I cannot boot the machine from a floppy. What is wrong?

There are many possible reasons that you cannot boot from a floppy. Please consult this troubleshooting chart:

Troubleshooting Floppy Disk Problems:

Problem

Solution

Floppy disk is not bootable or damaged.

With the floppy in drive A:, verify whether or not system files (COMMAND.COM, etc.) are located on floppy. If the disk directory can be read and system files appear by name, the disk or some files on the disk may be damaged. On a DOS or Windows PC, run SCANDISK.EXE to check for damaged areas on the disk surface. Alternately, prepare and test another bootable floppy disk.

Machine has boot priority for Hard Disk Drives, or another device set higher than for Floppy Drives

Open the low-level setup screen, usually by pressing [F1] or [Delete] on the keyboard during PC startup. These setup parameters build structure in the BIOS. Locate the section about Boot Device Priority, or similar. This section will allow you to set the search order for types of boot devices. When the screen opens, a list of boot devices will appear. Typical devices on this list will be Hard Drives, CD ROM drives, Floppy Drives and Network Boot option.

If the floppy device has been disabled, enable it (provided you have a floppy disk installed). The priority should indicate that the floppy device is the number one device the BIOS consults when searching for boot instructions. If Floppy Drives is at the top of the list, that is usually the indicator.