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XP install with boot files on seperate hard drive

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SillyBilly
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I have a question, couple of years ago, I had a system failure and windows tech support help me fix it but had me do a lot of registry entries in windows recovery console. What ended up for the fix was he had me actually put the boot files on another hard drive, why???? I do not know. I had to do a reinstall of windows just was time for it, and I noticed that it still has the OS on my E: but my boot files such as the NTLDR, Boot.ini, Config.sys, MSDOS.SYS, IO.sys, NTDETECT.COM, AUTOEXEC.BAT, are all on C:.. I had gotten a virus I believe the mywebsearch, and I believe something else and I could not get rid of it so I reinstalled Windows XP. Problem is, I feel like there is still something fishy, for instance, I can not change some registry keys, when I do change them to owner creator with me as admin and owner creator, the registry will go through the process of changing, but will revert back, or, will make another user> me/administrator/me (example) with only read attributes. I try to set full control but it will revert right back. I installed my Mcafee security, and to remove all Mcafee products I used Mcafees removal tool, and it reports,"was unable to remove registry key, access denied". I Have researched a bit on Registry and the virus forums, I show no malicious software, no root kits, nothing viral with any scan tool period, but it just seems funny how my system is acting. I wanted to reformat and do total reinstall, ut my disk is the upgrade XP, and is a big hassle to reinstall fresh with that certain disk. Any tips I would be greatly thankful for!

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Bob_180_Bob
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Hi,
I have never eve tried what is offered on this site but using the information here and with your upgrade Cd you may be able to create a working OS CD. If you can, you could then look at slipstreaming It to have the latest upgrades as well.

http://www.howtohaven.com/system/createwindowssetupdisk.shtml

Follow the instructions there and if you are lucky, you will be able to make a new disk

EDIT:-
Maybe the files he had you copy to the other drive were the ones needed by your windows update disc to see you had an old copy of windows and would therefore allow you to update.
Malwarebytes would have cleaned your machine of all traces of mywebsearch problems without the need to format and reinstall.

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gerbil
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Hi, billy.
Next time you install Windows don't let it [Setup] see your old installation... ie. disconnect your E: hard drive first. And then it should be happy to install onto C: its boot and system files.

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Bob_180_Bob
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Hi, billy.
Next time you install Windows don't let it [Setup] see your old installation... ie. disconnect your E: hard drive first. And then it should be happy to install onto C: its boot and system files.

Hi gerbil,
his OS Cd is an upgrade version, will he be able to install without an old windows there?

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gerbil
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Ah, Bob.. upgrading. That works from within Windows, doesn't it...?
But if he does what I said [disconnects his E: drive with XP on it] then I think his upgrade disc will want to see his original OS [98 ?] cd at a point early in Setup. That being satisfied it should be happy to clean install XP.

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Bob_180_Bob
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Ah, Bob.. upgrading. That works from within Windows, doesn't it...?
But if he does what I said [disconnects his E: drive with XP on it] then I think his upgrade disc will want to see his original OS [98 ?] cd at a point early in Setup. That being satisfied it should be happy to clean install XP.

I have never done an upgrade from within Windows but i assume that with Windows running you could use the OS CD and click setup. (or if the installation program auto started just click "install")and it would update your old OS to XP.
I have always just inserted the OS disc and allowed the computer to upgrade my old Windows copy. In that situation, it would detect my old system and complete the upgrade. If I was trying to do a clean install, it would ask for the location of the old OS before it would start the upgrade.
The OP may have a OS Cd or floppy disks for Windows 98 or ME or whatever, but if he has none, can he do a fresh install with an upgrade disc?

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gerbil
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I know of no way to bypass that compliance check, Bob. He either runs Setup.exe from within the original OS [eg, 98, ME], else with no OS on the hard drive he boots from the upgrade cd and inserts a complying cd for the check when it is requested.
Anything else would be cheating.

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SillyBilly
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Sorry it has taken so long to get back, family medical emergency, but thanks for all the tips. Dumb question I think here, but could I not copy all the boot files such as the NTLDR, Boot.ini, Config.sys, MSDOS.SYS, IO.sys, NTDETECT.COM, AUTOEXEC.BAT, and paste them on The system drive with the OS and change boot.ini file to read them there or is this not the proper thing to do?

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gerbil
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Heya Billy, for a start, I take NO responsibility if this method fails. You can't find me, anyway....
If it does fail, you will need a Recovery Console [diskpart is in it].
Sure you can copy them [the 3 used by XP are ntldr, ntdetect.com and boot.ini, so COPY them over, and mod that boot.ini in E:].
One other thing....it IS important.
BIOS needs to be able to find those things, and it will look in the partition marked as Active. Check in Comp Mgmnt - Disk Mgmnt; you will see that your C: is marked as (System). It is also the Active partition, but because it contains those boot files it is called System.
You can use Disk Mgmnt to mark any primary partition Active [it complains in some circumstances], but it may not let you remove that setting.
Better to use diskpart in a command window. So.. enter:
diskpart
/? will give you a list of commands. Anyway...
list disk
select disk x - where x is the disk with E: from that list
list partition
select partition y - where y is the partition with the Windows system files, E:.
active
** Your E: is now marked Active. Next we make C: not Active....
select disk p - where p is the disk with C: on it.
list partition
select partition q - where q is the C: partition.
inactive
exit
** You are done. Maybe totally.. :). Disk Mgmnt may not reflect these changes without a reboot. So, your files are copied across, and you have modified boot.ini. Mind that in it, rdisk() counts from zero, partition() from one [rdisk comes from your BIOS disk boot order].
Reboot.

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SillyBilly
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Gerbil,
Does not seem that hard, but as you say, no guarantee!! Basically, If this does not work I will just do a total install, I still have my win98SE disk, one way or another, it will fix. there is also a registry key that tells where to boot from, I guess disk part will change that or will I change it like in the last step before reboot? I thank you so much for the info, I am printing it now so I am sure to follow it. My drives are Cwhere Boot files are) DReformatted and clean for storage) EWhere OS is) and I have E: Partitioned with E:>> F19.5 gig Clean)>> and>> G my main storage) The reason for so many Storage drives was C: is my recording studio D: was for my media(pictures, music, Videos,, I have a lot of each) and F: was for my paging File all to its own. E: drive is a new drive sata 320 gig, but it did not want to put everything all on one disk. Maybe I should just copy c: to the E: and unplug it and store it as I would a cdrom. That way This would not be so confusing, of course, I got them down pat seeing how I have used it like this for over a year now. Thanks again for every thing here, I owe ya one, just hope someday I would be able to pay ya back!!

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SillyBilly
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Gerbil,
Does not seem that hard, but as you say, no guarantee!! Basically, If this does not work I will just do a total install, I still have my win98SE disk, one way or another, it will fix. there is also a registry key that tells where to boot from, I guess disk part will change that or will I change it like in the last step before reboot? I thank you so much for the info, I am printing it now so I am sure to follow it. My drives are C: (where Boot files are) D: (Reformatted and clean for storage) E:(Where OS is) and I have E: Partitioned with E:>> F: (19.5 gig Clean)>> and>> G: (my main storage) The reason for so many Storage drives was C: is my recording studio. D: was for my media(pictures, music, Videos,, I have a lot of each) and F: was for my paging File all to its own. E: drive is a new drive sata 320 gig, but it did not want to put everything all on one disk. Maybe I should just copy c: to the E: and unplug it and store it as I would a cdrom. That way This would not be so confusing, of course, I got them down pat seeing how I have used it like this for over a year now. Thanks again for every thing here, I owe ya one, just hope someday I would be able to pay ya back!!

OK, Doing some getting ready, and disk manager shows it all, but it has C: as system, and E: as boot?? there are no boot files on E: hidden or else where, and the OS is on E:,,, I attached a snapshot.

Attachments Shot_of_Disk_Manager_(Medium).JPG 72.66KB
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gerbil
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That is just the way M$ denotes those drives. Using M$'s definitions, the "booting" files are on the System drive; system [OS] files are on their Boot drive. Nobody knows....
If booting and system files are on the same drive [volume] then that volume is denoted System.
Use diskpart to render D: inactive. No sense BIOS getting confused about that one.
I do not thik there is any registry key associated with booting; remember that at this stage in loading an OS it is only the BIOS controlling the action, and then handing control seduentially to files on the drive. The registry comes a good deal later in the process.
My boot and sys files are on C:. I have the main paging file [2 GB] on a second disk but also a small [50MB] one on C:. It should speed things up that way, cut disk access to the second somewhat. I think. Anyway, monitoring their activity shows the C: file gets used to capacity quite often

Question Answered as of 2 Years Ago by gerbil and Bob_180_Bob
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