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Dual boot XP drive.Cant boot to D drive.

September 9, 2011 at 05:24:37
Specs: Windows XP
Hi all. I very rarely ask pc questions in forums as I am a big fan of the search button but would really appreciate some advice. I have a dual boot system on one drive that was set up as follows:

C: xp D: xp E:Music
Now, my D drive is used for music recording and was imaged a while ago with Ease Todo. It hasnt been running as well as it used to so I decided to restore the image. First I formatted the D partition and gave 10 gigs to my c drive as it was running low. All was fine. I then checked integrity of image, this was fine. I then restored D drive XP image. Seemed to go well. It did have a new drive letter but I changed it back. I can access D partition fine from C. All was there. I make sure my boot.ini file is as before. All good. But now when I try to boot into my D drive it hangs at the logon screen. I get the OS choices when I boot but then it just never fully loads the os in.

My D drive is very important as its used for recording and has many programs. I dont want to reinstall. It seems that the MBR needs tweaking? I am positive that the image is ok, but how do i boot back into it? I have heard that if i make a win98 floppy and run fdisk/mbr it may work but I am unsure. The last thing I want to happen is being unable to get back into my C drive.

Any help will be so appreciated as I am struggling with this.


See More: Dual boot XP drive.Cant boot to D drive.

September 9, 2011 at 07:26:33
Try using fixmbr in the Recovery Console.

Load the Windows installation the dual boot configuration is on in the Recovery Console, then run fixmbr.
NOTE that you usually get a warning message when you run it, but running it has never caused me a problem.

Then type exit to close the Recovery Console and restart the computer.

Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console for advanced users

If you haven't used the Recovery Console before, usually there is no Password - just press enter when you are prompted for it.

If there IS a password, there will be asterisk characters - "stars" - the upper case of 8 - after Password: - it's the same one that's used for the Adminstrator user when you press F8 while booting and choose Safe mode or Safe mode with networking. That user has no password by default.

If you have any SATA hard drives....

The XP CD has no built in support for SATA drive controllers, so if the computer's bios Setup has the SATA controllers set to use SATA or AHCI mode, the files intially loaded from the XP CD can't detect SATA drives, by default.

If you get a message that says no hard drive is found after the initial files load from the XP CD and you choose to Repair Windows (load the Recovery Console) by pressing R, or you choose continue on to run Setup.......
the easiest way to fix that problem is.....
you can change the setting for the SATA controllers in the bios Setup to an IDE compatible mode of some sort, Save bios settings,
and then the initial files loaded from XP CD WILL then be able to detect SATA drives, as IDE compatible drives.
We can't tell you what the specific setting is (unless you have a retail mboard model we can look up the bios settings for), but whatever it is, it is presently set to SATA or AHCI mode, that mode can be changed, and at least one other choice is an IDE compatible mode of some sort.

The XP CD you use must have SP1 or later Windows updates integrated into it if you have any hard drives larger than 137gb manufacturer's size.

If your XP CD has no SP updates at all, you can make yourself a "slipstreamed" CD, preferably a CD-R, that has the SP3 updates integrated into the contents of your original CD. While you're doing that, you can also integrate the SATA controller drivers your mboard needs, if that applies, into the contents of the CD, e.g. you can use the freeware nLite program to do both things.

Other possibilities.....

"I make sure my boot.ini file is as before."

That may no longer be correct, as in, the line in boot.ini for what you're calling the D drive partition may not be correct for your present situation.

- it would be wise to make a copy of your present boot.ini file
- boot.ini is a hidden file by default.
If you do not see it listed in the root folder of C:, you need to go to Control Panel - Folder Options - View and change Hidden files and folders to Show hidden files and folders (a green dot in the circle) , click on OK at the bottom of the Folder Options Window.
You may also need to un-select Hide protected operating system files there.
- copy boot.ini to a location other than the root folder of C. If you copy to a location anywhere in \Windows, the Recovery Console can access it.

You can run bootcfg /rebuild in the Recovery Console to fix the problem.

See the link above for
Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console for advanced users
for more info aboult bootcfg and it's various switches

Load the Windows installation the dual boot configuration is on in the Recovery Console, then run bootcfg /rebuild


Type: BOOTCFG /rebuild (press Enter) (a space between BOOTCFG and /)
(this takes takes a few minutes)

At the command prompt, type bootcfg /rebuild, and then press ENTER. This command scans the hard disks of the computer for Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 2000, or Microsoft Windows NT installations, and then displays the results. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to add the Windows installations to the Boot.ini file.

For example, follow these steps to add a Windows XP installation to the Boot.ini file:

a. When you receive a message that is similar to the following message, press Y:

Total Identified Windows Installs: 1

[1] C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)

b. You receive a message that is similar to the following message:
Enter Load Identifier (my note - type something or you will see NO LABEL for the entry when you boot)
This is normally the name of the operating system. When you receive this message, type the name of your operating system, and then press ENTER. This is either Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.

c. You receive a message that is similar to the following:
Enter OS Load options
When you receive this message, type /fastdetect, and then press ENTER.

Note The instructions that appear on your screen may be different, depending on the configuration of your computer.

If there was more than one Windows installation detected on your computer, you will now see:
[2] D:\Windows (or similar)
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)

Repeat steps a, b, c for all Windows installations found.
If you are not sure what to type for Load Identifier, type any text - you can correct that later by editing boot.ini (see My Note: below).

If there was only one Windows installation detected on your computer, or if you have done a, b, c for all Windows installations found if there was more than one, continue with these instructions.
If any Windows installations are definately not XP or 2000, you don't need to enter anything in step c - just press Enter.

9. Type exit, and then press ENTER to quit Recovery Console.
Your computer will restart.
DO NOT press a key to boot from the XP CD

The updated boot list appears when you receive the "Please select the operating system to start" message.

Choose the TOP one (s).

Windows should boot normally.

Remove the Windows CD if it does.

My note:
Bootcfg does not delete the existing lines in boot.ini - it adds one or more new entries that are listed before (above) the older ones.

You can remove the old entries, at least one of which may now be invalid.
Control Panel - System - Advanced - Startup and Recovery - Edit - you MUST maximize the window - delete the entire line(s) below the first line below [operating systems] that were not detected by bootcfg.
(e.g. if there only two lines below [operating systems], delete only the lower one)

Choose File in the top left corner - Save.

If after editing boot.ini there is now only one operating system listed after [operating systems] in boot.ini, after you reboot, your computer will now boot without prompting you to select operating systems.

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