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"Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter" and yet no cause

Vayne

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#1
Hello everyone. I'm new here, but I troll the forums sometimes. :)

I'm having a really frustrating problem tonight and I see no cause or solution. Long story short, I swapped out my perfectly working with no-issues for a year now PSU out into my buddy's new build to see if he had a faulty PSU. He indeed did and we installed Windows and what not off my Antec before putting it back in my case. His computer is fine - it's mine that's showing a disk boot failure. The hard disk won't boot (Windows XP / SP3) yet the BIOS detects it.

I can't for the life of me even begin to fathom why. I didn't change any hardware or software settings. I was grounded and not charged when I was working in my case and I never even touched the hard disk's plugs in fact because my PSU is modulator and I was able to just pull them from the PSU when I removed the unit itself from my case.

I've left the CMOS jumper in the clear position and plan on doing so overnight.

If you have an idea please let me know. I've done the basic Google searches but at this point I'm trying to figure out not only how to fix this but why it even happened in the first place.

Edit for specs: E6600 OCed to 3 GHz, Abit AW9D-Max, 2 GBs of G.skill DDR2-800, 7900 GTX (512 MBs), 2x Western Digital 250 GB HDDs, 500-watt Antec NeoHE
 
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#2
are you trying to start it with the CMOS jumper in clear? thats a no no. Also, double triple recheck your BIOS settings as Im sure they cleared out and reset to default after having your PS unplugged. Make sure you have all your boot options correct. Also, try without your system OC'd. See if ti starts.
 

Vayne

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#3
are you trying to start it with the CMOS jumper in clear? thats a no no. Also, double triple recheck your BIOS settings as Im sure they cleared out and reset to default after having your PS unplugged. Make sure you have all your boot options correct. Also, try without your system OC'd. See if ti starts.
Hey, thanks for the reply. I'm new, but I'm no noob. :laugh: No, I'm just leaving the CMOS clearing overnight. My girlfriend pulled me away and told me to let it go until tomorrow. After hours working on my buddy's machine and this happening I was angry and am going to deal with it tomorrow.

I'll reset all the BIOS settings to stock and turn my overclock off and post back tomorrow. Thanks. I'll double-check the connections tomorrow to when I'm not wiped.
 

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#4
Welcome to the TPU forums, Can you feel the drive running still ?. Sounds like the boot sector might be messed up on it.

Are you using XP ?..
 

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#5
Do you have any bootable USB or DVD/CD's in the system currently? If so, take them out. Go into the bios and make sure the HDD with the OS is listed as the first boot device.
 
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#6
If you've tried everything you can think of and still have no success, I've had hard drives where the motor (platter or actuator arm, either way it was internal and not on the circuit board) failed but the BIOS still detects it since the circuitry was working and reporting to the MB just fine. This was a few years ago so maybe things have changed such that a failed motor will result in the drive not being detected, but it's def. worth a shot to try and determine if your drive is still spinning.
 

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#7
Do you have any bootable USB or DVD/CD's in the system currently? If so, take them out. Go into the bios and make sure the HDD with the OS is listed as the first boot device.

Yeah good point, silly me not thinking of that. With him taking out the PSU and this happening maybe his CMOS battery is on the way out ?.
 
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#8
Slave it to another pc and make sure the drives not the problem. If it is fine on the other computer, it is most likely the data on that drive, like the mbr or boot code. If you can grab your xp cd, get into recovery console and try this:

bootcfg /rebuild
Read the prompts, enter OS name(type "/fastdetect" when asked for boot options)

Then run:
chkdsk /f /r

Finally, run :
fixboot

If you drive is still alive this will boot it in 9/10 cases. Good luck.
 
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#9
Yeah good point, silly me not thinking of that. With him taking out the PSU and this happening maybe his CMOS battery is on the way out ?.
You silly guy :) I had that in my first post :toast: Sounds like his BIOS reset itself (CMOS) and now his boot priority and devices are mixed. I get this error sometimes when my pc would try to boot off a usb drive or something. I have raid also, so i had to set raid as boot 1, so it was trying to boot off my storage drive. I doubt his HD crapped out while being unplugged.
 
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#10
Sup buddy. Nice to see you finally registered on the forums.

I had this happen when I was working on my dad's computer when I swapped out the hard drive for a better one. I installed Windows Vista and all was fine. Got the updates and bam. No system disk or disk error like you describe.

What I ended up having to do is go into the BIOS and change the hard drives around. His 300GB hdd was set to boot first and the 80GB second. Switched those two around, saved and exited BIOS. Booted right to the desktop.
 

Vayne

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#11
Yeah, the OS is Windows XP with SP3 and I can hear the drives running.

I have some good news though. I unplugged my second hard disk this morning before work and tried quickly to test the computer. It booted up fine to the Windows login screen so I think those of you who suggested the boot order issue were correct.

Why would it change though? I don't get it! Sure, I turned the computer off and unplugged the physical power when I swapped out the PSU (you kind of have to), but I never cleared the CMOS or pulled out the battery prior to the swap. (Battery shouldn't be dead...the board is fairly new and I've actually to date never seen a dead CMOS battery. I've had some last 4+ years. If the BIOS settings clear or this is reoccuring I'll try a new battery.) In fact, I didn't touch my BIOS or the drives and their settings at all. I didn't even physically touch the drives with my hands as I unplugged the modular connectors from the PSU to avoid recabling my whole sytem.

So the question still stands...why? Or better yet, how? I may never know now. Thanks though everyone!

I'm at work right now and I didn't have time to try the BIOS settings this morning. When I get home tonight (about four hours from now) I'll try seeing if I can't get my system to boot normally again.

Thanks to Cybrnook2002, Paulieg, and Crash for pointing me in the right direction.
 
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#12
Yeah, it happens more than you would think. The batteries in our MB should last a while. But its one of those things that you never really know if its good or not. Until something like this happens. when you turn your pc off, its still running on juice from the wall, so it remembers everything. But when its disconnected, then the memory for the cmos comes from the battery. Thats when you find out its dead, so the bios resets itself. Think of it like unplugging a clock from the wall. ;) You usually have some time to plug it back in and it remembers the time, but the longer its unplugged the bigger the chance it resets back to 12:00
 
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Vayne

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#13
It was indeed the boot order. Thanks, everyone.

I'm not sure why it got switched to begin with but all seems fine now.