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Non-System Disk or Disk Error
Last updated: 8/7/01

Q. What causes a non-system disk error?

A.  Non-System Disk or Disk Error results when the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) cannot find the boot sector or the master boot record is missing or damaged; i.e. the device does not have bootable media.  The BIOS searches drives in the order usually specified in the CMOS Setup.  This order is often, but not always, A: (floppy drive), C: (first partition on the hard disk)… The error will occur during startup if the CMOS is set so the BIOS seeks the floppy drive first and a non-bootable (or blank) floppy is in (was left in) the floppy drive.  Other causes include:

  • No bootable partition on a hard disk drive
  • A defective hard disk drive
  • The CMOS drive settings (parameters) are not correct for the boot device
  • Defective floppy
  • Defective floppy drive
  • A virus

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