COVID-19 UPDATE: How Data Doctors is preparing & responding. Learn more >

Invalid System Disk Error


When I turn on the computer, a black screen with the message "Invalid system disk--Replace the disk, and then press any key" appears. It appears to check the A: drive when I press a key, and I can't get Windows 98 to start up at all. Before all of this, I ran scandisk because I had to manually turn off the computer. At the end of this it froze and I had to restart it again. The computer has since then just displayed that message and won't do anything. Any ideas? Thanks, Webb.


This question was answered on February 6, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Dear Webb,

You were correct when you said "It appears to check the A:drive" When a computer first boots up, one of the initial checks that it goes through is to check the A: drive for a bootable diskette with which to start the operating system If there is no disk in the A: drive it then checks the C: drive(the hard drive) for the operating system What has most likely happened is that you have mistakenly left a disk in the A: drive that is not a boot disk Your simply need to eject the disk that is in the A: drive and then hit any key (or reboot) and the system will continue to load normally.

I have often thought that this error message is somewhat misleading Many a person has gone into a panic thinking that they have just lost their entire operating system or their hard drive has failed, when in reality, things are progressing according to plan inside of the computer Maybe the error message should read: "You have left a disk in one of your drives that is not a system disk Please remove the disk, and then strike any key to continue loading"

Need Help with this Issue?

We help people with technology! It's what we do.
Schedule an Appointment with a location for help!


Posted by Tracy of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on February 6, 2002