weird boot configuration- can I fix?

By uglytobone
Sep 4, 2005
  1. I have 2 harddrives on my system a 40g and a 160g. I recently reformatted the smaller drive and installed XP on it, but already had XP on the larger drive. The computer will now only boot properly if both of these drives are connected. It seems the larger drive is the boot drive but the smaller drive runs XP. When I try running XP from the larger drive, XP tries to reinstall.

    A separate but related problem: I tried to format another drive recently and was unable to do so because I couldn't boot independently from one of the older drives. I know I can format it by hooking it up by itself, which I will probably end up doing.

    I created a windows xp boot disk, hoping that would work, but when I use the boot disk none of my hard drives are accessible even though they are recognized by bios.

    I would like to make the smaller drive my boot and XP drive without doing anything drastic at this point. In the end I may need to reformat it without the larger drive connected-- which I think should work-- but would rather try other options first.

    Any ideas? And why doesn't the boot disk recognize my harddrives?

  2. tdeg

    tdeg TS Rookie Posts: 119

    Sounds like your page file has relocated from your boot disk to your other disk.

    Connect both drives and boot to windows.

    Right click on My Computer and select properties.

    Then click on the advance tab. Click on the settings button beside performance and then click on the advanced tab there. Beside virtual memory hit change.

    (What a process eh?)

    Make sure in the window the only drive that has a page file is your boot drive.


    Now this might now be what your problem is, but it is something that has burned me with multiple drives and then I removed one.
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Nothing to do with pagefile.
    The MBR on the large disk is where your PC boots from.
    Check that the bootsequence in BIOS is (floppy-)CD-smallHD-largeHD
    Make also sure the small HD = Master and the large HD = Slave
    You need to make sure that ntldr, and boot.ini are in the first partition on the small HD (C-drive?).
    Then do a repair (as described in the Read: How to... in the Windows forum and do fixboot and fixmbr.
  4. uglytobone

    uglytobone TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, this worked.:)
  5. tdeg

    tdeg TS Rookie Posts: 119

    Your right...

    (hides face with shame for not reading post carefully)
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