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Win 98 system wont start

im running a win 98 system w/ a intel p1.
i was moving wires under the comp and unpluged the power. now when i start the comp, it looks for the HD but says "Primary Hard Disk Fail"

can anyone help???

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Re: primary hard disk fail

In reply to: Win 98 system wont start

If checking the cables to the hard disk (a small one for power from the power supply and a large one for data from the motherboard) doesn't help, all you can do is buy a new hard disk and go through the whole fdisk/format/reinstall_windows/windows_update/reinstall_applications/restore_data routine.


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Re: primary hard disk fail

In reply to: Re: primary hard disk fail

the cables arfe just fine...isnt there anyway to get a fat32 recovery prog. and do it that way? or is a new hd the best thing to do?


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Re: hard disk fail

In reply to: Re: primary hard disk fail

I'm afraid is more a hardware problem than a FAT 32 problem, but you don't supply enough details to be sure.
All you can do: boot from a boot diskette (if that works, and that isn't 100% sure) and run the usual tools like chkdsk c: and scandisk c: and see what those report.


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cable error? Win 98SE

In reply to: Re: primary hard disk fail

I got this same message this week when I unplugged my hard drive and plugged it back in later to the end socket on the ide cable from the motherboard. ( there are two sockets on the ribbon cable)
I also got a message to press F1 to continue or enter to go to the bios setup. I pressed F1 and windows loaded normally. So I plugged my main hard drive in the first socket from the board and the problems is corrected.

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"Dead"depends of 'ur understanding and use of procedures

In reply to: Win 98 system wont start


If devices are recognized as attached peripherals they will be listed as resident on the ''System Configuration Summary'' (BIOS Startup Screen) at boot. Press the Pause key as soon as you see this screen start displaying so it can be stopped and read (sometimes you may have to press Esc just before if you're a little slow and it goes past or the thumbs get in the way). Press any other key to continue. If the CMOS/BIOS does not recognize and display peripheral information on this screen, Windows certainly will not.


1. The five main reasons a system BIOS does not detect the presence of a hard drive:

a. No power - drive does not spin up ''Diagram/Schematic, plus voltages'', ''Large drive connector'', ''Small drive connector'', ''Y-splitter cable'', ''Adapter to change a large-style drive'' (click one or more of the items to see an example screenshot)

b. ''Incorrect jumper setting'' (click to see an example screenshot) - consult the manufacturer's instructions for it, and any other drive previously installed

c. The 40-conductor IDE/ATA cable data cable, ''#1'' or ''#2'' (click to see an example screenshot) is faulty or not attached correctly - colored strip to pin #1
d. The ''Ultra DMA (80-Conductor) IDE/ATA Cable'' (click to see an example screenshot) is faulty or not attached correctly.

Blue: The blue connector attaches to the host (motherboard or controller).
Gray: The gray connector is in the middle of the cable, and goes to any slave (device 1) drive if present on the channel.
Black: The black connector is at the opposite end from the host connector and goes to the master drive (device 0), or a single drive if only one is used.

Note: The newer 80-conductors (wires) cable and plug does not have 80 pins on each connector, meaning the cable is pin-compatible with older drives and motherboards. The additional 40 wires don't carry new information and have been added to reduce interference and other signaling problems associated with higher-speed transfers to improve signal itegrity and therefore are connected to ground, interspersed between those original found on the older 40-conductor cable.

e. The ''BIOS'' has not been properly set for drive recognition, or the hard drive capacity is to large for the BIOS support (update it)

f. The hard drive is faulty.

2. Generally, if a computer hangs during the recognition process either before or after setting the system BIOS:

a. it is perhaps an indication that the system BIOS has a capacity barrier or cylinder limitation and does not correctly support the drive size

b. it is a possible conflict with another drive already on the same controller and if the drive is on a single controller by itself ensure that controller is turned on in the system BIOS and recognition has been performed.

? Remove the data cable for the other device on the same cable and try booting with the one hard drive only. If the system boots under this configuration, resolves the problem by making sure all jumper settings such as Master, Slave, and Cable Select are properly configured.

? Use software drive translation from the manufacturer who furnished the driver(s) to setup the hard drive in order for the BIOS to recognize and access the drive.

Warning: If a specific manufacturer's brand of dynamic disk overlay (the free software hard disk manufacturers include to allow access to the full hard disk volume on machines without BIOS support for large disks) was used previously for drive size configuration, there may be problems when trying to add a different manufactured hard disk to the same IDE channel in a master/slave configuration. The free versions of this software are generally tailored to work with a specific manufacturer's drive. It is quite possible that the only solution to solve problems of this type is to upgrade the BIOS hopefully and cease using drive overlay software.

? Acquire an upgrade for the system BIOS for huge hard drive recognition if applicable.

? When possible, connect the hard drive to a different controller -- insuring proper jumper configuration, to see whether a conflict existed with a like device on the data cable used previously.


1. When the computer is powered on, a mechanism is required to manipulate interrupts, find the hard disk(s), and launch code necessary to load drivers located on the boot drive. This mechanism is contained in the Master Boot Record (MBR). The MBR of a hard disk resides at the first physical sector of the disk: track 0, side 0, sector 1. The MBR is divided into five sections: Jump Code, Error Messages, Free Space, the Partition Tables, and Ending Signature.

Note: If one of the values becomes corrupted, the system probably will not boot. Likewise, if a new value is introduced by an operating system and an existing software utility does not understand the new value, there is a possibility of data corruption. The partition table is divided into four 16-byte entries. Inside the partition table is the partition type. This entry is important for identifying the partition structure for the operating system. The FAT32 MBR contains the following two partition types:

a. DOS32 defines primary 32-bit FAT partitions of up to 2,047 GB. It is used when the primary partition does not require logical block addressing (LBA) to access that partition. LBA is a method of accessing hard disk drives based on the extensions of INT 13.

b. DOS32X defines 32-bit FAT partitions of up to 2,047 GB. It is used when any portion of either the primary or extended partition is beyond 1,024 cylinders, 63 sectors per track, and 16 heads, and requires LBA to access. These new 32-bit FAT partition types cannot be accessed through MS-DOS 6.x or earlier.

Note: How Determines Improper Shutdown: - Of the first 112 bytes of the FAT32, the first 8 bytes are reserved. The eighth byte of the reserved area, by default, is 0F. The virtual file allocation table (VFAT) and the Windows shutdown process manipulate the fourth bit of this byte to either a 1 (one) or 0 (zero).

0 = VFAT has written to disk
1 = Windows was properly shutdown

Note: When a file is written to the disk, VFAT handles the write. During the write, VFAT clears the fourth bit to 0 (07h). When Windows exits properly, this bit is reset to 1. During reboot, reads that bit. If it is set to 0, it runs Scan disk to check the drive for errors.

Hint: If there are major damage to the hard disk and/or FAT, which every effort cannot overcome the anomaly of Windows causing Scan disk to run at every boot, it can be turned off -- but is under no circumstances recommended otherwise. To disable this option in the Msdos.sys file under [OPTIONS], set the value of ''AUTOSCAN='' to 0 (zero), which then causes Windows to ignore it.

2. Typical text string errors during a system boot are, ''Detailed Explanation of FAT Boot Sector (Q140418):''

Invalid System Disk
Invalid Partition Table
Disk I/O Error - Replace the disk and then press any key when ready
Non-System Disk or Disk Error - Replace and press any key when ready
Operating System Not Found, Error Loading Operating System, or Missing Operating System
Insufficient Memory to Load System File
Disk Boot failure

Note: Do not regard this list of errors as being all-inclusive. If you find other messages, this does not necessarily indicate they are problems with the boot sector. Different versions of MS-DOS and Windows may sometimes have slightly different message strings. On the other hand, if you find no text whatsoever, or if a message is clearly not related to MS-DOS or Windows, consider the possibility of a boot sector virus or some other form of data corruption with the boot media.

3. FIRST!: Boot with the correct Windows Startup Disk/Emergency Boot Disk (EBD) and at the command prompt, issue the following command, and then press Enter:

SYS C: -- Issuing this command transfers the operating system files from the floppy to the hard drive.

Warning: Ensure the correct Windows 9x Startup Disk/Emergency Boot Disk (EBD) is used for the existing version of Windows or an incorrect system is transferred and could rendered the system useless - until a correct version is used.

4. The article [Q69013] states that at the end of the ROM BIOS bootstrap routine, the BIOS reads and executes the first physical sector of the first floppy or hard disk on the system called the master boot record (MBR) [or sometimes the partition table or master boot block]. There is a small program at the beginning of this sector of the hard disk where partition information, or partition table, is stored and uses the partition information to determine which partition is bootable (usually the first primary DOS partition) and attempts to boot from it. This program is written to the disk by the FDISK command during typical operation only if there is no previous MBR.

a. Repartitioning with Fdisk does not rewrite the MBR.

b. Fdisk has an undocumented parameter called /mbr that causes it to write the MBR without altering the partition table information.

WARNING: Writing the MBR to the hard disk in this manner can make certain hard disks partitioned with SpeedStor unusable. It can also cause problems for some dual-boot programs and disks with more than four partitions.

5. The article [Q186057] describes how to determine if a drive overlay program is running on your Windows-based computer.

6. At the Phoenix site please find the topic ''How do I remove EZ-BIOS from my hard drive?'' if this becomes necessary.

7. If you suspect the MBR has become infected with a boot-sector virus, these are some free online sites which may be used, and highly recommended:

a. ''Trend Micro (PC-cillin) - HouseCall.''

b. ''McAfee - Virus Information Center.''

Note: One file at a time.

c. ''Symantec Security Check for the home.''

d. ''Central Command - AnitVirus Experts.''

Note: Slower downloading than others. An error on start was, Avxlive caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.dll, but continued the operation anyway. Also adds were forty registry keys, seven folders, 130 files, changed twenty-six files, and leaves everything on the system. Plus, you get e-mailed to death, unless you unsubscribe quickly.

8. Understand that during a system boot and the screen for System Configuration is being displayed, you can stop the process by pressing the Pause key in order to read it. Be sure you note that the hard drive(s) you expect to find are list and recognized properly. If it or they are not, then further troubleshooting steps will be necessary in either the hardware area, or in the BIOS.

9. ''Insufficient Memory to Load System Files (Q177847)'' - This error may be rendered when you attempt a use of the FORMAT command at the command prompt.
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Thank You...

In reply to: "Dead"depends of 'ur understanding and use of procedures

Thank you for all of our help...
i will do the best i cna with the info i have...
thanks again!

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