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Packard Bell 9000 Series - Master CD

"Cannot SYS a Network Drive""CD in the Drive is not the Good One"
Disk CompressionDisk Dur Protage
Echec Test Burnin ErrorError 128
Insufficient Far MemoryInvalid Function With Master CD
"Invalid Master CD" MessageLocation of Programs
Master CD After Installing 2nd HDDReinstalling Individual Programs
Stuck at "Please be Patient.." MessageStuck on "Copying Files"
Wrong Version of Master CD

"Cannot SYS a Network Drive"

The above message appears when running the Master CD. The reason for it is it cannot detect the Hard Disk Drive and is trying to Format the CD-Drive.

To get round this, do the following,

  • Exit from the Master CD menu (Option 6), back to the MS-DOS Prompt.
  • Type in FDISK and press Enter.
  • Choose option 4 (Display Partition), and check to see if partitions are listed. If they are, then make a note of what type of partition they are (ie Pri-DOS, Non-DOS).
    • Press Esc to get back to the menu.
    • Choose Option 3 (Delete Partition)
    • Choose the option which corresponds with the Partition type, and delete the Partition.
    • Repeat this until all the partitions have been deleted.
    • Press Esc to get back to the menu
  • Choose option 1(Create Partition).
  • Choose option 1 again (Create Primary DOS Partition), and choose the option to use all available space.
  • Restart the computer, and when it runs back to the menu, option 3 should work.

If, when you run FDISK for the first time it gives an error message along the lines "Cannot Find Drive", then you have a faulty Hard Disk Drive.

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Reinstalling Individual Programs

If you find that a particular piece of software is not working and needs reinstalling, Do not go through the standard procedure i.e. trying to make backup disks or restarting the computer with Master CD in. Just put the master CD in the drive while you are in windows, goto:-


On later models , there is an Icon called "Packard Bell Restore Program (CD)" that can also be found by going into START/PROGRAMS/TOOLS

There you will find a list of all the software on the computer (apart from Navigator, but this can be reloaded from the Navigator CD, by running the Setup program).

If this program is missing, then click on START/RUN and in the box type in - D:\PBSETUP.EXE and click on OK. Note: if you've added another HDD or partitioned the HDD, then repeat the above step, but replace D with the correct letter for your CD-ROM drive.

If you have to reinstall Quicken 4 from PBSETUP it will probably go through to 80% and then ask you to put disk four in. Just click on OK and it will carry on regardless.

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Invalid Function When Running Master CD

According to Packard Bell, this represents a bug in the BIOS. Try editing the Config.sys file on the Boot Diskette. Look for the EMM386 line, and change it so that it reads,


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Wrong Version of Master CD OR Hidden Sector Checksum Error

Problem usually appears on newer PB machines, and is due to a corrupt hidden sector on the HDD which stores info on the machine.

There are two methods for getting round this.

From the Master CD menu, choose option 6, which should exit the menu back to a DOS prompt. Type in HSUPDATE and press ENTER. It should come back with the message "HIDDEN SECTORS UPDATED CORRECTLY". Reboot the machine and the master CD should run through as normal.

If that doesn't work then choose option 3 from the menu and do the format as normal. NB ALL data on the HDD WILL be LOST at this stage.

When it gets back to the menu Choose option 1, at which point it should give the error. It should then leave you at a D:\WIN95 prompt. If it doesn't, change to this directory.

Type in OEMSETUP SAFE FORM and press Enter. This should put you back to the menu. Choose option 1, and it should copy the files to the computer. If it asks for a format code, this is a 5 LETTER code on the back of the base unit, near the serial number.

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Insufficient Far Memory

This message may appear when running the Master CD on a PB9xxx series machine. To cure it Edit the Config.sys file on the floppy disk and REM out the EMM386.EXE line.

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Danger : Echec Test Burnin

This error will occurs after the machine has been through the extraction process. According to PB Europe the installation process is unable to detect system components or just fails to initialise software.

  • Restart ; press F8 and select option "safe mode command prompt only"
  • Enter CD\PBTOOLS directory and delete the file FAIL.EXE or SAFE.EXE
  • Reboot the machine.

You should now be able to safely continue with the rest of the installation.

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Using The Master CD After Installing a Second HDD

If you have installed a second Hard Disk Drive, then the Master CD will not run, as will not find the Setup program on the Maste CD. To fix this you need to edit the Autoexec.bat file on the Floppy Disk, and look for a line near the bottom that reads D: change this to the new letter for your CD-ROM drive. Also look for the line a:\mscdex.exe /l:D, and change the D at the end to your new drive letter. Then save and reboot the machine. The Master CD should then run as normal.

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Disk Dur Protage Error

After using the Master CD, rebooting the machine gives you this error message, stopping the final windows setup. The cure is to press ALT + F7 and it should ask you to confirm all the lines. Choose yes to every line except for the line - C:\PBTOOLS\CHECK.EXE > NUL - enter No for this line. The machine will then delete all the temporary files, and reset itself up properly.

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Location of Programs

If you want to reinstall selected applications from the Master CD but don't know where they are, then browse the Master CD, and in the PBSETUP folder there is a file called "PBSETUP.INI". This shows which folders contain which programs. For example,

0145   Games 0234   Compuserve
0282FM Radio 0300Fast Media
0325Simcity 0330Bridge
0342Dames (Checkers)       0382Internet in a Box
0419Quicken 0433MS Works
0436MS Money 0446MS Publisher
0454AOL 0578Topdraw
0582Talk Shop 0587McAfee
0600Comm Central 0607Softpeg/Mpeg
0643Video Phone 0647Internet Phone

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Error 128 - Master CD

If you get the message "Error 128" when running the Master CD, you need to make sure you are using a Master CD with one of the following version numbers, 101, 201, or 301.

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"Invalid Master CD" Message

Every time the machine starts with the Master CD it brings up the message "Invalid Master CD". Go into the BIOS. Go to Advanced , Advanced Chipset Management , and make sure that base memory is set to 640k.

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Stuck on "Copying Files"

If the master CD has been stuck on "copying files" for several hours/days/weeks during a remaster and no lights are on except the power light DON'T restart the machine.

The recovery program is a DOS program, if it hangs whilst extracting information from the CD the machine will give an error message followed by Abort,Retry,Fail - The problem is that this message cannot usually be seen because of PB's "house on the prairie" picture.

Try pressing R (for retry) on the keyboard and see if the lights on the base unit come back on. Usually the machine will carry on. However, if the lights go out again after a couple of seconds press R again.

If after 2 or 3 goes the process still hasn't continued - press A and the computer will move on the the next line in the copying process and carry on.

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"The CD in the Drive is not the Good One"

This message is given by the Master CD floppy disk, if the floppy disk does not match the Master CD in the drive. For example, a PB9000 series floppy disk reports the message when presented with a 900 series CD-ROM.

One method to get round this is to press F8 as the machine is booting (with Master CD and Floppy in) to bring up the Windows Startup menu. Choose Step by Step Confirmation and answer yes to everything apart from "A:\GOOD.EXE" and the machine should re-master OK.

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Stuck at "Please be Patient.." Message

When running the Master CD, it gets as far as the message "Please be Patient This Will Take Several Minutes" and then does nothing for the next few hours/days. To get round this -

  • Remove Bootdisk from drive.
  • Place write tab in write position.
  • Place bootdisk back in drive.
  • Restart the computer.

The Master CD should run through as normal.

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Disk Compression

If the hard drive has been compressed it can cause the Master CD (versions with 6 option menu) not to run properly, ie when choosing the format option off the Master CD menu, it goes straight back to the menu. To get round this either uncompress the drive prior to running the Master CD or choose option 6 from the menu and FDISK the drive.

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