xp stole my hard drive!

By _sic · 16 replies
Apr 20, 2002
  1. Any experts out there I can really use some help.

    my machine has, well had, two hard drives (c and d), c is running windows ME and d was empty, I had it reserved for data, since the machine is brand new.

    Anyway, since d was empty I decided to give Windows XP a try. First I reformatted the drive to change it from FAT to NFTS and then when the installation files were copying I got an error saying that a certain .dll (I can remember exactly the file syssomething.dll) couldn´t be copied. I knew I was in for trouble and even though retrying didn´t copy the file the installation process continued. Well, after automatically rebooting, the installation process tried to restart but after stalling for a few seconds I get some kind of wierd error message that I can only see for a split second because the machine automatically reboots, goes back to windows xp install, finds the same error, reboots, goes back to windows xp install, finds the same error, reboots ad infinitum until I finally figured out how to make it ask if I wanted to go to windows xp or windows ME (the OS that works on C).

    The error message is impossible to read because it´s only on the screen for a milisecond, but it has something to do with "not enough virtual memory" if that makes sense. The computer has 500+ mb DDR RAM, so I can´t figure how there would be a memory problem...

    anyway, I´ve tried repair-reinstalling XP, and just plain old reinstalling XP and I get the same error-reboot loop from hell.
    Worse, my D drive is no longer accessible, which I´m embarassed to say must be some kind of record in incompetence because I´ve owned the thing for about 10 hours.

    How can I deinstall the XP installation? How can I get my hard drive back? I hardly got to know it and it´s gone gone gone.

    please help.


  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    You won't be able to see the NTFS partition under Windows ME, so it will appear not to exist.

    fdisk should sort your problem. Boot from the emergency boot disk and run fdisk from the command prompt. change fixed disk to disk 2 and then you will see "Non-DOS partition" marked as the type for disk 2. Delete that. Then create a primary partition there. Reboot. Format d:

    Be careful.
  3. _sic

    _sic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the reply,

    once I delete the non-DOS partition and reboot, how do I reformat the drive? I would rather not use the XP install again because I´m beginning to suspect that the cd I´m installing from may be defective. I already have to instances of windows XP in the boot list (windows XP, windows, windows XP install) and I have like 5 seconds to select windows to be able to start the computer (the default is windows xp install).

    Is there another way to reformat my disk (i have an NT install disk) and is there anyway to take the two windows xp out of that boot list and just have windows (ME) load directly?Unfortunately winows xp uninstall doesn´t appear in my add/remove programs list.

    I just want xp out of my life (for now).

    thanks again

  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    boot into DOS.

    run fdisk.

    delete nos-dos drive.

    back to main fdisk menu.

    create primary partition.

    exit, reboot.

    back to DOS.

    format d:

  5. _sic

    _sic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i should have waited for your reply...

    I did well in FDISK, deleted the non-dos drive and created a primary partition (dos). Then I tried reformatting using the NT install disk. NT didn´t recognize the partition and asked me to format it, unfortunately it only formatted part of the disk (the drive has 40gb but the primary partition is something like 2047 mb). I went back to Fdisk and was about to do the same process, but when I went to delete the this time DOS drive it asked for the drive´s tag or something (my os is spanish it said the etiqueta del componente, or similar). and I got a bit nervous, not knowing what to type in there. So I came back to the forums.

    hoping I at least learn something from this mess,

    what should I do?
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    What is fdisk telling you that you have now?
  7. _sic

    _sic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here´s what I see:

    1. 38162
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    So you see no mention of your initial 2GB partition at all???
  9. _sic

    _sic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here´s what I see:

    1. 38162 100%
    C: 38162

    2. 38162 36115 5%
    D: 2047

    when I tried to delete the primary dos partition in D it asked me for the "etiqueta de volumen" which roughly translates to volume tag, if that makes sense.
  10. _sic

    _sic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    sorry about the first post, as you can see I can hardly work the forums...
  11. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    In English, it's asking you to type the name of the partition - if it's unnamed, just hit enter. It'll ask if you're sure, again.
  12. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    New FDISKs ask if you want to enable "large drive mode" (or something, I don't remember the exact words), which means FAT32. It looks like it has created a FAT16 partition, thus limiting the size to 2 Gb.
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Okay, into DOS, start fdisk.

    If asked to enable large disk support (as Mictlantecuhtli so helpfully reminded me) say yes.

    option 5, change fixed disk. change to second disk.

    delete partitions, delete primary partition, remove the 2047 MB partition.

    back to main menu, create primary partition, allow it to fill all of the drive.


    back to dos.

    format d:
  14. _sic

    _sic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well thanks for the help, it seems to have worked in that I can see my D drive again at it´s full capacity. I´m running scan disk right now (I´m not sure that it is necessary, but I was prompted to do so) and since its 40 GB it will be a while before I can access it directly to be 100% sure that it is working again. But I think that it is. (phew!)

    I still have another problem. When booting, the XP installation still is the default in a list of three (windows XP, windows, windows XP installation) since the files were copied to my computer it makes sense that the install keeps trying to finish itself.

    In another forum, someone mentioned that XP might have tried to install itself on C, instead of D, on top of the existing ME installation. This, he said, would account for the "lack of virtual memory" error that was/is throwing me into the endless reboot loop that selecting either windows XP, or windows XP installation from the above list iniciates. There are two XP options in the boot list because when the first install failed and then a repair failed I tried a second clean install in a desperate attempt to reformat and thus reclaim my D drive, once reformatted I canceled the install, but this resulted in NO D drive AND a second windows XP option set as the default and surely twice the amount of install files copied to my hd. sigh.

    Foolishly, when doing these xp installs I started the install process from within the C drive ME, by exploring the CD ROM and double-clicking install. I guess I should have booted from the CD ROM. Anyway, the advanced installation option said that I could change the drive letter during installation, that´s why I continued. The install files for both attempts are located on C:TEMP.

    anyway can you help me edit the boot up configuration to delete those possibilities from the aforementioned bootup list, delete the install files and have ME load directly on boot?

    i really am thankful for all the help


  15. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    find the file called boot.ini in your c:\

    it will be hidden and read only be default. remove these properties.

    open it in notepad.

    you will see a line like this:

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

    remove that line.

    make sure that the line that reads default= reads like this:


    that will return all to normal.

    good luck.
  16. _sic

    _sic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    everything´s back to normal.

    this forum is great.

  17. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Oh you're perfectly welcome :)
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