MS-DOS Setup Error Message: Hard Disk Is Not Readable

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SYMPTOMS

You receive the error messages "Hard disk is not readable" and/or "Critical disk error" when you start your computer.

CAUSE

The most common cause of these errors is including the device driver ASPI4DOS.SYS in your CONFIG.SYS file. If you use this device driver, remark it out in your CONFIG.SYS file, along with any expanded memory managers (such as EMM386.EXE or Qemm). You can then install MS-DOS 6 (or later) Upgrade and later restore the line(s) in your CONFIG.SYS file. This problem commonly occurs when you have a second SCSI device (such as a CD-ROM drive).

These errors can also occur if any of the following conditions exist:

  • You have a second disk controller in your system for an external drive or a SCSI device, such as a CD-ROM or optical disk.

    To work around this problem, physically disconnect the device from the controller and then install MS-DOS 6 (or later) Upgrade. If this does not correct the problem, you may need to remove the controller card from the computer and then install MS-DOS 6 or 6.2 Upgrade. After the upgrade is successfully installed, you can reinstall the controller card or device.
  • You have a Syquest removable drive connected as a secondary hard disk drive, and this secondary drive doesn't contain a cartridge. (Your primary drive can be either a non-removable hard disk drive or another Syquest drive).

    To correct this problem, insert a Syquest data cartridge into the empty drive.
  • A sector read error occurs when reading the master boot records or the partition boot records. Setup reads this information from the hard disk and then writes the MBOOT?.DAT and PBOOT?.DAT files to the Uninstall disk.
  • A sector read error occurs when reading the BIOS parameter block (BPB). Setup reads this information from the hard disk and then writes the BPB?.DAT files to the Uninstall disk.
  • A sector read error occurs when reading the root directory from the destination hard disk. Setup reads this information from the hard disk and then writes the ROOT.DAT file to the Uninstall disk.
  • A sector read error occurs when reading the file allocation table (FAT) from the destination hard disk. Setup reads this information from the hard disk and then writes the ROOT.DAT file to the Uninstall disk.
  • A sector read error occurs when performing the partition table updates on the attached hard disk drives. Partition table updates involve converting MS-DOS-compatible partitions to type 1, 4, or 6 and then converting logical sectors into 512-byte sectors in the partition boot record.
  • A sector read error occurs when reading the master boot record and partition boot records to check for unformatted partitions.
  • A sector read error occurs when reading the root directory as Setup tries to obtain the first two root directory entries and determine if they are MS-DOS system files (IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS). The above error can also occur if a sector read error occurs when moving non-MS-DOS system file entries to make room for the MS-DOS system files in the first two directory entries.
  • Your computer is infected with the Stoned, Stoned 1, or NOINT virus.

    To correct this problem, run Microsoft Anti-Virus (MSAV.EXE) from your original MS-DOS 6.x setup disks. MSAV.EXE is located on Disk 3 of the 3.5-inch 1.44-megabyte disk set and Disk 4 of the 5.25-inch 1.2-megabyte disk set.
  • You have a second hard disk set in the CMOS settings, but you do not have two physical hard disks.

Properties

Article ID: 96604 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive KB96604

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