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Disk boot failure - Insert system disk and press Enter

July 2015

When starting the computer system, a 'disk boot failure - insert system disk' error can occur for several reasons, including either hardware or software changes. It may also occur if there is a CD or a diskette in the drive while starting the computer. An incorrect boot sequence, a newly installed hard drive, an unplugged hard drive or a damaged disk may result in the the disk boot failure insert system disk error. It is possible to fix the disk boot failure error by restoring the boot sector in the case of corrupt system files. If the disk is damaged, partitioning the disk and reinstalling the operating system will solve the problem.

Disk boot failure - Insert system disk and press Enter



If you see the error message "DISK BOOT FAILURE INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER", "No system disk", it means the computer could not find the operating system and therefore could not boot.

Below are some possible causes and solutions:

A disc is stuck in the drive


Check to see if this is the case - if so, remove the disc(s) and try again

The boot sequence is incorrect


Enter the BIOS setup of your computer and edit the boot sequence so that the computer starts primarily on drive C.

A new hard drive was installed


If a new hard drive has been installed, this message is quite normal. Insert the installation CD for the operating system you wish to use and then restart the machine, having made sure the CD-ROM is defined in the BIOS setup as first in the boot sequence.

The hard drive is unplugged


Open the system unit and check the power cable of the hard drive is properly connected.

Corrupted system files


It may be that some system files needed to boot the computer have been deleted or damaged or that the boot sector of the disc is damaged.

To find out if this is the case, start the computer with a system disk or CD-ROM installation of your operating system (via the Recovery Console), and type "Dir C:" to check if the contents of the C drive are accessible. If they are accessible, the problem comes from missing or damaged files and you need to run the command:
fdisk /mbr      
sys c:


Note: Before restoring the boot sector with the command fdisk / mbr, it is recommended to use an antivirus running under DOS, such as f-prot.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/166454/en-us
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/69013/en-us

Damaged disk


If the hard disk or a partition is damaged:
  • If it is detected in the BIOS setup, there is a chance that it can be recovered
  • If so, try reinstalling the system through the installation CD, in order to reformat or recover the partition using a utility
For unlimited offline reading, you can download this article for free in PDF format:
Disk-boot-failure-insert-system-disk-and-press-enter.pdf

See also

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By ninha25 on December 17, 2014
Published by netty5. - Latest update by Paul Berentzen
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