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Can't Boot W98

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#1 joedonahue


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Posted 11 June 2007 - 02:40 PM

I think I deleted this page without posting. If it comes up twice - sorry.

I seem to be the computer guru for our community. A call today from someone - Get "invalid system disk" message when trying to boot. I asked the obvious - any disks in any of the backup drives. No - in fact he has tried inserting disks in his 3 backup drives to see if he can unlock anything. He has a compaq, running w98. 3 extra drives on a windows 98 machine? My first thought is to tell him to buy a new computer but I'd like to prove my worth. (I don't charge anyone so I guess my worth is zero.) I seem to remember a link on BC that allowed you to insert an error message but I can't find it. If anyone can direct me to it, I will do the legwork.

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#2 tswsl1989


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Posted 11 June 2007 - 03:35 PM

If there's nothing in the Floppy drives (which seemed to be what you said), then the Master boot record for the hard drvie has probably been corrupted

Try booting from a floppy (You need to create one using a W98 computer if you can, I don't think the XP ones have the right tools), and type Sys C: at the A:\> prompt (You may need to choose "Boot without CD-ROM support" first).

While this shouldn't cause you to lose any data (Never had any problems with it myself), I will cover my back and say that it's at your own risk :thumbsup:

If you still having trouble, leave another post.

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#3 garmanma


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Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:13 PM

You can download a bootdisk for a floppy or CD for that matter, at Bootdisk.com
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why won't my laptop work?

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#4 joedonahue

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 04:06 AM

Someone asked if I tried everything suggested at a particular site - possibly Eyesee. I hadn't and when I went back to find the site to try it this morning, it was lost due to the corrupted backup. I'd like to give it a try if you are still out there.

#5 Eyesee


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Posted 14 June 2007 - 08:37 PM

The database crashed apparently with the update.
The space station is having computer problems too.
Hmmm, they must be running Microsoft Windows. Go figure, huh?

He does not need to buy a new computer, as I said last night before the hickup.

First, he has three drives? Are they IDE or USB? What are they?
If interal, how are they jumpered?
If USB external disconnect them.

This is a simple process of elimination
Does the BIOS see the drive? Make sure it is set to autodetect.

If yes skip and proceed
If no open the case and reseat or replace the cables.

Boot to a 98SE startup disk. The 98SE cd is also bootable
Run FDISK. Does FDISK see the drive partition?
If yes skip and proceed
If no the partition has been deleted. Recreate the partition. Format and reload.

If FDISK sees the partition what happens when you do
Is the data there and legible or is it scrambled?
If legible skip and proceed
If not format and reload

If the data is legible rebuild the master boot record and then sys the drive
FDISK /MBR & hit enter. It will appear to do nothing
SYS C: It will say system transfered

See, its easy isnt it?

Edited by Eyesee, 14 June 2007 - 08:40 PM.

In the beginning there was the command line.

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