23 December 2004

OS part V

A "Non-system disk error" is not one you want to encounter very often. This is the same warning you would find if you had a non-bootable floppy in your drive and the computer tried to load it first. The problem was that this did not occur from the floppy--it occured from my hard drive!

I rebooted and hit F2 to enter the setup program. Here I confirmed that the floppy was not set to boot. I rebooted again and got the same error.

For anyone who has invested a lot of time in their computer systems, this is the first sign of panic. Is all of my work gone? Can I replace it? What will I do?

At this point, I had still forgotten that fdisk labelled the new partition as the active one. Since I had to abort the OpenBSD installation, there was no operating system on that partition. In fact, it wasn't even formatted! No wonder I got this error. Doh!

I rebooted, hit F2 and set the floppy to boot. I rebooted again and started the OpenBSD install, this time not to actually install but to use fdisk to change the active partition (a tool I would use very often in the coming days). I rebooted a third time and XP loaded. A sigh of relief. I didn't screw it up, after all.
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