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Unique problem with Windows XP - removing hard drive that contains boot files only.

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by daveid, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. daveid

    daveid Ancient Guru

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    8600GTS + 7300GT DDR3 / 7600GS
    Unique problem with Windows XP - FIXED

    First, a little overview of my system in question. When Windows was installed there were two IDE drives (disk 0,1) and four SATA drives - one of which contains Windows (3). Anyway, the two IDE drives are failing. I have successfully removed the secondary IDE drive - all that took was modifying my boot.ini. The problem I am having now is when attempting to remove the other IDE drive. The thing is, Windows installed the boot files onto that IDE drive (I guess because it was drive 0). So, I have moved those files over to the SATA drive (which when the IDE is removed is now drive 1). I modified the "new" boot.ini to point to the correct drive, set my boot order and pulled the IDE. Now, when I attempt to boot with that drive, I get the dreaded missing or corrupt Hal.dll error. This leads me to believe that the mbr is corrupt/missing, though I have hesitancy in running a "fixmbr". Currently I am backing up my data, and may attempt the fixmbr after a few more attempts.

    I have ensured there are no disk errors (chkdsk from recovery), I have attempted to run fixboot and bootcfg /rebuild. Fixboot appears to run (no errors) but bootcfg /rebuild prompts that there may be errors with the drive and to run chkdsk which returns no errors.

    Does this sound like a missing/corrupt MBR? If so, why does the drive have the [boot] flag in disk management (also, why doesn't it have the [system] flag, shouldn't it have both)? I am going to attempt the bootcfg /rebuild again, if that does not work I am going to put the IDE back and hope for some advice before proceeding. I would rather not reinstall Windows.

    Thanks for reading and hopefully helping an old Guru out (been a long time since I was here, got all wrapped up in Android and left Guru3d, but I've been around a long time).


    EDIT - GOT IT! I had to delete the old boot.ini before bootcfg /rebuild would work, I'm up now.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011

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