Can't Boot After Making Partition

Lenovo / Thinkpad t400
April 19, 2009 at 11:53:54
Specs: Windows XPPro SP3
Hey,

I downloaded the Windows 7 beta a few months ago and didn't get around to trying it until today. My C: drive on XP SP3 is 140 gigs with about 42 gigs free, and I found a handy guide to installing 7 that said I needed to make a partition of at least 16gb. So I downloaded GParted, which they recommended, and booted with that. I lowered my C: partition down to about 120 gigs and used the newly freed 20 gigs to make a new partition. It took roughly 2 hours between the test-runs and the actual process, and then it said it was complete. So I rebooted.

Normally, this is what happens. I turn on the computer, and I get a Thinkpad (T400) splash-screen telling me to press the blue ThinkVantage button if I want to. Then another screen telling me to press Ctrl+P to do something or other. Then that goes away, and the screen is all black with a cursor blinking at the top left for a couple seconds before the Windows XP logo fades into the screen as the OS loads.

However, after rebooting after making the partition, it got to the blinking cursor but never loaded the OS, and I tried a few times with no result.

From there, I tried a few things. I went into the BIOS and did a HDD diagnostic and it said everything was fine. I booted up again with GParted and it showed the 2 partitions. I then booted up with a Knoppix live CD and checked one of the drives it listed, which was my C: drive, and I could navigate to my desktop and see all my stuff. I mean, I didn't check to see if ALL of my stuff was there, but it seemed like it was.

So it seems like my stuff is OK but I just can't boot. I've found people online saying that people in my situation should make sure their C: drive (or whatever drive has Windows) is set to be active, but you need to actually be logged in to do that. I can't start the OS.

On another forum, someone suggested doing two things: first, boot into GParted again and check boot flags on the two partitions to see which one is active. As it should be, my C: partition with Windows on it had a boot flag, and the new 20gb partition did not. So that's OK.

The second thing they recommended doing was to boot from the XP cd and run the Recovery Console, and from there I could run fixmbr and fixboot. Here's the problem with that. I don't have the XP discs because when I got my laptop 4 months ago, I got it from Lenovo as a Vista machine with a free XP downgrade. So essentially, the computer came with XP installed but with Vista discs. The first thing it suggested I do was to create XP recovery media, which I did, but when I tried booting from them just now, really all it is is the ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery software. It isn't the actual XP install disc where it loads up a blue screen and asks if you want to install or repair, and then asks which OS to work on, and then asks for your password, etc.

So does anyone have any ideas for me to try to let me boot Windows again? I don't have very good knowledge of the boot-up process but I can follow directions well.

Thanks


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#1
April 19, 2009 at 12:25:53
Well, if your issue is no partition marked as active you can use a number of different utilities to mark it active. Ultimate Boot CD should be able to do that for you and much much more. Overkill for this issue but worth having. Get the download from the link below.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/


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#2
April 19, 2009 at 12:29:42
Well, I think the active issue is OK, like I said "As it should be, my C: partition with Windows on it had a boot flag, and the new 20gb partition did not. So that's OK." But I think I need to run fixmbr and fixboot to fix how my computer boots but I can't really enter the Recovery Console because of my Vista/XP situation.

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#3
April 19, 2009 at 12:52:44
Can't you borrow an XP install CD (doesn't have to be same version of XP, any XP install CD will give you access to recovery console).

I'm wondering how gparted has actually done the partitioning (eg, is the new partition logically the first or second? Because if its first, you'll need to either edit boot.ini or run bootcfg from recovery console).

btw - you know windows 7 will write its own boot sector and take over as boot manager? (ie, if you recover this situation, you may still have boot problems later on. If this is your main machine, I'd advise against installing W7 beta on it).


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Related Solutions

#4
April 19, 2009 at 12:55:59
I'm gonna try borrowing an XP cd. Can you tell me what commands to use to make XP boot again? I was told fixmbr and fixboot, but you mentioned bootcfg.

Also, I was under the impression that if I installed W7 on the new partition, I'd be able to dual-boot and choose which to run at startup.


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#5
April 19, 2009 at 13:05:28
Ultimate Boot CD can check to see if your WinXP partition is active or not. That very well could be the problem. If i understand your issue, you never got to the point of installing anything. Just partitioned your hard drive.

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#6
April 19, 2009 at 13:07:54
But I think I need to run fixmbr and fixboot to fix how my computer boots but I can't really enter the Recovery Console because of my Vista/XP situation

It doesn't matter any more. Any time you create partition, the geometry of the hard disk gets changed. Once it is changed, you lose the ability to recover Vista. Microsoft mandated this mechanism as a way of granting licensews to the OEM system builders. I agree with Steve Dunn who wrote If this is your main machine, I'd advise against installing W7 beta on it).

i_Xp/VistaUser


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#7
April 19, 2009 at 13:09:56
I've had XP installed on my machine since I got it, but all I tried to do was partition my C: drive (XP is installed on C:, which was 140 gigs, and I shortened it to 120 to create a new partition that's 120). But now XP can't boot. It's still there, it's still installed. Always was.

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#8
April 19, 2009 at 13:13:56
OK, let me clarify. I don't have Vista. I have XP, but my computer came with Vista discs. People have told me that to recover boot functionality for the Windows on my C drive to enter the Recovery Console, but I was saying I don't have the XP disc because my XP machine came with Vista discs. Ignore anything about Windows 7. Just pretend I was trying to make a new partition for organizational purposes.

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#9
April 19, 2009 at 15:38:50
As Steve Dunn asked, is the XP partition still listed as the first partition or is it the second partition ? In other words is the new partition first or second.

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#10
April 19, 2009 at 15:44:02
Again, Ultimate Boot CD can tell you what you need to know.

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#11
April 19, 2009 at 17:19:36
"My C: drive on XP SP3 is 140 gigs with about 42 gigs free"
when a drive is this full, you need to defrag, before partitioning & probably shouldn't do it to begin with.
"It took roughly 2 hours between the test-runs and the actual process, and then it said it was complete. "
If by this you mean gparted took 2hrs to create a 20 gig partition, you have some serious issues. that may not be able to recover from.

larry


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#12
April 19, 2009 at 18:41:56
I did do a defrag before doing it. And when GParted did its stuff that took roughly 2 hours, it was basically 1 hour for a test-partition and then 1 hour for the actual partitioning work. And what it said it was doing was checking the data on my original partition, which was now 120gb, and going through all that took about an hour.

Anyway, I tried to use my friend's XP disc, and it started to load everything ("Setup is loading files" at the bottom) but whe nit got to "Setup is starting Windows," it crashed with the error STOP: 0x0000007B which is apparently a boot sector problem.

I'll probably end up taking my computer to my school's tech repair shop tomorrow.


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