Solved How to get C back to default boot which is on H(recovery)

June 29, 2014 at 11:57:59
Specs: Windows XP, 512mb
got used HP model a350n PC w XP;boots to H not C----Had assigned my name and password and didn't realize it opens H(recovery partition only--only has 7GB and very little space left for programs--The C partition is assigned to Guest which doesn't allow me to connect to the internet nor go into help files,etc----Have read other sites about this and don't seem to find right answer for me----It seems the XP operating system is on both partitions---as though I have 2 separate puters but on same harddrive----Have tried the reconfig window to see if can change default--It shows 2 operating systems with a bit different title--not C and H---I'm a senior and use dialup for my net---I can copy some programs ftrom H over to C and copy some files like pictures over to C so to free up space on H which does allow me to use email thru firefox--but have no room to get flashplayer, antivirus, other needed programs----Thx

message edited by muzkguy

See More: How to get C back to default boot which is on H(recovery)

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July 1, 2014 at 17:17:49
What country are you guys in? full of crap!!!!

Both my puters are HP Pavilions and I have the manuals and spec on boths--and there are 2 partitions---You don't read what I'm saying and you disrespect me as a senior as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!--I happen to have 5 years of college and have been computing for 10 years---My 03 says it is 160 GB for the HD and 142 is on C and H is the recovery partition with 7 GB-----There are 2 separate XPs on each partition as well as the recovery XP is also on H--I know all about the assigned letters--I go into the My Computer page and they are all shown there----
also my best friend has a degree in computer science and rebuilds puters---

I'm sorry to get angry but you all are full of it--period!!!!!!!

June 29, 2014 at 13:55:27
Do you know how to access/login as Admin? If so then you can create a new account for yourself that goes wherever and do whatever you wish... You can make yourself an administrator - which logically is "useful" of course; and also a general (non-Admin) account to do most day to day things... You can give your non-Admin account whatever privileges you feel to; which means certainly install most things - security updates, virus definitions etc., and go on the www and whatever?

The recovery partition is just that - a recovery partition. It contains the files required to restore the whole system back to factory gate/delivery state. Best not to go there until you really need to...

The actual operating system will be (or is usually) on c:

It shows 2 operating systems with a bit different title--not C and H--

If you can copy the boot menu here it would likely enable pholks to assist you more easily.

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June 29, 2014 at 16:30:05
"I can copy some programs from H over to C"

Unfortunately you can't do that. There will be associated registry entries so the programs will not run (unless they are very simple "Stand-alone" programs). They have to be "installed".

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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June 29, 2014 at 16:39:20
In short, you cannot. What you have is an Hp system, that has a recovery partition (7g) which is everything you need to restore the computer to out of the box condition. aside from that, it has a multi media card reader and other options likely, which is why the default hard drive letter for that unit is H. For the most part it should be no issue, you simply replace c: with h: if the installation of a program cannot find the default. Since Windows XP, is installed on the H partition Windows will not allow you to change that. Also, Windows does not say here's 7g for one user and 200g for another user. Windows will be installed on the H partition and your user account should also be storing stuff on the H drive unless you specify otherwise. The recovery partition is only along for the ride, unless you need it, you should not be writing to or from the recovery partition.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

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June 29, 2014 at 16:48:30
So what I mean is this. If you do a System Recovery (not suggesting you do), it would after holding down F11 or it may be ALT+F10 depending on your unit,... it would access the recovery partition (the small one) and then reinstall everything back to like the day it was purchased, fresh install of windows xp, the drivers etc. H would still be designated as the main drive. The only way you can possibly make it C: is to unplug the multi media card reader and any devices and do a fresh install yourself, then when you shut off the unit, and plug back in the card reader etcs, it would give them other drive designations.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

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June 29, 2014 at 16:52:21
Very familiar with that system, it is not c: by default. It would have been like that the day it was purchased. They came with H as the main drive letter and another for the recovery partition maybe Q or whatever doesn't matter.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

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June 29, 2014 at 17:16:17
Mmm... If hp made H the default drive for the active installation - why didn't they set it up as per the "norm" and make it C: ?

Also the poster says that there is a version on C: , that H is the Recovery partition (or am I misreading/misinterpreting here?) and also states there are two installations...?

The boot- menu would be useful here; complete with ARC/path statements...

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June 29, 2014 at 19:14:08
Hi folks:

My 2001 HP with XP just shows the C drive under My Computer in the Start function--No partition is shown even tho there is one--Last year due to many problems I performed a system recovery on it and the manual says "no user data" would be disturbed--well, everything was erased off my HD--all my pics, all my later browsers and SP 2 and 3--so it is so messed up now that I saw another PC on CL and bought it in May--It is a 2003 model but it shows 2 separate drives under My Computer--the C and the H---both are healthy and the H recovery is the boot drive--Someone else on this site said that many reinstall the op system without deleting the old one first and thus the reinstall went into the recovery partition automatically and thus caused the default and boot to be on H in my casa----I will have to take the puter to my friend's to put on High speed to download the SP 2 on my 01 model so I can get later browsers,etc----The CD reader is also broken on it--but not on the 03 model--another reason to buy the 03----I use dialup and very slow for downloads of anything long----

I may have to reinstall XP to the C by deleting it first--have a friend with the XP CD---

In the reconfig file, 2 operating systems are showing to change default--I tried that but H still shows it is the boot------Guest is the user on C and not an administrator--thus can't go on the net with it----I am the administrator on the H--but when I download anything, it goes into H--or tries to and not enough space anymore to do that----I do have Foxfire browser and it is on both partitions as I copied it over to C from H after installing it-----Pics can be moved or copied to C from H as they download to H and then I can move them to save the space----

Note: When trying to click on the "guest" icon under user file in the control panel, it won't let me do that--I can shut guest off and on--that is all----no way to put me as a user on the C since an administrator is needed to do that----

Several others have had this same problem over the years--One way to fix is to use the partition tool to increase the size in H from the unused space on C which is almost 100 GB right now----plenty for me--and thus continue to use H as the boot--

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June 29, 2014 at 21:12:46
Since this computer is new to you and it seems to have a recovery partition, consider doing that.

Or, if it does, as you suspect , have two installation of XP you might try editing the boot.ini file to boot to the other one:

You can have a look at boot.ini with notepad and paste its contents on your next posting. That way we can take a look at it. Just open c:\boot.ini from notepad.

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June 30, 2014 at 05:44:40
Yes, I did try to change the default(boot) to other "system" on the boot.ini and it still boots to H-----Also, I opened another user account but it is in H with my other one because "guest" user is not an administrator on the C partition and under user accounts on the control panel in C, I cannot open another user account there as no choice listed to do that and the Guest icon will not open either--Each operating system of XP has its own control panel I noticed----

I think that I will have to delete the XP on C and reinstall from a CD which my bud has or do the partition tool to expand the H capacity from the unused space on C--thus leaving C by itself--but it won't be the recovery partition as I think that the XP recovery system is also on H along with the XP I can use there due to the previous owner not deleting the XP on C which caused XP to go to the H as someone on here said in another post--oops!!!--so really have 3 XPs on my HD--wow!!! Incidently I have been computing for 10 years now and am 73 now---another wow!!!----I will write down the 2 ops in the boot.ini and post them here soon--

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June 30, 2014 at 06:10:39
Incidentally referring back to your previous hp - which after a re-install/recovery routine - where you lost all your pics etc...

Have you managed at al to recover them? It may still be possible even at this late stage; although many of course will have gone permanently...

File recovery software may still apply with some success; but the hard drive would best be removed and slaved (or connected via usb - which I think might be easier) to anther working system. Recovered files then saved to the working system hard drive which is also running the file recovery software - and then later copied to DVD.

Always useful (wise/r) to have all personal files - whatever they may be - to external storage as well as having them on a given working system's hard drive. Typically of course to cd/dvd and ideally another external hard drive too. Then they're safe(r) whatever befalls anon...?

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June 30, 2014 at 11:30:59
Have replaced most pics as some were from various sites and some personal which were already in my broswer's files--All my later browsers and tools were wiped back to when PC was new and thus have to reinstall XP SP2 and Sp 3 inorder to get later browsers and various other programs that won't download due to DLL problems caused by not having the SPs per another poster on a website--Have to take pc tpo my pal's and put on HP net as dialup way too slow--just haven't had good chance to do it yet--due to weather too cold, too hot, other things going on,etc----for several months now---

but back to the 03 model:

This is what is on the Boot.INI page:

[boot loader]
default= multi(0)disk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/no execute=optin/fastdetect

one of these would be C and the other H I guess-------maybe 1st one is C and 2nd one is H? tried making each one as default and apply and close and restart and H still remains the boot system-------

Right now the 03 pc is frozen as it frequently does--have tried to get an antivirus loaded and not enough space in H to do so---have the disk and registry cleaners and use them a lot---so am using the 01 pc

Thx for all your help-----what is that site to get the partition changed called?---

message edited by muzkguy

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June 30, 2014 at 12:24:17
re' the 01 pc..

Download and burn to dvd a Kaspersky anti-virus rescue disk ISO ; boot 01 with that dvd... It's a Linux based disk that will load into RAM only; then go it goes on-line to update it self. After-which it will scan the entire system for pests various... - will take you the Kaspersky download/support page

It will take a wee while load itself and also to run /complete a full scan - which is what opt for.

When its' done what it can - reboot 01 and download/run CCleaner, Adwcleaner and if possible Junkware Removal Tool

These will clear out all manner of stuff that is likely causing 01 to stall...

Back to 03...

The boot.ini - with the default= multi(0)disk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS

appears to suggest you have two installations of Windows XP Home.

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partitions(1)\WINDOWS= "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/fast detect

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partitions(1)\WINDOWS= "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/fast detect

This doesn't seem to make sense; both appear to be in the "same" partition with the same/identical entry - not the least same folder name.... If there was an installation of Windows present in a given partition when a second one when in to that same partition, the second one would not have the same folder name as the first... But if the second installation goes into a different partition then it "could" have the same folder name as that in "another" partition. Windows will not allow two folders of same name in the same physical location. Somehow there is a duplicate entry for the same installation?

Quite how you manage to to boot to XP in the same partition apparently booting to C: and/or to H: - which is what you appear to say in your earlier posts - ????

one of these would be C and the other H I guess-------maybe 1st one is C and 2nd one is H? tried making each one as default and apply and close and restart and H still remains the boot system-------

As these two entries are the same that is why they both will go to H: . As I say above, how you get to C: - I've no idea... The default OS to boot is actually one of the two entries in the list of installed OS below the default entry.

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June 30, 2014 at 15:28:52
If #11 was a copy/paste of the boot.ini there is a subtle difference between the last two lines. One has a backslash before WINDOWS and a space after the = sign, the other hasn't. If it was typed than that might be the reason, otherwise I'm not really sure what it is telling us except that they are not actually identical.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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June 30, 2014 at 15:40:27
Mmm yes... Missed that... Not sure if that entry would boot if like that... Which if so, then it will explain why it only boots to "H: " when either line is used. The system might default to what works. Although I can't recall just what happens when the selected line tries to boot and can't because it's incorrect...

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June 30, 2014 at 15:44:58
Couple of extra points I would like to query also.

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partitions(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/no execute=optin/fast detect

Is the the plural partitions correct?
Or should it be partition?

Is fast detect correct?
Or should it be fastdetect?

Always Copy & Paste when possible, prevents typo's.

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June 30, 2014 at 16:20:03
When you toggle F8 during boot, you are probably getting a screen like this.

Below is a normal boot.ini for your Windows version.

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect

message edited by Johnw

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July 1, 2014 at 11:11:01
In my post #11, there are 2 different line items for the op systems--

I had to type this as I can't do cut and paste--never couold learn that--use select for documents--so typed this in from my copied notes----no spaces anywhere and fastdetect is suppose to be together and the 2nd line has the noexecute=optin in it toward the end------

also it is my 03 pc that we are talking about--had said 01 in the post by mistake--but to day it is working and am using it right now to post this----------

What my friend said to do is to copy the XP from H to a CD and then delete the XP in C and reinstall from the CD and make C the boot default drive-----XP can't be removed from H and it is on there with the recovery XP original system--

But how to do all this may prove difficult--my manual from my 01 says to use the HP RecordNow software but it has been deleted I think--so has the PC doctor software--not on this 03 model----My Cd reader-writer is broken on my 01 and part of reason to get this 03 model----My friend may try to put another CD reader/writer in the slot from some of our old towers--if they will fit even tho they aren't HP towers--I may use the partition program to expand the space in H from C and continue to use H as my op system--have almost 100GB space and that will be way more than I need--It is a 160GB HD total--The H is only 7gb of that and almost full due to 2 op systems of XP on it and a few programs--only 20mb space right now on H left--

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July 1, 2014 at 11:31:27
John--Have corrected the post 11 now for the boot.ini for spelling and spacing of letters,etc--and yes a normal boot you showed is what my 01 model shows when I compared to the 03---but I still donj't go into C as a boot--can access it from "my computer" icon in the Start to see all the folders and files that do open--and can use the user "guest" to go to the C control panel but as I said before, not an administrator user thus cannot go on the net or help files,etc with that user--

What I want to know is what does the added part to the op listing in boot.ini mean?
The noexecute=optin between the last 2 slash forwards?

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July 1, 2014 at 12:07:41
It's hard to get you to understand. Windows assigns letters to things. A + B are left for floppies of yesteryear, making c: the default hard drive usually, but not always. For example if I had 3 hard drives and did them without doing anything funny, they would be
Hard drive c:
Hard drive d:
Hard drive e: Windows simply goes up the alphabet after A and B. Well what happens if you add a card reader? Windows will assign them drive letters f:, g: h: i: etc.
In your case with that model, the card reader has reserved c: d: e: f: and g, making the first hard drive plugged into it H. and then HP assigned the recovery partition to q: or whatever.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

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July 1, 2014 at 12:26:25
I think it's too confusing to tell whether someone has installed the O/S to the recovery partition, or whether someone reassigned drive letters in the hopes of making a c: drive the main drive. The bit about the guest account is also confusing as windows does not assign users to partitions. All I can advise is that is was normal on many HP models for the main hard drive to be H and not C, as many are accustomed.

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

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July 1, 2014 at 15:32:49
I'm wondering if the C: partition was actually a created "space" (drive/partition) assigned C: for the use of a Guest login; much as would be done on a domain system where each user has his/her own "private" disk space on a main server?

That C: "partition" (or more likely better referred to as a folder?) might well be on the H: partition - as clearly there is only one partition on this system (if the boot.ini/ARC statements are true as posted).

That C: partition could well have been set up with restrictions (limited privileges) so as to disallow almost anything useful as well; not the least getting onto the web...

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July 1, 2014 at 16:54:20
"I had to type this as I can't do cut and paste--never couold learn that"
I said Copy ( not cut, cut means what it says, the info is deleted )

Practice here on how to Copy & Paste.

Next, go into Edit the Boot.ini File ( refer the link below ) & Copy & Paste the correct Boot.ini info into post #11, there are still typo's in it.

I will deal with your other questions later.

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July 1, 2014 at 17:17:49
✔ Best Answer
What country are you guys in? full of crap!!!!

Both my puters are HP Pavilions and I have the manuals and spec on boths--and there are 2 partitions---You don't read what I'm saying and you disrespect me as a senior as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!--I happen to have 5 years of college and have been computing for 10 years---My 03 says it is 160 GB for the HD and 142 is on C and H is the recovery partition with 7 GB-----There are 2 separate XPs on each partition as well as the recovery XP is also on H--I know all about the assigned letters--I go into the My Computer page and they are all shown there----
also my best friend has a degree in computer science and rebuilds puters---

I'm sorry to get angry but you all are full of it--period!!!!!!!

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July 1, 2014 at 17:42:24
It sounds like you have a real clear idea of the problem. Windows XP installed on both the recovery partition and the other partition. Why not just do the factory restore since you just got it???

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

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July 1, 2014 at 17:54:42
I have never heard of HP or any other OEM make the boot drive another letter only C for Boot and if their was one D. Are you the original owner? did someone or you do a re install with a Windows CD and not the recovery? I just looked the model up on google images. We have one like that at my Church I have done a recovery on it once. Never had the issue and C is the boot and D is recovery.

Laptop Dell Latitude D620 Core2Duo
Windows XP Pro SP3
Desktop HP Pavilion p6533w
AMD Dual Core 3.0
Windows 7 Home Premium
Server Windows XP Pro SP3
3.0 Ghz 3 GB Ram

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July 1, 2014 at 18:37:40
Disk numbering starts with zero (0) with non scsi drives.

Partitioning starts with number one (1)

Your boot.ini statements (both lines) - aka ARC path/statements show only one drive multi (0) and only one partition (1). The entry rdisk will also be (0).

The recovery partition is not listed, and under normal circumstances it would not be in the boot.ini. In fact I've yet to see a recovery partition show "anywhere" other than when a drive is examined with drive manager or suitable partitioning software. Frequently (but not always) they are identified as "Q" and have a very specific format - used by manufacturers solely for recovery partition data.

No-one is disrespecting "you" as a senior. For what it's worth quite a few of us here at CN are also senior citizens - and some of us quite a few year senior to you. We also have diverse, extensive experience too; dating back to dos and window then onto '9x and forward to current OS various.

These two links give an explanation of the way paths are formulated. The first include a link to an MS KB about it too. Andthe second covers "all aspects" in a slightly less confusing way; and covers all options re 'drive letters, partion letters etc. too.

If you can point out to me (at least) where the information you have provided thus far shows that there are two partitions on the drive - please do so.

From your boot.ini examples you have one (active) partition; and it has one copy of XP Home loaded there. Or am I, and possibly others too, missing something?

If XP was installed first as Windows (typically so for Home) then a second installation "into the same partition" cannot be called Windows. It might well have gone is as WinNT or something similar. You do not have two different folder names for XP in the single partition as shown in the boot.ini/arc statements... If XP went in first as WinNT (XP Pro often is/was often installed with that folder name) then a second installation - be it Home or Pro would likely go in as Windows...

Having installed both versions into the same partition on occasion, I speak from personal experience. Likewise I have installed both versions (Home and/or Pro) into separate partitions and the had the same folder name for whichever version was in (say) partition (1) as that in partition (2).

I have an old Dell tower that has all MS OS installed; some in separate partitions, and some sharing a partition. Where "Windows" had already been used as folder name in a partition any subsequent Windows OS - regardless of which it is - gets another name by (MS) default;(although I personally choose that alternative name in preference to the proffered default alternative. You simply cannot have two installations called Windows in the same partition... It just ain't allowed... And if you think it through you will understand "why".

As it's just after 2.30am where I am now... Time for bed...

message edited by trvlr

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July 1, 2014 at 19:22:55
OK, so maybe you had the odd response you didn't like but that is no excuse for blasting everyone off at #23. There have been a number people from several countries trying to help you on here for free in their own spare time.

I can't see how the situation you have with this computer could have just suddenly happened - something was done to cause it. It's a mess and most likely it can only be unravelled with hands-on assistance. Since you claim to have the knowledge (apart from cut and paste) and have another technical person to hand then you should be in a good position to sort it all out.

message edited by Derek

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July 1, 2014 at 21:39:41
I'm too old to check all the above threads again but do you have 2 physical hard drives in the system or is it two partitions on a single drive?

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July 1, 2014 at 22:43:20
Where can I mark Muzkguys answer the best???

To err is human but to really screw things up, you need a computer!

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July 2, 2014 at 08:03:21
Overall... as 03 is recent acquisition... and as already suggested by others above... why not simply invoke/run the factory reset/restore routine... That way it will likely resolve all the 03 current problems and set it to as delivered when new. At which point one will be able to see how it was actually configured - in terms of partition naming, and where the OS was actually installed etc.?

Whatever the outcome, whichever way you go with 03, it would b e "interesting" to know: the what, why, how etc. of it all, when all said and dun, when all "dun 'n dusted"... If only out of academic interest; let alone for future use here...

message edited by trvlr

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July 2, 2014 at 16:26:13
My apologies as I'm not familiar with this site and just thought that everyone replying were maybe young geeks--LOL----

Reread my post #7 above and it pretty much explains my point about the 03 puter----

It surely has 2 partitions at least as shown under the adm icon and disk mgt from the control panel--shows 2 diagrams--one is H--recovery-boot and other is C and says system --H is 7GB and C is 142 GB and both are saying they are healthy----

At least I can send and get email as my 01 puter is now at my bud's--They tried to download XP SP2 and it went all way to the actual installing and would abort halfway thru process several times they tried per phone call as I could only stay awhile due to other things to do---will have to save all HD data and reinstall the XP as they have a CD to do so----

Why did someone renmame my post? Doesn't make sense and not what my problem is--

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July 2, 2014 at 16:39:59
Here's what is shown in blocks under the Disk Mgt page I spoke of above:

142.02GB NTFS

7.02GB FAT32

Does this show some more light on the matter?

I just don't see how there can be only one partition on the HD with all this data I can look at that seems to show otherwise-----I only paid $25 for this PC back in May---so not much loss if I can get my other one to work--but it is not finished yet to fix it----My pal was able to put another CVD reader/writer in the 01 today and works fine---so if I can get the op system reinstalled, it should fix it--------

message edited by muzkguy

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July 2, 2014 at 17:30:14
Understand that you say it has two partitions; but for general discussion the recovery partition is usually "just that" and doesn't usually have enough space for much else other than the recovery files/data...; certainly not advised to use for anything else…

On most systems that recovery partition used to be at the physical start of the drive; and was labeled partition(1); and usually hidden... And also often called PQ (not Q as I suggested earlier). Thus the main partition (presuming the drive hadn't been broken into an OS/apps etc. partition - and a separate data area - consequently was called partition(2).

Your 03 doesn't appear to follow the above - as regards partition numbering - if H: is after C: physically on the drive; but if H: is physically first on the drive - which used to be the norm… - then yes it would/does follow the above logic. And I am inclined to ponder in that direction… H: is at the physical head of the drive (or is it)?

Where I last worked full-time - we went from Dell to HP/Compaq (not my choice), and they all came with a recovery partition (PQ) at the physical head of the drive; and called partition(1); the single (main) partition followed and was called partition(2).

For whatever reason it seems that some systems now arrive (HP being one of them it appears) with the recovery partition "after" the main partition; and it seemingly called all manner of things - other than a, b, or c... Which presumably means that the main partition is now (1) and the recovery is (2). Partitions are numbered (as in the MS etc. articles above) - Primary partitions first in sequence across drives in sequence, then Extended partitions accordingly/similarly.

What is strange in your 03 is that if there is an XP installation in both C: and H: why it doesn't show both installations and their respective partition in the boot.ini... Your boot.ini as posted shows the presence of a single partition with XP installed there (and with actually two entries that are effectively the same - allowing for typos)?

One would expect to see an entry for and XP installation in partition(2) as well...

Multi(0) scsi(0) rdisk(0) partition(2)

- for the C: installation…; but it isn't there...?

So quite how one can boot to the C: version - at this time... Am I misreading/missing something here? Are you actually only "seeing" the C: partition from the H: installation - but can't boot into it (C: ) which is what I would expect based on your current boot.ini.

However... are you familiar with the” bootcfg” command/option... This scans a system (that uses/includes a boot.ini) for "all" NT based OS installations (NT through to XP at least) and adds them to the current boot.ini. Useful if you have such an OS and it isn't in the boot.ini (as here...?)

It can be run via Recovery Console; and also from a command line (dos box) prompt (start\run - type cmd - and press return/enter)

Have a look-see/read of these two articles; one is the M$ KB about it ,and the other a more detailed (and I suggest helpful how to use it). Note in the second one that part way down it discusses running the command/utility from a command prompt...

Possibly bootcfg command this will bring up the other version (on C: ) into the boot.ini - for you to access/boot into...?

It won't (or doesn't as far I've ever experienced) do any harm to the booting of the currently active OS (in H: in your current situation)

If it does find the C: version... then you will have two lines is the boot.ini that are very similar if not near identical... The only/main difference being the partition number... One of them (H: ) will be and presumably remain (1) and the other (C: ) will be (2). Although there is a feint possibility that they may be renumbered so that the C: partition = (1) and the H: partition = (2)... (if H: is actually after C: physically on the drive - which I suspect it isn’t...). And if that were to happen they ought to still boot OK... Not having been is your current situation I'm speculating on this last bit re' the partition numbers switching around; it "may" not happen... This switching of partition numbers would “not” occur if H: is indeed physically first on the drive, and C: is physically second and immediately after it. C: will simply be correctly labeled partition(2).

In defence of some of the younger crowd... There are some "bright young things" (male and female) here who are way ahead of some of us of more mature years... There is one 16-17yr old who more than earns his spurs here at times... And many years ago a Microsoft chap at a professional computer fair commented to me that “some of the brightest and best software people” (designers and support) they had were - mon Dieu... - 'female"..., and often left many of their male counterparts trailing way behind in the dust...; much to their (male) chagrin...

There were two Unix support ladies where last I worked - we called the more mature/senior one "the Unix Queen", and the younger - "queen in waiting"; and what they didn't know about Unix can likely be writ on a postage stamp... They were highly regarded and well respected by all.

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July 2, 2014 at 17:36:22
You added your #32 whilst I was assembling my #33... Does your disk management show the order of the partitions - i.e. which is physically first on the drive?

The drive is spec'd as 160Gig and although the two partitions together come in a wee bit under that - that's normal... All depends on which method one uses to determine/describe the capacity of a drive; and I'm not going into that now - nor am I fully conversant with it anyway... It's all about the maths...

And it's tres tarde ice - pour moi... 1.30am "plus"; and time for hot chockie and bed...

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July 2, 2014 at 18:01:01
Re #34. The maths.

It's because Tera, Giga, Mega and Kilo (Bytes) in computer data storage are based on 1024 but HD manufacturers have cheekily always used 1000, as per domestic kilos etc.

So a drive claimed to be 160GB is actually 160,000,000,000 divided by 1024 three times. So it's really only about 149GB useable.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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July 2, 2014 at 18:19:33
A quick way to add the "missing" C: installtion to the boot.ini...

This is yorcurrent boot.ini (as posted in #11 above).

[boot loader]
default= multi(0)disk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/no execute=optin/fastdetect

Duplicate the first entry under operating systems in the boot ini. Then change the partition(1) entry for that duplicated line only - to read partition(2).

Thus your new boot.ini will resemble:

[boot loader]
default= multi(0)disk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"//fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition"/no execute=optin/fastdetect

Save the changes and reboot.

When the boot screen comes up, arrow down to select the partition(2) entry and see if it boots to the other installation (C: ). If it does then you can set it as default OS to boot?

If it doesn't then your current default line (OS to boot) willstill be the that boots now - as long as you haven't changed that default.

All you are doing at tis time is duplicating a working entry and changing one value in it. Partition(1) becomes partition(2).

The bootcfg routine would create a similar entry that you may/can create manually - if the bootcfg finds the installation that is currently missing from the boot.ini.

message edited by trvlr

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July 3, 2014 at 11:22:01
trvlr--you are most interesting guy---do you possibly worship a rainbow flag? Just wondering--Hehe
earlier you had missed that the 2nd line under boot.ini is different with the added noexecute=optin toward the end--I asked everyone what that means--noone has said yet-----I tho't it means one line is the C and the other is the H--but when I move them and highlight, the boot on H still doesn't change--but this new suggestion might work--will try and see----am quite busy today while cool getting chores done here in SW Missouri----

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July 3, 2014 at 12:32:32
I tried to add the new line to boot.ini but cursor will not appear there to do so--another way to enter it? I don't know lot of things--like DOS like my bud does,etc---

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July 3, 2014 at 17:03:01
Your unanswered question is, at this stage, of no bearing on you main problem. Pholks here will deal with later. I'm without phone and dsl service just now. Mt bt seem to have several faults on it; crossed lines; heavy static sounding bursts of noise; false alerts that I have received call etc. etc this is via my BB and until I get bt line issues resolved ( they "maybe within3 days...) I'm effectively off-line; other than brief emails etc. Via Bb push mail. Will contribute more when I am on-line properly again. Meanwhile otherd here will likel tell you how to edit your boot.ini to include the partition(2) entry. Or you run the bootcfg command which do it all for you.

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July 3, 2014 at 17:16:09
How to edit Boot.ini file XP:

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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July 4, 2014 at 08:03:27

I did the method you said--simple one--where I added the line as Trvlr had suggested with (2) for a partition--in notepad--and then went back to boot.ini to see if there and it is and made it default and rebooted but am still showing H as the boot drive under the control panel--adm--disk mgt sub files---

A lot of the site for editing boot.ini is quite complicated---

My local pal says that adding another OS and making it default doesn't make it the boot-----have been reading the various links above those have asked me to read--complicated----

message edited by muzkguy

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July 4, 2014 at 15:55:36
Are you certain the line you added is essentially the same as the entry that boots - other than it has partition(2)?

Try running the bootcfg command. That will (usually) find any NT based OS (XP is one) that isn't already listed (correctl) in the boot.ini and add it to the list of operating systems. When you reboot afterward select whatever it had added (if anything) and see what happensm

When say "your added entry" boots also to H: is it exactly the same desktop etc. as the partition(1).

Incidentally when you got this pc was it like is now (apart from your added partition(2) entry)? And can you see any sign/evidence the recovery files the 7gig partition?

Normally the recovery partition (when physically first on the hd was format other than fat16/32/ntfs; and could not written to nor XP be installed there - unless that recovery partition was reformatted (and that I seem to recall took a deliberate action to achievas just above run the bootcfg routine if it doesn't find and add the C: version (logically in partition(2) then I'm inclined to feel it ain't there anymore?

If you run the Michael Stevens "repair installation" - at least start it - that too would find list the C: version (if it's still there) as one of the installations you may wish to repair. If it does find and offer then do so. But if it doedn't find the C: version then it no-longer actually exists

The repair installation - as per Michael Stevens link - effectively overwrites the chosen version, replacing damaged files and restoring those missing. His article is very clear in how to do, and has excellent screen shots. If the repair doesn't list the "missing version' then just cancel out from the process, remove the XP cd/dvd and reboot as current

I'm still "sans internet" landline phone; BT/OpenReach doth move very slowly these day. I know from a chat with customer services that fault is "frame fault" but they unable to discover which. The last time was in a phone exchange equipment or server area, all frames/racks had individual fault and alarm/alert indicators. Perhap the current generation OpenReach techies don't look for such useful indicators these days. Meanwhile it's still 3 days to repair (at least) so this is painfully slow - via my BB.

edited per trvlr - to correct typos various

message edited by trvlr

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July 4, 2014 at 16:04:35
If bootcfg finds a valid installation and includes it in the boot.ini/boot-menu then, unless the actual installation added that way is faulty, it will boot (or at least try to boot) to the added OS. It doesn't have to be set as default; you merely arrow/cursor down to it in the list when you reboot with the updated boot.ini/boot-menu and select it and confirm to boot with it. The default can be whatever you want it to be.

edited per trvlr to tidy up typos various from a BB...

message edited by trvlr

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July 5, 2014 at 06:11:31

Never have said before in this thread--but when booting up, I have a screen that begins with 2 OS identical--Windows XP Home Edition and asks which one to choose and then press enter--both boot to H--Well since adding the partition 2 and it is identical other than the 2, I now have 3 OS and either one will boot to H when chosen---My 01 pc doesn't have a page like than--It goes right to my login for my password so I can connect to the net---and it won't download the SP2 to XP and I go again today to my pal's place and we are going to make the CD for the scan for viruses,etc on it---will have to back up all my files on HD and reinstall XP from his CD if nothing else works------

At least I can do my email on this 03 mdel after it rests over night as it freezes up and I simply have to let it sit--Pal doubts that works--but it has for other PCs I've had in past--LOL----

SDorry about your troubles there---but wait til you have it again to reply on here--don't need to hurry on this situation---Thx, Bob

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July 5, 2014 at 12:33:23
Have a dsl connection again for a wee while at least so easier to post again - for now...

Somehow I suspect we have gotten a little konphused/mixed up re’ which PC is which… Perhaps not - but for clarity sake… To confirm that 01 is with you chum; being refitted with a replacement cd/dvd unit? Whilst it’s there wise to have it fully scanned (Kaspersky and the cleaner utilities mentioned much earlier) to clean that one out of what may be a surprising amount of “junk” you didn‘t even suspect was there. This we paragraph is all about 01.

03 is the one under discussion - with originally two “near identical” entries in the (both partition(1); and now has an additional for entry partition(2).

If I interpret your last response (#44) re’ 03 - you have two entries to partition(1) - both of which will boot to H: ; and the new/third entry which refers to partition(2) boots also to H: ? (And you cannot do anything more than a very limited Guest event?)

If so then there is "sumat very weird" going on here. If partition(2) is actually the C: drive/partition - with partition(1) actually ahead of it physically on the drive (as was the custom in days of yore...) - then how it boots to H: on another partition(2) - ????

To digress briefly on the whole boot up process… as you mention that 01 doesn’t show the boot.ini (the boot-menu - as is more usually/correctly called at boot time).

An unmodified, non-customised, will appear on boot up as the normal/standard M$ opening as it were. It will remain showing for 30secs and then boot to whatever is set as default OS to boot. The user can modify that boot-menu "time out" setting so as to reduce the 30seconds to whatever (or even extend it too I think...). Many set it to zero and thus it goes straight through the boot sequence (for the default OS) and arrives at the Windows logon screen. Even that can be by-passed too; and many elect to if it's their own computer and likely no-one else (no other user-accounts) is (are) using it...

Likely your 01 has been customised a little to reduce the default time to boot to the default OS - to zero; but has not been set to by-pass the user logon/password screen. To regain access to the boot-menu permanently on boot up one has to re-enable that option; but that’s for another time; It’s actually quite simple and involves resetting the time-out to whatever value you prefer (via same screen as where you can edit the boot.ini). To regain access to the boot-menu for any reason on a one off the Time Out has to be reset…

Back to 03:

Can you determine where physically the C: partition is on the drive; and likewise the H: partition - which one is physically first? Can you also determine the properties of the C: partition, and see a) if its empty, or b) there is anything actually in it… (See the reference/link lower down for how to do this/) You appear to say early on that you can get into C: but with limited access… For the folders etc. that you can access - can you view their properties and determine actually where they are physically on the drive?

If you boot this system with any current Linux based dvd and then access the entire hard drive in 03 - from that RAM installed Linux OS… you can then see “everything” on the drive.; and which partition has what… Can you do this?

Also again perhaps run the bootcfg command - as that is one of the sure fire ways to find any and all NT based OS and add them to the boot.ini - even if (I seem to recall) they won’t boot up properly. BUT - before you do that - delete the partition(2) entry (which you added recently) rom the 03 boot.ini; so that 03 boot.ini is again only showing partition(1) entries…

Why do this? Good practice is to restore a situation to as was prior to application of a possible solution - if that solution didn’t appear to help… In days of valves (sorry vacuum tubes) if we changed a valve/tube and nothing improved… often we put the old one back - pending further investigations… Otherwise one may be compounding a problem…

On this 03… is there anyway you can gain access as Administrator and check the User’s list and profiles etc.? Have you tried actually logging on as Admin? Typically it can Administrator/Administrator combination; it can the same with no capitals; it can Administrator - and no password (leave it blank); or again all lower-case and leave the password blank; some even have set it to Password or password. It can be Admin or admin and so on… (It could even be blank for both - but highly unlikely…; as it leaves the system wide open…!) There is usually no lockout if you try many times; that lockout usually only happens on a Domain system…

03 will almost certainly benefit from the Kaspersky etc. scans as for 01… and they alone may help it stop freezing…

However with a small 7Gig partition for the current XP installation (and who knows what else) the page-file may be pitifully small, and the disk my seriously slogging away swapping stuff in/out of RAM in attempts to run even at all…?

You also appear to say the original recovery data has gone… With that in mind can/will you run the inspection as per this link and post the results…

It will show very clearly what is actually where on the drive; the size and status of each partition; the available and used space for each… What we’re looking for is: the type of each partition; which one is booting; the size of each; the free space on each. But DO NOT tweak/change anything as per the hex editor routines a little lower down the page… Merely follow the first part and inspect/note etc…

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August 6, 2014 at 19:31:26
I'm back guys---Something happened and I lost all my mail and couldn't recall the website---and my friend here had health turn for worse and later died on 31st----

But my pal did reinstall XP on the 01 pc but a scan wiped all my data off the HD---He had a disc for Xp Pro only----

Meanwhile the space in H on the 03 finally used up and caused the pc not to boot at all now--a blue screen appears now---so am using the 01 but it is messing up like it did before with "non responding" a lot and several small drop down menu windows all the time like it used to do covering the screen and hard to get them off---programs won't download I want to add--It has a free avast antivirus and scan shows no viruses---yet my friend completely cleared off the HD he said before putting XP pro on---

The blue screen on the 03 says:

windows shut down to protect the pc

and down at bottom is:

Stop: Ox0000007B(OxF8A0D524, OxC0000034, Ox00000000,Ox00000000)

The O could be number 0 where I have the Os----

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August 6, 2014 at 19:40:30
This gives you an idea of the possible fixes for your situation.

Stop: 0x0000007B

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