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Solved: Mrb. Bios. Hardware. Linux grub

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by arranskye, Apr 30, 2013.

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  1. arranskye

    arranskye Thread Starter

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    Hi I downloaded Linux Freespire onto an external HDD. All appeared to go ok but when I removed the live installation disc and booted up I got the following message: Windows could not start because of a compute disc hardware configuration problem.
    Could not read from selected disc.Check boot path & selected hardware:

    I think two things may have caused this. I formatted an external HDD to fat32 Primary, using Linux Gpartition. I forgot to flag the disc as "BOOT"
    I accidently mounted the drive and could not find a way to unmount it. Linux does not prompt either of these important features.

    The Bios in this Packard Bell laptop: MV32-202 : 1.4GHz : 60GB HDD : 1GB Ram : Running XP Home ( 6 years old, but had very little usage for 4 years and has not been used at all for the past 2 years) is very limited.
    F2 & F8 only. The screen page does not change only the options in the title bar which are as follows:

    MAIN MENU Clicking on this button gives time & Date as the only options.
    Main page shows: Devices A : Floppy none. Primary Master ST960813A HDD : Secondary master DVD/CD No options to change anything:

    ADVANCE MENU: Clicking on the USB Mass Boot gives an option to tick, which I assume is to enable or disable. This plus shared memory are the only other features on this menu with no options to change.

    SECURITY: Passwords & hard Disk Boot Sector Protection is here with the option to change passwords or tick to enable/disable HDD sector protection.

    BOOT MENU: The usual options to change the boot order. Floppy : CD : HDD : PXE

    It is also difficult to save changes because a light tap on the enter button nothing happens, a firmer tap appears to make the save option change from OK to cancel followed by a quick shutdown.

    F8 is boot order only. I did a MBR check using Hiren's Boot CD with the following results:

    Locical Drives mask: 0x0080000e\\.\ B: --> Error

    Physical Drive 1 at offset 0x00000001 3947600 (NFTS) 55GB

    Win XP MBR code detected Shal1: and then the code. Skows the DVD/CD ok

    I used the installation disc to FixMBR & Fixboot Both declared a successful outcome.However now when I switch the laptop on it goes directly to the boot order menu. I just catch a a very quick look at a bios page which as far as I can tell says "possibly" IDE failure and exiting memory PXE. When switching on and hitting the F2 button it still goes into the Main Bios Menu ok but now having used the Fixmrb & fixboot the HDd drive is showing as disabled and I cant find any options to enable it.
    Again using Hiren's CD & mini XP I clicked on My Computer and no HD drive is showing.

    I have tried re-installing XP & Freespire but both are unable to find the HD Drive.
    Is it possible that Linux left a grub or something on the HDD that is preventing windows from comunnicating with the HDD.
    Should I erase the disc to see if it will re-install windows?

    prior to this the laptop was working perfectly and I had done a check disc using Sentinal and a mem test. All ok. It is carrying XP home only apart from a couple of security app. No personal, files music or anything.

    Would replacing the HDD be an option please. Thanks
     
  2. dai

    dai

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  3. arranskye

    arranskye Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
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    Hi Dai, Thanks for your super fast response. I have managed to progress a little bit since last posting.
    here is where I am at:

    Turned wireless router off to stop PXE trying to boot:
    Finally discovered that highlighting the boot order and pressing enter was not enough. To maintain the integrity of the command it was necessary to use Page up/page down. "Im such a dumbo"
    Anyway PXE no problem anymore and laptop booting from CD ok

    HDD was incorrectly seated. Re-seated it and its now showing correctly in the bios.

    Using Hiren's Boot CD I have checked the HDD 3 times using various utilities including Smart. I did a quick defrag. as well. All tested positive. disk healthy. This was confirmed when I used the windows Installation to do a chkdsk. I also accessed the C: files & programmes.

    I also did the following: MBRfix : Fixboot : C: drive directories location. All correct. Positive results.

    In view of this I think that Boot ini. files are either corrupted or missing. I have spent several hours today reading MS articles to try to find out how to edit the boot files and where to find any that are missing.
    There appears to be a fix but one MS article says it is not suitable for XP home and another article suggests using it. Very confusing, however it may be due to the time difference between the articles. (old/newer)

    Any small step by step instructions to do this would be greatly appreciated.

    Finally common sense dictates that if all else fails I could re-format the HDD and do a clean installation of windows. Would you agree please??
    I would really like the learning experience of following and resolving these problems.

    Thanks for your help, time and interest. its very much appreciated. PS Running XP Home
    cheers
     
  4. dai

    dai

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  5. arranskye

    arranskye Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
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    Brilliant Dai. worked like a charm. laptop booting correctly from HDD. Wow what a smashing little device. downloaded to flash drive to keep.

    you're an absolute star. thanks +++++++++
     
  6. dai

    dai

    Joined:
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    glad you have it sorted
     
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