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WinXP Pro, bad boot disk?, weird DOS screen?, what can it all mean?

By self.taught
May 27, 2006
  1. Software: Windows XP Pro
    Processor: AMD Sempron 2600+
    Motherboard: ASUS A8N AI Series
    CD/DVD Drive: Lite-onCombo Ltc
    Hard Drives (3): 20GB Western Digital that came with the system when it was given to me, 80GB WD that I later bought, and a 120GB Seagate that I scavenged.
    I had the bright idea of running my system on my 20GB HD, because I don't do any graphics-intensive gaming or anything like that, but I do watch tons of movies. In order to maximize my movies, and other files, and to try my best to keep all of the files that I have, I wanted to run Windows on the small drive, and use the other two as storage. Movies take up a lot of space, but media players take up relatively little, comparitively speaking. That was my reasoning at the outset of this little adventure. First, I had to take the small drive out of storage, dust it off, and reformat it. No big deal, becasue I was running the OS on the big drive.
    To make sure that I had everything lined out, I decided to zero-fill my small drive, and start out completely clean. So I made a maintenance floppy from the file that I got from the WD website, and I zero'd it out. Meanwhile, I combined all of my music and vids onto the large drive, so that I could next zero-out the 80GB drive, also to start with a clean disk, and reduce the chance of a corruption down the line.
    Then next step was SUPPOSED to be relatively simple. Install WinXP Pro on the small disk, copy all of the files BACK to the 80GB, then zero-out the 120GB, and then have all of this nice clean space in which to stuff as much inappropriate stuff as I could find on the net. Time consuming, yes, but still supposed to be easy.
    I tried to install as usual, but I was greeted by a DOS screen that says CalderaDOS, and it runs too fast for me to see much else. I know that it detects all of my drives, then it sits and just BLINKS at me, as though I know how to write 25 year old DOS. I did my best, ran a directory check on the E drive where the cd was, got a list of commands/files, and I tried to make it run manually. No dice.
    Now I'm stuck at this blinking screen, and I haven't the foggiest what to do from here.
    It makes me glad that I took my time, and didn't just erase all of the disks, and hope for the best.
    I have been running my system on the 120GB as a Master and the 80GB as a Slave for over a year, so I know that there is no compatibility issue that could cause my problem. I just need to know how to get windows to boot like it should. There is no visible damage to the boot disk. Any suggestions? anyone?
     
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    First of all why are you even bothering with boot disks? there is a reason that XP does not ship with them, they are not needed. you can partition format and install by booting from the XP cd.
     
  3. self.taught

    self.taught TS Rookie Topic Starter

    forgive me, I misspoke, I am using a regular Windows XP CD, and the cd drive is not reading/recognising the CD. I have looked, and there is no damage to the disk.
     
  4. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    have you tried another drive as a reader? I have had a few installs fail because the drive was defective, even though it had been working fine prior to trying to install windows. might also want to run a diagnostic on the hard drive a 20GB is probably fairly old.
     
  5. self.taught

    self.taught TS Rookie Topic Starter

    all drives are in fine working order, after running windoctor, disk doctor, chkdsk, and then reinstalling them all, and looking under device manager. Can anyone tell what in the world calderaDOS is?
     
  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

  7. self.taught

    self.taught TS Rookie Topic Starter

    it's a copy that I made myself, from a legitimate copy of windows, that I bought, copied with Nero. I figured I have every right to back up something that belongs to me, as I paid for it.
     
  8. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Even MS allows you to make a back up copy of windows as long as you have a legit copy. But I have never seen a retail version or copy boot into caldera DOS. how exactly did you make this copy?
     
  9. self.taught

    self.taught TS Rookie Topic Starter

    copied it with Nero, which, as I understand, uses caldera DOS as it's root, or whatever it should be called
     
  10. self.taught

    self.taught TS Rookie Topic Starter

    and since I copied it with Nero, I have been told, that is why it's coming up with caldera DOS
     
  11. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    si instead of just a straight copy disc burn you tried burning it by using the make Bootable disc function? you should have done just a straight forward copy disk. I would suggest you use the original disk to do the install.
     
  12. self.taught

    self.taught TS Rookie Topic Starter

    original disk got damaged when my 5 year old thought it was a shiny frisbee. while that was menacing enough, it was nothing compared to what my wife thought of the hand blown very delicate wind chime that was destroyed when said frisbee flew into it at about 30mph. amazing how plastic can change direction in the air so abruptly. as to the disk, i copied it like I assumed it should be copied. I had tried to burn executables onto a disk before, but all it did was put a program onto a disk, so I started making boot disks.
    Here's the thing: this disk has worked before. a few months ago, I got a virus that made mincemeat out of motherboard, and after installing a new one, I loaded windows after having this same kind of trouble. (Brilliant virus, btw. If you're into that sort of thing, and you are not the recipient of it. It made Norton think that it was supposed to be rewriting everything I had. If my plan to over throw the western world ever comes to fruition, I want the guy that wrote that code in my back pocket) I know that the suggestion came from my wife, and it was something inoccuous that she said off the cuff, and I thought to myself, "hey, it just might work". I loaded it, and it did work. Hell, I'm typing to you on the program now, loaded from this now apparently incorrectly burned disk. But for the life of me and her both, we cannot remember what it was that I did to make it work. So now I have formated the HD using windows, and I will try to load XP onto it. I'll let you know what happens
     
  13. self.taught

    self.taught TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No dice on loading it onto a formatted HD
     
  14. rayvtirx

    rayvtirx TS Rookie

    I realize this thread is 2 years old but ill give my 2pence worth anyway
    I did exactly the same thing ,burned a boot disc instead of a data disc.
    i still managed to install windows xp with it though-I started the disc from inside windows 2000
    and then kept removing the disc every time setup rebooted,then reinserting it to continue setup :) worked fine just a bit of a hastle.
    i was wondering if i could just copy the files from the disc id made and reburn them as a normal data disc?
     
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