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Solved: Old C drive might die any moment, will it affect booting winxp on D drive?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by jochen, Apr 3, 2008.

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  1. jochen

    jochen Thread Starter

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    My computer is old (but I love it). And recently I hear funny clicking noises from my C drive and it cannot always be accessed. I have win2k installed on drive C and winxp on another physical hard drive D. I am using only winxp on D.

    If tomorrow my C drive is dead, will I still be able to boot xp on drive D? I read that the boot file is always on C. So if that is a problem, how can I fix it before C dies?
     
  2. Jack Hackett

    Jack Hackett

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
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    Copy the BOOT.INI, NTLDR, and NTDETECT from the root directory of your PC's boot drive, ie C: to the D: drive
    Then edit your boot.ini file accordingly deleting the references to win2k
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    51,988
    Disconnect the 2k drive. Connect your XP drive to primary/master. Try to boot. If you can't, boot from the XP CD, log into the Recovery Console, and run fixboot, fixmbr, and bootconfig /rebuild to rebuild the MBR on your new boot drive.
     
  4. jochen

    jochen Thread Starter

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
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    Thank you for your help. I tried Jack's approach first copying the files and deleting NTLDR on the old drive, but the computer would fail to boot. This is the original BOOT.INI file:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=5
    default=signature(6ad9fa0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    signature(6ad9fa0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

    ...which I changed to:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=20
    default=signature(6ad9fa0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    signature(6ad9fa0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

    ...and in a second trial changing the disk numbers:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=20
    default=signature(6ad9fa0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    signature(6ad9fa0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

    I was able to restore the original again with the recovery console. Then I tried what Elvandil wrote, but I got scared when I got the message below after starting FIXMBR, and I canceled:

    "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible."

    I would prefer not having to backup all my files on the D drive. Now I am back where I started. (If you re-assure me that I won't lose all my files, I will do it. Drive D has not been split into several partitions.)
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    OK. So what exactly is on that drive that may be "non-standard"? Do you have a recovery partition?

    What do you see when you type:

    map

    in the Recovery Console?
     
  6. jochen

    jochen Thread Starter

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
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    MAP shows:
    ? 0MB \ DEVICE \ HARDDISK 0 \ PARTITION 0
    c:NTFS 19085MB \ DEVICE \ HARDDISK 0 \ PARTITION 1
    ? 8MB \ DEVICE \ HARDDISK 0 \ PARTITION 0
    ? 0MB \ DEVICE \ HARDDISK 1 \ PARTITION 0
    D:NTFS 114471MB \ DEVICE \ HARDDISK 1 \ PARTITION 1
    A: 0MB \ DEVICE \ FLOPPY 0
    E: 0MB \ DEVICE \ CD ROM 0
    F: 0MB \ DEVICE \ CD ROM 1

    Disk Drive D being the one I want to start up from. Nothing special about it. Disk drive D under device manager/volume-tab shows:
    disk 1
    type basic
    partition style mbr
    unallocated space 0
    reserved space 0
    one volume called Documents (D:)

    Initially I just placed all my documents on D, later I installed WinXP on there as an alternative operating system.
     
  7. Jack Hackett

    Jack Hackett

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    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,938
    Have you also changed the Boot order in the BIOS so that it boots from the drive with XP installed on it 1st?
     
  8. jochen

    jochen Thread Starter

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
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    I did check the boot sequence, but only floppy, cd and drive c: are available. The other disk drive d: is not listed as an option.
     
  9. Jack Hackett

    Jack Hackett

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
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    IDE0 available, or whatever IDE channel you have the drive on?
    or
    Have you tried re-jumpering and fitting the drive as Primary Master, as I assume it was fitted as a slave previously judging by your original boot.ini file
     
  10. jochen

    jochen Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Quite honestly, with selecting the right connector from my hard disk cable (there are two) and setting the jumper right, I do not really know what I am doing. I only compared the jumpers on my D: disk with the one on my C: disk and found that they are in the same place (also same manufacturer). And I tried both connectors. (I was also looking for anything that says master and slave on the cable but could not find it.)

    IDEO, IDE channel: sorry, never heard.
     
  11. jochen

    jochen Thread Starter

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    I just dug out the installation instructions for the second hard drive. Now I remember what IDE means. I have both disks on "cable select". I also know now that I need to connect the black plug if I only connect one disk drive. Should I try "single" instead of "cable select"?
     
  12. Jack Hackett

    Jack Hackett

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
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    I meant to put IDE1 (typo on my part)
    If both drives look as they are jumpered the same It seems they are jumpered for Cable Select - CS

    As for the cable - the middle connector is Slave (Grey in colour) the end connector is Master (Black in colour). the Blue one being the motherboard connector.

    IDE channels are numbered
    IDE0 (zero), IDE1 are your primary channels, 0=Master, 1=Slave
    IDE2, IDE3 are you secondary channels (most users use these for their CD Drives) 2=Master 3=Slave

    The drive you have now, with XP on it, set it's jumper to Master and connect it to the end Black connector on the IDE cable, plugged into your Primary IDE connector on the motherboard.
     
  13. jochen

    jochen Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
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    I think I got the hardware right. I only connected the second disk drive as master with single jumper setting. I can access the directories from the recovery console, which means the disk is present. But I always get "ERROR LOADING OS" at startup. And I still get the warning if I try to run FIXMBR. I tried 3 BOOT.INI versions:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=20
    default=signature(6ad9fa0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    signature(6ad9fa0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

    [boot loader]
    timeout=20
    default=signature(6ad9fa0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    signature(6ad9fa0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

    [boot loader]
    timeout=20
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
     
  14. Wanderer2

    Wanderer2

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,428
    Seems everyone forgot about registry entries in the OS.

    "If tomorrow my C drive is dead, will I still be able to boot xp on drive D?"

    No you won't be able to boot xp. Coping ntldr, ntdetect and boot.ini won't make a difference. Neither will coping the master boot record. You still won't be able to mount the OS.

    Why?

    Because when xp was installed it put pointers in the registry to d: pagefile.sys and d:\ windows, etc not c: which is what would happen if you try to make the drive the boot drive.

    Solution?

    Configure the drive for c: and then boot up on the xp cd via the bios. Install will begin. Add any called for disk drivers and when presented with new install or repair existing choose repair. This will update the registry entries and the system will boot. Since this is a repair and not a new install your data and apps will still be there. Though you may need to reinstall the apps since the OS repair will not change those registry entries.

    Remember that you are install defaults so you will need to redo all of your updates.
     
  15. jochen

    jochen Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
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    That sounds plausible. It's always the [email protected]#$! registry, which causes all the trouble.
    But if that is the case I will just leave it alone and wait until the old drive completely dies. Then it's time for a new computer and I just transfer my D-drive for the documents. I just find it depressing that these things only last for the blink of an eye before they turn into toxic garbage.

    But one last question: If the clicking hard drive were because of a virus, or bad sector, or fragmentation but not physical. Would it make sense to save the NTLDR, NTDETECT and BOOT.INI, then format drive C and then copy the three files back to a clean C:? Is that all that is required on drive C: to start up WinXP on D:?
     
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