- Troubleshooting Installed Hard Disk Drives
- Non-Bootable Floppy Disk in Drive A:
- Troubleshooting ATA/IDE Hard Disks
- Troubleshooting Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Disk Drives
- Troubleshooting IEEE-1394 Drives
- Troubleshooting a USB Drive
- Troubleshooting a PC Card/CardBus Drive
- Determining Actual Drive Failure Has Occurred
- Preparing a Hard Disk for Use
- Upgrading a Portable Hard Disk
- Solving Problems with Writeable CD and DVD Media
Non-Bootable Floppy Disk in Drive A:
When we’re on the track of computer troublemakers, we always start with the simplest solutions first. That’s not an original idea with us, by the way. It goes back to a medieval philosopher named William of Occam, who developed the notion (known to history as Occam’s razor) that the simplest solution that fits the facts of a particular case is the favored solution.
What’s the simplest reason for a system not to boot? Check for a floppy disk in drive A:.
Hardly any floppy disks are formatted as bootable drives anymore. However, if your computer’s BIOS is configured to look at the floppy drive as the first boot device and there are no operating system files on the floppy disk, your computer assumes there are no boot devices anywhere else and stops the startup process.
The simple fix? Eject the floppy disk, restart your computer (you can use the "three-finger salute" of Ctrl+Alt+Del or the reset button), and when your PC restarts, it won’t be stopped by an unbootable floppy disk.
The long-term solution? Take the floppy disk out of the boot sequence. Take a trip over to Chapter 1, "PC Anatomy 101," and read "Controlling Your PC’s Operation with BIOS Setup," to learn how.
If you’ve already checked out the floppy drive and found it empty, or your computer still can’t boot after you remove the floppy disk, it’s time to continue to the next suspect in hard disk problems.
To know where to go next, go back to Table 3.1 or the Symptom Table at the start of this chapter, determine the type of hard disk that’s not working, and go to the appropriate part of the chapter.