Solved Formatted Hard Drive; Invalid System Disk

August 2, 2011 at 19:30:11
Specs: Windows XP, 1.8 CPU/ 512 RAM
hello everyone,

I have a laptop, Laptop #1. I had XP installed on it. I formated the drive, but didn't use the format /s option in the dos prompt like I should of. Instead, I selected a right click on the drive and selected format in the menu. Why do they allow this option in the right click menu when it doesn't do format /s automatically for you. That seems like the only sensible and user friendly option.

Now when I turn in on, I get an "Invalid System Disk" error message. Press any key to retry. This happens everytime that I turn it on.

I took out the CD and made sure that was no CD in the drive.

I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

I went to the Bios and made sure that the hard drive was detected.

In the Bios, I reset the Bios to "Default Settings"

And, just to make sure that the Bios was set to the Default settings, I even took out the CMOS battery. Then put the battery back in.

I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

So I went to the Bios and set the Boot Sequence to Boot from the CD first, then boot from the Hard Drive second.

I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

I don't have an A Drive for 3.5" Diskettes, so I can't make an ERD start up emergency repair boot disk, but I put the system files from the Windows System folder on the Drive, copy *.* c:

I took out the CD drive. I turned it on. When I received the error for the CD drive missing, I pressed ESC. I turned off the computer and put the CD drive back in.

I put the XP disk into the drive.

I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

So I thought that if I used two laptops and two hard drives, that I would be able to resolve this issue. Laptop #1 = Dell Latitude D610 Pentium M.
Hard Drive #1 = Problem Drive. Laptop #2 = XP Running Computer, No Issues, Dell Latitude Pentium 3. Hard Drive #2 = XP is Installed on it, No Problems.

I put Hard Drive #2 in Laptop #1. I turned it on. It started to boot and the windows splash screen showed up. Then it went to a blue screen with the error message of "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer" and froze.

So put Hard Drive #1 (the original one) back in Laptop #1 and this time connected Hard Drive #2 (the one with XP installed on it) as a USB External Drive, and turned it on. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

I turned it off. I turned it on and went to the Bios. Hard Drive #2 is not detected in the Bios, nor is there an empty listing for its slot, such as Secondary Drive: <None>, although the Primary Drive listing does show up for Hard Drive #1.

I put Hard Drive #1 (the formatted problem drive) into Laptop #1 as the internal Primary Drive. I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

I turned it off. This time I connected Drive #2 (XP installed) as the USB External Drive.

I turned it on. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

So this time I put Hard Drive #2 back into the Primary Drive slot of Laptop #2 and connected Hard Drive #1 as the External Drive this time.

I turned it on. XP loaded normally with no problems. An extra drive letter popped up, Drive D. Laptop #2 has detected Drive #1 inside the Windows OS. At this point I can transfer files to Drive #2 and they show up with no problems. I can run programs from Drive #2 here.

I turned it off. I went to the Bios and did not see Drive #1 (IDE slot 2 as the USB External Drive), but Drive #2 showed up as the Primary Drive.

I turned it on and started the windows setup program to try to install windows on Drive #1. The windows installation began and everything was fine. Then when windows had to reboot to finish the installation process, it did not detect the second drive, the External Drive as Drive #1, and so the setup process could go no further, and an error message showed up on the screen: "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and path and disk hardware".

I turned it off. I turned it on. Now there is two listings to choose from of XP before the splash screen. I chose the second XP in the listing. Laptop #2 booted normally.

I turned it off. I turned it on. This time I chose the first in the listings of XP. Then I got the "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and path and disk hardware" error message again.

This time I put Drive #2 in Laptop #1 as the internal drive, and connected Drive #1 as the External Drive. I turned it on. There are two listings of XP to choose from. I selected the second one and again received the blue screen with the "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer" error message and froze.

I turned it on. There are two listings of XP. I selected the first one. Windows tries to boot and makes it to the splash screen -- then the blue screen with the "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer" error message and freezes.

I disconnected the External Drive #1. I turned it on. I selected the first listing of XP. Now I receive the "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and path and disk hardware" error message again.

Man, this is tough. What a pain. And I thought that I knew about computers. I could solve this problem if I had a desktop computer, or could get to a Dos Prompt from a fresh boot, but I'm starting to find out that laptops suck and need to be thrown in the trash or used as a paper weight. And talk about user friendly. Don't these computer manufactures know what the idea was for computers was originally? Its called being "Computer Friendly". Yet these computer manufactures can't even make a laptop to be built with a boot to Dos Prompt command at the start up.

Not to mention the difficulties that Windows gives you by no being able to uninstall windows if it is the only operating system on your computer. I gave you a direct order computer. Do what I say!!! There needs to be a system overide switch for this artifical intelligence thing. I can see how it could be potentially dangerous, harmful, or disasterous. Now build a space station mothership guided by AI -- no manual over ride: the whole colony dies.

If you have any ideas, that's be great, because I thought that I was smart, but they keep ungrading and changing the software and hardware so often that its difficult to keep up with how fast that technology is moving. I know there's someone smarter than me out there...

Help the space station,

Sincerely,

James T Kirk USS Enterprise


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#1
August 3, 2011 at 00:11:48
It wouldn't have mattered if you'd done a 'format c:/s". I'm not even sure if that's something you can do with XP. But anyway, if successful it would have left you at a c:\> prompt and wouldn't do anything else.

You're always going to get 'invalid system disk' when booting from a drive with no OS. You need to either boot from a restore partition (if you have one; check the manual) or from the XP cd. To boot from the cd make sure the cdrom is the first boot device in cmos/bios setup. Then do a normal installation.

That should be all you need to do. I didn't really read the entirety of your posting as everything after the first few lines seemed irrelevent so I apologize if I missed something.


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#2
August 3, 2011 at 22:52:40
Hey DAVEINCAPS, hows it going? Thanks for the reply!

But that's just thing -- I know a little bit about computers enough of the Dos Commands and my way around to navigate it that if I can only get to the Dos Prompt from a fresh boot, I can fix this problem. And so this is really frustrating why the Laptop manufacture's don't allow this option in the boot list. Its actually unbelievable really. I don't just mean to be able to boot to the Dos Prompt from inside of Windows OS. If I had a desktop, I could also fix this, but I don't have a desktop anymore, nor an A: drive.

It doesn't really matter that you didn't read the whole post because you can read the rest later. But anyways, I've formatted a different drive on another laptop and didn't get that error message. And I've also formatted another drive on a desktop computer and didn't get the "Invalid System Disk" error. In fact I've never got that message before from formatting a drive!!!

I went to the Bios and made the CD drive the first in the boot order. I put the windows XP CD in the drive. I turned it on, while looking at the screen the whole time so that I wouldn't miss anything. And still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

I turned it off. I turned it on, while looking at the screen the whole time so that I wouldn't miss anything. And still the "Invalid System Disk" error. I repeated this process many times, and "never" with the problem winning "press any key to boot from the CD" message. Windows does not boot.


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#3
August 3, 2011 at 23:29:23
✔ Best Answer
It seems to be bypassing the cd and going to the hard drive. Sometimes the drives listed in the boot order also need to be separately enabled. When that's the case there's usually a checkmark by the drive in the boot order to indicate that it's enabled as a boot device. You may need to check the manual to see if you need to do anything special like that to enable it.

The only other thing would be a problem with the cd or cdrom. Check the cd in another computer to make sure it boots there. And if you have any other bootable cd--even an old 98 cd--try that in your laptop to see if it'll boot. Hopefully doing that will tell you where the problem is.


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#4
August 4, 2011 at 19:18:55
DAVEINCAPS, HEY BRO WHAT'S UP IN CAPS?

man, thanks for the reply! As it turns out, you were right on the target!!! Not only that, but I really appreciate the help with your problem solving techniques -- that is very useful!!!

I solved the problem: As it turns out, it was a bad CD. I put in another CD. But just in case I downloaded the 98 startup disk for the system files. I can't believe that I need two windows CDs just to run one computer, grrrr. That's ridiculous!

Thanks for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Beam me up Scotty"
Captain Kirk
USS Enterprise


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#5
August 4, 2011 at 22:39:04
You're welcome. I'm glad it worked out.

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