my disk drive has flopped


Old 01-15-01, 10:13 PM
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Can anyone help? A fatal error has occured on my disk drive my computer has told me and it can even tell me the date and time it occurred. But it won't tell me what to do about it!!! I can't save any info to disk nor bring up any files from a disk. It says that drive is inaccessible. Is it something little I could easily fix or will this require an overhaul? I use Windows 98 if that has anything to do with it and the computer is a Compaq presario. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-01, 07:56 AM
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shanak, There are some things to try but you need to post back with EXACLTY what happens when you boot your computer. The error message probably won't help but list it if you can pull it up again. Also do you have a Windows emergency boot floppy?....Mike
Old 01-16-01, 08:45 AM
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Location: ottawa canada
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If you have a boot floppy or can borrow one, try booting up on the floppy (assuming your bios is set to boot a then c) if it boots on the floppy...
at the dos prompt a:\ or c:\
it could also look like a:> or c:>
type in DIR C: (push enter)
do you see a directory listing ?
If you do than chances are your hard drive is perfectly fine, If it does ot come up or gives you a message unreadable media, then there is a hard drive problem, but not necessaryly one that can't be recovered from by reformating, blowing and re-instating the partitions, or a combinating of the 2.

Give us the exact message word fro word that comes up. Most systems will also stop if it detects a keyboard problem/abstant at bootup.

If you sucessfully boot up on a floppy system diskette, at the dos prompt, type in DATE (push enter) does the date appear ? Now type in TIME (enter) does the time appear ?
If both these come up, then the battery is likely ok ! If there is problems , the battery on the board may be gone, although I have never personally lost a battery, but it can happen.

If you boot up on the floppy ok, can read the date & time, and you can read the directory of the C drive ok from the dos prompt. Chances are it is a windows problem, and the worst case senerio is that you have to spend half a day redoing the operating system installation.

I beleive Compaq presario comes with a restore CD , you might be able to speed things up by using the restore CD and selecting a FULL INSTALL. The things that you could lose in the process however is all your personal data files...inportant data files (personal files, letters , etc) should be backup to floppy, cd burner, zip drive or whatever to prevent you from losing them when problems occur. However that option is not available now. There are ways to copy completely unreplaceable personal data files under dos commands , if you boot floppy works ok, and you can read the directory of the C drive ok from the dos prompt, then with dos commands and some pain it can be done.

I assume that you posted this message with another computer ??

So before taking the more drastic steps , tell us exactly what you did between the time it last worked perfectly and the time this problem occured ? ie.. sofware installed or uninstalled, hardware removed, new hardware installed ? Any change in configuration, changes in slave/master desiginations on hard drives, cd roms, etc.

I just reread you message after typing the first part of my message, you said you can't save any info or bring up files from disk, does windows boot up at all ?, what stage of the boot up does it stop or the fatal message comes up. Sometimes you can boot in SAFE mode and fix a suspected problem, give us more info first.
Old 01-16-01, 05:35 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Maybe I wasn't clear enough but my whole system runs fine except for the A drive (not my hard drive) is now inaccessible. Windows is booting up fine. The message I am getting when I try to open a file from a disk or save info to a disk is "You do not have access to folder 'A:\.' See your administrator to access to this folder." I could not find any info on this mysterious "administrator" I really can't remember doing anything different or even messing around with deleting any programs. The last disk I had in there were pictures I took on a digital camera and it worked fine. No programs were installed but possibly there was something downloaded from the internet. I have tried many different disks, including new ones, and have made sure they weren't locked. Still none of them work. What could prevent me from accessing it? I do have a quick restore CD as well as a start up disk. What do you think I should do? More importantly who is this administrator and how do I get them fired?!!--Haha
Old 01-16-01, 11:27 PM
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Location: ottawa canada
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Well one minor but inportantv letter A: , it puts a whole new twist on things. It almost sounds like an NT network, but obviously it is not, I have never heard of that one with using windows 98, I try and see what info I can find on this mysterious administrator and let you know if I find anything.
Old 01-19-01, 07:18 AM
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We are getting overly complicated here, I have seen this several times. The drive has failed. I have seen drives fail to the point that they don't work at all to the point the act like they work such as when putting the disk in and try to read it from explorer it says the disk is not formated, so I format and it comes up with a defective disk error. Or I have seen them retain the last disk information. I say replace the drive, they are $10 used to $45 new but most of the time you can find a new one for $30. Try to get Mitsumi, they seem to hold up the best. Always wait until the drive activity light goes out on the drive before removing the disk. I'll bet a buck the disk was removed to soon and damaged the heads.
Old 01-19-01, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: ottawa canada
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I agree with mike, your orginal posting made me beleive the person was refering to their harddrive, which in a later posting I find it is the A drive, a minor ommision that makes a world of difference. The last floppy drive I bought costed be around $ 24 Canadian $ (+ the federal and provincial taxes adding up to an additional 15%).

I have fix people's computer's before where what they told me was going on was not the way I saw it when looking at their computer. This following check should elliminate any doubt about the drive.

To ellimate the windows operating system , you could try to boot up on a KNOWN good boot floppy, (assuming your bios is set to boot a then c), that we know boots fine on another computer. If the bios is set as I said, and the computer does not boot on the boot floppy, replace the drive. If it does boot up on the boot floppy, using dos commands (do not start windwos), try to copy files from the a floppy disk to the hard drive, and from the hard drive to the floppy. If any of these fail , replace the drive. Try the boot system floppy disk first. If that works and you don't know dos commands, then repost and I will tell you how to use basic dos copy commands. This should take any windows system problems from the equation. When you do this test I would prefer (although it properly will not matter), that you shut down the computer power completely , not just restart.
If it does boot, try it 2 or 3 times by just rebooting without turning off power.

Floppy drives are not that expensive, although if you are running a tight budget , every little bit hurts, but on the other hand if it's gone , it's gone. They are one on cheaper items in your computer.

[Edited by dkerr on 01-19-01 at 11:27]
Old 01-21-01, 05:14 PM
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Thanks for the expert advice, I'll be on the lookout for a new drive. In the good friend and neighbor is having problems with his computer. He can log on to the internet and get as far as a web page at which point the computer freezes up. He then can't do anything and has to restart or shutdown. That is why I am the one going on the internet trying to find help!! He has Windows 95. Where should we start troubleshooting? Do you need more information?
Old 01-21-01, 05:23 PM
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Hey shanak, I'm not the moderater of this forum but think you(as well as other forum readers) would best be served by starting a new thread on your friends problem. There is much less confusion this way and we are easily confused..LOL..Post new thread and any error message if any or if it is just a freeze...Mike
Old 01-21-01, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Conus
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computer fatal message

I have read all these posts and all are very good. However, one simple ommission is being made here. If you have a Compaq computer call Compaq for help. They are very helpful and will take the time to assist you to rectify the problem, if possible. I have a real old laptop that was using 3.1, when I installed Win 95 and developed several problems. They assisted me and it runs fine. They will give a customer number to you so that they can refer to what you were previously told in case the advice didn't work and it's free! Give them a shout before you go out buying new drives.

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