Lost old C: drive with WinME, D: has Win2K, can't boot

Posted on 2003-11-06
Last Modified: 2011-04-14
I had a primary master with C: which was WinME. I got another drive, primary slave, onto D: I installed Win2000 Pro.

Then the C: drive died, and I put the slave onto the master channel, did the jumpers, but wouldn't boot. So I tried loading up the 4 Win2K boot floppies and R for repair, but it can't find my old Win2K install.

How can I get this to work? Ask me for more info if you need I'll be checking regularly
Question by:fruey
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Author Comment

ID: 9697139
I think I've lost my partition table. Am I really screwed now? fdisk under linux even doesn't see the right partition table... arrrgh!

Expert Comment

ID: 9697161
Maybe an MBR issue? Worst caste scenerio is you could piggy back the harddrive off of another 2K PC and remove your files.

Maybe someone else has some ideas?

LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 9697223
try with the boot manager.
read this discussion, it is very useful and throw some light on what problem u might be having.
Get 15 Days FREE Full-Featured Trial

Benefit from a mission critical IT monitoring with Monitis Premium or get it FREE for your entry level monitoring needs.
-Over 200,000 users
-More than 300,000 websites monitored
-Used in 197 countries
-Recommended by 98% of users


Expert Comment

ID: 9697433
Find a Windows 2000 CD and boot using Recovery console.

Expert Comment

ID: 9698921
Hey Fruey,

Firstly tell me that what do you want to do i.e. do you want to boot from that old hard drive into Windows ME or you want to boot to Window professional. Also tell that do you want that both the HDD should have operating system for you or you just want to work with win2kprof and get the data from that old one.

Please give me these details and then let us see if i can help.

Author Comment

ID: 9699664

I want to boot just to Win2K. WinME is lost and I don't care about it, I have most of the files I need off that hard disk anyway.

Running Win2K setup doesn't find a copy of Win2K installed on the drive... the recovery console cannot execute dir for C: ...

Last night I worked on this, found that I have lost the partition table, and tried to restore it with MBRwork. It only found 3 partitions, there should be 4. It's an 80G drive with 4 20G partitions basically.

I'm going to try gpart (linux) tonight or tomorrow and see how I get on... maybe it will be able to restore my partition table and then I can try the recovery console etc.

I hate having to wait for 4 floppies to completely load just to get a message that Win2K is not found and do I want to totally format the whole drive.


Expert Comment

ID: 9700247
Hey Fruey,

The partitions which you see are of which format ?

Also the one which you are not able to see is of which format ?

Look if you dont have much of data on that drive then do one thing reload your windows 2000 professional and then go to My Computer -> Right Click -> Manage
-> Disk management.

Now here you would be able to see all the space in the HDD and the one which is not available to you would be marked with something like unhealty or something.

Now you just have to click that and select one option i.e. to make it healthy ( I dont remember the option exactly) but it is something like "make healthy" or "Format". This shall help you in getting back your lost space

Author Comment

ID: 9700314
Well it's not really an option to reinstall onto the D: drive because, sadly, there is quite a lot of stuff on there I'd like to try to retain before giving up.

I get the feeling that Disk Manager won't be able to read my lost partition table any more than fdisk under linux can (fdisk in DOS sees the drive as 11G not 80G)
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

Rob Stone earned 500 total points
ID: 9700544

Author Comment

ID: 9706905
I used gpart, found my partition table, and used fdisk to fix it (all under linux). I was then able to mount each of my respective drives and see their data in Linux, so that's really positive. If I don't get any further I can at least get back all my files !

However I still can't get Win2000 to boot. I've copied ntldr, from the Win2000 installation directory, and I've created a boot.ini which appears to be correct, because now the restoration process discovers my Win2K installation (it didn't before). I don't have an ERD and so I can't get it to do much; indeed an ERD would have reference to the D: drive and primary slave for the drive, yet it is now primary master and C:....

I'm trying right now to run through the restore process once more, however if it asks me for the original Win2000 CD I have a problem, I copied all the files to the drive and left the CD with a friend... so I have all the Win2000 files in C:\WIN2K and the actual system root C:\WINNT

Anyone help me from here? The hardest part for me should have been getting the partition table back but no... getting Win2000 to boot will be harder, because all the registry and stuff will reference D: instead of C: ... I'll keep you posted on progress.


Author Comment

ID: 9706991
Progress... after another boot from the 4 floppies that are allowing me to use my 1.44" drive more than in the last 5 years... I have Win2000 able to boot, to a point. Now I get the login screen, and I find myself in the situation described in MSKB249321. However my remote registry service is not enabled on that box so I'm going to try to enable it and then alter from a WINXP machine via Remote regedit.

Again will keep you informed. I'll work out points assignment based on the tip that was singly most useful to me.

Author Comment

ID: 9707104
Well I've awarded to Stoner79 although they just posted a link to another thread, where the accepted answer for that question was not what I needed. A lot of the stuff I found out myself via Linux pages and stuff, especially the tool gpart

And also the links from Stoner79 in the previous question he pointed out, that were posted by them. So, somehow, Stoner79 pointed me in the right direction for some of the other important stuff... remote registry hacking and all that.

Thanks to everyone for their help.

Featured Post

Optimize your web performance

What's in the eBook?
- Full list of reasons for poor performance
- Ultimate measures to speed things up
- Primary web monitoring types
- KPIs you should be monitoring in order to increase your ROI

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

NTFS file system has been developed by Microsoft that is widely used by Windows NT operating system and its advanced versions. It is the mostly used over FAT file system as it provides superior features like reliability, security, storage, efficienc…
Compliance and data security require steps be taken to prevent unauthorized users from copying data.  Here's one method to prevent data theft via USB drives (and writable optical media).
This is my first video review of Microsoft Bookings, I will be doing a part two with a bit more information, but wanted to get this out to you folks.
Sometimes it takes a new vantage point, apart from our everyday security practices, to truly see our Active Directory (AD) vulnerabilities. We get used to implementing the same techniques and checking the same areas for a breach. This pattern can re…

617 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question