"Unrecoverable problems" yet drive OK?

By Mugsy ยท 6 replies
Feb 10, 2009
  1. I'll spare you the gory details, other than to say I just upgraded my MoBo and CPU. My boot drive was XP-Pro on two 500GB SATA-II drives in a RAID-0. I also have one IDE drive with the Windows7 beta on it.

    After swapping out my dead MoBo for the new one, XP would spontaneously reboot as soon as the loading screen appeared.

    So I rebooted into my Win7 installation on IDE-0, which reconfigured itself for the new board, and after loading the Raid driver off the MoBo CD, even detected my Raid-0 and gave me access to all my files!

    After slipstreaming the new MoBo's Raid drivers to a new XP cd (I have no floppy), I was able to run the XP Install CD hoping it would detect and Repair my XP installation. No such luck.

    I rebooted the CD and went into the Recovery Console. It detected both Windows installations (XP & Win7). I chose XP, verified it could read my files with DIR, then tried a Chkdsk which reported the following error at the 75% mark:

    'The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems'

    So I went back into Win7 and rechecked my Raid drive from there. It scanned the drive(s) and reported no errors (actually, Win7 reported nothing at all, the window just closed when it finished). Just in case Win7 had fixed whatever was wrong, I rebooted the XP cd, did another Chkdsk, and got the same result.

    The files on the disk(s) appear to be fine. A friend tells me it has something to do with the "Hardware Abstraction Layer" and XP not recognizing the old installation's raid format since it was formatted using a different controller (a Silicon Image 3114 raid controller on the old board, which is not on the new one).

    It seems like this should be easily fixable. There's nothing "wrong" with the drive or data itself. XP just doesn't like the chip it was formatted with???

    Does anyone have an idea other than "back up one Terabyte of data to a drive I don't have, reformat, copy everything back, and then spend the next week reinstalling and reconfiguring all of my software & Windows settings", please?

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Could it have to do with the fact that Windows 7 must be installed first in a dual boot arrangement?
  3. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 415   +24

    No, it's not that.

    No, you can install 7 as your sole OS if you wish (it expires on Aug 1st though).

    I can read the data on my Raid drive from XP's Recovery mode (via the Install CD), so I know XP recognizes the Windows installation and CAN read the data, so why the Installer itself doesn't see it is beyond me.
  4. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Well your friend is correct it is HAL.DLL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) which holds the hardware of your old Motherboard!

    You will need to do a Windows Repair install to get around this!

    Boot from Windows CD, decline the first (R) for Recovery console, continue setup until it detects an existing Windows installation and offers (R) again to Repair the installation!

    Another possibility is below.

    IF! The Hardware is very similar to the old Motherboard then you (may be able to boot into Safe Mode) and if you can go to device manager and remove all Hardware. NIC, sound, etc.

    This will allow Windows to build a new HAL!

    Best way IMHO is the repair install, especially since you have it slipstreamed with the SATA drivers and hopefully SP3.

  5. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 415   +24

    No can do.

    Thanks for the follow-up.

    Unfortunately, I've tried this, but as mentioned above, Install doesn't detect the existing installation (yet the Recovery Console does!), so I can't do a repair.

    Nor can I boot into Safe Mode.

    I *can* however access my drive from Windows7 Beta, so maybe there's an "In" that way?
  6. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Yeah I see now skimmed too fast the first time.

    What procedure did you use to slipstream?

    Are you sure the SATA drivers are installing?

    If you had a clean undamaged OS on the drive and Windows setup does not detect an existing installation it is because setup is not seeing the drive.

    I think you should borrow or putchase a (12-15.00) USB floppy so you can use the floppy based drivers and a non slipstreamed CD!

  7. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 415   +24

    Found an answer, but can't use it. :(

    Well, my long search "paid off", as there actually IS a solution to my computer problem (I'm posting this for future ref).

    I knew the problem had something to do with the HAL still containing all my old hardware. It explains why Win7 and the XP the Recovery Console can see my files, but XP can't actually "use" them. So I starting looking for info on repairing HAL.dll.

    So I checked the MS Knowledge Base about fixing it, where I found info on troubleshooting the HAL (written for Win2K, but can be tailored for XP). It involves extracting certain system files from CABs on the Install CD and replacing them on your drive so XP can do a Repair Install.

    Problem is, you must be able to boot into Safe Mode (even the non-GUI mode would do) of XP for it to work, but I can't even do that, so now I have no other option but to reformat and reinstall. :(

    Right now, I'm busily copying everything off my Raid drive from Win7 (incredible luck I installed it a week earlier) before I reformat (I plan to buy a third drive and go Raid-5 before I do).

    Hey, I *NEARLY* got it! That counts, right? :)

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