Running Windows XP Home
AMD Athlon XP 2200+
ATI Radeon 9600 PRO
1 gig pos ram but works.
MSI Mobo.

Maxtor Hard drive X 2, 1 40gig one 20 gig
Mouse Keyboard yeah im cool...
ATX kase, Koolance, PC2 or what ever...

Hi, I have 2 hard drives, one has been sitting for like a year. I have been trying to get 1 file off it ... but it keeps saying "error loading operating system" ... well last night I hooked it up again ... looked at the partition ... everything seemed ok ... .. hooked up both of them figuring maybe I could ghost one or something ... and it said "error loading operating system" ... figured I must have set the jumpers wrong or something, sure enough I had them both set to master =-P so I set the "bad" hard drive to slave ... plugged it back in and I got "error loading operating system" ... so I unplugged it all together ... and still got "error loading operating system" ... did I f'something up by hooking them both up as primary master ? didn't seem logical to me ... so now I am confused and I really don't want to reformat I JUST reformatted ... please help!

Make sure you have the boot drive into IDE channel 0 (or 1, however your board is labled), and also check the jumpers again... Some drives have a setting for single drive, and setting to primary implys a slave, which can make the drive not boot. FAILING THAT, however, you may have to run the XP repair install option (works rather well, actually). It basically reinstalls any system files that are corrupt or missing. You'll lose any customized options, such as desktop, contact list, themes, etc... but your data will be intact if you've installed anything. Also, you'll have to grab any service packs you may have installed over again. Not to bad though, no need to reformat.