XP re-install problems

By sripeter
Aug 28, 2008
  1. Can anyone help me please. I have a desktop pc with 3 hard drives (c-drive and two backups) and recently noticed that a 'Windows' folder appeared on one of the secondary drives when I re-installed Windows XP Pro (different Windows files are present on each drive, no duplicates appear to be in place).

    When I temporarily disconnect this secondary hard drive, leaving only the C-drive in operation, Windows starts up, but fails to complete, and I am only able to complete a new Windows opening session again by re-connecting this secondary drive, so I'm guessing that somehow my copy of Windows is now spread over two hard drives.

    I've tried to re-install Windows again after changing the BIOS settings to enable the CD ROM drive to be the first priority device (followed by the hard drive), but although the 'Boot from CD' and 'press any key to boot from CD' messages appear during Start up, the keyboard is unresponsive during this process (it works ok when Windows has fully opened up and I open Word, Excel etc) and Windows opens up as usual without my having to hit any keys. Consequently I am unable to re-install Windows outside of the Windows program as the Install CD is ignored during Start up (the ROM drives whirls away during the Start up process though).

    Finally, I reformatted my third drive, disconnected the other two and tried to install XP on this drive, but get an 'ntldr file missing' error message so am unable to install XP on this blank hard drive.
  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    OK - you say you had C:, D: and E: drives and Windows on C:.

    Then you 'reinstalled ' and somehow Windows is on D:.

    Then, you try to install Windows on E:!


    So, you discnnect 2 drives, make sure boot order is floppy, cd, hd, then insert the install disk and delete partitions and reinstall.

    Then, you connect 2nd drive, boot to Bios, make sure the second drive IS NOT selected as a boot device, then boot.

    The, in Disk Manager, cream that drive.

    Likewise the third drive.
  3. sripeter

    sripeter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Windows XP problem

    Hi, thanks for responding to my plea for help. I did as you advised, namely disconnected drives 2 & 3 and (in BIOS) made sure the boot order was floppy, cd, hd, then inserted the Windows install cd. Again I got the 'boot from CD' and 'press any key to boot from CD' messages, and again Windows opened up as usual without my having to hit any key, and without giving me an option to install Windows, ie the usual Windows program starts to open. As the drive with some Windows files present has been disconnected, as previous, Windows hangs during the opening sequence, so I am left with the mainly blue screen (not the blue screen of death) containing the microsoft Windows XP logo.

    I recall that my current problems started when I upgraded the BIOS on my computer. I got a message during that upgrade stating that the 'cmos' had been cleared, but I don't know what those setting were now so am unable to re-enter them. I'm wondering if this is causing the Windows installation problems.
  4. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Well, you are certainly in a Fine Mess aren't you!

    It appears your comp and Bios Want to boot from CD but won't - I suspect either the CD is dirty or screwed.

    Can you borrow another same version to test?
  5. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    u might try cleaning the DVD with alcohol and a clean cotton ball. I had the same problem, went through thinking it was the DVD player and after trying 3 cleaned the DVD and got it to work.
  6. sripeter

    sripeter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    XP Install problems

    I've tried using an alternative XP install disc and got the same result. I'm pretty sure the problem is as a result of my recent BIOS update and not a dirty DVD/CD player, so maybe I need to contact Abit and seek their advice re: basic BIOS settings.
  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    If the ABit Bios flash utility allowed you to make a backup of the 'Old' Bios and you did, you could try a re-flash to that.

    If their site lists older Bios's, you could try a re-flash that way also.

  8. sripeter

    sripeter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    XP Install Problems

    Yes it did. I'll find it and try to re-install the earlier BIOS version.
  9. sripeter

    sripeter TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think I found the problem with my desktop. When I disconnected my c-drive and opened up my d-drive only (I also disconnected my e-drive, but this was a backup drive only), I was able to re-install XP.

    I'm guessing that when I recently re-installed XP I must have inadvertently directed it to install on the d-drive. As my c-drive isn't SATA, I have it set up as the master, so I'm guessing that when I had the c and d-drives connected, there was a conflict between what was on the master c-drive, and what was loaded onto the SATA d-drive. Does this make any sense. Either way, I've managed to re-install XP on my d-drive and will re-connect my c-drive after making it a slave, then blitz the old XP version, ie format it.

    Thanks to all who gave input into my XP problem.
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