Blue Screen with 2nd Hard Drive (XP)

By Steveor ยท 14 replies
Jan 13, 2009
  1. I have a Dell Dimension 8400, XP service pack 2 with an 80GB hdd as the main OS drive and an extra 17GB I installed to use as a data life boat the last time my computer crashed. The 17GB drive has XP service pack 1 running on it. Anyway, I got a bunch of blue screens soon after XP starts up: Page_Fault_In_Non_Paged_Area, PFN_List_Corrupt, IRLQ_Not_Less_Than_Equal, and a bunch of others I can't remember. They occurred during different times while I tried to diagnose and restore the system.

    When I couldn't get the system fully working I called Dell and after another blue screen during a system restore, the technician stated I'd have to reload the OS. Not wanting to do that immediately I got off the phone and pursued saving my data via my 17GB lifeboat. Unfortunately I couldn't get the 17GB drive working either due to a Hal.dll error. Attempting to reload the dll file to the 17GB drive I think I started to load the OS into the 80GB drive. Not really sure if I was deleting valuable data (kids' photos mostly) I panicked and pulled the plug.

    I later learned the problem was a bad 256mb RAM DIMM stick. I pulled it and now I'm up on the 17GB drive typing away. But I still can't get on the 80GB drive or start the 17GB drive unless I switch off the 80GB drive in the BIOS. When the 80GB drive is on, I get another blue screen with 0x00000024 stating there is a problem with ntfs.sys. By the way I did a bunch of diagnostics on the system and according to all both hard drives are good.

    Also my event viewer has no entry for the blue screen so I'm hoping it is just a matter of fiddling with the hard drive settings. Any suggestions so I can rescue my data (and keep my wife from killing me) would be greatly appreciated.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Your hard drives may be good, but your install needs to be run again in Repair mode, I suspect.
  3. Steveor

    Steveor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The Dell tech and I attempted an OS repair. We went through the boot from CD process but after a few steps it went to blue screen again. I don't exactly recall but I don't believe there was an error message; just a general BSOD.

    In this case what does a pro do to recover data? A local tech offered to help me for $175 but I have more time than money these days.
  4. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    If you boot to Bios, can you set the 80 GB as non-boot?
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You should still be able to read or review the data using that drive as a slave attached to a working drive using a USB connection. Just drag and drop the data you need.
    Then reformat that drive from the same connection
  6. Steveor

    Steveor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I suppose I probably can; I'll check that when I go home tonight. I see from the BIOS on my computer at work, also a Dell, that there is a boot sequence. Not sure what my home computer's sequence is but perhaps that is causing the problem.

    Provided I can't set the 80 GB to non-boot, I see Radio Shack has a kit that will allow me to try this. Brilliant idea!

    Thanks gentlemen, I'll post an update on my progress.
  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    IF you can set the 80GB to NOT boot, it is in effect a 'slave' anyway afaik.

    You should be able to access it from the 17 GB.

    Raybay! Sound right?
  8. Steveor

    Steveor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm unable to separate the drives in the BIOS boot sequence. I have the following options:

    1. Onboard or USB floppy drive (not present)
    2. Onboard SATA Hard Drive
    3. Onboard IDE Hard Drive (not present)
    4. Onboard or USB CD-Rom Drive
    5. Add in Hard Drive (not present)
    6. Add in Hard Drive (not present)

    My drives are listed in the BIOS as follows:

    Drive 0: SATA-0 (17GB HD)
    Drive 1: SATA-1 (empty)
    Drive 2: SATA-2 (80 GB HD)
    Drive 3: SATA-3 (empty)
    Drive 4: PATA-0 (DVD ROM)
    Drive 5: PATA-1 (DVD+RW)

    During the boot up I've always gotten a black screen and a choice of two Windows XP operating systems to boot up. The first option is the OS in the 80GB HD and the second one is the OS in the 17GB HD. Now when I select the first it crashes in any mode. Select the second with the 80GB HD off in BIOS and I can successfully run the computer but obviously can't access the data in the 80GB HD. Select the second with the 80GB HD on in BIOS and the system crashes during boot up in any mode.

    Perhaps a solution to this is to make the 80 GB drive an add in Hard Drive in the BIOS. The problem is I don't know if this is possible or how to do this.
  9. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    I think you are going to have to change the boot.ini file to eliminate the 80 GB drive.

    And, if you cllick on 'Onboard Sata' under boot sequence, does it show both? Can you eliminate the 80 GB there?
  10. Steveor

    Steveor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    After trying that I get the same error.

    Now I'm really bummed. When all this started I could operate the 80GB OS in safe mode until I started opening applications. Now I can't even get into it.

    I ordered an external HD kit but I'm kind of pessimistic at this point. Thanks for your help so far.
  11. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Try this (can't hurt imo).

    Disconnect the 17 GB.

    Try a boot to the 80 GB only.

    Fail? Insert the XP disk and boot to it and try a Repair Install.

    Or, try a Fix MBR;
  12. Steveor

    Steveor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well once I attempted to access the 80GB HD via USB it crashed the system with a 0x00000024: NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM error. Before I attempt another repair install I've attached my minidump file. Perhaps that will provide more insight.
  13. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  14. Steveor

    Steveor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Boy, what an Odyssey this is turning out to be.

    I didn't find anything in the aforementioned thread that would help me or if there was I didn't understand how to execute.

    But I found the following in an old NTFS error thread:

    "The solution was to add the drive to a system that had XP already installed (2000 would also work) but it must be running on a FAT partition. Go into safe mode on that machine and rename ntfs.sys to ntfs.old in the Windows\System\Drivers directory. This will stop ntfs from being enabled, and so stop the drive being mounted.

    Now, shutdown, add your corrupt drive and boot up normally. You can probably see the new drive appear in Explorer to get the drive label (e.g. E Now go to a command prompt and type:

    chkdsk E: /f (or whatever the correct drive number is). Hopefully you'll see the errors being reported and fixed.

    All going well you can then rename ntfs.old to ntfs.sys, and replace the drive in your original PC and get back to work. Take this chance to back up all your data though - if it happened once, it'll probably happen twice.

    You can read more on this here:;en-us;228888"

    So seeing this seemed an easy solution I tried renaming ntfs.sys in my OS operating from my 17GB hard drive. But the result was I could no longer boot up because ntfs.sys was missing (!). So now the black screen directed me to do a repair install. So I tried this. However I either missed my chance to press "R" or the option never presented itself and I ended up reinstalling my OS.

    An hour and one bad_pool_caller blue screen later the reinstall was finished. I was expecting to have to reload drivers and a whole bunch of other stuff only to see that my computer was back to its normal self again. Now I'm totally confused. Either it did a repair install or I erroneously thought a reinstall deletes everything.

    In the mean time I'm looking into loading Knoppix in order to transfer my critical data prior to an OS reinstall on the 80GB hard drive.
  15. Steveor

    Steveor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Case Closed

    After finally loading Knoppix Linux OS into my system via the disk drive, I have begun the tedious process of transferring vital data onto DVDs. I didn't realize at first there was a difference between merely burning data onto a DVD and doing an ISO image in order to create a bootable Knoppix disk. Once in Knoppix I tried to transfer data from my 80GB hard drive to the 17GB hard drive but I kept getting errors. I eventually found the Knoppix CD burning application and started copying photos and such to disks.

    I attempted various suggested ntfs.sys fixes in Knoppix but quickly gave up as I was planning to format the 80GB hard drive anyway. It had been really buggy since I installed Service Pack 2 and a fresh start will be good for it. For now I plan to use the 17GB disk only for online applications. Since I don't do online games I figure I can use the 80GB drive for more involved applications. Not sure if that will make a difference in the future though.

    One thing I'm really going to do is investigate Linux applications. I really liked Knoppix once I got it going.

    CCT, thanks for your help.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...