• If none are found, get the drive make and model number and go to the company's Web site
and get the parameters. Now go back into CMOS and enter the proper settings for your HD.
Hopefully this will solve the problem since it was mentioned that the person had been in trying
to input the setting themselves.
• If the drive still won't boot, and you are getting a "non system disk" error, I have found that
sometimes you can copy the sys.com program onto your startup disk (I keep a generic boot
disk around with various files like fdisk, format.com, sys.com, etc on it.) and at the A: prompt
type sys c: which transfers the system files to the HD.
• If you are instead getting Invalid drive specification errors, you probably aren't able to access
the HD at all, even at a DOS prompt. If this is the case, you probably need to try reviving the
drive with a program like Norton Disk Doctor. You have probably lost partition info or your File
Allocation Table (FAT.) These are things that Norton DD can sometimes fix. If none of these
things works, it is probably a lost cause. Write it off to experience. Everyone gets this fatal
wake up call every once in a while to remind them about backing up crucial data.
From: Ronald E Rietz
1.) Examine all connections inside and outside the PC to ensure they are secure. Remove and
label the suspect drive. Make sure all fans are operating correctly. Obtain a replacement hard
drive and install the operating system and Web browsing capabilities. Retain the box in which
your replacement drive was shipped in case you need to ship your suspect drive away to a
media recovery firm. Visit the Web site of the hard drive vendor and download the latest
version of the vendor's diagnostic program as well as information regarding drive's geometry
and jumper options. Determine the keyboard strokes to get into setup mode as well as setting
up disk drives for auto detect, etc. Have an ample supply of blank formatted diskettes readily
available. Make sure you have space available to copy any needed files from the suspect drive.
Make a boot diskette. FDISK, FORMAT, EDIT, SCANDISK, CD-ROM drivers, and the hard drive
vendors diagnostic programs should all be on the diskette.
2.) Install the suspect drive as a slave. Carefully handle the suspect drive as to not bump it
around at all. It may be in a _very_ fragile state at this time. Close the PC's case or otherwise
ensure that there is positive air flow across the suspect drive.
3.) Take a break, think about how you will do the following carefully and as fast as possible to
avoid possibly damaging the drive further.
4.) Turn on the monitor, insert your diskette from step one. Turn on the PC and go into setup.
Determine whether or not the setup program auto-detects the suspect drive. If auto-detect is
OK, the disk drive's controller is OK and proceed to the next step. If auto-detect is not OK, the
hard drives controller card(s) are faulty. Try substituting a different controller card from
another drive of the same type, if available. Assuming the controller is faulty and swapping the
external controller card does not fix the trouble, you have a choice of sending the drive off to
have the controller card repaired in a clean room or to abandon your data.
5.) If the auto-detection was OK, let the PC boot with your diskette. Use FDISK and see if it
detects the suspect drive as a partition. If FDISK does not see the drive, you have an internal
problem, quite possibly a damaged read/write head or an internal IC. You now have a choice of
sending the drive off to be repaired in a clean room or abandoning your data.