[conspire] Fedora Boot Disk

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jun 11 13:11:41 PDT 2004

Quoting Greg Dougherty (gregd at molecularsoftware.com):

> I told Windows to remove Stuffit.  It said parts would have to be
> removed on restart.  I told it "Fine, do that".
> Now I get "Non-System disk or disk error" when I try to boot.  I
> checked the bios, and it can see my HD.  I had Fedora installed.
> Anyone have a Fedora disk I can use to reinstall?

I have a full set of CD images for Fedora Core 2 for i386.  Tell me
which one you need (I'm rusty on Fedora matters), and I'll burn it for

But that's not actually what you need.  Slow down.

You have something wrong with your ability to boot, but you don't yet
know what's wrong.  You know only that the hard disk still IDs itself to
the BIOS.  

What the message "Non-System disk or disk error" means depends on what
issued it.  Can you tell?  That's vital information.  It could be a BIOS
message indicating that the first drive in the BIOS-listed boot order 
that's in a "ready" state was the subject of a boot attempt, but lacked
a valid boot sector, so that booting halted at that point.  

Make sure you don't have a floppy, CD, or other removable disk in any
of your drives.  You'd feel a little sheepish if the sole cause of this
"hard drive problem" is that you left a data floppy in the "A:" drive,
and "A:" is first in the BIOS boot order, right?

If it's not that, then you might have somehow clobbered the unnamed
Microsoft bootloader that lives in the first 446 bytes of the MBR.  
To restore that -- oh, jeez, I can't exactly remember.  You can probably
boot an MS-DOS 6.x or higher floppy and type "FDISK /MBR" to recreate
it, or do likewise using a Win9x or WinME maintenance CD-ROM.

If your system is Win NT/2k/XP, you can try booting your installation
media for that thing, and using Repair mode.

But, actually, the first thing I'd do is boot an LNX-BBC CD or a Tom's
Root-Boot floppy, and see if my MS-Windows filesystem is still there at
all.  Not a lot of point in trying to repair Microsoft boot files if the
underlying problem is something clobbered the MS-Windows filesystems.

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