We have an old computer (a Toshiba from around '97 - '99) that we're trying to start up again after many years of disuse. I've plugged everything in to the right places, but the computer keeps saying "Insert bootable media into the appropriate drive." Any idea what that means?


It means that the computer is trying to find something that it can Boot (startup) to (with). In most cases this is the hard drive with some sort of operating system, like MS Windows or Linux. It can also be a bootable floppy or CD, which will contain the boot configuration files for a particular operating system.

If your computer is saying there is no bootable media, it could mean a number of things.

1. Your hard drive is not connected properly.
2. The hard drive is damaged, the operating system's boot files are corrupt and need replacement, or there is no operating system on the hard drive (maybe it was erased by someone).
3. BIOS is not recognizing the hard drive.

1. Check & re-check all cable connections. Ensure the jumpers are set properly. Be sure to ground yourself before/while you are touching the inside of the computer!
2. Solutions based on particular operating system. Please identify the operating system used.
3. Enter BIOS while the computer is starting up by pressing F1, F2, or Delete. (Either or one of these will enter the BIOS setup). When you reach the BIOS setup screen, navigate to the IDE device list. The primary IDE device should be labeled IDE1 or in some cases IDE0. In any event, the hard drive (if connected properly) will be connected to the lowest IDE#. Most BIOS setup configurations will allow you to just select "auto" for the IDE device in question (I recommend doing so).

Secondly, navigate to the boot configuration section, and locate the boot order. Your BIOS gives the computer instructions on the order in which to boot certain devices. For instance, my computer's boot order is:

1. A: (floppy),
2. D: (CD-Rom),
3. C: (hard drive).

Please ensure your hard drive, most likely IDE1, is within this list. Once complete press F10 and then ENTER to accept and save any changes you made.


shauna.. when you get the pc manufacturers splash screen it should tell you what button to press to enter setup.

my guess is that the o/s may well be a 98 but please tell us for sure.