Invalid System Disk

April 1, 2010 at 05:32:10
Specs: Windows XP
So... a community organisation has recently had a bunch of ex-university computers donated to help people who would otherwise not be able to afford computers. I'm helping teach a small group how to go about system installs (they have licensing for XP Home Edition) on mostly HP and Dell systems that were all formatted before we got them. They are all either Pentium 4 or Pentium D, with between 1 and 2gb ram.

All are set to boot from the cd rom for the install, and yet, probably 1 in every 4 run into the 'invalid system disk' error on boot. I know these may have been fairly hard working computers in the 2 years of uni life, imagine there is a possibility some might have started coming to the end of their dvd rom lives, or may have some dirt or such on the lasers, but up until their format, all had been working computers. The disks used are working fine in some other computers, so not a disk problem. So far, I've managed to get a couple working beyond the invalid disk fail by resetting the bios, but there are still most of them just refusing to get beyond this first issue. Any ideas?

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April 1, 2010 at 06:43:59
On first blush I would think you were not adding the drive host adapter driver during the xp install but that usually results in no disk found not invalid system disk.

might want to review this

You can also download the drive manufacturers utilities and test the drives.

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April 1, 2010 at 08:49:09
Just some thoughts.......

Most organizations whose computers that are connected to a network discourage the use of the cdrom and even the A: they may not be beyond use but in almost new

Did volunteer work in Florida and a number of donated system came in with the cdrom cables unplugged.....yeah that does keep people from using

All it takes is one infected cd or floppy to screw up the network. We called it a tenna net. Transporting software between computers VIA one own feet.

So I am leaning to the boot order being set to C: rather than the cdrom in the bios. Run the setup and be sure it boots off the cdrom first.

If still no joy it could be the means that were used to remove the old OS. Some wipe programs can toast a hd if it has a number of failing sectors on it.

The hd may need to fdisked and new partitions made if the above paragraph holds true.

When in bios , see if the hd is recognized as well.

Computers that came from schools had the ribbon cable removed or cut....and the kids would open the drawer and put
gum wrappers in them.....LOL!

Well again ...just a few thoughts.

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April 1, 2010 at 09:14:20
That's tennis network as in running with tennis shoes between pcs or as in tennis ball like in bouncing a floppy between pcs.

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