XP Booting To Incorrect Partition? Maybe?

October 30, 2012 at 13:30:30
Specs: Windows XP, 896 MB RAM
XP Home Edition with a missing or corrupt hal.dll on startup. Used the XP CD recovery and did a fixboot, a fixmbr a bootcfg rebuild and an expand of the hal.dl_ from the I386 folder on the CD to the Windows System32 folder. Did these individually, and not one of them changed the hal,dll problem.

Last time I was at the recovery console I typed in Map. It listed 3 devices - the CDRom drive was F:, Partition 3 was the C: drive, and Partition 2 had a ? for the drive letter.

Then I did a 'type boot.ini' and saw that every OS (there were now several because of my rebuilds) had partition(2). I figured THAT was the cause of the hal.dll FUBAR.

So I used a Hiren's Boot CD and changed the partition of the first Windows XP Home from 2 to 3, removed the CD, rebooted and arrowed to the first OS - the one I'd changed.

Nothing.... Just a black screen.




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#1
October 30, 2012 at 13:43:27
c: is the boot drive. changing that was a mistake. MS talks of two partitions which can be one for both. You have boot and you have system.

Now this is the funny part about microsoft; boot is where the windows folder is and system is where the boot files are.

In your case I suspect c: is both system and boot. The suspect the ? was a small part of the drive that was not allocated hence the ?

Your next steps would be to put the partition back the way it was. Then go back into RC and run chkdsk /p so you know the drive/file system is good then do a repair install of xp which keeps the data intact and fixes the OS.

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#2
October 30, 2012 at 17:22:01
All I actually did was change the partition number for one of the Windows XP Home Edition operating systems on the boot.ini file. It wasn't even the default, so what I did doesn't really make any difference.

From the recovery screen - which is pretty much the only place I can go, I've already run a chkdsk /r and it didn't seem to find any integrity violations.

A repair install would've been my choice as well but when I press enter to install XP I am not presented with the 'R' option to do a repair install.


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#3
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#4
October 31, 2012 at 08:34:22
Thanks, but I've already gone through all of these steps, except for the reinstall. And the corrupt or missing hal.dll persists. If no one has a better idea I'll reinstall tonight.

What I'm really looking for is an explanation and connection between the map arc command run from the recovery console, and the boot.ini file. Typing map arc I get

? NTFS multi(0).......partition(2)
C: NTFS multi(0)......partition(3)
D: FAT32 multi(0).....partition(1)
G: .......................\Device\CdRom0

Now I know that D: is a flash drive, and that G: is my Windows CD, but what about those first 2 entries and how they should translate to the boot.ini file?




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#5
October 31, 2012 at 10:08:53
"I used a Hiren's Boot CD and changed the partition of the first Windows XP Home from 2 to 3"

That is not just messing with the boot.ini

map arc should display in the format \Device\HardDisk0\Partition1 but that is not what you have listed above.

With the usb stick removed from the system do the map arc command and post its results so we can better advise you. This should also list the sizes on the partitions which is equally important.

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#6
October 31, 2012 at 13:29:29
? NTSF 10240MB multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)
C: NTSF 142377MB multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)
F: \Device\CdRom0

Obviously I don't seem to be able to keep the original formatting, but you should get the idea.


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#7
October 31, 2012 at 14:16:33
Strange there is no partition(1)

When you run chkdsk /r did you specify c:? Like chkdsk /r c:? Did chkdsk take awhile to complete? It should have taken awhile.

My guess is everything is on c:. So you would want to make it the active partition so it boots.

A repair install is not done with R in the first screen. Here is a step by step
http://forums.malwarebytes.org/inde...

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#8
October 31, 2012 at 18:11:36
"Strange there is no partition(1)"
I thought so too.

"When you run chkdsk /r did you specify c:? Like chkdsk /r c:? Did chkdsk take awhile to complete? It should have taken awhile"
It did takr a long time - I believe it was 5 steps, and either on step 4 or 5 it got to 70% and then went back to 50%. I was too tired at that point to notice if the file count had gone backwards as well. And while it was definitely run from the recovery console while in C:\Windows, I dud not specify the C: drive. I rather assumed it ran on whatever drive was current.

"My guess is everything is on c:. So you would want to make it the active partition so it boots."
And how do I accomplish that?

"A repair install is not done with R in the first screen."
I know that. I said that I pressed enter to install XP, then, after the F8, you should get a screen where you can enter 'R' to do the repair install. That second screen did not present me with the 'R' option



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#9
November 1, 2012 at 23:00:56
wanderer, you've sort of got me in limbo. If you've no ideas on how to fix the map arc ? problem please let me know by posting. .

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#10
November 2, 2012 at 08:08:50
If no second "R" it means install did not find a windows folder. Not a good sign.

I would suggest making a Bart's boot cd and examining the c: to see if folders/files exist.

Here is how you make the partition the active one
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...

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#11
November 2, 2012 at 14:15:05
When I boot to the recovery console using the XP disk, I am prompted to logon to C:\Windows. Within that folder is the System32 and I can navigate to that. I cna change to the Documents and Settings folder to see the various users.

Using an UBCD I can even look at the pictures each user has in their My Pictures, can connect a flashdrive and have copied everybody's Music and Pictures to that drive.

The link you gave me indicates that it Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2.

However if I ignore that in type Diskpart at the console, followed by list partition I get the following:
-: Partition2 (EISA Utilities)
C: Partition3 (OS) (NTFS)

To the right of these fields are listed the same size parameters I listed above (except here the ? is now a -)


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#12
November 2, 2012 at 14:33:13
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/...

Here is one for xp. To my knowledge diskpart is diskpart.

"DiskPart commands
To view the command syntax, click a command:

active

On basic disks, marks the partition with focus as active"

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#13
November 2, 2012 at 15:17:40
This is actually not helping.
Before you gave me the link for XP, I gave you the info that showed up after typing Diskpart, followed by List partition. Since the non-XP link failed to make it clear how to activate a partition, I simply hit escape which took me back to recovery. Now, whenever I go to recovery and type Diskpart I am taken directly to the List partition screen. This screen has no place to type anything, other a D to delete the selected partion or C to create a partition in the unpartitioned space. So from there I can delete the
-: Partition2 (EISA Utilities)
and not much else. ESC=Cancel just takes me out of Diskpart and back to the C: prompt.

So basically I have no way of activating the -: partition 2.

This is starting to get me down.


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#14
November 2, 2012 at 15:49:26
helps to read the instructions at the top of the document

"you must first list and then select the object to give it focus. When an object has focus, any DiskPart.exe commands that you type act on that object."

so highlight c: and type 'active'

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#15
November 2, 2012 at 16:32:12
Yes I read those instructions - I just didn't know what I was supposed to activate
-: Partition2 (EISA Utilities)
or
C: Partition3 (OS) (NTFS)

And you're not understanding me - here's the step by step scenario
1. Recovery Console
2. Type Diskpart
3. Hit Enter
4. From the Diskpart prompt type List Partition
5. Now I'm on the List partition screen
This is the screen that I've descibed before. The highlighted field is the one with the -: Partition2. I can use the down arrow to go to C: Partition3. I can hit D to delete the highlighted partion or I can press ESC to cancel. That's it. I can't type active because there's no cursor prompt.

Now when I try to get back to the Diskpart prompt, I can't. After I do step 3 I immediately go to step 5. If I could somehow get the diskpart prompt to display I could activate something. But once again, What? I seems that C: is already active.

I have completely shut down the PC to see if I can get back to the diskpart prompt. I can't.


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#16
November 5, 2012 at 00:53:12
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............
Since I sense that nobody at this forum can provide any real help, can I at least get a recommendation for anoter forum to try?

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