. I had already gone through many reboots before it failed to boot and instead gave me "Invalid system disk. Replace the disk and press any key to continue." The last thing I did before this happened was rename the CD-ROM drive letter from D: to E:
I've figured out a few things. First, there's only about 4GB of the full 6.4GB of space in the C: drive. The rest appears to be partitioned for Compaq Utilities running in DOS 6, which can be booted to by hitting F10, despite not being able to boot to the BIOS. Second, the hard drive makes a very faint 'tick tickety-tock' sound when trying to boot (I went through Datacent's archives of failing hard drive sounds, but nothing sounded familiar, so I hoping that's not it). When I get to the "Invalid system disk" prompt and hit enter, it makes this noise but comes right back to the prompt.
What I've tried so far:
*Taking about the battery several times to see if that would resolve it, but no luck
*Two unsuccessful attempts at booting from CDs burned from Windows 95 boot images
*Opening up the underside to ensure the HDD was connected properly; all seemed in order
*Using F10 to get to Compaq Utilities to change the boot order and disable QuickBoot, but to no avail
It crossed my mind that maybe the boot sector in the C: partition went bad. Is this plausible? If so, I wouldn't know how to go about fixing it. As soon as I can, I'll try to get a hold of Win95 boot floppy. In the mean time, has anyone had a similar experience with this? Is there a solution?