How to Fix Disk Boot Failure Insert System Disk Windows XP, Vista, 7/8/10/11?

Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk & Press Enter! Your MBR is corrupted, and you need to repair it immediately. Check in to get the solution now.

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Sep 14, 2021 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

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"Yesterday, I went to a computer shop. I purchased a new hard drive there and asked the IT person to install it on my laptop. When I came home, the computer failed to boot up. It said disk boot failure error. The IT operator told me that the hard drive had Windows 10 on it. Is there any way to fix this error myself?"

Have you faced a similar situation? Are you unable to turn your Windows computer on and facing a disk boot failure error? Don't worry. You can fix this error easily with the methods I provided in this article.

Disk boot failure error comes due to many reasons. Specifically, the users of Windows XP, Vista, 7/8, and even Windows 11 have reported this error. Therefore, this article aims to help you understand this error, why it happens, and how to fix it. Also, if you lost some data due to this error, my article will help you recover it.

All About "Disk Boot Failure"

Disk boot failure error occurs when the system fails to load the Windows correctly. What happens if the BIOS fails to detect a disk that has the operating system on it. Therefore, the BIOS throws an error indicating "DISK BOOT FAILURE – INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER". It means that BIOS wants you to add or insert a disk drive that has the operating system installed on it.

To understand why BIOS does this, one needs to understand the booting process of a computer. Whether you are using Windows Vista, 7/8/10, or even Windows 11, the process of booting the computer up remains the same.

Booting Process

  1. You turn the computer on by pressing the Power button.
  2. A POST (Power-on self-test) starts to happen as soon as you press the power button.
  3. BIOS settings start to find the boot device where the operating system should be installed.
  4. From the boot device, BIOS loads the operating system installed in that disk.
  5. BIOS gives complete control to your operating system.

These 5-steps happen in quick succession. If any of the steps fail, a boot error will come. In our case, your BIOS fails to perform the third step, throwing disk boot failure error.

disk boot failure error on the screen


Why "Disk Boot Failure" Happen?

Now you understand what disk boot failure error is and may wonder why it happens. In most cases, your computer may work fine on the closure but throws a disk boot failure error when you turn it back on. There are multiple reasons which can cause this error in the first place. Let's see the reasons below one-by-one.

1. Disc Stuck in the Drive

One reason for disk boot failure is when a disc is stuck inside the drive. The disc that would help BIOS to detect the operating system may be stuck. If this is the case, you can try removing the disc and inserting it again.

2. Incorrect Boot Sequence

Your BIOS settings have the option to see the order for boot sequence. BIOS will check the boot device from this order. If the order is wrong, meaning that your boot device isn't set to be first to load, a boot disk error will come.

3. You Have Installed a New Hard Drive on Your Computer

Installing a new hard drive on your computer without configuring it can change up the BIOS settings. BIOS might confuse your more recent hard drive with the older one and hence fail to find the boot device, resulting in disk boot failure.

4. You Have an Unplugged Hard Drive

Sometimes, your disk drive may be loosely attached to your computer case. It can also cause BIOS to fail to detect the boot disk and renders the disk boot failure error. Make sure to check if your disk drive is correctly connected with your computer system.

5. Damaged Disk

A damaged or corrupted disk will not allow the BIOS to load the operating system for it. Users have also reported that the cause of their disk boot failure error was their damaged disk. If this is the case, you need to repair your boot disk.

6. Corrupted System Files

Another common reason for disk boot failure error is corrupted system files. Your operating system files can be corrupted due to any reason. Hence, BIOS will not be able to load it properly. For this case, you need to repair the corrupted files.


Fix "Disk Boot Failure" on Windows

In summary, you can say that disk boot failure on Windows occurs due to BIOS being unable to find the disk with an operating system installed on it. With that said, various reasons can cause the error, which was mentioned above.

The good news is you can fix the disk boot failure error. There are many complex solutions on the internet. Still, here you will see a list of compiled solutions that are straightforward. If you follow the below-listed methods step-by-step, you can fix the disk boot error quickly.

Let's see the solutions step-by-step below.

Fix 1: Change BIOS Boot Order

One leading cause of disk boot failure error in Windows Vista, 7/8/10, and even Windows 11 is the boot order of disk drives in BIOS settings. In BIOS settings, your disk drive with the operating system must be booted as the priority. If that is not the case, then you might see a disk boot failure error.

To check the boot order settings in BIOS, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Restart your Computer.

Upon restart, you need to press the F2 key continuously to enter the BIOS settings. (In some computers, the key may be different. If F2 is not the key for your system, please check the internet to find your computer's relevant key. Usually, "Del, F8, F10, or F12 keys" work.

Step 2:  In boot settings, use arrows keys to navigate to the Boot tab.

Step 3: Change boot order and make sure to put your disk with the operating system as a top priority.

bios settings interface screen

Step 4: Press the F10 key, and BIOS will save the new settings and restart.

After performing this step, your system will boot up normally with your operating system without throwing the disk failure error.

Fix 2: Check HDD for failures

Sometimes, your Hard Disk Drive can have issues with it. Those issues can likely cause the disk boot failure error. The limitation of this method is that you need to access your system to perform this method.

To check your HDD for issues, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Open File Explorer.

Step 2: Right-click on your drive with the Windows icon on it and click on properties.

opening settings of drive with Windows OS installed on it

Step 3: Move to the Tools tab in properties and then click the Check button on it.

selecting the check option

Step 4: Choose the Scan Drive option.

choosing the scan drive option

Step 5: Wait for the hard drive scan to complete.

The process may take a little while. Once the process is complete, the scan results will appear. You will be able to see the list of errors associated with your hard drive.

Fix 3: Run chkdsk

A common reason that users have reported that caused disk failure error was due to their damaged disk. Damaged disk in Windows operating system can be fixed using chkdsk command. However, it would help if you had a Windows installation disc to use this method.

Follow the below steps:

Step 1: Boot your system through a Windows installation Disc.

Step 2: Choose to Repair your computer option.

Step 3: Select your Windows Installation drive and then click on the Next button.

Step 4: In system recovery options, select the Command Prompt.

Step 5: Type the "chkdsk C: /f" command in the terminal. (Replace C with your drive letter where your Windows is installed)

running the chkdsk command to repair the drive

After step 5, wait for the process to complete. Once the process is completed, you can restart your computer and see if that fixes the disk failure error for you.

Note: Make sure to remove the installation disc before restarting.

Fix 4: Remove Newly Installed Hardware

Disk boot failure error can also occur if you attach a new hard drive to your computer and do not configure it properly. Follow the below steps to fix it:

Step 1: Remove the newly installed hard drive from your computer and restart the computer.

Step 2: Check your hard drive cables where your operating system is installed. Make sure they are appropriately connected.

Step 3: Check your hard disk jumpers.

All three steps can help you fix the disk boot failure error. You don't need to follow all three steps. If you can fix the problem with step 1, that should be enough. All three steps are independent solutions to fixing your disk failure error.

Fix 5: Repair Corrupted Operating System

Your corrupt operating system will also cause disk boot failure error. However, repairing a corrupt operating system is relatively easy. You need to have a Windows installation disc or a bootable Windows USB drive to work with this method. Follow the below steps:

Step 1: Boot your system through a Windows installation Disc.

Step 2: From Windows Setup, click the Next button.

Step 3: Choose the "Repair your computer" option from the interface.

Step 4: Select the "Troubleshoot" option.

Step 5: In Advanced Options, select the "Startup Repair" option.

repairing windows through startup repair option in advanced options

Once the startup repair is complete, restart your computer and see if it fixes the computer.

Summarizing

These are some of the most used and accessible solutions to fix disk boot failure error in Windows Vista, 7/8/10, and Windows 11. Any of the solutions mentioned above can work for you. You need to pick the appropriate solution by seeing its limitations.

Usually, just running the HDD failures method can help you detect the exact error associated with your hard drive. But, if you are unable to access the computer in the first place, you can check if your hard drive is connected correctly or not.


Restore Lost Data Due to Disk Boot Failure

Some users have reported that they have lost data due to disk boot failure error. If that is the case for you, then don't worry. You can recover your data back.

Suppose you have lost data due to a disk boot failure error. In that case, you can recover it through automated data recovery tools. Read on to understand how to recover your lost data due to disk boot failure.

Wondershare Recoverit

Wondershare Recoverit is a 3-step data recovery software that helps to recover data from almost any situation. It is available for Windows and Mac operating systems.

Main Functions

  • You can recover any type and format data, including images, videos, PDFs, PPTs, etc.
  • It also allows data recovery from situations such as drive damage or corruption.
  • Wondershare Recoverit allows advanced video and photo repair and recovery.
  • It gives support to 100+ storage devices.
  • It allows deep scan and file previews.
  • It can also help you to create bootable media.
  • Wondersahre Recoverit can also solve the blue screen death issue.
  • And much more!

Wondershare Recoverit vs. the Rest

Although there are many tools out there, and it can become a headache to choose one. Therefore, for your ease and assistance, you will see Wondershare Recoverit in our guide.

Wondershare Recoverit excels over other data recovery software because of its secure, reliable, guaranteed, and 3-steps data recovery. Millions of users have downloaded and trusted it. On top of all the great features it provides, it also supports a 100MB free data recovery feature and very reasonable other packages.

Steps to Recover Lost Data due to Disk Boot Failure Using Wondershare Recoverit Software

Step 1 – Download This Data Recovery Program

Step 2 – Install Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery Software

After downloading, double click the "Recoverit_setup_full4134.exe" file that will be in your downloads folder (Windows Version). You will see an "Install" button on the interface screen; you can click it, and Wondershare will be installed on your computer. You can also choose the "Customize Install" option to do installation settings manually.

Step 3 – Launch Wondershare Recoverit software

launching wondershare recoverit software

Step 4 – Select Location for Performing Recovery Scan

Select your hard drive from the Wondershare Recoverit interface screen from which you think you have lost your data. Usually, in disk boot failure, it will be your C drive or where your operating system is installed.

selecting hard drive from wondershare interface

Step 5 – Begin Scanning Your Hard Drive

After selecting your hard drive, click on the "Start" button from the Wondershare interface screen. Clicking start will begin scanning for lost files. The scan process will take some time depending upon files on your Hard Drive and your computer's speed.

wondershare recoverit scanning process

During the scan process of your hard drive, you have the option to apply filters on the Wondershare Recoverit file search. You can use a filter only if you wish to save time. It is not mandatory.

wondershare recoverit applying filter

Step 6 – Preview files to begin the Recovery Process

Once the scanning process is complete, you will preview the files you lost before recovering them. Once previewed, click on the "Recover" button to recover that failed file. The preview option helps to see if the correct files are recovered.

wondershare recoverit file preview before recovery

On clicking the "Recover" button, the recovery process will begin. Recoverit will recover the file and store it on your hard drive.

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Conclusion

Disk boot failure error can prevent the BIOS from loading the operating system. It happens because BIOS fails to recognize the disk where your OS is installed. As a result, you will face a black screen and won't access your system.

Many causes of disk boot failures include unconfigured hardware, damaged OS, incorrect boot order, disc stuck, improper HDD connection, etc. In our opinion, you must always check if your HDD is connected correctly before moving to any other solution. If it is, then you can try OS repair options.

Also, suppose you lose data due to disk boot failure or during the process of fixing it. In that case, you can use Wondershare Recoverit tool which is reliable. It is highly recommended because I have personally tried and tested it.

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