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Unread 13 Dec 2005, 01:09   #1
G.K Zhukov
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Problems with boot sector

I got two harddrives. One IDE (lets call it disk A) and one SATA (lets call it disk B).

Disk A is about to die.
all info on disk A who is needed, is moved over to disk B.

I installed winxp on disk B. However, there is something wrong. I get "unvalid partition table" when I try to boot up with disk B.

So now I boot up with disk A, and it starts winxp from disk B.
Yes, its weird.

Disk B got 3 partitions.

Two primarys, one at 95GB and one at 7.2MB (the last one was clearly a mistake), and one logical of 95GB.

I need to get disk B to boot up by itself, as Disk A is likely to die any minute now.

Please help, you techie geniouses!
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Unread 13 Dec 2005, 03:10   #2
Ramihyn
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Re: Problems with boot sector

If you have installed WinXP on the second HD while having another installed WinXP on the first one - or if you even just booted with two visible WinXP installations, you _may_ have created a dependancy of the new installation towards the old one. For example WinXP tries to be "clever" and detects existing system partitions to use data like swapfile/area from there. Even if the bootup on Disk B now works - disconnecting disk A may then result in problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G.K Zhukov
Disk B got 3 partitions.

Two primarys, one at 95GB and one at 7.2MB (the last one was clearly a mistake), and one logical of 95GB.
It is crucial to have exact data to try remote diagnosing harddisk/bootup problems. Your problem could be that the MBR of disk B simply doesnt contain a valid loader even though the error message you mentioned says something different.

Use a decent tool to collect all information about your hard disk controller and partitioning info and post it here. PartitionMagic had one or you could try this: http://www.autem.de/download/devinfo.exe which needs to be run from a dos bootdisk. They may not help in case you have the MBR loader problem though.
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Unread 13 Dec 2005, 14:41   #3
meglamaniac
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Re: Problems with boot sector

Disconnect Disk A.
Boot off the XP CD.
When you get to the welcome screen of the installer, chose the "Press R to repair option".
Log on.
type:
fixboot
fixmbr
exit

Things should now be happy - however you (probably) will NOT be able to boot from Disk A.
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Unread 13 Dec 2005, 15:33   #4
Ramihyn
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Re: Problems with boot sector

Whenever somebody advises people to use the WinXP Repair Option, i feel obliged to mention that it has screwed up quite a lot people royally. Even Microsoft in their knowledgebase warns about that.
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Unread 13 Dec 2005, 15:39   #5
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Re: Problems with boot sector

Please note:
I am not talking about the "Repair Install".
I am talking about the Recovery Console (that is what pressing R gets you to).

Repair install attempts to "reset" XP while maintaining the registry so that all your settings/email/programs still work.

The Recovery Console boots a basic, console access only version of XP off the CD and then provides a logon to your installed version (again still at the console).
It allows access to admin tools such as fsutil, chkdsk, and of course fixboot and fixmbr. It also allows for limited file copy access (which may be extended by changing the local security policy).

Where I am going with this is that if using the Recovery Console screws up your install, it's because you did something you shouldn't - not because microsoft ballsed it up.


[edit]
As it's an SATA harddisk you did remember to supply the drivers when prompted during the installer right? The bit at the start when it says something along the lines of "Press F6 now if you need to use any third party RAID or storage device drivers". If not, you will need your drivers on a floppy disk as it can only read them from the floppy for some unknown reason.

Just to confuse matters, it will work with some SATA controllers (including the nVidia one on my nForce4 based board) without additional drivers, so you don't necessarily need them.
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Unread 14 Dec 2005, 04:25   #6
G.K Zhukov
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Re: Problems with boot sector

Thanks, I will try the recovery console.

and if disk A boots or not, thats totally irrelevent. Its already jammed a few times so
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<Germania>but you called Fury a bully, and that is terribly unfair
<Hicks>Occassionally individuals do things without Executive consent
<Dreadnought>You cant whois on Eclipse server without a registered nic, which mr ****stirrer doesnt have.
<Almeida> well i like to grow fat myself too, and when i have enough ships then i can engage in big battles
<Nantoz> Zhukov for Lord Protector!
<Jakiri> (Windows)XP was fine on release
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Unread 14 Dec 2005, 10:46   #7
Ramihyn
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Re: Problems with boot sector

Quote:
Originally Posted by meglamaniac
Please note:
I am not talking about the "Repair Install".
I am talking about the Recovery Console (that is what pressing R gets you to).
My mistake - the moment i read "Repair" i panicked and posted even though it was clear by the rest of your posting that you meant the recovery console.

The recovery console is less evil, but for example "fixboot" is pretty buggy if you use it with fat16 or fat32. I remember that "fixboot" created a fat16 bootsector on my 16 gig fat32 partition once even though 16gig FAT16 is impossible, the partition ID in the MBR clearly said FAT32, the fat structure, root directory and backup boot sector clearly said FAT32 too. Microsoft has a tradition of having very buggy repair tools regarding partitions or filesystems and in general they only seem to work if you use the default selections of their latest OS.

I dont know if "fixmbr" has problems too, but since i found any microsoft bootloader utterly inferior to any other (like grub or the many commercial ones) and since "fdisk /mbr" does its job nicely - i never really needed it.
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Unread 14 Dec 2005, 15:06   #8
meglamaniac
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Re: Problems with boot sector

fixmbr is the replacement for fdisk /fixmbr.
Windows XP does not have fdisk - it has fsutil which is altogether more powerful (and somewhat more complicated to use).
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Unread 7 Jan 2006, 23:41   #9
G.K Zhukov
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Re: Problems with boot sector

That just didnt make it, meglamaniac.

Somehow nothing has changed. Partition table still unvalid.
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<Germania>but you called Fury a bully, and that is terribly unfair
<Hicks>Occassionally individuals do things without Executive consent
<Dreadnought>You cant whois on Eclipse server without a registered nic, which mr ****stirrer doesnt have.
<Almeida> well i like to grow fat myself too, and when i have enough ships then i can engage in big battles
<Nantoz> Zhukov for Lord Protector!
<Jakiri> (Windows)XP was fine on release
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