Compaq Desktop Computer Non-system disk error

nutfalcon

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Jan 28, 2014
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A friend of mine's computer had a failing hard drive. So, I bought a new hard drive to install for him and when I plugged it into his computer I get the Non-system disk or disk error. hit key to continue. So i tried the hard drive in my own computer and it works perfectly fine. Every single thing I try to boot the computer from gives the same error. Windows XP disc, WIndows 7 disc, WIndows xp flash and windows 7 flash. I have changed the boot order correctly each time I try a different method. I have reset bios to default and disabled the network boot because that gives me an error of checking media cables. I am at wits end and if anyone with a similar problem could help me diagnose the problem that would be greatly appreciated.
 

USAFRet

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1. Bad hard drive
2. Remove bad hard drive
3. Install new, clean hard drive
4. Attempt boot - nothing happens.

You are attempting to boot from a DVD for an install, and it fails to boot from the optical drive?
Check ALL the cable connections and the boot order.
 

nutfalcon

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After it didn't boot, I took the new one I had purchased and installed it into my own personal computer. Windows recognized it, and I was able to install Windows 7 onto it. Using the same IDE cable, I installed it back into the Compaq and set the boot order to the hard drive, which gave me the nonsystem disk error. Then I tried plugging in a usb device with a bootable version of windows on it, and set the boot order correctly. This gave me the same error as the hard drive. Everything I try gives me the same error.
It also failed to boot the optical drive when trying to use a Windows disc.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


Installing Windows on a drive in one PC, and then moving that drive to another PC...often does not work. Even if the rest of the system is fine.

But it appears the Compaq has other issues. It should be able to boot from an install DVD. If it can't, there is a problem.
 

nutfalcon

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Jan 28, 2014
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I tried with cable select and I tried as a slave. Ive also tried in combo with other hard drives and it gives the same error.

 

nutfalcon

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Previous to this a Nvidia GeForce card was removed from the Compaq because it wasn't giving out a signal. Could that have anything to do with the problems I'm experiencing.
 

USAFRet

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Basic troubleshooting. Reduce it to the absolute basic minimum system. No GPU, 1 stick of RAM, etc.
Possibly use a freshly created Linux LiveCD, just to see if it boots properly.
 

nutfalcon

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I will download and burn the Linux LiveCD now. Thank you for your help so far and I will update the thread after I have tested the disc.
 

nutfalcon

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Well it did not boot from the disc. The problem was not the disc because I tried it in my PC and it worked fine. I have one stick of ram in, one disc drive hooked up and one hard drive hooked up. The jumper on the IDE drive is set to cable select and the cable is hooked up via the master or primary hookup. Any other ideas?
 

nutfalcon

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Jan 28, 2014
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Any other ideas?
 

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