Laptop won't boot after deleting partition

Gateway Tablet pc notebook computer
February 15, 2010 at 17:36:00
Specs: Windows Vista
I always ran XP on my Gateway laptop. I wanted to try Win7 when the beta came out so I partitioned my drive and could dual boot to either OS. The Win7 beta expired and I eventually wanted to remove the partition to free up some space so I deleted the the Win7 partition. Now I am unable to boot. Upon starting my computer, the first screen I see is the same one I saw when I had the ability to dual boot (i.e. selecting Windows 7 or an earlier version of Windows). If I choose the earlier version it says "Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause" and tells me to insert my windows installation disc and go through the repair console. It also gives this info:
"FIle: \ntldr
Status: 0xc00002225
Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt"
I think while I deleted the correct partition, I did so without reconfiguring the boot files.

When I try to open the recovery console I get this message:
"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.

Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program

Setup cannot continue. To quit Setup, press F3 "

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks


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#1
February 15, 2010 at 22:29:01
If your XP recovery did not work, you might have to buy or borrow a full XP disc of the same version (Gateway should offer one) to repair boot and if needed use your original key.

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#2
February 16, 2010 at 13:08:08
I think I'd look at what you have with a live cd.

Normally Fingers would be correct and may be this time too. I was just wondering why the recovery partition said that.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)


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#3
February 16, 2010 at 13:22:54
"When I try to open the recovery console I get this message:
"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer."

You missed hitting F6 when it appears in the lower left corner to then add the hd controller driver. No driver no disk found

To remove the windows7 boot loader you would have to do a repair install of xp


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Related Solutions

#4
February 16, 2010 at 13:57:31
I'll have to try this when I get home later. Will a repair install of xp remove all my files and programs? Is this different than a clean install?

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#5
February 16, 2010 at 16:03:30
"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer."

You get that message if the bios Setup of the computer has the mboard's SATA controller(s) in SATA mode or similar (e.g. AHCI mode), because XP has few if any built in SATA controller drivers.
If Setup can't recognize the SATA controller(s) it can't recognize a SATA drive either.

If you had continued on with Setup, it would not have found the SATA drive either.

"You missed hitting F6 when it appears in the lower left corner to then add the hd controller driver. No driver no disk found"

That's probably not do-able if your laptop does not have a legacy floppy drive.
At that early point in Setup, XP (and 2000) only recognizes a few usb floppy drive models, most of which have not been made for years, and Setup can't recognize drivers for controllers on hard drives, CD or DVD drives, USB flash drives, or external drives. It can only find driver files on a floppy disk.

If you set the bios Setup of the computer so the SATA controller(s) are in IDE compatible mode or similar, the SATA controller and the SATA drive will be detected fine by Setup in SATA mode or similar, as IDE compatible devices.

IDE compatible mode - a.k.a ATA mode, EIDE mode, compatibilty mode, etc.

"To remove the windows7 boot loader you would have to do a repair install of xp"

I doubt you have to do that.
If you did delete the correct partition, you probably don't need to do an XP Repair installation procedure.

Set the bios so so the SATA controller(s) are in IDE compatible mode or similar, save bios settings.

If you have a hard drive larger than 137gb manufacturer's size, the XP CD must have SP1 updates included, or later. If it has SP2 or SP3 updates included, SP2 or SP3 is printed on the CD.

Boot the computer with the CD.
Let the files load.
Press R at the first full text screen to go to the Recovery Console.

you will see
Administrator Password:

If there are no asterisks beside password ("stars"; the uppercase of 8 on your keyboard) just press Enter.

If there are asterisks beside Password, the password is the same one you use for Administator in Safe mode in Windows, then press Enter.


Setup will look for Windows installations.

Each one found will start with a number.
Type the number, press Enter.

If there is only one Windows installation found, press 1, press Enter.

If there is more than one Windows installation found, press the number for the one the computer booted with before, press Enter. Usually that's 1 too, or the one on C:\Windows .


Type:

FIXMBR (press Enter) (answer Y for Yes)
FIXBOOT (Press Enter) (answer Y for Yes)


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

8. 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 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
..........

NOTE
In this case, you may not get the choice of booting from one of two operating systems, in which case windows should boot without you seeing that.

If you DO get the choice of booting from one of two operating systems, the following assumes you did.
.........

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

Choose the TOP one.

Windows should boot normally.

Remove the Windows CD if it does.
....

My note:
Bootcfg does not delete the existing 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.
........................

"Will a repair install of xp remove all my files and programs? "

That's a pet peeve of mine.
People often call it that, but there is no such thing as a Repair install. That isn't what the text says in Setup
It's a Repair installation of your existing Windows installation - you're running Setup.
Microsoft has not used Install to install an operating system since the MsDos operating systems.
I prefer to call it a Repair Setup.

A Repair installation of Windows (Repair Setup) does not delete the contents of the partition Windows was installed on - all your personal settings and the data you have added to that partition will still be there, but it does delete and rebuild some Windows things that are essential for Windows to work properly.
However, NOTHING can go wrong while running it - you MUST complete Setup.

A Repair installation can't fix all problems, if they were not caused by things it can fix by using the XP CD's contents, but it's worth a try.

"Is this different than a clean install?"

A clean install, a.k.a. installing Windows from scratch, deletes everything on the partition Windows was installed on.

In either case, if you have other partitions, by default Setup does not delete the contents of those, but you can deliberately choose to do that before you install Windows on what will usually be the C partition.

If the partition you deleted is still un-allocated space....
You can software partition (e.g. NTFS) and format any un-allocated space on the hard drive after Setup has finished, in Disk Mangement.

You can't re-size or merge partitions in XP (or 2000) itself unless you delete the subject partitions and install Windows from scratch, but you CAN do that with third party partition manipulation programs.
E.g. a freeware one is Partition Logic.

You CAN re-size partitions in Vista and probably in Windows 7.
.............

Were you aware that when you multiboot XP (or 2000 ?) and Vista, EVERY TIME you boot XP, by default, ALL the System Restore restore points are LOST in Vista ??

As far as I know the same thing applies to when you multiboot XP (or 2000 ?) and Windows 7.


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#6
February 16, 2010 at 16:16:26
a repair install only refreshes the files to the point of the install disk. Data and your files are left alone. You do need to do all the sp and updates to get current since you are at install defaults.

Tubesandwires make a good point if sata.

Gateway web site should have the driver for sata you need and a procedure for using it.

You may need to order a gateway cd or slipstream a xp install with the sata driver.


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#7
February 16, 2010 at 19:03:09
I downloaded the sata driver from gateway here http://support.gateway.com/support/... but it requires me to copy to a floppy to use (no floppy drive on my pc). Does this mean I need to slipstream an xp install with the driver? If so, how would I do that?

Also, if try to install xp or do a repair install with my xp cd, I get the same "setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer" screen.


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#8
February 17, 2010 at 03:01:33
mmm As a safeguard I'd be inclined to takes steps to ensure data is not vulnerable even at this stage of events...

To this end boot up with Knoppix or Ubuntu disk (Linux variants) and copy all data to optical media... Might seem a little paranid/overly concerned... but safer than sorrier? Then proceed as suggested by other phriends above?


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#9
February 17, 2010 at 06:49:09
"I downloaded the sata driver from gateway here .........
but it requires me to copy to a floppy to use (no floppy drive on my pc). Does this mean I need to slipstream an xp install with the driver? If so, how would I do that? "

No; you don't need to.

"Also, if try to install xp or do a repair install with my xp cd, I get the same "setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer" screen."

Set you bios Setup so the SATA controller(s) is(are) in IDE compatibility mode.
Both Recovery Console and the Repair installation will then find the SATA drive.
Running a few commands in the Recovery Console is probably all you need to do, and there's a lot less risk to your data if you do that.

See Response 5


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#10
February 17, 2010 at 14:26:05
How do I set my bios setup so the SATA controllers are in IDE compatibility mode? When open the bios setup utility, I can't change anything except for the time and date? A pic of the menu I see is located here: http://s882.photobucket.com/albums/...

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#11
February 17, 2010 at 14:52:12
There are other screens in the bios Setup.
That's just the default first one.
Usually, a mouse will NOT work in the bios.

Read the descriptions of what the keyboard keys do at the bottom of the screen.

In that picture, I can see you have screens for at least - ???? (can't make it out) - Security - Boot something, as well as the one you're on.
Usually you use the < and > cursor keys to see those.

If your computer is really old, some old bioses don't have the setting for IDE compatible or SATA mode, or similar.


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#12
February 17, 2010 at 16:51:02
I've looked through the other screens and looked at what the keys do, but nothing allows me to get to or change any SATA info. I bought this computer in early 2006.

I've installed Ubuntu in the meantime to allow me to access my files. One thing I noticed through using Ubuntu is the partition that has all my XP info is designated as Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1) and another drive is designated Windows NT/2000/XP (on /dev/sda2). Booting into the Windows 7 drive gets me to the same "windows failed to start" screen while the Windows NT/2000/XP runs the Gateway system recovery where it prompts me for "System Restore CD/DVD#1" which I do not have and won't let me do anything else.

Also, I can edit the command for these (the Windows 7 loader says:
insmod ntfs
set root=(hd0,1)
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 96ec71a4ec717f75
chainloader +1)
I don't know if this means anything to anyone though, I'm not familiar with these kinds of commands.


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#13
February 17, 2010 at 19:04:02
If your computer was made in 2006, you should be able to toggle the mode of the SATA controller(s) in the bios somewhere. NOTE that it may not be labelled as being for the SATA controllers. You should see your bios is set SATA or AHCI mode somewhere - that's the setting you need to toggle, to some kindof IDE compatibilty mode.

If you had a generic desktop system, I could probably definately tell you what the setting is, because the description of the bios settings is almost always in the mboard manufacturer's manual in that case.
However, when you have a brand name system, the brand name bios version is often more sparse regarding what you can set in the bios Setup, it can be quite different from what is seen in a retail mboard's bios, and usually there is no full description of the bios settings on the brand name's web site to be found anywhere. If there is anything about that in the User's or Owner's or Service manual, usually the info is not anywhere near complete. Therefore, I have no idea what you see in the bios.

I have told many people with brand name bios versions to find such a setting in the bios, including on newer laptops, and many of them reported back that they were able to do that.

If you described what you CAN see that has SATA or AHCI mentioned in it, I might be able to puzzle out what the setting you need to change is.
Or - you could post links to pictures of the screen(s) - take it/ them from a little farther away so the whole screen can be seen.
.......

I know nothing about Linux of any flavor.
......

When you installed Windows 7, it installed the ability to multiboot Windows 7 and XP.
When you chose Windows 7, it loaded a program similar to but not the same as boot.ini for XP. When you chose XP, it used boot.ini for XP .
That "Windows 7 loader" that made multibooting possible is still there, probably in the Master Boot Record at the beginning of the data on the hard drive, after you have deleted the contents of the partition Windows 7 was on, but deleting the data on the Windows 7 partition has disabled the ability of you being able to boot XP.

The procedure I outlined you should do in Recovery Console will probably get rid of the "Windows 7 loader", which is probably in the hard drive's Master Boot Record, and restore your ability to boot XP.

If you truly can't find somewhere where you can toggle SATA mode to IDE compatible mode in the bios Setup settings, then the only I know of that you can get out of tha sitution and be able to use Recivery console and have the SATA drive visilbe to XP, is for you to
make a "slipstreamed" CD,. preferably a CD-R, that has the contents of your CD with the SP3 updates and the SATA drivers you need integrated into it,
then you boot the computer with the "slipstreamed" CD, it will find the SATA controller(s) and SATA drive fine, then you can run those commands I told you about in Recovery Console.


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