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booting program from floppy

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I once tried to use a program to wipe my hard drive on an old system, and when I inserted the floppy with the program on it, and rebooted my system, the program never started, instead I got the error message, "non system disc or disc error", and I was unable to use the program since my system wouldn't recognize the program. Is there any way to avoid this when trying to use a bootable floppy?
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If you've wiped your hard drive and are trying to reinstall your operating system, go into Setup and set to boot from cd-rom, put your first cd-rom in and exit setup. Then the cd-rom should load and you will be given the options you need to format and install.
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