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"Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter"

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Hato, May 21, 2010.

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  1. Hato

    Hato Thread Starter

    May 21, 2010

    My cousin recently made me a computer and he sent it all the way here from the United States. I was eager to try it out and hooked it up to my monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc. I did not plug in any additional USB devices.

    When I boot up the computer it gives me "DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER".

    I couldn't get past this (I don't have the Windows XP disk), and so I restarted the computer and pressed 'Del' to get into the (I think it's called BIOS menu? Not sure, the blue screen thing), I looked at the boot up priorities and moved Hard Disk to one priority level above Disk boot, however this made no difference.

    I am good with the computers but not when it comes to hardware and things like this. So PLEASE if you use a term I may be unfamiliar with please explain what it is. I am very frustrated and disappointed that this does not work. :(

    Thank you very much,

  2. Gr3iz


    Mar 9, 2009
    First Name:
    Welcome to TSG!!

    I'm guessing that, perhaps, a cable has come loose during shipping. Open the computer's case and look around. Usually the hard drive is mounted toward the front of the system. It's a device about 3.5" wide by 5" long and about an inch thick. There should be two cables plugged into the back end, one of which comes from the power supply, the other should be plugged into the motherboard.
  3. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge It's My Birthday!

    Apr 10, 2000
    This message means the disk is present but the boot files or boot sector cannot be located.

    This may be beyond your capability; but, my approach would be to remove the hard disk from this computer, connect in internally as a secondary drive to another desktop computer and run CHKDSK x: /R, where you substitute the correct drive letter for the x.

    Another method would be to create a Bart's PE disk, boot with it and run the same command. You could also use what is known as an "Ultimate Boot CD", downloadable from the web.

    What these latter do is allow you to boot entirely from an operating system on the CD and run diagnostics and repairs from that environment instead of the OS on the failed hard disk.

    Most likely what has happened to the computer is it got banged around in shipment and the drive's read/write head got crashed into the platter, damaging the boot sector. This is common because the read/write head is parked at track zero (boot sector location) when the disk isn't operating. Best method for shipping a computer is either to heavily pad the entire computer inside the shipping container, or to remove the disk from the computer and heavily padding just the disk with at least two inches of foam all around. The latter is usually easier and cheaper.
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