I don't know exactly why but over the last few months I've been experiencing too much unexplained "hangtime" especially when booting up. It would hang for a minute or two at the welcome screen after which it would then display a blank desktop for a couple of minutes before finally loading explorer. I ran chkdsk and defragged and even cleared out the "run" and "startup" folders in the registry to make sure there was no clutter that might be causing the issue. Nothing worked. So I said fine, I'll just reinstall windows and the problem will be solved. It solved the problem but in the process created a new problem. I have 2 partitions on my drive. One is strictly for windows that is allocated with 17 gigs and the other is strictly for storage of files that I plan to keep forever. I don't want any system files on that partition. Problem is, when I load the reinstall of windows onto my 17 gig partition, XP uses my storage partition for the boot sector without even asking me. I want that partition left alone! The best thing to do would be to load my storage files temporarily onto another drive and then not mark that partition active until I've installed windows but I don't have another drive to do that with. So my question is: How do I get XP to load itself onto one partition only without putting the ntldr and other boot files on the partition that I want left alone?
Billy, I'd be dangerous if I had a nasty streak... Something i did not get around to telling you before: it is that nothing in Windows will remove the Active setting from a partition, but plenty of freeware applications will. Here are a couple of beauties:
-download the commandline tool from CLI Freeware tab, the guide on CLI Reference tab comes with the dl as an html file. The tool has a good helpfile which opens when you run the command with /?. You run it from the cmd window.
A lil tip, to save you loading it into your C: root. Save the tool to where you put any similar tools; to run it open a cmd window, then from where you put the tool drag MBRWiz.exe from an explorer window into the cmd window. Ta.da!! Saves manipulating the cmd prompt directory. Just add /? and press Enter. Note that this is an MBR tool.... by that I mean that it deals only with the MBR, so it will not recognise logical partitions [they are not listed in the MBR]. Cool with that?
The next tool; what you cannot do with this aint worth doing. Testdisk from www.cgsecurity.org. Dangerous as, if you're the sort of chap that does foolish things. But very good.
Anyway, both of those will remove the Active setting from a partition. Do make sure you leave the one on your System drive [where the booot files are].
"Problem is, when I load the reinstall of windows onto my 17 gig partition, XP uses my storage partition for the boot sector without even asking me. I want that partition left alone!" Ummm... going from what you say in this next bit... "The best thing to do would be to load my storage files temporarily onto another drive and then not mark that partition active until I've ..." ...I get the feeling that you have your data partition marked as Active..? Don't do that... Windows Setup will automatically load its boot files there. A hdd should have only one partition marked as Active, the one where you want your boot files to be [er.. the System drive]. So set as Active the partition where you want Windows to load. Bily's guided you right. :)
"Do make sure you leave the one on your System drive [where the booot files are]."
Make sure I leave the one what? I just want to clarify what you're saying cause I don't want to lose my data, etc. So what is the one? Thank you btw for the replies
Hi, Skitzo... It's good to check and be sure.
Do make sure you leave your System drive [where the boot files are] set as Active, otherwise restarting will be tough. [BIOS loads the MBR from the Master hdd [or Sata 1], or from where you set in BIOS config, the MBR then directs loading of the boot files from the Active partition, from there boot.ini directs loading of system files from wherever they may be...]
Ok, I succeeded in marking my storage partition as "inactive" but after reinstalling windows I find that this partition still gets the boot files loaded onto it and to make matters worse it has now become the C: drive. This is very frustrating because it asks me which partition I want to load the Windows operating system onto but then it still uses the partition I did not select. I just want the system files AND the boot files all on one partition. How can I accomplish this?
Setup is a weird, unknowable animal [to me, at least]. I try to sort out some of its tricks, though. Right, you are getting boot files in the drive you want free of any OS files; it is not marked Active, and Setup has now denoted it as C:.
Boy. One thing, if it has placed boot files there again, it is going to need to be Active finally [but I bet Setup won't mark it as such this time]. But anyway, let's step back a bit. To what I understand. One of the first things Setup does is examine your hdd for any Microsoft OSes [this is how it decides whether to offer to Repair existing installations]. It would do this by examining existing partitions recorded in the MBR and then going into each and reading the Master File Table. Fine. Setup locates the files, checks they are not corrupt. When you delete a file its body remains where it was on the hdd, its filename remains in the MFT but the records [in the MFT] of disk sectors used by that file are marked as useable. I have the distinct impression that Setup ignores the deletion markings on Windows files. It's going to rewrite the MFT anyway. Those entries in the MFT remain because you cannot do a [quick] format - that would destroy the boot file records in the MFT... fine.. but lose your data. Not fine.
So here's something you could try.. you're having fun anyway. You have an installation there already - go into your data partition and RENAME each of those boot files, and assign a different drive letter to it [not C:]. Now reinstall. Fingers crossed.