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Troubleshooting a "Disk Boot Failure" error...

I received this "DISK BOOT FAILURE - INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER" error on my DVR system tonight, so I dove deep into troubleshooting the problem.

The rough cause of the problem is that the system cannot read from a bootable drive; generally a hard disk (ie, it cannot read the operating system on your hard disk).

So, my first step was reading the bootup process on my computer very closely; upon booting the system will take and look for all drives in your system... In my case, one was missing from the scan; my primary drive...

So, I turn off the machine, pop it open, and ensure everything is connected properly... As it was, I started it up again to see if there was any change (maybe there was a loose connection?) and I could see that there obviously wasn't (as I have the same error).

So I say to myself, "Well, lets do what any high tech geek would do, let us take and replace the cable and see what happens!"... It kind of caught me off guard since the data cable had been the one which came with the drive, but I figured hey, what could it hurt... So I dive through my "big 'ole box 'o cables" and find a new (so I have bought a lot of drives for computers over the years) and grab a cable, time to test!

So I swap out the old cable for the new one, throw the machine back together, and boot her up... I have a drive! lol...

So, it turns out, all of this trouble over a $1 cable...

So in the future, if this error ever plagues you, chances are something is wrong with either your disk, or the connection to it...

My next troubleshooting tips would have been to plug the disk into another computer, or another spot on the machine (there are generally 2 ide channels on a motherboard, each supporting 2 devices; so that's 4 possible spots to test). After that, I'd be RMA'ing my hard drive back to the manufacturer for repairs as the drive may have burnt out...
Posted on April 25th, 2008 · Updated on December 31st, 2010
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