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Can't install OS onto second HD

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by still smokin', Jul 14, 2007.

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  1. still smokin'

    still smokin' Thread Starter

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    I have a 2nd IDE HD which I'd like to use as a backup facility. My main drive is a 250GB SATA and is running perfectly at the moment. If I try to install my original OS disc onto the other drive I get a black screen with the message: 'NTLDR is missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart.'
    But when I do, nothing happens.
    Can anyone advise me what to do to sort this out?
     
  2. bbearren

    bbearren

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    To do this successfully, you will need to either of these two: go into BIOS and make your second drive your first drive, or shut down the machine, open the case and switch the IDE cables between drive 0 and drive 1 (check both ends, motherboard and drive, to make sure the cables are firmly seated). This will make drive 1 your primary IDE drive, and drive 0 (where you OS is currently installed and "running perfectly" your secondary IDE drive. The drive you're trying to install to will now be drive C:\.

    Then start the installation again. Your install should now work. Be sure to go to the Windows Update site and get all the priority updates installed, then reboot. You may be asked to Activate Windows after the install, and you may be asked to validate Windows at the update site. They will both work.

    After the machine boots up, either restart and go into BIOS to reverse the hard drive order (if that's what you did), or shut it down and swap the IDE cables back to their original positions. Check both ends of the cables (motherboard end and drive end) to make sure they're firmly seated.
     
  3. still smokin'

    still smokin' Thread Starter

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    Hello bbearren,
    Thanks for your info though I'm a bit confused as to which cables are the IDE ones to which you refer. I have attempted to enclose a webcam photo to try and illustrate the setup. My confusion has to do with the fact that the cable to the 2nd HD is a wide,flat ribbon cable but the main drive doesn't have one of those. The main drive has one narrow (6mm) orange coloured ribbon cable plus a white plastic block with 4 coloured leads,which I assume is the power supply. The main drive doesn't have a wide,flat ribbon cable at all. Can you explain to me which are the IDE cables to which you refer?
     

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  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You do not need to swap any cables, jumpers or anything else.
    What you do need to understand is that when you install vista, xp, or win2k, regardless of the drive / partition you install on, it will write some files to the root of your boot drive. If at some later time you remove the boot drive, you must repair the boot files in order to have the system boot.
     
  5. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Here's what the ATA and SATA drives look like ... Does this help ?
    The ATA wide ribbon cable is the IDE
    The black, red and yellow is the power
     

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  6. still smokin'

    still smokin' Thread Starter

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    Hello crjdriver, I'm much obliged for your reply but it doesn't take me any further forward.
    No cable swapping is necessary you say, just repair the boot files. Please explain to me how to do this. Any attempt to install results in the black screen with: 'NTLDR is missing'. What must I do? Sorry to be a bore but I'm still learning.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Since you get a ntldr missing msg, I am going to assume you are installing either win2k or xp since vista does not use those files. There are two ways to fix this.

    1 Boot with your install CD and do a repair install of the operating system. This will repair the boot files for you.

    2 Other method. You can repair the files manually by doing this.
    Boot your computer with the Windows XP CD. Make sure the CD is set as the first boot device in the bios. When prompted to Setup or Repair, choose Repair. In the Recovery Console, enter the following commands:

    FIXBOOT, answer Yes
    CD \
    ATTRIB -H NTLDR
    ATTRIB -S NTLDR
    ATTRIB -R NTLDR
    ATTRIB -H NTDETECT.COM
    ATTRIB -S NTDETECT.COM
    ATTRIB -R NTDETECT.COM
    COPY X:\I386\NTLDR C:\
    COPY X:\I386\NTDETECT.COM C:

    Note X is the letter assigned to your CD drive. Sub whatever letter your drive is for X
     
  8. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    OK, I may have misread your post.
    What exactly are you trying to do?
    Are you trying to repair an existing install of the os or are you trying to clean install the os on your system?
     
  9. bbearren

    bbearren

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    Does your system BIOS allow you to change drive priority?
     
  10. still smokin'

    still smokin' Thread Starter

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    crjdriver. Your instructions are explicit, there's one problem: the drive WON'T boot from the install disc. WHATEVER I attempt to do, all I get is the black screen & message regarding the missing NTLDR. I'm busting to do what you recommend and get the problem sorted but the drive won't read the OS CD.
    I'm attempting to create a back-up facility on a 2nd HD. The drive has been wiped with Ultimate Boot program, now it just seems to have given up altogether. I thought maybe it needs wiping again, but it won't even allow me to do that!
    Yes, the system BIOS allows me to change whatever I need.
     
  11. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    You don't need to install an operating system on a 2nd hard drive to use it as a backup.
     
  12. still smokin'

    still smokin' Thread Starter

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    Could you tell me what I need to do to get it to work? Whatever I do, I get that black screen.
     
  13. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    What black screen? To use a second hard drive, you just connect it properly and partition and format it from within Windows.
     
  14. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    There seems to be some confusion here.
    Post exactly what you are trying to do and your configuration ie what drives are connected to what controllers, etc.

    As pointed out above you do not need to install an os on each drive. You need only one os installed on the computer. Any other drives need only to be partitioned and formatted in order to use them.
     
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