Make a bootable hard disk. How?

September 17, 2007 at 12:27:42
Specs: XP, 2.6 / 1GB
Hello I have 2 hard disks:

1 x SATA 250GB Seagate (C:)
1 x IDE 160GB Seagate split in two partitions (D:75GB & F:75GB)

My master was C: I had windows installed in there and it's the booting hard disk. C: started giving me problems inside windows, so i decided I took a backup to F: and re install windows on D:

I did that and it works fine, but I want to format C: now. But I can't because it is the only bootable hard disk I got, since the other one seems unable to boot without the 250gb plugged. How can i make my second 160gb seagate be the bootable hard disk, after it has windows on one partition?

Im confused

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September 17, 2007 at 14:11:26
You are kind of stuck. MS products are really a stinker with the whole first bootable drive issue.

The proper way was to use ntbackup with system state of your working drive. Then reinstall the OS to the new drive and apply the restore.

You can fool with the first bootable partition in your bios / partition entry and use system CD to fix install most likely.

If you remove C now you will have to repair D and most likely every application either by hand or re-install.

I read it wrong and answer it wrong too. So get off my case you peanut.

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September 17, 2007 at 22:36:55

jefro has more or less given you the how/why etc. of the boot issue for XP on d: (on the second drive). Quite which way yo go here depends on what you intend to do with the current c: (SATA) drive...

Are you're intending to have the SATA drive still as C: (Master) drive once you reformatted it...?

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September 18, 2007 at 06:37:38
by lot1234

I don't know what to do with C: maybe keep it as a secondary for now. But the whole thing is that this SATA HD is giving me some detection errors on boot and while im running windows and most likely i'll use my warranty to replace it with a new one. It fails all the time

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Related Solutions

September 18, 2007 at 07:11:32
mmm... agree re warranty etc. for the SATA.

"If" you were to supply another c: drive (EIDE or SATA) then it would be no great issue to have XP on d: boot - much as now..

But if you do NOT supply another "c:" drive - as a Master to the current slaved XP drive... your options are limited...

Essentially (if no replacemnt c: drive) you run a repair installation to the current version (CD booot etc.) - and if it works... you end up with a version that now says it's on c: (not d: as now). All path statments will have been written afresh - fo the OS; not entirely sure what happens for installed apps etc. (Perhaps Wanderer can\will drop in here and advise\confirm in that regard?)

Otherwise you start afresh with a new installation to the current d: drive set as Master (as in the repair routine).

Drives are reasonably "Cheeeeeppp" these days (in some parts of the universe), so perhaps consider supplying another c: drive - either a warranty SATA replacement or maybe buy a standard EIDE model?

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September 18, 2007 at 20:47:55

Three files are necessary to make XP bootable and are located in the root folder of C:


Boot.ini is the boot loader file which points to the necessary system files to load XP (usually the Windows or Winnt folder). If all files and folders have been copied to the D: drive (mirror image of C: with Windows folder), I would disconnect the SATA drive and then configure the D: drive as master. Walkthrough to create the necessary files using recovery console off of the XP cd. You might need to know the administrator password of the system as I recall to use recovery console.

I wouldn't keep anything important on the SATA if you decide to reinstall it at a later date.

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September 18, 2007 at 21:32:53
That's a valid point re' the copy of XP on drive d: . If it is an image of what was on the SATA (c: ) drive, then it may well have a copy of the boot.ini etc. thereon? If so, then once one has run a repair (fixmbr - possibly fixboot too?) it may well boot OK - without the need for a full repair installation.

The variation on this might also be: start a fresh installation to the d: (now Master) drive - as c:\temp\winnt (or windows whichever); abort/cancel it at first reboot and remove all disks. Reboot to a boot-menu listing the cancelled installation (set as default), and possibly/probably the version already on the drive. This does presume that there "is" a copy of the boot.ini (from original installation) on the drive already; as this will be incorporated into the new one (and also saved too - as a backup).

Boot to the full version already there; set as default etc.; delete the cancelled version from the drive and clean up the boot.ini too; empty recycle-bin abd defrag the drive.

I would opt for the fixmbr\fixboot approach initially - "if" the version on d: is a true image of what was on c: (SATA drive) originally.

If there is data on the d: drive that you wouldn't wish to lose..., slave it to another system and copy off to optical media; and verify the copies are truly valid/accesible etc. - then proceed with repair options. Safety first aspect...

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