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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Snohomish WA

    Windows '95 boot disk

    Hey all-
    I have a question that I'm hoping will have a relatively simple and easily implemented solution.
    A friend has asked if I have any idea how to solve this problem on her DELL Optiplex Gs Pentuim 200.

    Durring startup this error is occuring:
    "Drive 0 on primary EIDE controller is opperating outside of normal specifications"
    If you choose to continue trying to start windows, this error occurs:
    "Disk I/O error, replace the disk and press any key."

    My question is:
    -Whould creating a boot disk get around this so we could at least reformat and reinstall windows?
    -I found a site that I can download bootdisks from, there are two options for windows '95. '95A and '95B, how do I determine which is appropriate for her windows?

    Any help or advice would be appreciated, I'm out of ideas.

    If you want to make God laugh....make plans.

  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Sounds like a hardware problem, but it wouldn't hurt to
    try a boot floppy, run fdisk and format and try to reinstall
    windows. Maybe you'll get lucky. I would try to get a bootable floppy
    that matches the version of windows I was planning to install.
    Make sure it has a cdrom driver, so you can access the cd
    to install from (assuming you will install from cd)

    or, if it will boot from cd, just get a windows install cd
    and boot from it.

    If that won't fix it, it's a hardware problem, cable, interface card, hard drive,
    or whatever.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    You can use any of the boot disks you want. I'd even suggest using a win98 disk. I may be mistaken but some of the 95 boot disks can only format the drive using FAT16. win98 disks do it with FAT32. A win98 disk would also have a better chance of having the drivers rcgreen mentioned for your cdrom.

    It does sound like a hardware problem though. Try opening up the box, and make sure all the cables are plugged where they're suppoed to be. Sounds like an old machine, so watch out for dust bunnies!

  4. #4
    I would check the BIOS settings and see if they got changed somehow. If you drive requires a
    manual setting and it got changed to auto, this could cause your problem. I remeber having a
    similar issue a few years ago and the drive was at the end of its life. No matter how I changed the
    BIOS, it would work for a seesion and at re-boot, the problem would reoccur. Finally, the
    drive gave out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    I agree with rcgreen about this most likely being a hardware problem. Also about trying to match the correct boot disk with the correct version of Windows you want to install when you can, but if you have a little experience it doesn't really matter what DOS/Windows boot disk you use; the windows install program will overwrite the command.com with the current version anyway. My favorite boot disk right now is the God Disk 5.0 Final. It has all the drivers you could possibly need (Zip drivers, SyQuest, CD-ROM, etc), plus all the utilities you need (format, fdisk, scandisk, etc), and the whole thing is menu driven. Very nice!
    /* You are not expected to understand this. */

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Snohomish WA
    Well, I tried for about 12 hours to find some way to get this thing to work....In the end, I decided it must be a hardware problem as you've suggested.
    I managed to use fdisk to delete all existing partitions, but it wouldn't let me redefine any partitions....everytime it did a drive integrity check it would get to 39% then freeze up on me.
    Oh well, you win some and you lose some...thanks for your help guys.

    If you want to make God laugh....make plans.

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