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Thread: Boot Up Problem

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Boot Up Problem

    I've got a rather basic issue to resolve for one of my teacher friends and have hit the proverbial brick wall. She is running Win98 and inadvertently left a floppy disk in the A drive when she booted up her system. Of course the system tried to read the disk on boot up and produced a non-system disk error. She tells me that she ejected the disk and then reinserted it and tried again (please don't ask) with the same result. She then removed the disk and inserted a different floppy and tried again, with the same result (natch). She repeated this process with 3-4 more floppys and then tried to boot the system with no floppy in the drive and got an error message asking for a disk to be inserted in the A drive. She has no idea which disk it wants and tried each one she had used previously without any success. Now she can't get the system to go on with the boot process and says she is unable to get to a C prompt to initiate a Safe Mode boot up.
    The boot up area is not one I'm very familiar with (I work using the KISS principle and have GoBack on all my systems).
    Any suggestions would be welcome. The poor woman has a 27 page PowerPoint presentation (not backed up, of course) on this system that has to be completed this weekend for presentation on Monday.
    Thanks !!
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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    Start from scratch:

    1. Boot computer to BIOS Setup (depending of the model, pressing F1, F2, F10, Del - whatever is required) and check Boot Order settings. It must look like this: 1. CD-ROM 2. Floppy Drive 3. Hard Drive.
    Sometimes (on older models) there is no CD-ROM option. Check also is the hard drive recognized properly.

    2. Remove all CD from CD-ROM drive, floppy from floppy drive, disconnect power cord from the computer for 15 seconds, then connect and turn it on. If you will see "Missing operating system" or similar error messge, it will indicate a major problem with hard drive.

    3. In that case, obtain working Win98 Boot Disk (check it on another machine), insert it into the floppy drive and reboot. From DOS prompt, type FDISK and hit Enter, than Yes for the answer "Do you wish...". Select option 4 (Display partition information) and check it (do you see primary active partition as C: drive). If you'll see any errors, please post them.

    DO NOT PERFORM ANY CHANGES UNDER FDISK - it will destroy all information on the hard drive (including presentation you want to recover) !

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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    Thanks for the info. I suspected that it was something that had to be resolved in the BIOS. I passed your suggestions along and spoke to her briefly this afternoon. Her system is an HP and goes directly from an HP splash screen to the A prompt error, without any visible BIOS entry opportunity. Also, she has never changed any BIOS settings before and is reluctant to try. May have to send in a "White Knight" or something <grin>.
    On at least one of my machines, the BIOS has an option to boot directly to the C drive. If she had a similar option available, would it be wise to go that route and simply bypass the floppy drive altogether?? At least until she can get past this little bump in the road.
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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    BIOS is almost always a function key. Madly hitting them as the PC starts up might help spot it. Or maybe there's something on the HP support site.

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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    I'll tell her to try that. And I'll check the HP site. I suggested the HP site to her, but can't be sure that she'll be able to locate the information she needs.
    Thanks for the input !! <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15>
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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> The key that I usually have to hit to get into the BIOS is <DEL>. This at least works on Dell's and most generics that I have come across.

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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    On my HP, "F1" at startup gets you into bios setup.

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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    Mike,
    Thanks for the input. She figured that out last night and got into the BIOS but was a bit timid and couldn't figure out how to set it to boot directly to the HD. I suppose I may have to make a house call on this one, or at least direct her to HP e-mail support (if they offer it).
    She has more than one PC. <img src=/S/doh.gif border=0 alt=doh width=15 height=15>
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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    Doc, on every sys I've operated, F2 gets you into CMOS. She should shutdown, power up, and hit and hold F2 almost immediately. When the CMOS screen comes up, she can use the arrows to move across the menu bar and take a look at all sections to familiarize herself with the layout. Then she can go back to the boot order section and use the down arrow to get to the line where it shows the dives in a specific order for boot. At the bottom of the screen, she will find the legend telling her which keys allow her to move through the options. She should move to the option that starts with her hard drive, then her A: drive. What follows the A: drive is irrelevant. Next, she should do for the line that specifies "Quiet Boot" or something to that effect and disable or unselect "Quiet Boot" or "Show Splash Screen." This will allow her to watch the startup process. When she has made her selections, she can then save the changes and exit. She will be asked for confirmation and she should reply affirmatively. The sys will reboot using her HD.

    Mark

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    Mark,
    Thanks for your <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15> Your explaination of the process was much more clear than mine would have been <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    I think she should be able to get it back up and running with this in front of her. Thanks again !!
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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Boot Up Problem

    Thanks to all who advised me on this issue. Just got the definitive answer this AM.
    The HD crashed, <img src=/S/drop.gif border=0 alt=drop width=23 height=23> taking all her data with it (PowerPoint presentation, all grades for the year and the Excel form and template they were on, etc). It was still under warranty and the dealer replaced the HD at no cost, but how does one put a price on lost data??? She had NOTHING backed up !!!! <img src=/S/disk.gif border=0 alt=disk width=15 height=15>
    We all know that this will never happen to "US" <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>. But just in case................
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