Non-system disk or disk error!!!!

Microsoft Upg-vc ms-dos 6.22 lics pack
May 20, 2010 at 04:30:56
Specs: MS-DOS 6.22 ; Windows XP
After all the trials and tribulations getting MS-DOS 6.22 to recognise my slave HDD on IDE0 at D:\
[ see here: ]

I finally succeeded [thanks to Mechanix2Go] getting it formatted. It is a 20Gb seagate with a partition of 1960Mb. I got MS-DOS 7.10 installed - as it had previously refused to see the drive also.
Great! It went fine, I set it to dual-boot with XP and it assured me that it would also boot back to my DOS 6.22 at any time [which is on C:\] if i would just press F4..
Fantastic! That is exactly what I was going for..
But NO!! When I choose MS-DOS 7.10 from the boot menu, I get the beautiful resoponse of:
Non-System disk or disk error
Replace and press and key when ready.
I have tried install again [off boot cd] and tried to install off boot floppies, but alas, it is not to be..

Any help with this issue would be much appreciated.

p.s. I know the square brackets look silly but my normal bracket keys refuse to work on this keyboard.

See More: Non-system disk or disk error!!!!

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May 20, 2010 at 05:29:19
I don't know if you're confused with 6.22 & 7.1 but I sure am.

I would stick with ONE version of DOS unless I had a good reason to do otherwise.

Helping others achieve escape felicity


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May 20, 2010 at 05:38:51
Haha yeah you're not wrong I'm turning my head all the way around with all this..

I agree, there's no real reason for all this kerfuffle I had a few dos games and apps that wouldn't run in 6.22 and that started me off.
I am studying for comptia exams at the moment so it's all just learning for me, I find that getting a practical understanding helps a lot - although this is beyond the scope of the exams.

Thanks for helping anyway, I will keep chipping away at the problems 'till I figure something out!
It's an old spare PC anyway.


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May 20, 2010 at 09:20:53
So you've got XP on a physical drive jumpered Master and dos on a drive jumpered as slave? A 1920 MB partition is about 2 gig but the drive is 20 gig so you've got 18 gig unused? Or was 1920 MB a typo? A 2 gig partition is the maximum size for a fat16 partition which dos 6.22 uses but 7.1 can use fat32 which could allow a single 20 gig partition.

When you've got 2 OS's on 2 separate drives it may be easier to disable the master in cmos/bios setup and then partition, format and install the second OS on the slave.

Then when both drives are enabled in cmos it'll boot from the primary master. When the primary master is disabled it'll boot from the primary slave or secondary master or slave (depending on how they're connected) It's a little bit of a hassle because you've got to go into cmos each time you want to boot from a different drive but you don't have to hassle with a boot loader and then wonder what's wrong.

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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May 20, 2010 at 19:12:27
I've actually got Dos 6.22 and XP on the physical HDD on IDE0 jumpered as master and the drive I was trying to get recognised was on IDE0 jumpered as slave. They are all old drives on an old computer that I'm mucking around with, I only partitioned the 20Gb disk (HDD2) under 2Gb so DOS 6.22 would recognise it, as that was my initial goal..

Once I had DOS seeing the second drive I got 7.10 installed on it, as dual boot with XP, with 'press F4 to return to DOS 6.22' but something went wrong with the install, and now my 6.22 is unable to boot, as it is not on the initial boot record and menu.

I have assumed a HDD issue, and have swapped HDD2 out for a different drive to see how that works.
This is all a fairly pointless exercise, the only point being that it is giving me a better understanding of DOS and boot disk utilities, and probably boring a few readers of this forum :-)

If all else fails I will give your idea a go as I'm sure that will work just fine, I just want to try get my head around this bootloader thing for a start.

Thanks for your input, it is much appreciated!


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May 20, 2010 at 20:01:46
Same problem with new HDD, 7.10 is either incompatable with my system or I have downloaded corrupt images for the CD boot disk and the 2 floppy boot disks.

Or I'm doing something obscure wrong.


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May 20, 2010 at 23:07:04
Non system disk usually means there's no system files on the drive you're trying to boot from. It shouldn't have anything to do with the bootdisks. If you install Dos from installation disks it will copy the necessary system files. You can also manually install the system files by booting from a bootdisk or boot cd and at the prompt typing SYS X:, where X: is the drive you want to install the files to--usually C: If you just copied the 7.1 files to the drive that may be the reason.

Dos 6.22 doesn't just need a 2 gig partition--it needs a fat16 2 gig partition. If your 2 gig partition is fat32 then dos 6.22 won't see it and won't assign it a drive letter. (Don't know if that applies in your case.) A fat16 partition is often referred to as just fat.

Depending on how the boot loader is structuring things it may be an active partition issue. Under normal circumstances a drive must be set active--by FDISK for dos and win 9X. If a drive isn't set active you can't boot from it. However the boot loader may have changed that requirement . But barring that situation, if you have 2 drives in a system and one is already set active, FDISK won't allow you to set the second one active. If you want to set it active you have to disconnect or disable the first--already active--drive in cmos/bios setup. That way FDISK only sees one drive.

Also you have to be careful with drive lettering. Dos 6.22 won't see a fat32 or NTFS partition (that your XP may have) so it won't assign those partitions a drive letter. Dos 7.1 will see both fat16 and fat32 partitions but not NTFS. So depending on what OS you boot the drive letter of the other OS's may be different or not even there. So for example, you may boot XP from a C: drive and 6.22 from a C: drive but although they're both C: they're not the same drive.

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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May 20, 2010 at 23:33:41
Wow, thanks, that's a lot of info!
I will try the manual install now, with 7.10, got 3 HDD's now with Symon2 bootloader, which is very very simple and working for me swimmingly!!
Hopefully the manual install will work for me...

Thanks again for the excellent advice!

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May 20, 2010 at 23:59:38
You're welcome. I've never had to use a boot loader so I'm not sure how that might affect what I said above. You'll just have to experiment and see if you get it going.

Oh, and the SYS command you use needs to be from the same OS you're trying to install. So to sys a drive you want 7.1 on you need a 7.1 bootdisk or boot cd.

Again, be careful of the drive letters. You may want to do a DIR of the drive in question to make sure it's the one with the 7.1 files on it.

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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May 21, 2010 at 07:25:44
I may be wrong, but I read somewhere that formatting or
partitioning writes a different attribute bit depending on the
version of OS.

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