All About – Disk Boot Failure Insert System Disk And Press Enter

Now that’s a weird title for an article, and it’s also a horrible thing to see on the screen of your computer too. There’s nothing like starting up your system only to see your system won’t start up at all to ruin your day.

Let’s talk about how to fix that;

A lot of the time the message gets misunderstood a bit – because people tend to focus on the first three words of that sentence, they end up misinterpreting them to reach the horrifying, soul-crushing conclusion that the computer in question has suffered a system Hard Disk Drive failure.

Take heart, readers: for this may not be the case. In fact, this is rarely the case;

The phrase “Disk Boot Failure” only means that, the system has failed to boot up the OS from the specified Hard Disk – “failure to boot from disk” would be a more apt and accurate description, and if any major industry guys are reading this we’d like to openly confess that we wish they’d choose their warning messages a bit more carefully.

After all, there might be some grandpa out there with a heart condition who prefers to keep all his passwords neatly typed up in a text file on his desktop.

Regardless, let’s take a look at why this happens and how to fix it.

#So, Now Let’s see what’s happening in there?

When a computer boots up, the BIOS is what activates first – software meets hardware, sizes up all the components of your PC and makes them available to you via the magical process known as booting up.

Related article: What is Boot, Booting and Bootable Devices?

The first thing the BIOS does is reach out to the MBR – the Master Boot Record. The MBR is usually the first sector of any partitioned hard disk, and it contains information about where the operating system is located so that it can be loaded into the computer’s memory, which runs the OS and “boots” up the PC.

“Disk Boot Failure” is an error that occurs when this process cannot identify the operating system is, and as such its files cannot be loaded into the RAM, which displays the “Disk Boot Error” to tell you that the BIOS cannot find a drive to boot from.

This is why the system displays the second part of the message – “Insert system disk and press enter” – So, it wants a disk with the required bootable OS files or it can’t start up.

#Let’s See How?

This may not be a hard disk error, and instead could be caused by a minor fault in windows or the BIOS, which can be fixed quickly.

Sometimes any changes you may have made previously in the BIOS may have quirked something up and might require reverting its settings to default.

It’s also possible that the internal SATA cables are not connected properly or maybe have become faulty with use, which will prevent the OS data from being read by the system;

Or maybe your boot volume could also have become corrupted, or computer requiring a Windows reinstall, and finally, yes, if it is none of the above, you need to consider the possibility of disk failure.

So, let’s take a look at how to diagnose the condition properly so you can fix it;

But before opening up your patient, first make sure that there are no external storage devices – USB sticks, external drives, discs, etc. – connected to your computer;

And in case if there are, remove them all – including CDs and DVDs from their drives – and try a reboot again. If this clears up the problem, then one of those external storage devices might be our malcontent behind the trouble.

Just don’t keep them plugged in while booting and you’ll be fine. Also, congratulations if that’s all the problem is. If not, read on.

#Now what?

So, the first thing which I wanted to you to do is to check your Computer’s Hard Disk Drive or maybe Solid State Drive is connected properly to your computer or not.

And you can easily do that by checking the Storage Device Connection Status in the computer’s BIOS, and that will definitely ensure you about the drive is working or disconnected.

To open your laptop’s or desktop’s BIOS Menu, you’ll need to hit the Del or F2 key on the keyboard again and again right after when you start your Computer System.

In case, if your computer is Powered ON right now, then now you’ll need to turn it OFF and then again turn it ON, just to do the Del or F2 key pressing procedure thing.

And I’m only saying this because you can only do that while when you see the first black background type screen appears on your computer’s screen, right after when it’s Powered ON.

And you know, it also possible that your computer doesn’t open the BIOS Setup Screen even after hitting the Del or F2 key again and again on your keyboard.

It mainly happens most of the times when your computer is having its own and some different predefined key to go to the BIOS Menu.

But the great thing is, you can actually check that predefined key on your computer or laptop’s start screen as shown in the picture given below.

After when your BIOS opens up;

Just go to the “Main Setting” or “Standard CMOS Features” or maybe some other BIOS option which can show you your all connected bootable devices like your system’s hard disk drive or an SSD, like something.

And don’t worry, because you’ll easily find it by yourself, you’ll just need to explore your computer’s BIOS Menu;

@What To Do – If Your Hard Disk or SSD Isn’t Listed In Bios (Skip This Step If It Appears Listed):

If your system hard disk cannot be found in the CMOS or Boot Settings, then you’ve got yourself a hardware problem, and it’s possible that it may be a bit difficult to fix.

Ouch. That’s got to be painful. Suck it up and grab that trusty screwdriver.

So, let’s see what to do know;

1# – Checking The SATA Cables

Since the cables carry the data from and to the drives, the problem could be in them too. If you have a spare SATA cable, then you can try to replace it and see if the problem persists.

Some Internal Hard Drives actually ship with an extra cable these days – check your ‘old box of computer stuff’ that you locked up in the cupboard and never bothered to look at again.

And in case, if you don’t have a spare cable, see if any of your other hard drives is being detected; take out its cable and use it to replace the faulty one for a test.

If it resolves the issue, then all you need is to just go out and buy a new cable for the old drive.

Or in case, if the patient in question is a laptop, then it may not use an SATA connection. The best way to test the connection would be to plug it into a desktop using an adapter, such as SATA to USB Convertor like something.

And after using your laptop’s hard drive in an external casing, if you can actually able to access the drive from your desktop, then it’s definitely a connection problem, and now you’ll have to take your laptop to some repair shop because now;

The internal soldered SATA connector of your laptop got faulty.

2# – Check For Drive Failure

If you’ve eliminated all the above from the list of causes, now it’s time to face up to the inevitable that has been looming closer and closer as each possibility was ticked off – your Hard Drive has failed.

I know it’s Not cool.

Many HD manufacturers provide their own tools to confirm that the failure is real – yes, false diagnoses can happen. Seagate recently revealed that over thirty percent of the drives returned to them under warranty were actually non-failures with no serious defects.

The point being: before you start your fight with the company to claim a replacement under warranty, make sure that the dead drive is really dead. (That actually sounds like a good philosophy with people, too). If the unthinkable has happened, all that’s left is to give in and get a replacement.

Be sure to check out our guidelines to follow while buying a new Hard disk Drive, and happy shopping!

@What To Do – If Your Hard Disk Appears Listed In BIOS:

Mainly, a listed status of HDD or SSD in BIOS fully indicates that the storage drive of your computer is connected properly but the problem is coming from some other possible reasons, and those are:

  • BIOS “Boot Setting” Gets Changed.
  • Windows “Startup Process” Problem.
  • Windows Drive Got ‘Inactive’.
  • Windows “Master Boot Recode” Got Corrupted.

And to find out, your computer is suffering from which one of these conditions?

You’ll need to troubleshoot everything step by step in your computer to fix this “Reboot and select proper boot device” problem.

So, let’s find out;

1# – Check The Boot Order And Change It If Necessary

The boot order in your BIOS defines the order in which the BIOS checks the available storage devices for the OS – and you need to make sure that hard drive in which windows was installed is at the top of the order.

If this isn’t the case, and top priority is given to your DVD drive, for example, and you happened to leave a disc inside there, then the BIOS will try to load the OS from the disc and be unable to do so.

Hence, make sure that the system disk drive is the top dog in the boot order. This can get a bit complicated if you have more than one HDD which has the same manufacturer name – you may have to experiment a bit.

In this case, remember that the boot order display will also show the capacity of the drives, which will help you tell them apart.

2# – Don’t Go S.M.A.R.T

While you’re in the BIOS, check it to see if a thing called “S.M.A.R.T drive reporting” is enabled. This is an outdated standard to detect hard disk issues but, in spite of the name, is not very smart and is being phased out because of its huge error margin.

If you see this, disable it and try rebooting again.

3# – Reset the BIOS

If you made any recent significant changes to the BIOS, then it may be messing things up a bit. Reset your BIOS to its default settings to make sure it is working properly.

If you need help resetting the BIOS, you can visit this suggested article on the subject of >>> How to Reset Bios, Laptop and Desktop Both?

4# – Using The Startup Repair Tool

If the above two fixes don’t work, then the cause isn’t the BIOS but the OS, because now it’s possible that you may have a corrupted boot volume problem in your computer.

A Corrupted Boot Volume means the data needed to be loaded onto the computer’s memory for booting is damaged, which will interrupt and then terminate the boot process.

Fortunately, in windows, Startup Repair tool exists for exactly this type of scenario. This will repair missing or damaged system files, enabling the computer to load the OS again.

Link:>> Startup Repair – What It Is And How To Use It?

5# – At Last, Reinstall OS

If Startup Repair doesn’t work, the end-of-the-rope plan is to reinstall the operating system. It’s never fun to reinstall OS on your system, and it’s not something you want to get wrong.

If you have left important files in your Windows system drive (bad idea, by the way, never do that) then you can take the drive out of the system and make backups by reading it as a secondary drive from another computer.

Or you can also burn a live OS disc which can help you to backup your data into the internal different local drive. Here, this link can help you with that >> Recover Your Data When Windows Not Running?

Once that is done, go ahead with the reinstall. Follow our guide to make sure you don’t stumble along the way and mess things up even more.

Link >> How To Install Windows?

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