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Really weird hard drive issue...?

By jreddick ยท 7 replies
Jan 3, 2008
  1. Ok, so I had some issues with a MB and just got the new one today... Now I'm having some crappy hard drive issues. I bought a case, 2 GB of Kingston RAM, 2.2 Ghz Brisbane dual core AMD processor, and now i have an MSI MB. I already had a CD drive and 80 GB HDD.

    Here goes the story...

    I put in the processor and ram, which I bought from Newegg and then I put in a cd drive that I already had and an 80 GB hard drive I already have with windows XP Pro installed. I tried to boot it up and it told me the NTLDR was missing, so it wouldn't let me. I messed around in BIOS and checked the hardware and what not, and it finds everything just fine and it's set up correctly, was running at 36C.

    So I put this hard drive back into the computer I am on now (I don't have two with a working OS on them) and it works fine on here. I tried to get the fix for the NTLDR thing and burn it on CD, but for some reason it won't burn (I used Alcohol 120%, as the file is an ISO.) I don't have a floppy, so I can't do that, so I'll borrow a jump drive from a friend tomorrow and try that version...

    Anyway, I found out that only way that XP Pro is working is when I have it as a slave with my 4 GB hard drive as the primary, which is how it was set up in this computer. The 4 GB hard drive is old and ghetto, but it had Windows 2000 on it, so I just put in the 80 GB, booted up 2000 and installed XP on the 80 GB drive and it worked to boot up just like that. I don't actually have an XP disc right now, so I can't do a new install, but I have Windows ME so out of curiosity I tried to install it on the 80 GB drive while it was in the new computer and it started to do some crap and then told me no and restarted...

    After it restarted, it tells me it can't install because of an error in the partition, so I tried to format the drive and it tells me I CAN'T format it. Something like, "program has caused a divide error" or something weird like that. So I put it back in this computer and it didn't work, I got a blue screen so I tried again in safe mode and then fixed it so it works again...

    I realized that for some reason, this drive only works as a slave with the 4 GB as a master (although it doesn't have Windows 2000 on it, since I started formatting it, but for some reason it never finished and left traces, so it still gives me the option of WIndows 2000 or XP at boot up.) Anyway, after I fixed XP, I put both hard drives in the new computer and it found the NTLDR this time and gave me the option to boot up Windows XP or Windows 2000, so I tried to boot up XP and it gave me the Blue Screen of Death... So I tried safe mode, and it still gave me the BSoD.

    I realize this whole situation is totally screwed up, but when I put the drives back in this computer it works fine. To be totally honest, I dunno what to do. I don't have money right now to go buy a new hard drive. :(
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You must get to a point where you can totally reformat the hard drive. The hard drive must offer access to the boot software, and for your level of experience, must be a clean install with nothing on the drive partition.
    The easiest way might be to use a Windows 98 startup boot floppy, or a Windows ME floppy. Then running FDisk to remove the partitions, then running FDisk again to install new partition(s), then rebooting to format the partition. But you can also do it with the Windows XP or W2K disk.
    This system is NOT going to allow you to do much until you have a clean boot.
    The NTLDR net loader error is likely caused by having a version of Windows that was on a drive installed first in another machine or motherboard.
    The fact that you are given the option to boot to WXP or W2K is the clue. WXP will not boot because it was installed for another machine or motherboard or set of components. Windows XP dectects that your drive has been moved or the components have changed. It will do this with almost any change it detects, other than memory.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    What happened is you can't run Windows from 1 machine on a different machine. So that is your whole problem with XP, no need to read anything further into that at all.

    2k booted up because it is less hardware dependent than XP, but frankly I'm suprised it booted up. Then when you installed XP to the new drive with the 2k drive attached it put an XP entry into the boot.ini file. So that explains your entry there, and why it didn't go away when you switched to the other computer.

    XP won't load on the other computer now because again you installed and then swapped machines that XP was installed on, see first paragraph, that won't work.

    ME wouldn't install for reasons that probably have to do with it being 8 years old and missing some drivers for stuff, in any case ME not installing in no way indicates a problem with your hard drive, just ignore that, you weren't going to run ME on it anyway, you wanted XP.

    The solution to this is very simple. Set the drive in the new machine as master, forget about that 4GB drive, don't even hook it up. Put in the XP cd, boot from the XP cd, install Windows. One of those first blue screens with white text during the installation asks you where to install Windows to, just delete whatever partitions are on it, create your partitions again, install Windows.

    There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to go screwing around with a Windows98 boot disk (you'd need a floppy or a custom cd anyway) to format. FDisk is a pretty bad option too for several reasons. The point is you have a very simple way to go ahead and get this fixed, why do the more complex way.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Well, you say you do not have a floppy disk, and do not have Windows XP disk. You want to use a jump drive but that will not work with the equipment you have and the discs you have. If you have a Windows 2000 disk with product ID, you still will have trouble. IF you have a floppy drive, you can use the Windows ME or the Windows 98 disc to create a boot floppy that will clean the drive(s) so you can use Windows 2000 (with your level of experience, this is still the easiest way to get back to a clean install blanki disk ready for install).
    Otherwise, you are going to need to spend the money to do it right.
    If the Windows install is a legal, valid install, and if you can get something to boot, you can use a "Key finder" on a floppy drive disc to discover the Windows XP product Key or the Windows 2000 product ID key (as soon as you find the correct version of the Windows XP install disc.
    If you do have the Windows 2000 Professional disc, use that, as it will work with as Well as Windows XP, as soon as you install Service Pacs SP1a or SP2, SP3, and SP4 along with the appropriate drivers.
    If you use the floppy method, then switch to a Windows 2000 (or XP) be sure to use the option to switch to NTFS file format for best results.
  5. jreddick

    jreddick TS Rookie Topic Starter

    All right, thanks guys. I'll try fixing it today if I can get an XP disc. I have the key, I just don't have the disc, I dunno where it is, I can only find my ME disc, I don't even know where the Windows 2000 came from on the 4GB drive, lol.
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Not just any disc will work. The little codes on your install sticker such as, 00019-035-912-317 and 048YKH and X05-52710 tell which disc works with which key of the 32 versions out there. It can be quite a hunt.
    Good luck.
  7. jreddick

    jreddick TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I got it to work. :D This computer runs great! Its' really fast and runs quite cool.
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You are pretty much obligated to tell us what you did, and what works, or we will have to hunt you down... and...
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