computer boot problem

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Matt, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. Matt

    Matt Guest

    I just recently was given an older Gateway computer without a hard
    drive. It has a Celeron processor running at 333Mhz with 96MB RAM. I put
    in an old hard drive I had, and tried to install an operating system on
    it. The problem though, is that the system won't boot anything. The hard
    drive is recognized fine in the BIOS, and when the normal boot order is
    set up (Floppy, CD, HD), I get this error message:

    A disk read error occurred
    Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

    I tried it with several different hard drives and a second IDE cable.
    When I change the boot order and take out the hard drive from the
    sequence (so it's now just Floppy, CD), I get this error:

    Boot Failure
    Insert BOOT diskette in A:
    Press any key when ready

    I tried several different bootable floppy disks, some of them Windows
    and some other random programs, and it just keeps repeating that error
    over and over. The hard drive could be failing, but not being able to
    boot from CD or floppy either leads me to believe it's something else
    also. Any ideas?

    Thanks.
    Matt, Sep 2, 2005
    #1
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  2. Matt

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Matt wrote:
    > I just recently was given an older Gateway computer without a hard
    > drive. It has a Celeron processor running at 333Mhz with 96MB RAM. I
    > put in an old hard drive I had, and tried to install an operating
    > system on it. The problem though, is that the system won't boot
    > anything. The hard drive is recognized fine in the BIOS, and when the
    > normal boot order is set up (Floppy, CD, HD), I get this error
    > message:
    > A disk read error occurred
    > Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
    >
    > I tried it with several different hard drives and a second IDE cable.
    > When I change the boot order and take out the hard drive from the
    > sequence (so it's now just Floppy, CD), I get this error:
    >
    > Boot Failure
    > Insert BOOT diskette in A:
    > Press any key when ready
    >
    > I tried several different bootable floppy disks, some of them Windows
    > and some other random programs, and it just keeps repeating that error
    > over and over. The hard drive could be failing, but not being able to
    > boot from CD or floppy either leads me to believe it's something else
    > also. Any ideas?
    >
    > Thanks.


    It's not likely that it's the CPU. If you're getting through the POST, the
    CPU is probably running correctly. And same with the memory. It *is*
    possible that both the floppy drive and CD-ROM drive are bad. Those items
    fail quite often. First, try putting in a different floppy drive and see if
    it boots.

    If not, then what I'd suggest is this: Take out ALL un-needed hardware.
    Leave only the video, minimum of memory, CPU, and floppy drive. See if the
    floppy boots then. If so, something you removed is causing the problem.
    Start adding them back one at a time.

    If it doesn't boot with an absolute minimum of hardware, you've probably got
    a bad BIOS setting somewhere. Clearing the CMOS memory may help. That
    usually entails setting a jumper and removing the battery.

    --
    Indecision is the key to flexibility.
    Toolman Tim, Sep 2, 2005
    #2
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  3. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Toolman Tim wrote:
    > Matt wrote:
    >
    >>I just recently was given an older Gateway computer without a hard
    >>drive. It has a Celeron processor running at 333Mhz with 96MB RAM. I
    >>put in an old hard drive I had, and tried to install an operating
    >>system on it. The problem though, is that the system won't boot
    >>anything. The hard drive is recognized fine in the BIOS, and when the
    >>normal boot order is set up (Floppy, CD, HD), I get this error
    >>message:
    >>A disk read error occurred
    >>Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
    >>
    >>I tried it with several different hard drives and a second IDE cable.
    >>When I change the boot order and take out the hard drive from the
    >>sequence (so it's now just Floppy, CD), I get this error:
    >>
    >>Boot Failure
    >>Insert BOOT diskette in A:
    >>Press any key when ready
    >>
    >>I tried several different bootable floppy disks, some of them Windows
    >>and some other random programs, and it just keeps repeating that error
    >>over and over. The hard drive could be failing, but not being able to
    >>boot from CD or floppy either leads me to believe it's something else
    >>also. Any ideas?
    >>
    >>Thanks.

    >
    >
    > It's not likely that it's the CPU. If you're getting through the POST, the
    > CPU is probably running correctly. And same with the memory. It *is*
    > possible that both the floppy drive and CD-ROM drive are bad. Those items
    > fail quite often. First, try putting in a different floppy drive and see if
    > it boots.
    >
    > If not, then what I'd suggest is this: Take out ALL un-needed hardware.
    > Leave only the video, minimum of memory, CPU, and floppy drive. See if the
    > floppy boots then. If so, something you removed is causing the problem.
    > Start adding them back one at a time.
    >
    > If it doesn't boot with an absolute minimum of hardware, you've probably got
    > a bad BIOS setting somewhere. Clearing the CMOS memory may help. That
    > usually entails setting a jumper and removing the battery.
    >

    Hmm...not completely sure what exactly made it work, but I pulled a
    bunch of stuff out and reset the CMOS and eventually got it to boot from
    a floppy which I then used to install Windows. Everything seems good
    now, except that Microsoft is being stupid and not giving me an
    activation code that works...
    Matt, Sep 3, 2005
    #3
  4. Matt

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Matt wrote:
    > Toolman Tim wrote:
    >> Matt wrote:
    >>
    >>> I just recently was given an older Gateway computer without a hard
    >>> drive. It has a Celeron processor running at 333Mhz with 96MB RAM. I
    >>> put in an old hard drive I had, and tried to install an operating
    >>> system on it. The problem though, is that the system won't boot
    >>> anything. The hard drive is recognized fine in the BIOS, and when
    >>> the normal boot order is set up (Floppy, CD, HD), I get this error
    >>> message:
    >>> A disk read error occurred
    >>> Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
    >>>
    >>> I tried it with several different hard drives and a second IDE
    >>> cable. When I change the boot order and take out the hard drive
    >>> from the sequence (so it's now just Floppy, CD), I get this error:
    >>>
    >>> Boot Failure
    >>> Insert BOOT diskette in A:
    >>> Press any key when ready
    >>>
    >>> I tried several different bootable floppy disks, some of them
    >>> Windows and some other random programs, and it just keeps repeating
    >>> that error over and over. The hard drive could be failing, but not
    >>> being able to boot from CD or floppy either leads me to believe
    >>> it's something else also. Any ideas?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks.

    >>
    >>
    >> It's not likely that it's the CPU. If you're getting through the
    >> POST, the CPU is probably running correctly. And same with the
    >> memory. It *is* possible that both the floppy drive and CD-ROM drive
    >> are bad. Those items fail quite often. First, try putting in a
    >> different floppy drive and see if it boots.
    >>
    >> If not, then what I'd suggest is this: Take out ALL un-needed
    >> hardware. Leave only the video, minimum of memory, CPU, and floppy
    >> drive. See if the floppy boots then. If so, something you removed is
    >> causing the problem. Start adding them back one at a time.
    >>
    >> If it doesn't boot with an absolute minimum of hardware, you've
    >> probably got a bad BIOS setting somewhere. Clearing the CMOS memory
    >> may help. That usually entails setting a jumper and removing the
    >> battery.

    > Hmm...not completely sure what exactly made it work, but I pulled a
    > bunch of stuff out and reset the CMOS and eventually got it to boot
    > from a floppy which I then used to install Windows. Everything seems
    > good now, except that Microsoft is being stupid and not giving me an
    > activation code that works...


    A lot of times it's just a poor connection - a RAM stick or a cable or
    something not quite right.

    As for the MS activation, they're really not bad on the phone if you have to
    call them about it.

    --
    Indecision is the key to flexibility.
    Toolman Tim, Sep 3, 2005
    #4
  5. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Toolman Tim wrote:
    > Matt wrote:
    >
    >>Toolman Tim wrote:
    >>
    >>>Matt wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>I just recently was given an older Gateway computer without a hard
    >>>>drive. It has a Celeron processor running at 333Mhz with 96MB RAM. I
    >>>>put in an old hard drive I had, and tried to install an operating
    >>>>system on it. The problem though, is that the system won't boot
    >>>>anything. The hard drive is recognized fine in the BIOS, and when
    >>>>the normal boot order is set up (Floppy, CD, HD), I get this error
    >>>>message:
    >>>>A disk read error occurred
    >>>>Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
    >>>>
    >>>>I tried it with several different hard drives and a second IDE
    >>>>cable. When I change the boot order and take out the hard drive
    >>>>from the sequence (so it's now just Floppy, CD), I get this error:
    >>>>
    >>>>Boot Failure
    >>>>Insert BOOT diskette in A:
    >>>>Press any key when ready
    >>>>
    >>>>I tried several different bootable floppy disks, some of them
    >>>>Windows and some other random programs, and it just keeps repeating
    >>>>that error over and over. The hard drive could be failing, but not
    >>>>being able to boot from CD or floppy either leads me to believe
    >>>>it's something else also. Any ideas?
    >>>>
    >>>>Thanks.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>It's not likely that it's the CPU. If you're getting through the
    >>>POST, the CPU is probably running correctly. And same with the
    >>>memory. It *is* possible that both the floppy drive and CD-ROM drive
    >>>are bad. Those items fail quite often. First, try putting in a
    >>>different floppy drive and see if it boots.
    >>>
    >>>If not, then what I'd suggest is this: Take out ALL un-needed
    >>>hardware. Leave only the video, minimum of memory, CPU, and floppy
    >>>drive. See if the floppy boots then. If so, something you removed is
    >>>causing the problem. Start adding them back one at a time.
    >>>
    >>>If it doesn't boot with an absolute minimum of hardware, you've
    >>>probably got a bad BIOS setting somewhere. Clearing the CMOS memory
    >>>may help. That usually entails setting a jumper and removing the
    >>>battery.

    >>
    >>Hmm...not completely sure what exactly made it work, but I pulled a
    >>bunch of stuff out and reset the CMOS and eventually got it to boot
    >>from a floppy which I then used to install Windows. Everything seems
    >>good now, except that Microsoft is being stupid and not giving me an
    >>activation code that works...

    >
    >
    > A lot of times it's just a poor connection - a RAM stick or a cable or
    > something not quite right.
    >
    > As for the MS activation, they're really not bad on the phone if you have to
    > call them about it.
    >


    I did call them first actually and the lady gave me a number that my
    computer said was invalid (I wrote it down while she was saying it
    instead of typing it in...they're stupidly long). I'm trying to make my
    network connection work on that computer to see if it'll let me do it
    that way. That's a whole different problem though...
    Matt, Sep 3, 2005
    #5
  6. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Matt wrote:
    > Toolman Tim wrote:
    >
    >> Matt wrote:
    >>
    >>> Toolman Tim wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Matt wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>> I just recently was given an older Gateway computer without a hard
    >>>>> drive. It has a Celeron processor running at 333Mhz with 96MB RAM. I
    >>>>> put in an old hard drive I had, and tried to install an operating
    >>>>> system on it. The problem though, is that the system won't boot
    >>>>> anything. The hard drive is recognized fine in the BIOS, and when
    >>>>> the normal boot order is set up (Floppy, CD, HD), I get this error
    >>>>> message:
    >>>>> A disk read error occurred
    >>>>> Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I tried it with several different hard drives and a second IDE
    >>>>> cable. When I change the boot order and take out the hard drive
    >>>>> from the sequence (so it's now just Floppy, CD), I get this error:
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Boot Failure
    >>>>> Insert BOOT diskette in A:
    >>>>> Press any key when ready
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I tried several different bootable floppy disks, some of them
    >>>>> Windows and some other random programs, and it just keeps repeating
    >>>>> that error over and over. The hard drive could be failing, but not
    >>>>> being able to boot from CD or floppy either leads me to believe
    >>>>> it's something else also. Any ideas?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Thanks.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> It's not likely that it's the CPU. If you're getting through the
    >>>> POST, the CPU is probably running correctly. And same with the
    >>>> memory. It *is* possible that both the floppy drive and CD-ROM drive
    >>>> are bad. Those items fail quite often. First, try putting in a
    >>>> different floppy drive and see if it boots.
    >>>>
    >>>> If not, then what I'd suggest is this: Take out ALL un-needed
    >>>> hardware. Leave only the video, minimum of memory, CPU, and floppy
    >>>> drive. See if the floppy boots then. If so, something you removed is
    >>>> causing the problem. Start adding them back one at a time.
    >>>>
    >>>> If it doesn't boot with an absolute minimum of hardware, you've
    >>>> probably got a bad BIOS setting somewhere. Clearing the CMOS memory
    >>>> may help. That usually entails setting a jumper and removing the
    >>>> battery.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Hmm...not completely sure what exactly made it work, but I pulled a
    >>> bunch of stuff out and reset the CMOS and eventually got it to boot
    >>> from a floppy which I then used to install Windows. Everything seems
    >>> good now, except that Microsoft is being stupid and not giving me an
    >>> activation code that works...

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> A lot of times it's just a poor connection - a RAM stick or a cable or
    >> something not quite right.
    >>
    >> As for the MS activation, they're really not bad on the phone if you
    >> have to call them about it.
    >>

    >
    > I did call them first actually and the lady gave me a number that my
    > computer said was invalid (I wrote it down while she was saying it
    > instead of typing it in...they're stupidly long). I'm trying to make my
    > network connection work on that computer to see if it'll let me do it
    > that way. That's a whole different problem though...

    Meant to add...That's a whole different problem though...I think it's
    probably related to my ancient ISA network card...heh.
    Matt, Sep 3, 2005
    #6
  7. Matt

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Matt wrote:
    > Toolman Tim wrote:
    >> Matt wrote:
    >>
    >>> Toolman Tim wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Matt wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>> I just recently was given an older Gateway computer without a hard
    >>>>> drive. It has a Celeron processor running at 333Mhz with 96MB
    >>>>> RAM. I put in an old hard drive I had, and tried to install an
    >>>>> operating system on it. The problem though, is that the system
    >>>>> won't boot anything. The hard drive is recognized fine in the
    >>>>> BIOS, and when the normal boot order is set up (Floppy, CD, HD),
    >>>>> I get this error message:
    >>>>> A disk read error occurred
    >>>>> Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I tried it with several different hard drives and a second IDE
    >>>>> cable. When I change the boot order and take out the hard drive
    >>>>> from the sequence (so it's now just Floppy, CD), I get this error:
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Boot Failure
    >>>>> Insert BOOT diskette in A:
    >>>>> Press any key when ready
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I tried several different bootable floppy disks, some of them
    >>>>> Windows and some other random programs, and it just keeps
    >>>>> repeating that error over and over. The hard drive could be
    >>>>> failing, but not being able to boot from CD or floppy either
    >>>>> leads me to believe it's something else also. Any ideas?
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Thanks.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> It's not likely that it's the CPU. If you're getting through the
    >>>> POST, the CPU is probably running correctly. And same with the
    >>>> memory. It *is* possible that both the floppy drive and CD-ROM
    >>>> drive are bad. Those items fail quite often. First, try putting in
    >>>> a different floppy drive and see if it boots.
    >>>>
    >>>> If not, then what I'd suggest is this: Take out ALL un-needed
    >>>> hardware. Leave only the video, minimum of memory, CPU, and floppy
    >>>> drive. See if the floppy boots then. If so, something you removed
    >>>> is causing the problem. Start adding them back one at a time.
    >>>>
    >>>> If it doesn't boot with an absolute minimum of hardware, you've
    >>>> probably got a bad BIOS setting somewhere. Clearing the CMOS memory
    >>>> may help. That usually entails setting a jumper and removing the
    >>>> battery.
    >>>
    >>> Hmm...not completely sure what exactly made it work, but I pulled a
    >>> bunch of stuff out and reset the CMOS and eventually got it to boot
    >>> from a floppy which I then used to install Windows. Everything seems
    >>> good now, except that Microsoft is being stupid and not giving me an
    >>> activation code that works...

    >>
    >>
    >> A lot of times it's just a poor connection - a RAM stick or a cable
    >> or something not quite right.
    >>
    >> As for the MS activation, they're really not bad on the phone if you
    >> have to call them about it.
    >>

    >
    > I did call them first actually and the lady gave me a number that my
    > computer said was invalid (I wrote it down while she was saying it
    > instead of typing it in...they're stupidly long). I'm trying to make
    > my network connection work on that computer to see if it'll let me do
    > it that way. That's a whole different problem though...


    I don't do that. I key it in as they give it to me, so I know it worked
    before I get off the phone. Yeah, they're long. I actually have to do that a
    lot, because the EULA on MS Office allows the installation of the software
    on a users portable computer as well as their desktop. Our office has
    several people with both desktops and laptops. (Myself, for instance. The
    desktop is the company's, the laptop is mine. But I do company work on it
    when I'm at home or on trips.) So we install the software on both, but after
    one is installed, activation fails for the second. So I call and remind them
    what their EULA says <g>

    --
    Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
    Toolman Tim, Sep 3, 2005
    #7
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