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Folks,

After a clean XPSP2 install on a new hard disc, after POST the system fails to boot from the hard drive. However, if I press ESC to get to the BOOT menu, I can select the Hard Drive with the XP installed, and the system boots normally into windows. The hard drive is set as the first boot device in the BIOS. So far I have tried:

Recovery console fixmbr
Flashed the system BIOS
A full virus scan

The MOBO is an ABIT KN8 and the HDD is a 320gb Hitachi Deskstar.

Could this be a damaged Master Boot Record? But fixmbr hasn't done the trick.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

George

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Last Post by dos_centavos
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Folks,

After a clean XPSP2 install on a new hard disc, after POST the system fails to boot from the hard drive. However, if I press ESC to get to the BOOT menu, I can select the Hard Drive with the XP installed, and the system boots normally into windows. The hard drive is set as the first boot device in the BIOS. So far I have tried:

Recovery console fixmbr
Flashed the system BIOS
A full virus scan

The MOBO is an ABIT KN8 and the HDD is a 320gb Hitachi Deskstar.

Could this be a damaged Master Boot Record? But fixmbr hasn't done the trick.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

George

When you say select the hard drive are you implying that you have multiple hard drives on the system and the primary (boot) HD isn't being selected?

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Exactly that, I have two hard drives, one with two partitions, installed as HD1 which has the OS on the first partition. The second drive has a single partition for data and is installed as HD0. They are both SATA drives.

This is the content of the Boot.ini file:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn /usepmtimer


I am now wondering if I might have switched the drive cables around inadvertantly, and the system is looking for an OS on HD0. I am going to switch the cables around and see if that cures the problem! I'll keep you posted.

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Sadly, switching the drive cables around didn't work. I still get the message "disc boot failure". If I restart the machine and enter the boot menu by pressing ESC, I can select the HD with XP installed, press enter, and everything boots normally from there.

Any ideas on what to try next?

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Sadly, switching the drive cables around didn't work. I still get the message "disc boot failure". If I restart the machine and enter the boot menu by pressing ESC, I can select the HD with XP installed, press enter, and everything boots normally from there.

Any ideas on what to try next?

Can you please check this setting and let me know what it is.
Run - regedit
Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

What is the value for SystemBootDevice?
Is it "default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)" or is it something different?

I am also interested in finding out exactly which drive was booted:
Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup

What is the value of BootDir?
It sould be the drive of the currently booted system.

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The SystemBootDevice is multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1), and the value of BootDir is C:\, which is the drive of the currently booted system.

I have already tried fixmbr from the Recovery Console and that had no effect. Should I try fixboot or bootcfg /rebuild, or could that make matters worse?

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The SystemBootDevice is multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1), and the value of BootDir is C:\, which is the drive of the currently booted system.

I have already tried fixmbr from the Recovery Console and that had no effect. Should I try fixboot or bootcfg /rebuild, or could that make matters worse?

I don't see how a bootcfg / rebuild would hurt - follow the direction on this web page
http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000648.htm

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One other question I have is what is the make and model of the other Hard Drive in your system? My guess is it still has a valid boot sector on it.

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OK - we're getting there. I found a windows ISO file on two partitions, left from when I burned WinXP boot disc some time ago. When I ran bootcfg, it was finding these old files and reporting 3 windows installations. So I deleted these folders and emptied the recycle bin, then went back to bootcfg, which now only reported one Windows installation, so I did the rebuild.

After rebooting, I no longer get the "disc boot failure" message, but it now lists two XP Pro installations to log onto!

On checking Boot.ini again, this is what it looks like:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn /usepmtimer
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="" Microsoft Windows XP Professional"" /fastdetect

I have now done the rebuild twice, and definately only added one load identifier, so I am puzzled about why it has two \WINDOWS= lines.

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Problem Solved!
I had saved the original boot.ini file as boot.old. When I reinstated it, everything started working perfectly, and the computer now boots normally into Windows.
It must have been those windows installation and ISO files left on the system from when I created the Windows Boot disc that caused the problem.

Thank you very much dos_centavos for pointing me in the right direction

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You can certainly delete the offending entry from the boot.ini file and get totally around the issue. The question I still have is about the other drive. I have a suspicion that it has a valid boot sector. You can certainly wipe out the boot sector of the other drive.

The first entry has an option of /usepmtimer and the second entry does not
You can find info on it here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/895980

Do you have an AMD CPU with Cool'n'Quiet technology eabled in the BIOS?

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The second HD I am pretty sure has never had an OS installed and has been used just for data (but the rogue windows ISO file was on this drive)
When I did the bootcfg /rebuild last two times, the system reported just one windows installation, so I was surprised to find two lines in the new boot.ini
The re-instated boot.ini has the load options /fastdetect /noexecute-optin /usepmtimer

The second HD is a Western Digital 200gb SATA, and yes, I have an AMD dual core 3800 with cool n' quiet enabled.

How would I know if this drive has a boot sector?

Maybe I should just leave weel alone now that the system is working normally.

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I'm with you at this point it is working well for you and I would leave well enough alone as well.

This certainly does not appear to be your case but I'll explain my reasoning behind the question.

From a Western Digital perspective there are several tools available to check the HD
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?cxml=n&pid=999&swid=3

My concern was more from an EZ-BIOS stand point
http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=241&p_created=1017101332&p_sid=JX1jdmTi&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9NDA4LDQwOCZwX3Byb2RzPSZwX2NhdHM9JnBfcHY9JnBfY3Y9JnBfc2VhcmNoX3R5cGU9c2VhcmNoX2ZubCZwX3BhZ2U9MSZwX3NlYXJjaF90ZXh0PWJvb3Qgc2VjdG9y&p_li=&p_topview=1

I have on several occasions had to wipe out this piece of code to get the drive to function properly.

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