hard drive not being recognized


  #1  
Old 06-02-03, 04:50 PM
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hard drive not being recognized

Daughters computer brought to me, with no OS found error. Opened the bios and saw no hard drive being recognized so I put to auto mode and found the hard drive, tried scan disk without problems, have tried sys A from the 98SE boot disk as well as sys C. Now the computer will start in without the boot disk in A and goes to DOS mode with a windows prompt but I can't get windows to start? Help...I'm a DOS idiot and want to get this thing back up. This is not the first time we had this problem, about 5 months ago it was a HD failure so I put a new 60 gig drive in and reloaded everything. Could a weak CMOS battery cause the Bios settings to lose a HDlike this? What else could all of a sudden cause the HD to dissaper from BIOS settings?
 
  #2  
Old 06-02-03, 07:19 PM
MichaelJP
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Yes loss in cmos power can cause settings to change.

Does your system clock show wrong date and time? This would change with a problem in cmos.

Without a boot disk it goes to dos prompt?
Try typing, WIN
and pressing ENTER on your keyboard. Normally this starts windows.


I suggest if the HD is fine and you can't get anything to fix it then re-install 98 over itself. Warning, in the current state you may lose some information. Normally installing 98 over itself will just fix some problems.

You may want to backup favorites and if you use outlook the email.
 
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Old 06-02-03, 07:50 PM
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It sounds like you may have a CMOS problem. But, even so, CMOS will typically find the HD on restart. It really depends on the CMOS settings when defaulted (by power loss.)

Before trying to re-install anything, check the HD to see what's on it. If you're not familiar with DOS, the easiest way to do that is when you get the "C:\>" prompt, type "dir" and hit enter, that will show you a directory listing of the C: drive.

You should see a "Windows" directory, change to that directory by typing "cd windows" and hit enter, then type "win" and hit enter.

This is (more than likely) the only way you will be able to run windows - if it's still there. The typing "Win" from the C Prompt will probably not work. The reason is simple (and obvious), the PATH variable is probably not set on the A: drives Autoexec.bat.

If that works, reinstall Windows from Windows, so that you won't have any problems (at the very most, you'll have to reset a few Windows settings.)

Good luck!

BTW, if you don't have anything on your HD, you're going to be starting all over again, but that's probably not the case.
 
  #4  
Old 06-03-03, 12:15 AM
magister
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A Voice from the Dark

BTW: For future reference and for the archive; If you type "help" at the DOS prompt and hit enter, you may get a listing of all commands recognized by your version of DOS and you could get detailed information about individual commands along with a listing of switches, by typing "help" followed by the command or the individual command name followed by a "/?".

For example; If you were to type "help dir" or "dir /?" at the DOS prompt and hit enter, you will see a definition of the dir command followed by several switches, among these will be "/p" which would cause the screen to pause at the end of every page. (Hit any key to continue) So, you could take from this, if you were to follow the advice of our esteemed moderator to examine the directories and files which remain on the hard drive; If you were to type "dir /p" followed by the enter key; The output might be more easily digested because of the frequent pauses.

And because I'm talking DOS; If for some reason you wanted to check the battery before you can get into Windows; If you haven't removed the battery just to look at it, type "date" followed by the enter key at the DOS prompt to see if the computer knows what day it is (you can just enter over the change date function), but if you have played with the battery; The easiest way to check it would be to do the above, but change the date when prompted, switch-off the machine and turn it back-on to see if it remembers the setting.

Of course, all of the above commands would need to be done without the quotes and please rest assured that I'm not trying to confuse you, because you should already have enough information to fix the problem; I just thought you might want to be aware of the built-in help function for future reference.

And, it should also be noted that "dir", "cd" and "date" are considered internal commands, so they can be run from any DOS prompt, anywhere; "help" is external, so if your path is not set correctly, you may need to "cd" to the proper directory for it to work.

Good Luck;
R

BTW, so you'll know: "win" is specific to Windows & not a DOS command, so it will not be listed in the helpfile.
 

Last edited by magister; 06-03-03 at 04:32 PM.
  #5  
Old 06-03-03, 07:07 AM
MichaelJP
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For the archive too

Typing help at the prompt may not bring help up. It depends on how the system is setup.
 
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Old 06-03-03, 08:23 AM
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artart,

You said that right now you can start the computer without any bootdisks or CDs in the drives, and you can get to a DOS prompt (a little blinking cursor). Is that correct? Because if it is then your hard drive is working just fine. Tell us what you see after the computer boots.
A bad/missconfigured hard drive will give you a "Please insert boot disk in the A drive" screen.
 
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Old 06-03-03, 12:40 PM
magister
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Originally posted by magister
And, it should also be noted that "dir", "cd" and "date" are considered internal commands, so they can be run from any DOS prompt, anywhere; "help" is external, so if your path is not set correctly, you may need to "cd" to the proper directory for it to work.
Unless for some reason, you deleted help.com or help.exe (depending on the version of DOS or the emulator), or if they were not installed (see my capitulation in a follow-up post); The path would be the setup and if the path is not properly set, you could "cd" into the proper directory or you could explicitly call the program by name.

For example; If the path is not set, one could "cd" into the proper directory or they could call the program with a "c:\dos\help.com" or "c:\winnt\system32\help.exe" or whatever is appropriate to their operating system. And, if they are unsure of where the help program is located or whether it is a com or a exe, they could "cd" to the root directory with a "cd C:\" and type "dir help.* /s/p" followed by the enter key and let the software locate it for them. (The * is a wildcard, because we are unsure of the filetype and I am trying to be generic; The "/s" tells the operating system to look in the current directory and all of it's subs. The "/p" invokes the page pause)

Once again, all of the above would be done without quotes and please believe me; I'm really not trying to confuse matters and only introduced the concept of the help function because artart called himself a "DOS idiot".

Peace Out;
R

PS) And yes, artart; Please keep us aprised because after all; This thread is for you...
 

Last edited by magister; 06-03-03 at 03:27 PM.
  #8  
Old 06-03-03, 01:05 PM
MichaelJP
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Hmmm
Sorry I don't know what I was thinking.
The <COMAND> /? will work.
For some reason I was thinking of the old DOS help. where you would type <COMAND> help.

Yes /? will work. Sorry
 
  #9  
Old 06-03-03, 03:17 PM
magister
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It does appear that Micheal is correct in that some installations of Win98 might not automatically write the DOS help program to the hard drive; Don't ask me why because I am getting mixed-signals as to when, let alone why; It is Microsoft and the /? will work nonetheless; But, if you can't get a directory of commands, how would you know what to /?; (Rhetorical Question);

So, because I can't be absolutely positive as to why some installations may or may not transfer the file and because it is off-topic; I am going to say that if you can't find "help.com" or "help.exe" via a "dir help.* /s/p", a copy should exist in the "\Windows 98\tools\oldmsdos\" directory on the Installation CD and get on with my life. Though, it should also be noted that all of the other, aforementioned commands and switches are valid.

And to bring it full circle back to artart; The fact remains that if your path is not properly set, you must be in the right directory to type "win", or explicitly call the "win.com" program in order to start Windows; Which should be the focus of this discussion and I apologize for the diversion...

Peace, Love & Happiness;
R
 

Last edited by magister; 06-03-03 at 04:40 PM.
  #10  
Old 06-03-03, 05:20 PM
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All this talk about the peculiarities of accessing help files from various flavours of DOS is very enlightening, but not really helping with this problem.

You say you have done a "sys c:". And you say you now boot to a C:\ prompt. Try keying in: "\windows\win" <rtn>. If this start windows, then your only problem would seem to be that the path statement is non-existant or does not include a path to C:\windows. Either way, you can either correct the path statement, or, probably easier, edit the autoexec.bat file. Add 2 lines to the end like so:

cd \windows
win
 
  #11  
Old 06-03-03, 07:36 PM
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mucho thanks

Thanks for all the help guys and gals...in a fit of disgust I loaded XP pro and it runs great except that I had Norton Sysworks 2002 on with the 98SE and of course it wasn't removed so subsequent reloading of it has caused multiple new problems but only with Norton stuff. Actually I got the Norton utilites up but so far no luck with NAV and live update. Looks like I will have to do a manual unistall to all Norton stuff and then reload.
 
 

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