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Thread: Please insert system disk - help!

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    Please insert system disk - help!

    Right - Where to start.

    I have a (very) old PC with Win 98 on. - My mate has the bits from a Vista machine that we wanted to salvage and create a multimedia machine to plug into a plasma tv for streaming etc..

    If I boot into Safe Mode it works OK.. othwerwise the new bits cause havoc with drivers and it does not get into windows successfully. It can see there is a CD drive in device manager (in safe mode), but if I change the BIOS to boot from CD then I get the error:

    Disk boot failure.please insert system disk...

    I have tried different CD drives..different CD's, new PSU (in case old one was not producing enough power), different cables...

    The port that the CD drive is in has worked successfully prevously

    I have not got the details on all the bits with me.. but it would be great if anyone has advice on where the issue could be.

    Cheers

    Matt

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Are you trying to reinstall win98 or Vista ?

    What is the boot order in the bios? i.e CDROM then Hard Drive ?

    Does it say press any key to boot from cd etc or does it go straight to the boot error message? Do you see any signs that the CD is being accessed, i.e light on the drive? I assume the tray opens and closes as you said you have tried different CDs.

    Are you sure that the CD your using is a bootable CD?

    If it is an old machine does it have a floppy drive? if so you could try using a win98 start up disk that comes with cd drivers, confirm that it recognises the cd drive and do an install from that

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Thanks for the advice.

    We are trying to install Vista with a vista CD.. Boot order - tried a few things.. including only CD.. Only success we have is if it is with Hard drive first - then we need to go to safe mode.

    It says press any key, but then when I press anything it just flashes off and then come back. No light or anything obvious that the CD is being accessed. Tray opens OK and I can hear the disc spinning.

    You are correct - it does have a floppy.. Will try and get a Win 98 recovery floppy and see if this helps.

    Cheers!

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Could it be a Vista DVD in a CD only drive?

    Yes I know, but sometimes it's the little things.

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    it could be that the machine is so old that it cannot boot from CD - not all drives could IIRC
    Rgds,

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    idd if it is that old you may need to load the drivers for the cd-rom (should be some on your win98 floppy boot disk, if not; you used to be able to get one from bootdisk.com or somthing),


    in which case installing vista would not work due to it being on dvd.

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by limpduck View Post
    idd if it is that old you may need to load the drivers for the cd-rom (should be some on your win98 floppy boot disk, if not; you used to be able to get one from bootdisk.com or somthing),


    in which case installing vista would not work due to it being on dvd.
    Booting off a DVD will not require drivers, as its pre OS. Drivers have nothing to do with booting from a CD/DVD
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    My money's on the drive being a CDROM, whereas Vista comes on DVDROM by default.

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    Booting off a DVD will not require drivers, as its pre OS. Drivers have nothing to do with booting from a CD/DVD
    so why did i need to load drivers for my cd-rom before installing win 95? (on my first pc, amd k6) they may not be drivers in the sense they are now but i still had to load the floppy that came with it before loading the win 95 boot disk.

    infact why do boot disks contain generic cd-rom drivers if they are not needed?

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by limpduck View Post
    so why did i need to load drivers for my cd-rom before installing win 95? (on my first pc, amd k6) they may not be drivers in the sense they are now but i still had to load the floppy that came with it before loading the win 95 boot disk.

    infact why do boot disks contain generic cd-rom drivers if they are not needed?
    Because the BIOS in those days did not recognise booting from a CDROM. You would have booted to DOS which had the drivers and BIOS extensions to enable the PC to recognise the CDROM. Once that was recognised, you could run the set-up program. (And that is still true if you want to access a non-bootable CDROM from within a DOS environment - true DOS that is, not a windows command shell - I had to do it a few weeks ago!)

    Modern systems set the boot order in the BIOS - and if the CDROM is bootable, it will boot an initial loader (which may load drivers) and install the OS.
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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by limpduck View Post
    so why did i need to load drivers for my cd-rom before installing win 95? (on my first pc, amd k6) they may not be drivers in the sense they are now but i still had to load the floppy that came with it before loading the win 95 boot disk.

    infact why do boot disks contain generic cd-rom drivers if they are not needed?
    The "El Torito" specification (which allows bootable CD's) first made an appearance in Jan 1995.
    Windows 95 was released 24th Aug 1995

    This means very few BIOS had the ability to boot from a CD. What made matters worse is that a "Flashable BIOS" was just as rare back then Sadly, bootable CD's didn't really take off until several years later.
    Thinking about it, I don't think the Windows 95 CD was ever bootable. Having a quick Google doesn't give a solid answer though.

    For this reason you would have to boot off a floopy / existing HD, load the drivers for the CDROM and then execute the files off it.
    Last edited by Agent; 23-09-2008 at 06:42 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    I really do not think 95 ever had a bootable CD, although I could be wrong.....but I saw and performed LOT of 95 (and 98) installs and I am pretty sure they always started with either a boot floppy or the CD copied to the hard-drive and then doing the F5 boot to DOS to install (remembering to run SMARTDRV first, else you had a 2hour install!)


    If the motherboard does not support booting from CD/DVD, then I guess its not going to be much cop at running Vista either....

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    (remembering to run SMARTDRV first, else you had a 2hour install!)


    Ohhhh....how did we manage?
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: Please insert system disk - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    I really do not think 95 ever had a bootable CD, although I could be wrong.....but I saw and performed LOT of 95 (and 98) installs and I am pretty sure they always started with either a boot floppy or the CD copied to the hard-drive and then doing the F5 boot to DOS to install (remembering to run SMARTDRV first, else you had a 2hour install!)


    If the motherboard does not support booting from CD/DVD, then I guess its not going to be much cop at running Vista either....

    OP: Any idea of the motherboard/CPU used in it?

    If i recall win95 was never bootable media, Win 98 was first and think that may have even been second edition..

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