Can't boot after formatting HD in Gateway desktop

By roym
May 13, 2006
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  1. I recently bought a Gateway 580 GE desktop. P4 3.2g, 200Gb, 512 M. Windows XP Home. I never liked the disk partitions or the OS and so I formatted the hard disk and set it up with one Primary and two Logical partitions. I set up C: (Prim) 20Gb, D: 80Gb and E: 100Gb. I installed XP Pro and the program worked well but when I shut it down and came to start it again the next day, I got messages about missing ntldr and the computer would not boot. On a couple of occasions it did boot as if nothing was wrong and then it
    would fail again. I copied ntldr and ntdetect.com from my CD to C:. I tried Chkdsk /r, Fixboot C:, fixmbr C: and also Bootcfg /rebuild After the Bootcfg /rebuild, the computer went into cycling - it would boot up to the Windows XP screen and then shut down and start again - over and over. So I then did a new installation of XP Pro on top of the last one after formatting C: with the long format method. The OS installed with no problem and I tried restarting 4 times and everything was perfect.
    When I tried to boot today, I got a message that Windows cannot start because of a computer disk hardware problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. I tried again and this time it told me that Windows root/system 32/Hal.dll and ntoskrnl.exe were
    missing.
    I have tried to set boot priority in the BIOS but in the BIOS there are very few things that I am allowed by the system to change. On the Boot priority issue, all of the drives highlight and I cannot just select one.
    I e-mailed Gateway and they were not wanting to help because I had changed their OS and partitions. They just said to try finding drivers on the internet but they never said which ones.
    Please could somebody give me some help on this issue. I'm just so confused because each install works OK and then all of a sudden these error messages start appearing!
    Many thanks in advance!
  2. A_DOG73

    A_DOG73 Newcomer, in training Posts: 213

    "So I then did a new installation of XP Pro on top of the last one after formatting C: with the long format method."


    Did you wipe the drive completely before the install? You should:

    Get into bios, set the boot sequence to boot to your cd or dvd drive first.

    Have the Windows Pro cd in the drive and reboot.

    Let your computer boot up to the Windows cd

    When you get to setup, it will show your partitions and you want to delete those partitions

    There should be no hard drive space used after that

    You then will have RAW unpartitioned space in which to install Windows Pro.

    You will then set up your partitions the way you want them and choose NTFS

    Follow the Windows Pro setup and you should be good to go!
  3. roym

    roym Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks A DoG73. When I first got the computer and it still had XP Home on it, I did exactly as you just said. There were two partitions, D: about 8 gig as I remember and C: D: was supposed to be for recovery and it was before C:
    So I formatted the whole disk as you are saying and I put XP Pro on C: and made D: and E: that's when the problems set in. So the last time I just formatted the C: partition and reinstalled XP pro and now it diplays the "Win could not start because of disk hardware config prob....
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    You'll need to delete those partitions - all of them, and start fresh.
    Hope this helps. Ensure your copy of XP has SP2 - otherwise it won't recognize partitions above 137GB.
  5. roym

    roym Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks Tedster, I'll give it a go!
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