Non System Disk Or Disk Failure


Old 05-06-01, 06:14 AM
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My HD is detected at boot up fine. When HD goes into booting up it says NON SYSTEM DISK OR DISK FAILURE.

I have a boot disk. I boot up to drive a:\
When I try to switch to drive c or d it says Invalid Drive Specification.

I think I got a virus on this HD because just before this happened I downloaded some program and ran it without checking it for viruses.

I know the data on the HD is still there I just can't access it. I had a dual boot system on it Windows 2000 and 98.

How can I fix this problem without loosing my data?

I've read about fdisk /mbr command will that do the trick? Would I still be able to dual boot between windows 98 and 2000?

Should the boot disk be from Windows 98 or Windows 2000?

When I go into fdisk is says NO PARTITIONS ARE DEFINED

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Old 05-06-01, 07:30 AM
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I just ran PowerQuest's Lost and Found program.

It said that my FAT and Boot Sector was OK.

The problem it found was "Master Partition Sector is Invalid"

How can I fix this? Norton Utilities, Partition Magic, fdisk /mbr?


Old 05-06-01, 09:09 AM
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Non-systemdisk - DualBoot

Howdy pwtg,

What U have happening is a problem with the dual boot up manager. U mentioned PowerQuest. I apologize I do not recognize that one.

What a dual boot manager does is that it utilizes the Partition0 to allow U to select which OS U wish to use. Windows is very territorial and does NOT like letting something else control how the bootup sequence occurs. Consequently, when new programs R installed and then reboot the system, the Boot manager may B bypassed and consequently the physical addresses of the OS is lost.

How to fix? Depends on what U R using as the Boot manager. Some older systems made prior to Hard Drives bigger than 4GB are NOT able to recognize drives bigger than 8.4GB without using a boot up manager. These systems must use a 3rd party boot manager to compensate for the BIOS limitations. WesternDigital has an excellent one called DataLifeGaurd {used to B EZ-Drive}.

One other tip, when a boot manager is used, U MUST boot up with the floppy OUT and then insert the floppy when U select to bootup from a floppy. Bypassing this step when booting from a floppy also bypasses the interface needed to define the HardDrive parameters and using fdisk or even trying a DIR on the hard drive will say not accessible or non-existent.

Hope that helps guide U some. Remember, the accuracy of an answer is dependant on the accuracy of the quest {grins}.

Old 05-06-01, 09:28 AM
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Thanks for the info.

But I'm not using any Boot Up Managers.

I'm using the Windows 2000 default boot loader.
So I have an option to windows 98 or windows 2000.

My MB and HD are new. Updated to late 2000 info. So that's not the problem with that.
Old 05-06-01, 06:50 PM
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I got that same message when my Primary IDE controller went out.
Old 05-06-01, 07:54 PM
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I know it's not the controller because other HD's work fine.

Any other ideas?
Old 05-06-01, 08:05 PM
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If you have a legal copy of windows 2000, contact microsoft support, it might be something that have come across before. If it is a copy then don't ask microsoft. I never tried out the a dual boot or used it with windows 2000. I have heard of partitions just disappearing and they had to be reinstated but at the cost of losing your data and redoing the system.

Did you tried booting up on a boot disk and then typing
DIR C: to see if you can see a directory listing. Was windows 2000 on a different partition of the same drive ?
Old 05-07-01, 08:09 AM
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if you have access to the net, try one or both of these programs.


if this link does not work go to search for boot sector.


ERD Commander

also at search for disk repair.

Old 05-07-01, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for your advice.

I will try those programs.

I can't go into c or any other drives. It just says Invalid Drive Specification.
Old 05-10-01, 10:40 AM
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Have you tried the culprit hard drive in any other machines? I wanted to make sure it was not my drive, it has 2300 MP3 files on it which I would hate to lose, so I installed it as a slave drive on another PC. It works just fine.

When I got the same error messages that you got I could not run fdisk properly. I tried on another older HDD. After reboot, it would not allow a format. Still the same error message "NON SYSTEM DISK OR DISK FAILURE"

So I called the motherboard manufaturer. They suggested trying the HDD on the secondary channel just to see if it would detect. It did. So now I know that the primary channel is not working. Warranty time.
Old 05-10-01, 01:47 PM
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Did you try fdisk /mbr
This sometimes repairs the master boot record.

If fdisk says no partitions found then you may have already lost everything on that drive.

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