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Hi Guys,
My XP Pro system has 2 IDE (400gb OS Loaded & 80gb) and 2 Sata drives (2x500gb). Up until yesterday evening the system functioned properly, however when I tried to shut down, the system stalled doing nothing so I closed down using the power switch.
I then tried to boot the system and got stuck at the black Windows XP screen. I did all the registry restore and fixmbr etc last night but got nowhere. This morning I started to unplug the hardware and found that one of my 500gb sata drives was causing the boot issue.
If I unplug the 500gb drive the system functions as normal, however if I plug-in the sata cable using the hotplug method or when the system is down, XP just freezes.

What can I do to fix this problem? I'd like to at least recover the data from the drive.
Motherboard is a gigabyte M55plus, AMD 5000x2, 3gb ram.

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Last Post by sknake
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Try going in to the BIOS before the system boots and disabling your second drive. This won't do anything to fix the problem but might help indicate if you have a hardware problem with the drive. I doubt this is the problem since you're at least getting to the XP boot screen but its worth a shot.

To recover the data I would use a knoppix boot cd (linux, i know) or you may be able to find a windows bootable CD. After you boot in to the CD's OS you should be able to copy data from one drive to the other.

Then throw away the drive.......

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Disabling the drive in BIOS won't exclude software issue or data corruption. XP has a way of bypassing BIOS settings and directly accessing the physically connected drives.

Also, if the swapfile is on the affected drive, then that could result in failing to boot.

.. or if the 2 sata drives are set to run in RAID array, then the problem might be with failed RAID.

Did you observe any unusual clicking sounds, or spin-ups? That would be the first indicator that the drive is dead.

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thanks for your replies.
I've already looked at the bios settings and funnily the 'faulty' drive does not appear in the bios drive list.
Prior to the problem I have never heard any clicking noises or any signs that the drive will fail.

I will try borrow a Sata/USB caddy and take it round to test another PC.

Is there anything else i can try? I will definitely throw the drive once I can extract the data.

thx

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If it doesn't show in the BIOS then it looks like a hardware failure on the drive. Chaky mentioned something I did not know about Windows going around the BIOS to get at the drive anyway which might explain why XP is locking up. I'm going out on a limb here to guess that XP somehow still detects the drive is present and tries to mount it -- however it is not working properly thus it locks up. I doubt you're going to have any luck using a boot cd to recover data but its always worth a shot.

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