Complications on installing WinXP on second HDD

By scoobz ยท 7 replies
May 14, 2003
  1. This should be fun - try and keep up ;))

    P4 2.4Ghz
    512MB DDR
    Asus MOBO
    GF4 TI4200 (128MB)
    Windows XP Pro

    Parition Magic 8.0

    I have 2 HDD paritioned in 3 as follows
    Disk 0:(Primary) Windows XP Pro (C:/Windows)
    Disk 1: (Part 1 - Primary) XP Pro (C:/Windows)
    Disk 1: (Part 2 - Logical) Data/Backup

    OK my drives are paritioned as above as master and slave running on the same IDE connector.

    Before, I used to be to boot both independently (as in I could set the boot disk in BIOS and it would have no problem).

    I used to boot DISK 0 and also have my Disk1 (Part2) logical drive visible with my other XP hidden - or I could boot from DISK 1 (Part1) and again have my logical parition viewable and my other XP on DISK 0 hidden.

    Also, as both OS were hidden from each other, they both used to be installed on C:/Windows.

    I recently got a new MOBO and had to do a Windows installation repair on them both to be able to load them again.

    DISK1 XP wouldn't boot any longer - so as I had all my stuff backed up on my logical parition I thought - reinstall. Only now when I come to reinstall to DISK1 - it automatically detects my other OS on DISK0 and will only give me the option to install to D:/Windows (and not C: like before).

    But anyways.... I tried going along with the install, and no problem - until I come to boot. I tried changing my boot device in BIOS to DISK1 and I just keep getting an error saying NTDLR is missing. The only way to boot it up, is to boot DISK0 and select my other OS from there.

    This defeated my whole point of having two independent bootable hard-drives in case of one failing.

    I tried loading windows recovery console and using "fixmbr" - boot to no effect. I just can't boot from DISK1

    I then tried formatting DISK1, erasing the parition and creating a new one again - reinstalling and had the same problem:

    On installation. It would automatically detect my other OS on a different drive and only give me the option of installing it to D:/Windows....... I also want it back on C:/Windows !!

    Then again - I get the same error: cannot find NTDLR etc.....

    Is there a way that I can install windows on DISK1, independantly of DISK0 and get it to install it's own NTDLR and install to C:/Windows.

    I've had it like that once before.
  2. scoobz

    scoobz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK - I've got half the problem sussed.

    I went into BIOS and disabled DISK0 completely.

    Now it's a little strange. I boot on DISK1 using XP setup CD, and when it detects currently installed OS, it still detects my XP install on my bios disabled DISK0!?!??

    ....however - it now gives me the option to install to DISK1 c:/windows instead of d:/windows.

    (and the disabled DISK0 displays as e:/windows.

    ....i'm hoping that after install on DISK1 c:/windows - I will be able to directly boot on to that drive without getting "NTDLR is missing" like I did the last time.
  3. darkeye

    darkeye TS Rookie

    This is more Tricky than it sounds,
    Im just trying to think,
    I used to have a similar problem but it was using a Linux redhat.

    Can you not just select your boot disk/ partition using the startup and recovery in system properties???
  4. scoobz

    scoobz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Already tired that.... regardless how I work it - for some reason, It still depends on DISK0 to boot DISK1 ..... i know DISK0 is master and DISK1 is slave, but this shouldn't make a difference. They both have a direct connection to the mb ide slot - so it should be possible for me to disable either one of them and run the other independently.'

    Is it something to do with WinXP? That it will only allow one boot sector on one drive? ..... and everything is recorded on that?
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Sounds like your boot sector is on C: and Windows XP has the bootloader pointing to D:\

    FIXMBR won't fix your problem, please visit this recent thread a little more in-depth how to on getting your XP booting again. :)

    Make sure you changed everything to reflect that you want your system to boot from D:\ without making C:\ the active drive for the XP boot loader.
  6. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I used to run my system configured similar to yours, though I have now found easier and better ways of achieving the same multi-boot configurations.

    Basically, you (scoobz) screwed up when your tried to reinstall winxp on your second disk, without first disconnecting the other XP disk (which already had an OS installed on it).

    What you need to do (I think) is to delete the 'System Volume Information' folders on your disk, before you try reinstalling winxp on your 'second' disk's first partition. You won't be able to do this from winxp itself, though it may be possible from the recovery console (I've never used this).

    Alternatively, you may wish to try using that Partition Magic utility to copy your first hard disk partition over to the second hard disk, but remembering to select not to hide the copied partition (you may need to temporarily resize it first if it won't allow copying larger to smaller partition).

    Personally, I would resize your bootable disk0, then use Partition Magic to copy the second disk's partition 2 over to disk0, then delete the partitions on that second disk and reinstall from scratch, remembering to disconnect your bootable disk0 first.

    Its going to be fun. :)

    PS: If I were you, I'd get a couple of removable drive caddies (one for each disk), set both disk's jumpers to 'cable select', and then you won't need to access your bios anymore. You can boot to either drive simply by switching the other off via the key switch, or you can change the boot drive by simply swapping the drives physically within each drive bay. Much more convienient and saves on wear & tear on drives you aren't using. Also allows you to add further boot drives without hassle. Additionally, some boot managers also allow you to selectively boot to other physical hard drives. I believe the one supplied with Partition Magic (Boot Magic) does just that, though it isn't an ideal solution as it still boots intially to the first disk on which it has been installed.
  7. scoobz

    scoobz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Some useful info there guys - cheers for that!
  8. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I'd just install to disk0 first, while disk1 would be physically removed from the computer, and then to disk1 after removing disk0. Then they could be put back and you should be able to dual-boot like you used to do.
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