I recently had a "SMART event" on my c: drive. I could no longer boot because "windows/system32/config/system" was missing or damaged. since i have two hdds i thought maybe i could swap them, install xp on the new c: and access the old c: (now d:).

next problem - no space on hd for os partition. So, I reconnected the drives in the original order and tried to reinstall xp but found "no hard drives connected to system.

now some parts of boot system see the drives but other don't.

I added a second hd to an older system and had a hard time installing it but don't remember what the proceedure was.

Any help greatly appreciated.


The message regarding the SMART being bad means an eminent failure of your hdd.

Are these hdds PATA or SATA?

If they are PATA and you had them connected as master and slave with the hdd with the bad SMART it may have died and is no longer being recognized.

If the second hdd that you took out and placed in another computer has a OS you may have messed up the OS. Hdds recognize the chipset of the motherboard that they are installed with, and when you introduce the hdd to a new motherboard with a different chipset it confuses the hell out of the OS...some times fatally.

If this is the case and you have the installation CD with the certificate of authenticity you can do a repair. This site has pretty clear step by step instructions for this procedure.

both drives are hitachi sata 400gb. i just swapped the cables in same machine. i don't find any jumpers to indicate master or slave.

SATA hdds don't need jumpers and are not run in master and slave configurations.

The SMART feature of the hdd is a self testing program that monitors a number of parameters, if it reports that there is a problem you should be prepared to replace it because it is going to or has already died.

Having already filled one 400GB hdd it's obvious that you are going to need a second, so cut you losses and go for it.

I've been away, but am back now and ready to persue this problem.

first, I bit bullet.

second, I got a sata to usb adapter and began trying to recover anything I could from old c drive.

The current crux is that when I access the drive it goes into a loop of 4 identical clicks followed by a softer click. I assume it is trying to seek to an invalid location where no failure is expected or checked for. Any ideas about that?

The best luck I've had is with a demo program "uneraser" - www.uneraser.com - which can find the drive, search for "*" and find several files before it hits the loop.