Big Problems Please Help !!!!!!!

By Optiv ยท 34 replies
Feb 25, 2005
  1. Hey everyone, i have a huge problem,

    I was upgrading my g/f computer from ME to XP professional, when half way through the install the computer restarted and now it won't even boot up,

    I turn on the pc and it won't recognise or boot off any of the drives, therefore won't activate the keyboard or monitor, so can't even get into a dos menu or anything. the PC now has no operating system at all, well so it seems. I tried to put in the recovery cd's, but because a:/ is not booting it won't do anything.
    I really need some help can somebody please suggest some tricks.

    Please help

  2. CSguy

    CSguy TS Rookie

  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Did you check that your PC can handle XP? It needs quite a bit more hardware than ME.
  4. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    Not sure if it's a typo but you want to set the boot order to the cd-rom drive not the a:/ drive, to boot from the recovery disks. If the PC won't post you need to clear the cmos (reset the bios). Should be a jumper for that, you do it with the power OFF.
  5. Optiv

    Optiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanx, would you be able to explain a little more in regards to reseting the bios?... i have the hhd in front of me but not to sure wear to place the jumper/s.
  6. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    To reset the bios you move a jumper on the motherboard. The motherboard manual should tell you where it is. You move it over for a few seconds and then move it back. Make sure the power is off and unplug the power cord. If you can't find the jumper you can pull the motherboard battery out for 5 or 10 minutes. This will reset the bios back to the failsafe default settings. If it still won't post after doing this post back and we'll go from there.
  7. Optiv

    Optiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok i've got the Pc to boot - !!! :)

    Progress every so slowly :)

    - now when i put in the compaq recovery cd - it brings up the quick restore intro and then hangs - can't do anything after that but restart !! !

    Any ideas from here on in ??


  8. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    Welcome To Techspot

    Please post a few more computer specs .. If i am following you correct you have or had ME installed? and try to place on xp is this correct? You also have a Compaq how fun and the recovery disk will not do anything?? You more than likely messed up the MBR on the harddrive there are ways around this let us know..
  9. Optiv

    Optiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes, have had windows M.E originally and tried to do a fresh install of XP.

    When installing Xp, after partition of the drive, it restarted and said couldn't find such and such partition. I'm thinking that this PC can't handle Xp.

    After having problems with the computer not booting up after this install, i managed to get it to boot, i put the recovery cd in and it loads up to the intro screen then stops and i can't do anything but restart.

    Don't know where to go from here, or if it can be fixed! - i'm not worried about getting XP to run, i just want to re-install the original OS. (M.E).

    Hope this helps.

  10. hiren

    hiren TS Rookie


    In the bios, set first boot device as CD-ROM. Then place an xp cd and restart ur comp. It will start with home page of installation of xp. Because, XP cd itself is a bootable cd. Later u can install the xp, and have the system working.

    Just try out...and send the updates in current thread.

  11. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    It's possible that in your attempt to install XP that the hard drive may have been formated in NTFS. ME wants FAT 32 so maybe that is what is messing you up at this point. If you boot up with an ME or windows 98 boot floppy you can use fdisk to delete the NTFS partition. If you don't have a boot floppy you can get on at If it is NTFS you will need to use the delete non dos partition option in fdisk. Once you delete it you can then create a new one and format it in fat 32. If the master boot record is messed up fdisk /MBR should fix it.
  12. Optiv

    Optiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, i managed to get into the menu fdisk with my boot disk.

    i deleted the partition, and created a new. I DON"T THINK i did it right -

    which one do i make the new partition? and most of all how do i make it FAT32????... because when i created one to see if i would work, it still wouldn't recognise the drive as FAT32?....

    I then tried to boot the cd from dos prompt but didn't work, maybe because the hard disk hasn't be written to???......

    What to i do and how do i do it? if anyone has the time to explain !!

    Thanks for your help so far

  13. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    How to use fdisk and partition your drive.
    Formating the drive is what determines the file system. Fdisk only partitions it.
    You need at least one primary dos partition and it needs to be the active partition. If there is more than one partition you will also have one extended dos partition containing the logical dos drives. The more partitions on the drive the more logical dos drives you will have. After you setup your partitions you use the format utility to format the drive. If it's a windows 98 boot-floppy it has the format utility and will format in fat 32 by default. Just type format C: from the dos prompt A:\.
  14. Optiv

    Optiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, got all that sorted,

    Created a primary partition and formated c:/ - still can't get the restore cd to boot.????

    any ideas guys??
  15. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    Ok, that would be the the Compaq ME restore CD?
    What happens exactly?
    You say you can't boot from the CD, is the cd-rom set as the first boot device?
    You may have to also hit the any key when prompted during the post to boot from the cd-rom.
  16. Optiv

    Optiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, C: is formated in FAT32 and set as the active partition.

    I can then boot of the startup disk into dos prompt,. From their it loads my cd drives D: and E:, i can't run the cd at all if a command it from dos prompt. it displays this message.

    CDR101: Not ready reading drive E
    Abort, Retry, Fail?

    ??????????????? don't know what t do
  17. Optiv

    Optiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    When i start the computer up without the startup disk, it still hangs and all i have is the little cursor in the top left blinking at me.
  18. terabyte47

    terabyte47 TS Rookie


    Another thing you can do is shutdown your pc. open it turn of mainboard
    make sure it is connected to the central proccesing unit connect the jumper to the HDD and CPU to ram to make data flow more accuratly.
  19. dopefisher

    dopefisher TS Rookie Posts: 444

    try messing around with the options more on the restore disk. tell us exactly what options there are here.
  20. Optiv

    Optiv TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Can't get into any menu's on the recovery disk, it hangs.

    I tried to install XP again after formating C: in FAT32 manually through dos prompt.

    The first part of the installation worked, but when prompted to restart the pc, it comes up with this

    Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)
    NTLDR: Couldn't open drive multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)

    What the hell does that mean

    I'm soooo stuck can't get anything installed
  21. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313


    1. Computer is booting from a non-bootable source.
    2. Computer hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS.
    3. Corrupt NTLDR and/or NTDETECT.COM file.
    4. Misconfiguration with the boot.ini file.
    5. Attempting to upgrade from a Windows 95, 98, or ME computer that is using FAT32.
    6. New hard disk drive being added.
    7. Corrupt boot sector / master boot record.
    8. Seriously corrupted version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
    9. Loose or Faulty IDE/EIDE hard disk drive cable


    Computer is booting from a non-bootable source

    Many times this error is caused when the computer is attempting to boot from a non-bootable floppy disk or CD-ROM. First verify that no floppy diskette is in the computer, unless you are attempting to boot from a diskette.

    If you are attempting to boot from a floppy diskette and are receiving this error message it is likely that the diskette does not have all the necessary files and/or is corrupt.

    If you are attempting to install Windows XP or Windows 2000 and are receiving this error message as the computer is booting verify that your computer BIOS has the proper boot settings. For example, if you are attempting to run the install from the CD-ROM make sure the CD-ROM is the first boot device, and not the hard disk drive. Second, when the computer is booting you should receive the below prompt.

    Press any key to boot from the CD

    When you see this message press any key such as the Enter key immediately, otherwise it will try booting from the hard drive and likely get the NTLDR error again.

    Note: If you are not receiving the above message and your BIOS boot options are set properly it's also possible that your CD-ROM drive may not be booting from the CD-ROM properly. Verify the jumpers are set properly on the CD-ROM drive. Additional information about checking the CD-ROM drive connections can be found on document CH000213.

    Computer hard disk drive is not properly setup in BIOS.

    Verify that your computer hard disk drive is properly setup in the BIOS / CMOS setup. Improper settings can cause this error. Additional information on how to enter the BIOS / CMOS setup can be found in document CH000192.

    Corrupt NTLDR and/or NTDETECT.COM file

    Windows 2000 users
    Windows XP users

    Windows 2000 users

    If your computer is using Microsoft Windows 2000 and you are encountering the NTLDR error. Create the below boot.ini file on the floppy diskette drive.

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

    Copy the NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM files from another computer using the same Operating System. Both of these files are located in the root directory of the primary hard disk drive. For example C:\NTLDR and C:\NTDETECT.COM should be the locations of these files on many computers.

    * Please keep in mind that these files are hidden system files, if you need additional help with viewing hidden files in Windows please see document CH000516.

    Once these files have been copied to a floppy diskette reboot the computer and copy the NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM files to the root directory of the primary hard disk drive. Below is an example of what commonly should be performed from the A:\> drive.

    copy ntldr c:
    copy c:

    After the above two files have been copied, remove the floppy diskette and reboot the computer.

    Windows XP users

    1. Insert the Windows XP bootable CD into the computer.
    2. When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key.
    3. Once in the Windows XP setup menu press the "R" key to repair Windows.
    4. Log into your Windows installation by pressing the "1" key and pressing enter.
    5. You will then be prompted for your administrator password, enter that password.
    6. Copy the below two files to the root directory of the primary hard disk. In the below example we are copying these files from the CD-ROM drive letter "E". This letter may be different on your computer.

    copy e:\i386\ntldr c:\
    copy c:\

    7. Once both of these files have been successfully copied, remove the CD from the computer and reboot.

    Misconfiguration with the boot.ini file

    Edit the boot.ini on the root directory of the hard disk drive and verify that it is pointing to the correct location of your Windows Operating System and that the partitions are properly defined. Additional information about the boot.ini can be found on document CH000492.

    Attempting to upgrade from a Windows 95, 98, or ME computer that is using FAT32

    If you are getting this error message while you are attempting to upgrade to Windows 2000 or Windows XP from Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows ME running FAT32 please try the following recommendations.

    1. Boot the computer with a Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows ME bootable diskette.
    2. At the A:\> prompt type:

    sys c: <press enter>

    3. After pressing enter you should receive the "System Transferred" message. Once this has been completed remove the floppy diskette and reboot the computer.

    New hard disk drive being added

    If you are attempting to add a new hard disk drive to the computer make sure that drive is a blank drive. Adding a new hard disk drive to a computer that already has Windows installed on it may cause the NTLDR error to occur.

    If you are unsure if the new drive is blank or not try booting from a bootable diskette and format the new hard disk drive.

    Corrupt boot sector / master boot record.

    It's possible your computers hard disk drive may have a corrupt boot sector and/or master boot record. These can be repaired through the Microsoft Windows Recovery console by running the fixboot and fixmbr commands.

    Additional information and help in getting into the Microsoft Windows Recovery console can be found on document CH000627.

    Seriously corrupted version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP

    If you have tried each of the above recommendations that apply to your situation and you continue to experience this issue it is possible you may have a seriously corrupted version of Microsoft Windows. Therefore we would recommend you reinstall Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

    If you are encountering this issue during your setup you may wish to completely erase your computer hard disk drive and all of its existing data and then install Microsoft Windows 2000 / Windows XP. Additional information about erasing the computer and starting over can be found on document CH000186.

    Loose or Faulty IDE/EIDE hard disk drive cable

    This issue has been known to be caused by a loose or fault IDE/EIDE cable. If the above recommendation does not resolve your issue and your computer hard disk drive is using a IDE or EIDE interface. Verify the computer hard disk drive cable is firmly connected by disconnected and reconnecting the cable.

    If the issue continues it is also a possibility that the computer has a faulty cable, try replacing the hard disk drive cable with another cable and/or a new cable.
  22. danw

    danw TS Rookie

    go in and reconfigure the boot process of the pc to boot up the cd drive first. you will need the windows cd in the drive for this to work, obviously, then start pc
  23. hondablaster

    hondablaster TS Rookie Posts: 22

    I use to use a compaq.

    Take out your HDD. Set it to master take it off the cable select or whatever they got it on. (assuming you didint do this at all) (but if you set it to master set it back to cable select) Its one way or the other. I set one HDD to primary master, and the CD-ROM To Secondary master. And i got that error. But when i put the drives back to the way the thing came from compaq. (cable select) It installed fine. Its funny because i struggled for hours try to figure it out myself. I hope this give some insight. Lates.

    And on another compaq i had to set it to master HDD and Sec Master CD-ROM for it to find my XP disk.

    If you dont know what a jumper is when you take out the HDD look at the back there should be a plastic square. With marking PRI SLA CAB

    Primary, Slave, Cable Select.

    Your CD-Rom will also say the same. If you got 2 CD drives going ONLY USE ONE FOR THE INSTALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Unplug the one your not using. (both power and Ribbon) Make sure the HDD has its own ribbon and the CD-ROM has its own ribbon. And try again.

    Good luck!!!
  24. hondablaster

    hondablaster TS Rookie Posts: 22

    I cant remember specifically if the HDD should be master or cable select. But im 100% confident that is your problem.

    Just try to self the HDD to master.

    Then try to set your CD-ROM to Sec Master.

    They are pins in the back of these drives.

    One last thing. Your compaq CD will no longer work because you deleted the necessary files that are hiding on HDD.(on most likley the D partition) To bring it back to life. You will need to call Compaq and order a complete install CD. If you want to use the compaq disk again. (its half CD, and Half HDD files on older compaq) its stupid that these companies do this. I had to order one myself. 4 years ago.
  25. vincejose

    vincejose TS Rookie

    HI guys. Thanks for info, hope Optiv got his problem solved. I have a similar issue. I got the same error message while trying to upgrade my Dad's Presario 5240 to XP. I want to do a clean install so I formatted and partitioned the HDD (NTFS file system) and went to install XP but I got stuck. I got that couldn't open drive bla bla bla error message and then I found this forum.

    Since then, I've tried every combination of jumper settings and EIDE inputs on the motherboard and I either get an error message about disk control and then a hang on boot or the "couldn't open drive..." message. I have no problem booting from the XP CD but after I start the install and teh HDD takes over, I get nothing. Any ideas?
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