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I'm trying to repair a computer for a friend, and have hit a snag. The computer is running WinXP Media Center, and I think it has a virus. When booted, it gets to the screen with the Windows logo and the "scrolling bar", and goes no further. The bar just keeps scrolling continuously. In order to run a virus scan, I tried a trick I've used before: move the affected drive to the slave position, put another drive in the master position, and do a clean install of WinXP on the "new" master drive, then boot from the master and run a virus scan on the slave drive. I've never had any problem with this method, and have recovered quite a few drives this way. This time, after installing to the new drive and booting without the old drive attached, just to make sure everything is OK with the new install, I shut down and reconnect the old drive. The new install on the primary will no longer boot. I either get a screen telling me that a file is missing or corrupt or it gets past the "scrolling bar" screen and just goes to a blank screen. Unhook the slave drive, and the master will boot normally again. Ideas?

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Last Post by Suspishio
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Hello.
I would Suggest using the Microsoft Recovery Console on the Hardrive that wont start. Because you may need to rebuild the Start up files. Dose it tell you what files are missing. But try running the recovery console thats on the Windows XP Disk.
If you need help let me know.
Tech TJ

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What's in boot.ini?
That seems like an awfully time-consuming method to check for a virus. Did you try Safe Mode or System Restore? How about a repair install?

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What's in boot.ini?
That seems like an awfully time-consuming method to check for a virus. Did you try Safe Mode or System Restore? How about a repair install?

Time consuming? How else would you suggest I do it when the affected system won't boot on its own? Plug it into my main system? I don't know what may be on it, and would rather not infect my main system with it. This way, if I do infect anything else, its a fresh install, and there's no data loss involved. My question is why won't the computer boot with the affected HD connected, when it shouldn't even be looking at it during boot? As for a repair install, I've tried several in the past, and gotten everything from a system that will now boot but all data is lost, to a system thats in worse shape than when I started. I have never once had repair install do what its supposed to. I have no idea how to use system restore without the system being booted, so it does me no good.

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Sometimes it's awfully hard to help people.
I appreciate your frustration, but if you're not going to supply the info we request, we can't be much help.
Recovery console and a repair install are the standard ways to deal with this, but I can see you're enamored of your own method, so good luck to you.

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The new install on the primary will no longer boot. I either get a screen telling me that a file is missing or corrupt or it gets past the "scrolling bar" screen and just goes to a blank screen. Unhook the slave drive, and the master will boot normally again. Ideas?

I have had this happen to another's computer ,and if you are as lucky as i ,you will never get it to boot either .the drive is bad!!
If you think it isn't then install it as master again,boot to the winxp cd ,go to the recovery console and do a GHKDSK

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I have had this happen to another's computer ,and if you are as lucky as i ,you will never get it to boot either .the drive is bad!!
If you think it isn't then install it as master again,boot to the winxp cd ,go to the recovery console and do a GHKDSK

i'm pretty sure you mean chkdsk ..... !

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Sometimes it's awfully hard to help people.
I appreciate your frustration, but if you're not going to supply the info we request, we can't be much help.
Recovery console and a repair install are the standard ways to deal with this, but I can see you're enamored of your own method, so good luck to you.

Its not so much that I'm "enamored with my own method", just that, as I said, I've never had any luck with repair install, and don't know how to use recovery console, except "inside" Windows, which I obviously can't access right now. I'm not trying to be rude, sorry if I came across that way, but what possible difference can it make what files may or may not be missing on a drive that the system shouldn't even be looking at during boot? I don't recall exactly, but I think it has given me two different files at various times, and I think that one was config.sys, don't recall the other off hand. If I try to boot into safe mode, it stops at the *.mup file, and just sits there, if it doesn't go to a bsod. Sometimes I get the bsod, sometimes I get nothing.

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You can't use Recovery Console "inside" Windows.
Usually you would boot to an install CD and select the first repair option.
"Fixboot" or
Fixmbr" are likely to be what you need.
It's likely that your boot.ini file is incorrect, and this probably happened when you did the "fresh install", or possibly during the virus scan.
It would help to know what file is mentioned during the boot.
Recovery console is here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

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You can't use Recovery Console "inside" Windows.
Usually you would boot to an install CD and select the first repair option.
"Fixboot" or
Fixmbr" are likely to be what you need.
It's likely that your boot.ini file is incorrect, and this probably happened when you did the "fresh install", or possibly during the virus scan.
It would help to know what file is mentioned during the boot.
Recovery console is here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

Um, I did the fresh install on a completely different drive, with the problem drive completely out of the system, and the problem is why I'm trying to run a virus scan in the first place.

As for the recovery console, I was thinking about the System Restore under Windows, not the recovery console. My mistake.

Either way, I suspect a virus is to blame even more now, as the problem has gotten worse. Now, without me trying to actually write anything to the drive at any point, so I know I haven't damaged anything on the drive, it will no longer even attempt to boot. In fact, the BIOS just skips right over the drive, as if it were empty, during boot. Running fdisk from a DOS 6.22 boot disk no longer even shows the partition that XP is on. It shows the system restore partition (HPFS file system) that the system manufacturer put on the drive, and a pound sign (#) instead of the NTFS partition that XP resides in. And before anyone says it, fdisk under DOS will see NTFS partitions, and even report them as NTFS. I have done it many, many times, despite being told by several people that DOS fdisk won't report on NTFS. I'm pretty sure at this point that the MBR and boot sector of the drive are hosed. I can use a utility called DOS4NTFS, which allows you to work with NTFS files under DOS, to look at the files and directories on the drive.

So, at this point, I think its time to use DOS4NTFS to recover a few files from the drive, then attempt to repartition and reformat the drive, and start from scratch. And people wonder why I enjoy messing around with these electronic demons called "computers".:icon_evil:

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What would I do? I would always put the suspect drive into a USB enclosure rather than connect it electrically to the same "internal" channel. I can then be sure that there are no "associated" effects.

caperjack it was, I think, thought you had a suspect hard drive. The USB method would confirm this.

There's no way that a fresh install on a fresh HDD can be attacked by a passive drive - especially one that isn't on the same channel as the boot drive (albeit as slave). What you want to do is exactly what I do.

So surely it's the drive that's dodgy and at boot time the grope that Windows does around its connected hardware hits that buffer. Something like that.

Hope this advice helps.

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What would I do? I would always put the suspect drive into a USB enclosure rather than connect it electrically to the same "internal" channel. I can then be sure that there are no "associated" effects.

caperjack it was, I think, thought you had a suspect hard drive. The USB method would confirm this.

There's no way that a fresh install on a fresh HDD can be attacked by a passive drive - especially one that isn't on the same channel as the boot drive (albeit as slave). What you want to do is exactly what I do.

So surely it's the drive that's dodgy and at boot time the grope that Windows does around its connected hardware hits that buffer. Something like that.

Hope this advice helps.

I thought the same thing (about using USB to connect it), but it once again gets really strange. With its plugged into a USB port on the system it came out of, the system hangs on boot, the same as when its plugged into the IDE port. I finally plugged it into my main system via USB, and XP does detect it and allow access, albeit very slow. It may only be slow because my system only has USB 1.1 ports, and the IDE-USB adapter I'm using is 2.0 capable. Either way, I tried to scan it with AVG antivirus, and AVG reported the boot sector and MBR bad, and wouldn't even attempt to scan the data areas of the drive. Luckily, as I said earlier, I can access the drive using a utility in DOS to allow reading and working with NTFS files, so I can recover at least some of the data on it. After that, I'll try to reformat and reinstall, and see what happens then.

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