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Reformatting Hard Drive from msdos boot disk

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by manish_42, Jun 16, 2005.

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  1. manish_42

    manish_42 Thread Starter

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    I recently tried to reinstall windows xp, but the installation was interrupted and left me with a partially installed windows on my hard drive. Now, whenever I try to install again, it gives me the error: NTLDR is missing. I made a msdos boot disc to reformat my drive such that I can try installing windows again. However, I have two hard drive (one for windows and programs and one for storage) and I don't know which one is which letter. How can I find this information, so that I don't accidentally wipe my storage drive?
     
  2. debunkcia

    debunkcia

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    well you could always remove the slave drive and then your bios will only recognize the one hardrive, a good thing, so you can install windows on the master then when your done put the slave back in and there's all of your stored data
     
  3. manish_42

    manish_42 Thread Starter

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    There's another issue, actually...

    When I installed Windows the first time, the motherboard didn't detect my boot drive, which is a SATA drive. In order to get it to be detected, I had to get some drivers for the motherboard online and put them on a floppy. When Windows asked if I wanted to install additional drivers, I said yes, and inserted the floppy when prompted. This worked fine, and I was able to see the drive. However, now that I can't install Windows in the first place, I don't know how to get the computer to see that drive. Currently, I have only a primary master (my storage drive) and cannot see the SATA drive in the bios anywhere but the menu labeled "hard disk drives" under "boot." While the drive appears as "VIA VT6420 1st HDD" in this menu, I cannot see it in any other, including boot device priority.

    Anyway, is there any other way that I can tell which drive to reformat? Can msdos even reformat a drive that the bios can't even see?

    EDIT: Here's another question: Will the drive on which Windows is installed always be the C drive? I mean ALWAYS? Because if the problem is, indeed, that it thinks that Windows is installed on the drive, then can't I just use the command REFORMAT C in msdos? I want to be absolutely sure which drive is which before I reformat.
     
  4. debunkcia

    debunkcia

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    the Basic Input Output System has to detect the drive before anything else will.
     
  5. manish_42

    manish_42 Thread Starter

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    The BIOS clearly recognizes that the hard drive is there, but I don't understand why it's not available for the boot priority menu.

    Also, refer to the edit above. Would that work, possibly?
     
  6. debunkcia

    debunkcia

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    usually windows installs to C: this wouldn't be true if you had manually changed the drive letter or maunually installed to another drive. that's why i said to remove all drives except for the master. the master should be the drive you bot from, windows. the primary should be the one for storage. this way you can use format c: and load an mbr and install.
     
  7. manish_42

    manish_42 Thread Starter

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    Currently, the primary master is the storage drive and the secondary master is my disc drive. The boot drivem, with Windows actually doesn't appear anywhere in this list. I tried unplugging the storage drive, and then the list of hard drives is no longer available in the BIOS. I tried formatting c: in msdos, but it just gave me a "bad command or file name" error, which I assume means the drive is not detected. Now I'm confused as to why the system is actually trying to boot from the drive if it isn't detected in the BIOS or, for that matter, anywhere. Is it possible that the problem is something else?
     
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