Disk boot failure - I find it hard to believe

  compumac 09:51 18 Jul 10
Locked

I have had in recent months on bootup, a dialogue box indicating "Disk boot failure Insert system disc". When this first happened I was able to reboot OK but then the frequency that this came up increased, such that in the end it would not boot up at all. I then installed a somewhat old hard disc and after a week or so the same dialogue box came up.
I then replaced the hard disc with another spare and after a few weeks the same thing happened with that hard disc. I purchased a brand new unused disc and for the past two months it has worked perfectly, then this morning the "Disk boot failure..." came up. I rebooted OK.
Question what else can give rise to the message other than the hard disc failing? It is hard to believe that so many hard discs are at fault.

  Dark Mantis 10:00 18 Jul 10

Obviously it is not the hard drives that are faulty. There are a number of other reasons for this message though. Run chkdsk on the drive. It could also be a BIOS problem. It may be looking for the wrong disk at startup. If your motherboard is older try changing the battery(CR2032). Have you reset your CMOS and loaded BIOS defaults after changing hard drives?

  Pineman100 10:06 18 Jul 10

When you reloaded your Windows system on to each successive replacement hard disk, did you perform a fresh installation from a Windows CD, or did you always use an image of the previous system?

If it was the latter, I wonder whether you could have been perpetuating some corruption in the Windows boot code.

  compumac 10:11 18 Jul 10

I had considered that possibility but this latest installation was a brand new hard disc and a totally fresh installation of XP and subsequent programmes. It has only happened once with the new setup - and that was this morning and perhaps I am jumping the gun and assuming a return of the problem.

  PSF 11:08 18 Jul 10

I had a similar problem and it turn out to be the plug on the power cable from the power supply to the hard drive. There was a bad connection inside and at random would give the same fault as yours. Swap the connection for another one and don't forget to mark it so you don't use it on another drive! I found that out after replacing the hard drive and the new one started to fail.

  compumac 11:12 18 Jul 10

PSF
I did wonder on that as both connections to the drive are difficult to remove and I might have been overly forceful in removing them. I will wait for a few more bootups to see if it does does return with the current setup.

  PSF 11:22 18 Jul 10

Next time it does not start give the cable a wiggle and if you hear the drive start spinning that is the problem. Most power supplies have spare plugs so it will be easy to swap on over if tha is the fault.

If it is the connector turn off the power before you replace the connector just in case. It is low voltage so safe, but you will need to re-boot anyway for the BIOS to see the drive and load windows.

  BRYNIT 11:39 18 Jul 10

Just a thought. Have you left a usb flash drive attached to the computer or a CD/DVD in the drive when booting the computer. If the bios is set to boot from CD/DVD or USB first this can sometime create the same message.

  compumac 11:58 18 Jul 10

BRYNIT
Thanks for input, but the answer is no. I think that PSF's suggestion may very well be the right one at this time.

  compumac 11:58 18 Jul 10

BRYNIT
Thanks for input, but the answer is no. I think that PSF's suggestion may very well be the right one at this time.

  robin_x 11:59 18 Jul 10

Yeah...I get Master Boot Record Error. Press Any Key.

Till I remembered, my USB HDD is always connected and I changed the BIOS to boot from USB first because I made a Flash USB Ubuntu distro.

Freaked me out for a few days and bit of Googling till I realised I hadn't broken my installation.

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