Disk boot failure: how to fix it for Windows Xp, 7, 10

Disk boot failure: how to fix it for Windows Xp, 7, 10

When starting your computer system, a 'disk boot failure - insert system disk' error can occur for several reasons, including either hardware or software changes. 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.

What does the insert system disc error message mean?

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.

BIOS corruption

This problem can be caused by a faulty setting in your BIOS or UEFI. To resolve this, you should try the following procedure :

  • Hold on the power-button for at least 5 seconds in order to power off the computer.
  • Power the system back on. When the logo screen is displayed, immediately press the F2 key (or DEL key, or any key to access your specific BIOS).
  • Try to navigate through the option to load the default configuration.
  • Save your changes (often by pressing F10), and restart the PC.

Disc stuck in the drive

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

Incorrect boot sequence

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

New hard drive 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.

Hard drive unplugged

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

How to check for corrupt 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. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/166454

Damaged disc

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
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