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Can't boot Windows XP SP3

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by theK, Apr 23, 2013.

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  1. theK

    theK Thread Starter

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    Hello,

    I just joined the forum. Read this site had a good reputation so here it goes.

    My computer won't boot. I have two hard drives and I'm not able to boot to either one. I have an older Maxtor drive which generates a message stating "Insert bootable disk" or something of the like. I also have a new Seagate, which I've rarely used. It loaded the Windows XP screen which appears before logon but goes no further.

    Here are the steps I've completed so far which have all been unsuccessful:

    1. Tried to boot both drives as master
    2. Tried to access safe mode
    3. Tried to access hard drives from Win 98 boot disk
    4. Tried to access hard drives from bootable Norton Recovery CD
    5. Tried to access both drives in another working computer as master
    6. Tried to access both drives in another working computer as slave
    7. Tried to access both drives using DVD IDE cable

    This problem has to be with the drives and not the motherboard,cables, or power supply. I'll elaborate on the details now. When this problem initially occurred, the BIOS stated: "The boot configuration has changed." I checked the bios and everything was as usual. However,after leaving that screen, the computer wouldn't boot. I noticed a beep/scratching noise on the Maxtor, which I normally boot to. I hooked up the Seagate as master and heard the same noise.

    I then started looking at the BIOS. I noticed with every reboot I did during my investigation, strange behavior began to occur. First the Maxtor disappeard from the Bios. Then later, instead of displaying the label for the Seagate I entered during installation, the Bios displayed an incomprehensible string value but still displayed the correct drive size. After more reboots, the Seagate disappeared from the BIOS.

    In steps 3 &4 above, the only drive available other than the floppy and CD was a RAM Drive.

    I've exhausted my troubleshooting knowledge and would like to know if there's any way to salvage these drives. I'm assuming the drives are going bad, but it seems unlikely that both would go bad at the same time.

    Thanks for any replies.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Aug 1, 2003
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    The key step that you took was trying to access the drives in another machine. It doesn't matter at all whetheer they were connected as masters or slaves, but the jumpers on the drive need to reflect the connection, and the other drive on the cable needs to have its jumper checked, too, since some require a different setting when another drive is present than when it is absent. A good drive should be easily accessible on any machine it is connected to.

    If the drive is not accessible on a different machine, then it is highly likely that the drive has failed. Check its SMART, if possible.

    For the drive that partially booted, was the operating system installed to that drive on that same machine while it was connected the same way? If not, it will not boot on a different machine, anyway. Even if the drive is fine, it will only boot on the machine that installed it (for the most part).
     
  3. theK

    theK Thread Starter

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    I had checked the jumpers on both slave and master drives when I attached the drive to a different computer. The drive that partially booted was in the computer I initially installed it on. I previously had that in the slave position.
     
  4. dai

    dai

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    put it in the computer you wish to use it on and run a repair install

    to do a repair install
    set the bios to boot from cd first
    pop in the disk
    reboot
    choose install
    ignore the first repair option [R] and continue with install
    when windows finds the previous installation
    then do the repair

    xpsp3 will need to be slipstreamed into the windows disk to effect the repair
     
  5. theK

    theK Thread Starter

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    Decided to connect my hard drives back to the original computer. I chose an option to restore default settings. The old drive still isn't recognized by the BIOS. However, for whatever reason, the BIOS now recognizes the new drive. I can also access it via Norton Recovery tool. I'll use that to copy the files to a Usb.

    I have a theory on why the newer drive doesn't get past the Windows XP screen during start up. I had used Norton Ghost to copy my old drive to the newer one. Something might have gotten corrupted during the ghost process to the Master Boot Record. Since I never tried to boot from it afterwards, I never noticed the issue until the older drive stopped working.

    With this in mind, I'm not sure if performing a Windows repair would solve the defect on the newer drive. Would I be better off doing a clean install after backing up the data?

    For the older drive, is my only option now to put it in freezer to attempt salvaging data stored on it after using ghost?
     
  6. crazyvera

    crazyvera Account Closed

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    I am a little bit confused on your problem but I think that you are trying to have two c drives in your computer?
    Why do you need two c drives?
    Are you trying to have two OS in one computer?
    There is only one c drive for the main OS and the others are just for backup drives.

    The only way you can have two c drives is to first format one hard drive and install the OS. When finished disconnect it and connect the other and do same procedure. (make sure you turn off computer when doing the drive exchanges).

    Other method I can think of is to format your hard drives again and start from the beginning. If you can first try to get a copy of any documents you may have there. If you can't you will loose everything you got in the hard drive.

    You may want to partition your hard drive when installation is completed (optional).
     
  7. dai

    dai

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    to fix the mbr boot into the recovery console and run

    fixboot

    to get to the recovery console
    set the bios to boot from cd first
    boot from the windows cd and choose install
    press R when it asks and you will be in the recovery console
    type help and press enter
    it will then list all the commands available to you in there
     
  8. theK

    theK Thread Starter

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    I attempted a repair install with the XP SP2 CD. It goes about 3/4 the length of the progress bar and then repeatedly reboots and restarts the repair install. I took out the CD and it still attempted to restart the install. I did have a new usb plugged in during the install so I could back up the data on the drive. What could be causing this?
     
  9. dai

    dai

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  10. theK

    theK Thread Starter

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    I checked the motherboard and I don't see erosion of the components. I ran chkdisk /r and it said it recovered some sectors. Afterwards, I then ran fixboot. Nothing has worked since the system continues to reboot during the install. I've searched all over the internet and i don't see any solutions to this problem. At this point, I'm content wiping out everything and starting over on the newer drive. The problem is, my Norton recovery disk doesn't recognize my USB drive or allow me to copy to my DVD +RW. I'm assuming it's because it's an old version.

    Is anyone aware of bootable recovery software, that will load USB 2.0 drivers and enable me to copy data from the hard drive to a USB flash drive? I'd prefer free ones if they exist, but I don't know whether they would be of any use. The only USB bootable selection in my BIOS is USB FDD, which doesn't seem like a flash drive.
     
  11. prunejuice

    prunejuice

    Joined:
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    You could always boot with a Linux distro and copy files to a USB stick.

    http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=213

    PCLinuxOS would be the easiest to navigate and have Windows drives mounted, as well as USB flash drives.
     
  12. dai

    dai

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    did you check the hard drive itself,chkdsk does not check the drive

    try installing after a llow level format using only 1 stick of ram in for the install
     
  13. theK

    theK Thread Starter

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    I created a PCLinuxOS Live CD but like the Norton disk, it can't recognize my flash drive
     
  14. theK

    theK Thread Starter

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    The drive is fine. It passed all the Seatools tests. I can't format without backup up the data.
     
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