Win95 startup problem

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Vernon Compton, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. A friend has just rung me with a problem. When she starts up her Win95
    box, it goes thusly:
    Searching for boot record from floppy.
    Searching for boot record from cdrom
    Searching for boot record from IDE-0.
    OK
    >invalid system disk. Replace disk and press any key.


    The above happens _without_ a floppy in the drive.

    A quick google suggests that somehow the drive may have been formatted,
    or at the very least, the boot order changed in the BIOS. Do these
    sound like probable explanations?
    Vernon Compton, Sep 13, 2004
    #1
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  2. Vernon Compton wrote:

    > A friend has just rung me with a problem. When she starts up her Win95
    > box, it goes thusly:
    > Searching for boot record from floppy.
    > Searching for boot record from cdrom
    > Searching for boot record from IDE-0.
    > OK
    >
    >>invalid system disk. Replace disk and press any key.

    >
    >
    > The above happens _without_ a floppy in the drive.
    >
    > A quick google suggests that somehow the drive may have been formatted,
    > or at the very least, the boot order changed in the BIOS. Do these
    > sound like probable explanations?


    The boot order is easy to change back and if nothing has happened to the
    hard disk, it should have booted up as is. The drive may have been
    formatted, or essential system files deleted. Or the hard drive may have
    gone tits up. Or the jumpers changed around. Have the person put in a
    bootable CDROM such as the Windows disk and see if they can see what is
    left on the hard drive.
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?R=F4g=EAr?=, Sep 13, 2004
    #2
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  3. Your command.com file may be missing or have gotten corrupt. Try booting
    from a floppy and then search your hard drive for the file.

    Paul


    "Vernon Compton" <> wrote in message
    news:8y75vy68qd6m.1x4n3vj4340pq$...
    >A friend has just rung me with a problem. When she starts up her Win95
    > box, it goes thusly:
    > Searching for boot record from floppy.
    > Searching for boot record from cdrom
    > Searching for boot record from IDE-0.
    > OK
    >>invalid system disk. Replace disk and press any key.

    >
    > The above happens _without_ a floppy in the drive.
    >
    > A quick google suggests that somehow the drive may have been formatted,
    > or at the very least, the boot order changed in the BIOS. Do these
    > sound like probable explanations?
    Atlas Shrugged, Sep 13, 2004
    #3
  4. On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 23:23:49 -0400, Atlas Shrugged wrote:

    > Your command.com file may be missing or have gotten corrupt. Try booting
    > from a floppy and then search your hard drive for the file.
    >
    > Paul
    >

    Thanks to both of you. If there is something wrong with command.com, can
    I just copy it from her CD onto her HD?

    --
    Wa as-salaam alaikum
    Vernon Compton, Sep 13, 2004
    #4
  5. I was walking down the street, minding my own business, when on Mon,
    13 Sep 2004 15:17:42 +1200, Vernon Compton <>
    screamed from behind the mulberry bush:

    >A friend has just rung me with a problem. When she starts up her Win95
    >box, it goes thusly:
    >Searching for boot record from floppy.
    >Searching for boot record from cdrom
    >Searching for boot record from IDE-0.
    >OK
    >>invalid system disk. Replace disk and press any key.

    >
    >The above happens _without_ a floppy in the drive.
    >
    >A quick google suggests that somehow the drive may have been formatted,
    >or at the very least, the boot order changed in the BIOS. Do these
    >sound like probable explanations?


    No, it sounds more like the OS is corrupt. You can try reloading W95
    but my bet is the hard drive has gone bad. If not, and it's starting
    to get bad sectors on it that happent to be where thw boot sector is
    located, even if you are able to reload the OS, it'll soon go bad
    anyway.
    Dr. Harvie Wahl-Banghor, Sep 13, 2004
    #5
  6. Vernon Compton

    Ron Martell Guest

    Vernon Compton <> wrote:

    >A friend has just rung me with a problem. When she starts up her Win95
    >box, it goes thusly:
    >Searching for boot record from floppy.
    >Searching for boot record from cdrom
    >Searching for boot record from IDE-0.
    >OK
    >>invalid system disk. Replace disk and press any key.

    >
    >The above happens _without_ a floppy in the drive.
    >
    >A quick google suggests that somehow the drive may have been formatted,
    >or at the very least, the boot order changed in the BIOS. Do these
    >sound like probable explanations?


    The boot order is optimal, as it allows the user to boot from a floppy
    or from a bootable CDROM, or from the hard drive without having to
    make any changes in the BIOS setup. There is no need to change
    anything.

    The failure to boot indicates that there is a problem with the hard
    drive. Possibly the boot files have been deleted (io.sys, msdos.sys,
    and command.com), or the BIOS setup parameters for the hard drive may
    have been changed.

    Before attempting to fix the problem it might be prudent to do some
    further checking to see just what the actual problem is. Applying a
    fix for the wrong problem can often make a bad situation even worse.

    Have your friend boot the computer with a Windows 95 Startup Disk (get
    one from www.bootdisk.com if you don't have one) and at the A: prompt
    enter the following command:

    DIR C: /S

    That will cause the screen to scroll madly, perhaps for several
    minutes, as it lists the contents of every folder on the drive. Any
    error message at this point are indicative of either a physical
    problem with the drive or possibly a changed BIOS setup value making
    it impossible to locate the correct physical sectors when reading the
    drive.

    If that works out okay you can then try running

    SCANDISK C: and see what happens. If errors are found the best
    procedure would be to *not* have scandisk fix them. Again, there
    could be another factor at play here.

    If both the above work out okay and if the Windows Startup Disk is
    from the same version of Windows 95 as is installed on the hard drive
    then you can enter the following command to replace the boot files:

    SYS C:

    Remove the boot disk and reboot the computer. It should now start up
    normally.

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
    Ron Martell, Sep 13, 2004
    #6
  7. Vernon Compton

    Jon Splane Guest

    Vernon Compton wrote:
    >
    > A friend has just rung me with a problem. When she starts up her Win95
    > box, it goes thusly:
    > Searching for boot record from floppy.
    > Searching for boot record from cdrom
    > Searching for boot record from IDE-0.
    > OK
    > >invalid system disk. Replace disk and press any key.

    >
    > The above happens _without_ a floppy in the drive.
    >
    > A quick google suggests that somehow the drive may have been formatted,
    > or at the very least, the boot order changed in the BIOS. Do these
    > sound like probable explanations?


    The boot order being changed wouldn't cause a problem. It would still
    boot just fine.
    There are a lot of possible causes for the "invalid system disk" error.
    The first step is to boot the system from a boot floppy disk. The
    Windows95 CD is not bootable. Hopefully you have the Emergency Boot
    Floppy that was made when Win95 was installed. If not any DOS boot
    floppy should work. When you get the DOS "A:\>" Prompt type "DIR C:\"
    (without quotes) and hit enter. If you can see the files in the root
    directory of the hard drive C: post back with that info. If DIR doesn't
    show the files & folders in the root directory on C: post back what does
    happen.

    Jon
    Jon Splane, Sep 13, 2004
    #7
  8. On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 15:17:42 +1200, Vernon Compton wrote:
    I think my friends have decided to just buy a new PC. Just for my own
    curiosity, though, could someone tell me what these are? If I do a
    directory listing of C:\Windows. I see no directories and 2 files, one
    of which is

    t down y.our

    while the other is ALS3.INI

    In the D drive, the directory listing includes something called

    Client U rlC

    What are t down y.our and Client U rlC ? I was unable to find anything
    on them by googling.
    --
    Wa as-salaam alaikum
    Vernon Compton, Sep 13, 2004
    #8
  9. On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 04:35:12 GMT, Ron Martell wrote:

    > Have your friend boot the computer with a Windows 95 Startup Disk (get
    > one from www.bootdisk.com if you don't have one) and at the A: prompt
    > enter the following command:
    >
    > DIR C: /S
    >
    > That will cause the screen to scroll madly, perhaps for several
    > minutes, as it lists the contents of every folder on the drive. Any
    > error message at this point are indicative of either a physical
    > problem with the drive or possibly a changed BIOS setup value making
    > it impossible to locate the correct physical sectors when reading the
    > drive.
    >
    > If that works out okay you can then try running
    >
    > SCANDISK C: and see what happens. If errors are found the best
    > procedure would be to *not* have scandisk fix them. Again, there
    > could be another factor at play here.
    >
    > If both the above work out okay and if the Windows Startup Disk is
    > from the same version of Windows 95 as is installed on the hard drive
    > then you can enter the following command to replace the boot files:
    >
    > SYS C:
    >
    > Remove the boot disk and reboot the computer. It should now start up
    > normally.
    >
    > Good luck


    Thank you very much for this excellent response, Mr. Martell.
    --
    Wa as-salaam alaikum
    Vernon Compton, Sep 13, 2004
    #9
  10. Yes, as long as it is from the same operating system.


    "Vernon Compton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 23:23:49 -0400, Atlas Shrugged wrote:
    >
    >> Your command.com file may be missing or have gotten corrupt. Try booting
    >> from a floppy and then search your hard drive for the file.
    >>
    >> Paul
    >>

    > Thanks to both of you. If there is something wrong with command.com, can
    > I just copy it from her CD onto her HD?
    >
    > --
    > Wa as-salaam alaikum
    Atlas Shrugged, Sep 14, 2004
    #10
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