Missing Operating system on old computer

  MikeSA 14:30 23 Feb 14
Locked

I connected a 60GB Hard Drive as a slave to my old Pentium 1 Windows 98 computer with a 3GB Hard Drive. I intended copying all my files on the primary drive onto the slave drive.

However, when I started the computer, at the point where it said “Verifying DMI Pool”, a cursor started flashing and this message appeared : “Missing Operating System”. I immediately switched the machine off and removed the slave drive that I had connected. But now, all the information on the 3GB Drive appears to have been lost. I keep getting this message : INVALID DRIVE. Even, when I connect the drive to another Pentium 1 computer as a primary drive or as a slave or to my new computer running Windows 8.1, the drive is no longer recognised or accessed.

Where did I go wrong? I have even tried several free data recovery software but to no avail. Only one such software managed to recover a few files but these were files that I recall I had long deleted. Is there any way now to recover all the active files in My Documents and my e-mail messages or is the situation now hopeless?

If I start the computer with the Windows 98 Boot Disk inserted in the floppy drive and the Windows 98 Installation Disk in the CD Rom, will it reload Windows without erasing all my files. All advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:39 23 Feb 14

Put it back in the Pentium machine

Boot from a bootable floppy diskette

Once at the A:\> Type C: and press enter. If you do not receive this error message type the below commands.

A: fdisk /mbr

Sys c:

Once you have received the message System Transferred,remive the floppy and reboot the PC.

  MikeSA 13:07 01 Mar 14

Many thanks for the response. I followed your instructions and, with the Windows 98 Startup Disk in the floppy drive and the Windows 98 Disk in the CD ROM, I switched the machine on and , at the A: prompt typed C: and then, whether I type fdsik/mbr or sys c: all I get is a message saying : INVALID MEDIA TYPE READING DRIVE C.

At the C: prompt, I even tried typing SETUP and also \WIN 98 but to no avail. Where am I going wrong? If I go into BIOS, currently the boot order is stated as A,C,SCSI. If I highlight this and press ENTER, nothing happens. I therefore cannot change the order to C,A, SCSI (N.B. there is no SCSI drive in the machine). It appears the Hard Drive (C) cannot be accessed at all.

At times, when SETUP is typed at the C: prompt, after a awhile, the screens says initialising and then this message appears: WINDOWS SETUP REQUIRES 7340032 BYTES AVAILABLE ON YOUR C and below there is a flashing cursor. But nothing happens after that. I even left the machine on for about 4 hours, but the flashing cursor was still there. Nothing had happened.

Is the situation hopeless or is there is another way? Thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:21 01 Mar 14

Leave it at the A:/ prompt

type fdisk /mbr

press enter

then type

sys c:

press enter

it may give a message system copied

remove the floppy and attempt to reboot.

  MikeSA 19:35 02 Mar 14

Many thanks for your prompt response. I am afraid something appears to be terribly wrong. I typed fdisk/mbr at the A: prompt as advised by you and pressed ENTER.
Another A: prompt appeared and I typed sys c: and, as before, the same message appeared once again. : INVALID MEDIA TYPE READING DRIVE C.

Whether I boot with only the Startup disk in the floppy drive or with both the Startup disk in the floppy drive and the Win98 disk in the D drive, or whether I choose to start the computer with CD-ROM support or without CD-ROM support, I repeatedly get the same error message. Do you think the hard drive is damaged beyond repair?

If I opened the hard drive and gave the needle a slight nudge, do you think it might make the hard drive work?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:00 02 Mar 14

If I opened the hard drive and gave the needle a slight nudge, do you think it might make the hard drive work?

No that would totally destroy the drive!!!

Can you get the c: prompt?

at the a prompt type CD c:

if you get the c: prompt type dir

see what you get then

  MikeSA 19:18 03 Mar 14

Once again, thank you so much for your prompt response. If I type CD c: at the A:\> I get the C:\> prompt but instantly the A:\> appears once again.

If I type dir at the A:\> prompt, 21 files thereon are displayed.

Furthemore, if at the A:\> prompt, I type c:, I get the C:\> prompt. And here if I type CD c: I get the C:\> prompt once again. And, if I type, dir at the C:\> prompt, the same error message appears as before viz. INVALID MEDIA TYPE READING DRIVE C Abort, Retry, fail?

If I repeat the whole process, but this time without CD support, I simply get the C:\> prompt instead of the error message.

It appears the Pentium 1 motherboard was unable to bear the load when I connected the 60GB hard drive as a slave and somehow, the primary drive got “roasted” beyond repair. Do I call it day and accept the fact that all my data is gone for good?

  bumpkin 21:09 03 Mar 14

"Do I call it day and accept the fact that all my data is gone for good?"

No, recover it from your back up.

  MikeSA 13:00 04 Mar 14

Unfortunately, I do not have a backup. I have even tried a few data recovery software but to no avail. It appears the hard drive is just not spinning at all, not even a slight sound is heard as is normal.

I recall reading a thread on the internet advising that placing the hard drive in the freezer could get it going again! Surely that cannot be credible and could only have been stated in jest,

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:46 06 Mar 14

it appears the hard drive is just not spinning at all, not even a slight sound is heard as is normal.

I get the C:\>

This is could be good news because it means the hard drive is recognised and must be spinning - unless the machine is looking at the CD drive and calling it c:.

Stick a CD in the drive do the dir and see if the files on the cd show up.

  bumpkin 18:05 06 Mar 14

"hard drive is just not spinning at all,"

If you are certain of that make sure it has power to it. If the motor has seized then putting it in a freezer is a long shot but not as daft as it sounds.

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