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Old 8th December 2005   #1
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USB floppy drive not recognised as boot device


Hi,

(my first posting...)
I'm trying to update my BIOS, and failing because - having dl'd the latest version from the manufacturer's (Epos) website to a floppy disk - when I boot up with the floppy in my external (USB) floppy drive the MBR routine logs "USB storage device: Mitsumi" but doesn't open the file. Instead it displays a message < NTLDR missing; click any key to continue > When I do so, it doesn't continue - just repeats the message ad infinitum. Have to hit 'Reset' to reboot.

btw the message is in Swedish (God knows why; my alternate keyboard layout is set as Swedish but what's that got to do with the MBR!...) - so the initials LDR *may* stand for Swedish words not English. Anyway I don't know what they mean nor what I'm supposed to do about it.

Drive A in BIOS is disabled and Drive B is set to 1.4 Mb floppy, 1st boot device is set as USB FDD (2nd is CD), 'boot other device' is enabled. 'swap floppy drive' is disabled, FDD controller is disabled. (I've experimented with setting all these differently, in various combinations - without success). In Windows (XP Home, btw) the USB drive is always allocated drive letter 'B', regardless of whether 'A' is disabled or not in BIOS.

Is there something obvious I'm missing? (wouldn't be the first time).

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Old 9th December 2005   #2
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Generally, USB devices need Windows to be running before they are seen by the pc.

Many/most USB keyboads won't let you into the BIOS......

Might look in the BIOS for an option about enabling legacy usb devices and see if that helps.

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Old 9th December 2005   #3
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re NTLDR:
NT Loader, a program loaded from the hard drive boot sector that displays the NT based systems startup menu and helps NT based systems load. XP is a NT based system.

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Old 2nd January 2006   #4
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Originally Posted by TonyT
re NTLDR:
NT Loader, a program loaded from the hard drive boot sector that displays the NT based systems startup menu and helps NT based systems load. XP is a NT based system.
@TonyT

OK, thanks. Having now looked up NTLDR in Wikipedia, I've learned more about it. Part of the entry reads:-
(quote)NTLDR (abbreviation of NT Loader) is the boot loader for Windows NT, including its later versions (2000/XP/Server 2003/Vista). NTLDR can be run from either portable storage (such as a CD-ROM or USB flash drive), or the primary hard disk.(unquote)

But the thing is that I don't actually want Win XP to load, because what I'm trying to do is flash-update the BIOS.

I only get the "NTLDR missing" message if I've loaded the disk containing the BIOS update into the USB floppy drive, so the pc must be detecting the presence of that disk. It seems to be behaving like Win98 used to do when it detected the presence of a "non-system disk" in the floppy drive at bootup, and told you to remove it and press any key to continue. Do you know if there's any way to stop it from looking for NTLDR, but instead reading/executing the BIOS update from the floppy?

It does seem crazy these days (when floppy drives are all but obsolete) that - if Steve R Jones is correct - a PC (*any* PC) can't read files from a USB floppy drive except from within Windows. Surely, there *must* be a workaround....?

I desperately need help with this because I've got a badly malfunctioning PC for which I've tried every conceivable fix *except* updating the BIOS! I'd be very grateful for any help.

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Old 2nd January 2006   #5
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Your bios gives USB FDD as a boot option so it should work. How did you make the floppy? Did you make it an MSDOS startup disk, or just format it in XP? Actually better to use a special bios flashing disk, download a Driver Free Disk For Bios Flashing This download is a small .exe that will build the disk for you. Then copy your awdflash and bios files to the floppy. Try a known working bootable floppy like a Win98 startup floppy to see if your drive is actually working.

If your system was working find before with the current bios then what makes you think updating it will cure your present OS problems?

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Old 2nd January 2006   #6
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Upon booting a comp that has xp installed on it:
1. compt boots right to xp
2. computer boots to cd if bios set to use cd prior to hard drive.
3. computer boots to floppy or usb drive if bios set to boot thgese prior to booting a hard drive.

If see the ntldr missing alert, then that means that the comp is NOT booting or reading the cd or floppy or usb drives. That message originates from the hard drive.

This is caused by:
1. bios boot order incorrectly set.
2. boot media unbootable, meaning the cd was is not bootable or the floppy or usb device is unbootable, usually due to incorrect creation of bootable media.
3. removable devices failing, sometimes a removable device will not power up correctly and be initiated for use by the motherboard, usually due to incorrect jumper setting or finicky devices themselves. Some cd drives won't boot unless they are set as master or cable select, even though they should be able to do it.
4. some cd drives cannot read cdr & cdrw disks properly.

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Old 3rd January 2006   #7
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Originally Posted by McTavish
Your bios gives USB FDD as a boot option so it should work. How did you make the floppy? Did you make it an MSDOS startup disk, or just format it in XP? Actually better to use a special bios flashing disk, download a Driver Free Disk For Bios Flashing This download is a small .exe that will build the disk for you. Then copy your awdflash and bios files to the floppy. Try a known working bootable floppy like a Win98 startup floppy to see if your drive is actually working.

If your system was working find before with the current bios then what makes you think updating it will cure your present OS problems?
Hello McTavish

No, my system wasn't working fine before - the contrary, in fact. Updating the BIOS is among many things I'm trying to get things to work properly.

I made the floppy by d'loading the file from the mainboard manufacturer's (Epos) website, then copying it to a floppy disk. This was done in XP (I don't have DOS on my machine, only a single NTFS partition on a single HDD).

Thanks for info about the special bios flashing disk you pointed me to (which I'd never previously heard of). I will now try it and let you know.

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Old 3rd January 2006   #8
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also:
Check in the bios for a setting under USB: "enable lagacy support" or similar, and set to "enable".

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Old 6th January 2006   #9
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www.bootdisk.com have a full range of bootdisks for when you want to run other utilities like say, fdisk.

Matt

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Old 9th January 2006   #10
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Originally Posted by Steve R Jones
Might look in the BIOS for an option about enabling legacy usb devices and see if that helps.
TonyT also suggested this.

But I'm confused. My mainboard's BIOS (which is Award) does indeed have settings referring to legacy USB devices, but only keyboard and mouse - neither of which I have, so I've left these settings disabled (which is the default setting). But on the other hand the BIOS expressly provides for a USB floppy drive (eg as a boot device) which I have of course activated. Given this, I can't quite see that the the legacy USB keyboard and mouse settings can be relevant.

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Old 9th January 2006   #11
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Originally Posted by kosketus
TonyT also suggested this.

But I'm confused. My mainboard's BIOS (which is Award) does indeed have settings referring to legacy USB devices, but only keyboard and mouse - neither of which I have, so I've left these settings disabled (which is the default setting). But on the other hand the BIOS expressly provides for a USB floppy drive (eg as a boot device) which I have of course activated. Given this, I can't quite see that the the legacy USB keyboard and mouse settings can be relevant.
Try it anyway.
You need the legacy support when booting from ANY boot device in order for the usb keyboard & usb mouse to be recognized and usable UNLESS the boot disk contains the necessary usb drivers for mouse & keyboard.

Quote:
I made the floppy by d'loading the file from the mainboard manufacturer's (Epos) website, then copying it to a floppy disk.
Most bios download create the floppy automatically. You DON'T just copy the file to a floppy. The download is probably an exe file and you double click it and it prompts you to stick in a floppy and it automatically copies the needed small operating system & bios flash file onto the floppy.

This is probably why it does not boot. If you just copied the download to the floppy, there is no operating system on it, just a copied file.

What is the brand computer?
What is actual name & model # of mainboard?
Award bios?

I've searched and can't find any website for epos mainboards.

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Old 10th January 2006   #12
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My last few BIOS upgrades have all been with the same manufacturer (Gigabyte), but the instructions were to put a floppy disk in the drive, go to My Computer, right-click on the drive and select Format. In the format window, select "copy system files" (which makes it bootable) then uncompress (unzip) the Flash program executable and the BIOS data (bin) file to the floppy as well.

Suggest you find all the relevant information you can at the Epox website. Make certain everything works. If the upgrade should fail at some point, the machine will be unworkable.

If you would like help with finding the instructions, let us know what model it is.

I have upgraded a BIOS using a bootable CD disk. Let me know if you would like to try that.

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Old 10th January 2006   #13
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The position I've now got to is this. I still can't get my PC to read or execute the floppy I've made - but (for the moment) that matters less than the major problem I'm having, which caused me to want to upgrade the BIOS in the first place. Meanwhile, I have updated the BIOS (and it didn't help with that problem!).

(btw 'Epos' was a typo; I meant 'Epox')

I stumbled upon an update for the 'MagicFlash' software that Epox provide (the version that came on CDROM with the mainboard never worked, so I'd more or less ignored it). This performs a BIOS update from within Windows.

Having carried out the BIOS tweaks suggested here I find that if I put a WinXP boot disk in the drive and boot up, everything works as it should. So it seems it's my efforts to create a bootable floppy which are the cause of the problem, in spite of trying to follow faithfully the tips given here. I don't know where I'm going wrong but - for the time being - I'm going to set that on one side to be returned-to later when (and if) I manage to get my PC to work properly.

In the meantime I'd like to say a big 'thank you' for all the help offered .

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Old 10th January 2006   #14
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Originally Posted by kosketus
The position I've now got to is this. I still can't get my PC to read or execute the floppy I've made - but (for the moment) that matters less than the major problem I'm having, which caused me to want to upgrade the BIOS in the first place. Meanwhile, I have updated the BIOS (and it didn't help with that problem!).
Understood & thanks.

Now...exactly WHAT problems are occurring that led you to want to do a bios upgrade to begin with? These are what we should be assisting with.

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Old 11th January 2006   #15
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Originally Posted by TonyT
Understood & thanks.

Now...exactly WHAT problems are occurring that led you to want to do a bios upgrade to begin with? These are what we should be assisting with.
Here's the thread:-
http://www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=50038
I've suggested to Newt that perhaps it should be moved to this ('Hardware') forum.

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