Hard disk boot problems...

petercorley
petercorley used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi all,
I am rebuilding a computer after it crashed and burned, this involves a new motherboard, processor, case and graphics card (The rest I salvaged from the old machine: i.e. CD writer, DVD player, hard drive, etc...).

I put the old hard drive into another machine to back up the data and it worked without problems, then formated the drive and started to install XP Pro. Everything went well until the reboot when it tells me that there is no OS installed... I have since tried Windows 98, XP home and Windows 2000 (all original disks - not copies) with the same result.

I used 'Fdisk /MBR', then partitioned the disk and reformated again, still get the same error. However, if I boot from a floppy and look at 'c:' it shows all the files needed for windows!!!!

What have I overlooked?? The partition is active, the data is there and I can read and write to the drive - Why can't I boot from it?? I tried in another machine (same drive) and got the same error.

Thanks for any help

Peter
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Author

Commented:
As an additional: I have added 256Mb of new DDR RAM as well - The old SDRAM has been trashed.
WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
Possibly the hard drive is bad?  Either that the install process for your OS' you are taking is not correct?

Author

Commented:
Three original OS's (98, 2000 and XP) and all have been used on other machines. I accept that the hard drive may have problems, however it strikes me as strange that I can read and write to the disk but not boot from it.

I have now tried "Sys C:" from a system disk and even that didn't work????
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WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
That is strange.  I have seen stranger things....in my computer tech life.  Try a new drive?  or even an old drive...just to verify it is not a drive problem?

Commented:
If i had this one the first thing i'd do is go into the cmos(usually del at startup) and check to make sure that your machine is set to boot from the drive with the o/s on it and that drive is recognized. this would explain your success at booting from floppy.

I have also had some machines that simply would not boot from the hard drive until i cleared cmos settings( usually a jumper has to be moved and machine powered on and off)

Commented:
what was on the disk before. Any drive utilities or overlays???

Some of these type programs must be removed by themselves and not by formatting.

Commented:
You could try using a disk utility to check the drive. they're
free You could try zeroing out the drive before you fdisk or format. I have also had problems using different cables Some
old cables prevented my drive from being accessed. When you
install more than one operating system on the same drive and they also are different file systems fat32 and xp so you may have more than one master boot record and the drive can't read
a good one. even if you use fdisk mbr there can still be info
there Stopping it from starting up
Have you made the partition active????

If you put in in another PC as a secondary Drive - and reformatted it,  That PC's would have the active partion.

Try Booting With A win98 Boot Disk run Fdisk and make the Partion active


Commented:
I have used Norton disk doctor and it worked sometimes not always you can run it from dos off the cd

Author

Commented:
Finally gave up trying... Bought a new hard drive and used this one a backup drive. Not how I wanted things to end up, however nothing else seemed to help.

I have put this down to one of those strange things that happen in life!!!!
petercorley has requested that this question be PAQ'ed. If no objections in 72 hours I will PAQ this question and refund his points. Thank You

DigitalXtreme
CS Moderator
WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
I thought i said exactly what he said he tried.
What I said:
"That is strange.  I have seen stranger things....in my computer tech life.  Try a new drive?  or even an old drive...just to verify it is not a drive problem?"


And he says:
Finally gave up trying... Bought a new hard drive and used this one a backup drive. Not how I wanted things to end up, however nothing else seemed to help.

I have put this down to one of those strange things that happen in life!!!!
didn't see the new drive part. thanks for pointing that out. request will be dismissed. petercorley please accept Wakeup's comment as he did mention the correct answer.

Thank you
DX

Author

Commented:
This solution is not the correct answer... I still have a hard drive that won't boot. I installed the machine with another hard drive and bypassed the problem, this has not however solved the original issue - Why the hard drive would not boot.

I accepted the hard drive maybe bad in the first place, but wanted to know if I had overlooked any solutions to boot from this hard drive, not to get the PC upand running.

I still state that my problem never got solved and as I say I am not worried about the points, but I can't justify giving to one person when a number of people came up with helpful tips.

maybe divide the points between all the people who offered support??

Thanks

Peter
Commented:
if you feel nothing here help solve your problem then have the question deleted.

Author

Commented:
Feel that this is the best answer!!!
WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
sigh......ok...if you say so.
WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
I have worked in a computer store for many years as a tech...and I have seen drives do weirder things...Why dont you just chalk it up as a bad drive as i stated.  Another thing you can try is run some diagnostics on it...
What brand is it?  go to the manufacture website and grab some of their tools...usually they will be specific to your hard drive and can tell if something is not correct.

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