Article ID: 80304 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q80304
When you start your computer, you may receive one of the following error messages:
Missing Operating SystemThis error occurs when the boot record signature of the master boot record does not match a certain value at a certain location. In this case, the boot sector is invalid and the computer cannot boot. This error can also occur if there is no active partition defined in the partition table.
Non-System Disk or Disk ErrorThis error is generated by the computer's BIOS when the boot sector or master boot record of the boot drive is damaged or missing. This error can also occur if the boot device has been improperly configured in the BIOS. In this case, data in the partition may be valid and undamaged, but there is no bootable partition.
NOTE: This message also occurs when a non-bootable disk is left in drive A during startup. If you receive this error, make sure that there is no disk in drive A and restart your computer.
Boot Error Press F1 to RetryThis error is generated by the computer's BIOS when the hard disk is missing a master boot record or boot sector, or when there is a problem accessing the boot drive.
NO ROM BASICIf there is no active partition defined, the master boot record returns an error to the BIOS. In some cases, the master boot code attempts to go to ROM Basic when no bootable disk is found. Since some computers do not have ROM Basic, they display a NO ROM BASIC or other error message. The message displayed is dependent upon the computer's BIOS.
Invalid Media TypeThis error message is displayed when the boot sector of a defined partition is damaged. The error message is normally received using a new partition that has not been formatted. However, if the boot sector is damaged, the partition may appear unformatted to the operating system, and this error message is generated.
Hard Disk Controller FailureThis error message indicates either the hard disk controller has failed, the hard disk controller is not set up properly in the BIOS, or the controller cannot communicate with the attached drive(s). In this case, do not perform the troubleshooting steps below. Instead, consult the documentation included with your computer or contact the computer's manufacturer for more information.
Each of the error messages listed above may indicate problems ranging from improper hardware configuration to damaged hard disk partition information. The following steps can be used to help resolve the problem. However, if these steps do not resolve the problem, please contact your hardware manufacturer or have the drive serviced by a qualified service professional.
Article ID: 80304 - Last Review: November 16, 2006 - Revision: 2.1
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.