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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Floppy Disk Drives | Booting or Operation Problems ]

The floppy disk will not boot, but it is accessible after booting from the hard disk

Explanation: The system will not boot from the floppy disk. The floppy drive is usable after booting the system from the hard disk.

Diagnosis: There are occasionally hardware reasons why a drive won't boot, but usually it is a problem with the floppy disk in the drive, or more commonly a configuration issue.

Recommendation:

  • Check to see if the system is trying to access the drive before it tries to boot the hard disk (you should hear a brief noise from the hard disk and the activity light should come on). If it is trying to boot the drive, then make sure there is a bootable disk in it.
  • There may be a corrupted boot sector on the disk. Try a different disk if you have problems with one. If you are having errors repeatedly, look in this section.
  • If the system is not even trying to boot the floppy disk, make sure to check the BIOS setting that controls the boot sequence for the PC. It is possible that the BIOS has been told not to boot from the floppy disk, as a security measure.
  • Make sure you don't have the drive accidentally configured as a B: drive instead of an A: drive. See here for more on configuration.
  • There may be a problem with the drive or with the drive controller. Usually in this case I think the controller is more likely to be at fault. Swapping the drive with another drive that works in another PC is the best way to determine if the drive or the controller are at fault.

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