On Start Up - "Primary Fault on Hard Drive / Disk"

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by james.willsden, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. Hi
    Started my office pc this morning - all sorts of different error sounding
    messages - prior to Windows 98SE loading. Have spent most of the day trying
    to load it from a boot disk and installation cd. When it comes to this sort
    of problem, if all goes ok then I can cope, but any deviation from this is a
    major problem as I have learnt through experience - not formal training. I
    have been using the staged start up menu - with the intention of using the
    boot floppy with the cd install disk as "support" and not "set up" Is this
    correct? As again I do not understand the "language" when using this
    function, have answered "Y" to all the questions - but at the end of the
    procedure - I end up with: A:\> is this correct? and if so what do I type
    in? Any help gratefully appreciated. Regards James.
     
    james.willsden, Mar 6, 2006
    #1
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  2. james.willsden

    Toolman Tim Guest

    In news:QJ1Pf.27914$,
    james.willsden spewed forth:
    > Hi
    > Started my office pc this morning - all sorts of different error
    > sounding messages - prior to Windows 98SE loading. Have spent most of
    > the day trying to load it from a boot disk and installation cd. When
    > it comes to this sort of problem, if all goes ok then I can cope, but
    > any deviation from this is a major problem as I have learnt through
    > experience - not formal training. I have been using the staged start
    > up menu - with the intention of using the boot floppy with the cd
    > install disk as "support" and not "set up" Is this correct? As again
    > I do not understand the "language" when using this function, have
    > answered "Y" to all the questions - but at the end of the procedure -
    > I end up with: A:\> is this correct? and if so what do I type in?
    > Any help gratefully appreciated. Regards James.


    What other error messages have you received? What happens if you type C:
    <enter>? If you get a C:\> prompt, then type dir <enter>. If that works,
    type c:\windows\command\scandisk <enter>. Have it run the surface scan.

    --
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
     
    Toolman Tim, Mar 7, 2006
    #2
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  3. james.willsden

    Ben Myers Guest

    The error message in the title of your post could indicate a serious problem
    with the boot drive. Try typing "scandisk c: /checkonly" at the A:\ prompt.

    Ben

    "james.willsden" <> wrote in message news:QJ1Pf.27914$...
    > Hi
    > Started my office pc this morning - all sorts of different error sounding
    > messages - prior to Windows 98SE loading. Have spent most of the day trying
    > to load it from a boot disk and installation cd. When it comes to this sort
    > of problem, if all goes ok then I can cope, but any deviation from this is a
    > major problem as I have learnt through experience - not formal training. I
    > have been using the staged start up menu - with the intention of using the
    > boot floppy with the cd install disk as "support" and not "set up" Is this
    > correct? As again I do not understand the "language" when using this
    > function, have answered "Y" to all the questions - but at the end of the
    > procedure - I end up with: A:\> is this correct? and if so what do I type
    > in? Any help gratefully appreciated. Regards James.
    >
    >
     
    Ben Myers, Mar 7, 2006
    #3
  4. "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    news:ix4Pf.1603$...
    > In news:QJ1Pf.27914$,
    > james.willsden spewed forth:
    > > Hi
    > > Started my office pc this morning - all sorts of different error
    > > sounding messages - prior to Windows 98SE loading. Have spent most of
    > > the day trying to load it from a boot disk and installation cd. When
    > > it comes to this sort of problem, if all goes ok then I can cope, but
    > > any deviation from this is a major problem as I have learnt through
    > > experience - not formal training. I have been using the staged start
    > > up menu - with the intention of using the boot floppy with the cd
    > > install disk as "support" and not "set up" Is this correct? As again
    > > I do not understand the "language" when using this function, have
    > > answered "Y" to all the questions - but at the end of the procedure -
    > > I end up with: A:\> is this correct? and if so what do I type in?
    > > Any help gratefully appreciated. Regards James.

    >
    > What other error messages have you received? What happens if you type C:
    > <enter>? If you get a C:\> prompt, then type dir <enter>. If that works,
    > type c:\windows\command\scandisk <enter>. Have it run the surface scan.
    >
    > --
    > The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
    >

    Thanks for reply. What is now happening specifically is:
    On start up of pc - first page stops displaying "Primary master hard disk
    fail" press f1 to continue, then on the next page get a prompt to insert the
    boot disk (is this because I have already tried this approach?) then using a
    boot floppy disk + original windows installation cd, after loading I got the
    following message - "Windows 98 detected drive c does not contain a valid
    FAT or FAT 32 partition. There are several possible causes:"
    1) Drive may need to be partioned. To create this run FDISK from the prompt.
    2) Using 3rd party disk partioning software? if so remove boot up disk -
    restart - then follow instructions to start pc from floppy disk.
    3) Virus.
    I did run as suggested ( changing the A: prompt to C:)
    DIR this showed about 20? different directories(?) Then running "scandisk"
    got an immediate response of (I think) no problems detected.
    Prior to all of the above (the computer in question is my pc at work - not
    on the internet) The first sign of any problem was when the Windows Logo was
    "frozen" on the screen, on rebooting I noted the following message-
    "whilst initiating device IOS: insufficient memory to initialise Windows.
    Quit one or more memory - resident programmes or remove unnecessary
    utilities from your Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files and restart"
    Then:
    "Disk I/O error - replace the disk and then press any key"
    Then:
    Boot from CD.
    Then:
    Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter.
    Hope any of this makes sense (+ good news - over 2 years of accounting,
    payroll, spreadsheets etc)
    Regards
     
    james.willsden, Mar 7, 2006
    #4
  5. james.willsden

    Toolman Tim Guest

    In news:%4oPf.77467$,
    james.willsden spewed forth:
    > "Toolman Tim" <> wrote in message
    > news:ix4Pf.1603$...
    >> In news:QJ1Pf.27914$,
    >> james.willsden spewed forth:
    >>> Hi
    >>> Started my office pc this morning - all sorts of different error
    >>> sounding messages - prior to Windows 98SE loading. Have spent most
    >>> of the day trying to load it from a boot disk and installation cd.
    >>> When it comes to this sort of problem, if all goes ok then I can
    >>> cope, but any deviation from this is a major problem as I have
    >>> learnt through experience - not formal training. I have been using
    >>> the staged start up menu - with the intention of using the boot
    >>> floppy with the cd install disk as "support" and not "set up" Is
    >>> this correct? As again I do not understand the "language" when
    >>> using this function, have answered "Y" to all the questions - but
    >>> at the end of the procedure - I end up with: A:\> is this
    >>> correct? and if so what do I type in? Any help gratefully
    >>> appreciated. Regards James.

    >>
    >> What other error messages have you received? What happens if you
    >> type C: <enter>? If you get a C:\> prompt, then type dir <enter>. If
    >> that works, type c:\windows\command\scandisk <enter>. Have it run
    >> the surface scan.
    >>
    >> --
    >> The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
    >>

    > Thanks for reply. What is now happening specifically is:
    > On start up of pc - first page stops displaying "Primary master hard
    > disk fail" press f1 to continue, then on the next page get a prompt
    > to insert the boot disk (is this because I have already tried this
    > approach?) then using a boot floppy disk + original windows
    > installation cd, after loading I got the following message - "Windows
    > 98 detected drive c does not contain a valid FAT or FAT 32 partition.
    > There are several possible causes:" 1) Drive may need to be
    > partioned. To create this run FDISK from the prompt. 2) Using 3rd
    > party disk partioning software? if so remove boot up disk - restart -
    > then follow instructions to start pc from floppy disk. 3) Virus.
    > I did run as suggested ( changing the A: prompt to C:)
    > DIR this showed about 20? different directories(?) Then running
    > "scandisk" got an immediate response of (I think) no problems
    > detected.
    > Prior to all of the above (the computer in question is my pc at work
    > - not on the internet) The first sign of any problem was when the
    > Windows Logo was "frozen" on the screen, on rebooting I noted the
    > following message- "whilst initiating device IOS: insufficient memory
    > to initialise Windows. Quit one or more memory - resident programmes
    > or remove unnecessary utilities from your Config.sys and Autoexec.bat
    > files and restart"
    > Then:
    > "Disk I/O error - replace the disk and then press any key"
    > Then:
    > Boot from CD.
    > Then:
    > Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter.
    > Hope any of this makes sense (+ good news - over 2 years of
    > accounting, payroll, spreadsheets etc)
    > Regards


    With the messages given, I believe you could be facing what I might call a
    "catastrophic system failure". Your hard drive has possibly done a complete
    crash, or is about to. Or, it could simply be that a connection worked loose
    inside (open the case and make sure all connections are secure - unplug them
    one at a time and reconnect. While you're in there, you may want to clean
    out the dust with a can of compressed air.)

    If it were on my workbench, I'd pull the hard drive out and install it as a
    slave unit on another PC to attempt to salvage data. Whether or not that was
    successful, I'd download the diagnostics software for that brand of hard
    drive (from the manufacturer's web site) and run that.

    The LAST thing you would want to do is run either the fdisk or format
    commands - either of those can put your data out of reach, and you'd have to
    decide if you wanted to have the data recovered by a professional service,
    or attempt to do so yourself.

    Other posters may have suggestions as well...

    --
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
     
    Toolman Tim, Mar 8, 2006
    #5
  6. Thanks for advice - very much appreciated - even if all bad news!
    Regards

    "james.willsden" <> wrote in message
    news:QJ1Pf.27914$...
    > Hi
    > Started my office pc this morning - all sorts of different error sounding
    > messages - prior to Windows 98SE loading. Have spent most of the day

    trying
    > to load it from a boot disk and installation cd. When it comes to this

    sort
    > of problem, if all goes ok then I can cope, but any deviation from this is

    a
    > major problem as I have learnt through experience - not formal training. I
    > have been using the staged start up menu - with the intention of using the
    > boot floppy with the cd install disk as "support" and not "set up" Is this
    > correct? As again I do not understand the "language" when using this
    > function, have answered "Y" to all the questions - but at the end of the
    > procedure - I end up with: A:\> is this correct? and if so what do I

    type
    > in? Any help gratefully appreciated. Regards James.
    >
    >
     
    james.willsden, Mar 8, 2006
    #6
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