plz H E L P!!!

July 2, 2010 at 18:24:34
Specs: Windows XP
ok.... im new here so ill try and be as descriptive as possible.

ok i have a piece o crap comp. Ive been tooling around with and got up and running finally
i have a 160GB hdd in there as well as 1Gb of ram.
i installed XP went thru the motions. and every time i reboot system(power down fully) it says no boot device detected?........
ive installed 3 times so far today ... lol now when it asks me i have 3 windows xp pro's to choose
im affraid to turn of the computer atm so it will stay on till i figure this out. lol (im on it right now....)
if anyone can help it would be appreciated.

See More: plz H E L P!!!

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July 2, 2010 at 22:18:22
Make sure you have no USB drive plugged in - a modern bios may be trying to boot from a non bootable USB drive.If the USB drive is not bootable, the bios MAY not try to boot another drive.

If your computer has a floppy drive, make sure there is no floppy inserted in the drive - if the floppy is not bootable, the bios will NOT try to boot another drive.

Microsoft does not allow you to boot Windows 2000 and up from a USB or firewire connected external hard drive.

I know from experience that the bios settings for Boot Order or similar in the bios DO NOT have to be correct for the hard drives when you run Windows Setup by booting the computer from the CD - Setup will reboot at each stage of it automatically fine without you doing anything while booting and complete succesfully - it's only when Setup has finished that you get "no boot device detected" or similar if the hard drive bios settings are wrong and no bootable hard drive partition is detected by default.

Go into your bios and correct your Boot Order or similar settings.

If your mboard was made after about mid 2000.....

If you have more than one hard drive, if the bios does not find a bootable drive by default, you need to tell the bios which one you want to boot from. There is either a separate list of hard drives near the Boot Order or similar settings, or there is more than one hard drive listed in the Boot Order or similar settings - if only one hard drive is bootable, the drive you want to boot from must be listed first in the list. The drives are either listed by their model that the bios detects, or some other way according to in which order the bios detects they are connected to the mboard - e.g. HDD0, HDD1, etc.

I'm assuming you don't have a mboard older than about mid 2000.
If you have a legacy floppy drive connected, it should be first in the Boot Order.
A CD drive or similar should be next, or first if you have no floppy drive.
A hard drive should be next - if there is more than one listed, the first one listed must be bootable.
In most cases, a Network boot or similar is listed after all hard drives, unless you need to connect to a business or institutional network.

If you DO have a mboard older than about mid 2000, you may not be able to list the boot devices as above, and you may not have a separate list of hard drives you can change the order of. You may not be able to boot from a CD unless it's first in a list you can't change the order of, then when Setup has finished, you must change that to something else, e.g. A, C, SCSI in order to boot from a hard drive. (that's what's required for one of my mboards, made in Aug 1999, Award 4.51PG bios overall version).

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July 3, 2010 at 14:36:31
hey tubes!! thx for the reply,

ok i went into bios...order was cool (floppy,cd,hdd,lan)
still no boot device? but if i pop in lets me in to xp now? !!!! lol
o and by the way i am a A+cert tech so this is kinda embarrassing.... lol
no flash drives r involved either.... it is a 160GB hd...old dell dimension series comp.

idk what else to do?....

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July 3, 2010 at 15:56:03
The issue might be in your original description. at 160gb the drive exceeds the 48bitLBA limitation that exists in pre-SP1 versions of XP.

To have three XP installations to choose from when you now try to boot means you did not perform a full format each time you ran the install disk.

It is time to begin afresh. I tend to use a bootfloppy ( Win98 ) to prepare a drive for a clean install. Boot up with this and use FDISK to delete any/all current partitions. Then create a new primary partition of say 40gb and make it active . Leave the other 120gb raw for now as you can create a second partition using XP's disk management once you get it installed. Save and exit the process.

Next boot up your XP install disk and it should find the existing partition and give you the option to format it either FAT or NTFS Run the install as normal.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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July 3, 2010 at 17:50:51
Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard.
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site.
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.

The model is often also displayed on a logo (graphical) screen early in the boot, but it's often not as specific as the specific model number.

For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.

If your XP CD does not have SP2 or SP3 printed on the original CD, it may or may not have SP1 updates included on it. All of the Microsoft original XP CDs I've seen that have SP1 updates included do NOT have SP1 printed on the CD.
The volume labels - the labels for the CD you see in My Computer Manager or Windows Explorer - of XP CDs with no SP updates are different from those with SP1 updates. You can search using the volume label on the web to find out whether it has SP1 updates or not.

You can delete existing partitions on the hard drive when you boot with the XP CD, then make a new one.
You do not need to mess with a Win 98 boot floppy, if you even have a floppy drive, and Win 98's Fdisk, Format. A Win 98 boot disk's Fdisk cannot make NTFS partitions - it can only make FAT32 and FAT partitions - you have to use FAT32 to be able to use the full drive space.

Go into your bios and see what size the 160gb drive is being seen as - you may need to use Detect hard drives in the bios or similar to see the size.
If the full size of the 160 drive is being detected, it will probably be expressed as a binary size -
~149gb or ~152,730mb.

If you see a total of ~128gb of drive space, or ~ 131,072mb, the bios probably has no 48bit lba support.

If both the bios and XP's Setup see the same binary size, ~149gb or ~152,730mb, then the XP has SP1 or later updates included in it.

If the bios sees ~149gb or ~152,730mb, and Setup detects only a total of ~128gb of drive space, or ~ 131,072mb, the XP CD has no SP updates.

Setup defaults to making only one partition on a hard drive.
The problem with that is if you ever need to re-load Windows from scratch, you lose everything on the partition Windows was installed on, and when you have only partition on the hard drive, that's everything on the drive - unless you copy the data you don't want to lose to elsewhere BEFORE you install Windows from scratch (most people don't bother, and lose all their data) .
If you're installing XP from a regular CD, it's recommended you make at least TWO partitions on the drive.
How to make more than one partition on a hard drive, when you're installing Windows on a blank hard drive, or when you are deleting the existing partition(s) on a hard drive before you run Setup .....
See Response 3:

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July 4, 2010 at 09:12:50
i guess im gonna try and wipe this thing and try again lol
1 question.
ok i make a 40gig partition and install xp there,
but then can i make a second partition of the rest of the drive to save stuff onto? would that work?

o and in the bios it was a binary number closer to about 150+gigs so its reading and recognizing the size of the drive...

also would like to say thanks to you guys for the help.
this site is great! lol found it by accident! thanks again

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July 4, 2010 at 09:19:22
Sure , you can do whatever you want with the leftover space. If you're only going to have the os on the partition, it can be smaller, like 20 gigs.

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July 4, 2010 at 13:07:55
Okay, so the bios is seeing the full size of the drive.

Is XP's Setup seeing the full size of the drive too?

If it isn't, if you do want to install XP (see my notes about multibooting XP and Vista, probably applies to Windows 7 too), you need to make yourself a bootable "slipstreamed" burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best drive compatibility, that has the contents of the SP3 updates integrated into the contents of your original CD, and if your mboard has SATA drive controllers, you might as well integrate the drivers for that into the disk contents while you're doing that, and use that CD to install XP rather than your own.
Instructions for how to do that are available on the web from many sources.
You use the same Product Key you use with your original CD.

Whatever space on the hard drive that is un-allocated after Setup has finished can be software partitioned and formatted in Disk Management.

If you make the first partition, or any partition, 32gb or smaller, you have the option (in 2000 and XP at least) of installing a FAT32 partition rather than an NTFS partition (2000 and up won't allow you to make a FAT32 partition larger than 32gb because of Microsoft defaults, but you can use FAT32 for partitions larger than 32gb if you partition the drive with third party software rather than with Windows).
Some of us prefer using FAT32 for the Windows partition rather than NTFS for XP because there are more free things you can use to fix what is wrong when something goes wrong with Windows than there are for when it's on a NTFS partition.

I'm not sure whether Vista and Windows 7 have the option of choosing FAT32 for 32gb partitions or smaller, but if the partition has already been made FAT32, Vista, and probably Windows 7, will accept that fine.

FAT32 uses 32kb for it's allocation units for all partitions exactly 32gb (32,768mb) or larger, several steps of smaller allocation units for partitions smaller than that depending on the size range. The NTFS in 2000 and up uses 4kb allocation units for all files whatever the size of the partition.
The smallest space a file can take up on a drive is one allocation unit. The space not used up by a file in an allocation unit cannot be used by anything else, and that portion is often called slack space - it's essentially wasted space.
If you have a lot of huge files on a partition, e.g. music, movies, other huge files, there's not much if any difference between the slack space percentage for a FAT32 or NTFS partition, but if you have mostly smaller files, using NTFS yields you a lesser slack space percentage.
- a single file cannot be larger than 4gb on a FAT32 partition.
- a very few programs are not optimized to use a FAT32 partition. e.g. the TV or video recording feature of Media Center in XP MCE whines about you choosing a FAT32 partition location if you make it's location for the recordings on one. (If you also have a NTFS partition, that's not a problem - make the location for the recordings on a NTFS partition.)
Most versions of Vista and Windows 7 have a newer version of Media Center built in.

I often make my FAT32 partitions a tiny bit smaller than 32gb so that all files in it are using 16kb allocation units rather than 32kb ones.
Setup and Disk Management show the size in mb, 1,024 mb per gb, so if you want to do that, specify a size slightly less than 32,768mb, say, 32,760 .

You DO NOT have to install everything on the C partition, or on whatever the Windows partition drive letter is if it's not C.
Most programs can be installed on other than C if you do not use the default choice or the default path (location on a drive's partition) for where it is installed - e.g. choose a Custom rather than an Express installation choice, or change only the drive letter at the beginning of the path line where it is to be installed - in that case, only a bit is installed on C, the rest of the program is installed on another partition. If you reload Windows, if the program is on another partition it will have to be installed again, but if you install it in the same place, all user data that is where the program is that was there before you re-installed Windows will probably still be there.
Program installation files, driver installation files, manuals for your system, or other similar things, can be on any partition.
Data that is not a program can be installed on any partition. E.g. Keep all music, movies, documents, or copies of them, on other than C, or whatever the XP Windows partition drive letter is if it's not C, so they are not deleted if you ever need to re-load Windows.

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July 5, 2010 at 08:59:18
ok im back!

again thanks for all your help and speedy replies,

ok so heres what i did yesterday, did a totall disk wipe with ERD commander, and then tryed to reinstall xp again,
went into bios and found a interesting bit o info,

my hd is being recognized as a secondary slave=160gb
and there is a seconday master with some weird #s and letters and says 0gb?...
any thoughts there? bring it on guys. lol

also i made a 20 gb partition and installed xp there and formatted a nother part of 130gb.
so thats what i did on my 4th o july lol.

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July 5, 2010 at 09:53:09
"did a totall disk wipe with ERD commander,"

You don't need anything third party to wipe the drive, unless the drive has partitions made by other than a Windows operating system (e.g. Linux) . You can do that when you boot with the XP CD and delete the existing partition(s) first thing after you actually continue into Setup, then make one or more partitions, then the Setup runs.

"my hd is being recognized as a secondary slave=160gb"

You haven't told us what the make and model of this computer is. Some older laptops have two places you can install a hard drive, and yours is probably one of those. If a single hard drive is installed in the secondary location, it will be recognized as a Slave drive, or it won't be recognize at all if the laptop is older if it's by itself .
In older bioses, the default may be the bios attempts to boot from the drive connected to the Primary location and will NOT try booting a drive from a secondary location when it is by itself, resulting in an "operating system not found" or similar error. In that case, you go into the bios and try to change which drive it boots from, if that's possible; if that's NOT possible, you must install the hard drive in the Primary location.

It's not recommended you install a single hard drive in the secondary location, because you will have problems with some software in that situation in some circumstances, especially with operating systems older than 2000.

Some bioses express the size of a hard drive as it's decimal size, the same size the hard drive manufacturer states - that's a lot more common in older bioses than newer ones. Newer bioses usually express the size of a hard drive as it's binary size, and all operating systems express the size of a hard drive as it's binary size.

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July 5, 2010 at 10:13:14
its a dell dimension desktop 2300 series i belive...
so maybe the ribbon cable is the wrong one? but its weird because the ribbon is right where it should be.....

ok ima open it up and take a look.....
maybe swap the cable with the unattached one somehow.

ill be back!

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July 5, 2010 at 10:50:22
ok people!!! good newz and weird news..
good news is i can boot straight from hd now.
there was a extra ribbon cable connected to the mobo, so i put hd on that connection, works!
so i tryed to connect the 3 part ribbon cable to the connecter to mobo where it worked.....
no good?
so i jerry rigged the hd in the case so its just the hd connected to mobo, while cd and floppy are still on origanal cable.

weird huh?

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July 5, 2010 at 11:02:26
"Its a dell dimension desktop 2300 series i belive..."

Okay. Some Dell series can be either a desktop or a laptop.

Similar applies to desktop computers.

If the 160gb drive is IDE,

Some older bioses will not find a bootable drive if the drive is by itself on a data cable and set to Slave, or by itself and set to Cable select and on the middle connector of a 3 connector data cable.
Newer bioses may find a bootable drive anyway in that situation, but it's recommended you set the drive to Master, or Cable Select and have it on the END connector, for software compatibility reasons.

- if the drive supports UDMA 66 or greater (yours probably supports UDMA 100 or UDMA 133), and if the mboard's main chipset supports UDMA 66 or greater, the drive must be connected to an 80 wire data cable in order to be able to run at it's designed max burst speed.
- the proper end connector of an 80 wire 3 connector data cable must be connected to the mboard header, or to the header on a controller card in a slot. Usually it's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector.
(If the data cable has only two connectors, one may be blue, or a color other than black - that goes to the header, not the drive. )
- when it is by itself on a data cable, it should be set on the back of it to Master, or to Cable Select and be connected to the END connector on a 3 connector data cable. You either install a jumper or you don't to set that - that varies. That is usually shown on the label on the drive, or you can look up the jumper settings for the drive model on the manufacturer's web site.
Don't mix Master/Slave and Cable Select settings for two drives on the same data cable.
- some IDE hard drives, e.g. many Western Digital models, have two ways they can be set to Master - e.g. Master, single, for when it is by itself on a data cable, and Master, with Slave, for when it is on a data cable with another drive that is set to Slave. That must be correct for the situation.

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

If the drive is SATA

- some older mboards have some SATA headers where the drive connected to it is seen as Master, and other SATA headers where the drive connected to it is seen as Slave. A drive, or a bootable disk in an optical drive, cannot be booted from if the drive is connected to SATA headers where the drive connected to it is seen as Slave.
Sometimes the two types of headers are different colors, sometimes they aren't. Which ones are which are stated in the manual for the model.
E.g. SATA I or similar would definitely be one you could boot a drive from.
If there are, say, 4 SATA headers, usually you can boot from a drive connected to the first two, can't boot from a drive connected to the last two.

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

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July 5, 2010 at 11:10:16
well its working now... its on a singal conneter to mobo now...
i guess i should just leave well enuff alone huh?

i have to say tho that this is a great place for it people,
i will deff be here for the forseeable future.
i would love to help ne of you with nething so dont hessitate to hit me up.

thanks again

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July 5, 2010 at 14:32:32
As you are new here, a couple of tips which might help:

Try to invent a meaningful subject for new posts, which will attract those mose able to answer your query. Everyone want's "help".

Try to lay off the "internet speak" on here. When discussing technical problems it is easier when posters stick to normal English.

Hope that helps.

Google is NOT the only Search Engine!

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