Error loading operating system - Windows Xp on Maxtor hard disk

I was attempting to install Windows XP on a newly 120 gb Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 ATA133 8mb buffer hard drive, after the installation process formatted the drive with NTFS and copied the files, on the second reboot - right after the "Verifying DMI Pool Data" - the system display the error "Error loading operating system".
The following is my pc spec :
EPoX 8RDA+ Motherboard, AMD Athlon XP 1800, Kingston 256MB DDR x 2, Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 8 120GB ATA133 Hard Drive.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi alvon_chu,

"Error Loading Operating System" Error Message When You Restart Your Computer During Setup


alvon_chuAuthor Commented:
Hi LucF,

According to the website that you posted, i am sure my Bios is able to recognize my hard disk,
and the solution over there is meaningless to me.
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
>>>This issue may occur if your computer BIOS does not correctly manage or support the capacity of the hard disk on which you are installing Windows XP<<<

Note the "manage" I think that's the problem, check if you can find a bios upgrade for your computer.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Your Guide to Achieving IT Business Success

The IT Service Excellence Tool Kit has best practices to keep your clients happy and business booming. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to increase client satisfaction and retention, become more competitive, and increase your overall success.

alvon_chuAuthor Commented:
well, i think this is the only way that i can try, thanks
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
let me know how it goes..
take off as much hardware as you can from the PC, scanners, printers, modem, BBand, fancy mouse, (use a gerneric one). etc and now install the OS.
alvon_chuAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately, upgrading the bios won't solve this problem, i tried thousand times oredi but luck is not on my side. I also tried the MaxBlast 3 software that Maxtor recommend, whew.....
Same, after the second boot, the "Error loading operating system" comes out, this time i really dunno what should i try next.... :<
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Something you might try. I've seen these kind of problems with harddisks setup as Cable Select. Have you tried putting in the jumper to Master? Or if it's set to Master, setting it to CS?
alvon_chuAuthor Commented:
there is only one 1 hard disk, any diff putting the jumper to the Master slot or CS slot??
Anyway, i tried both way, put the jumper to Master resulting the same error, setting it as Cable Select by putting the jumper to the CS Slot also same. I am so desperate oredi...
alvon_chuAuthor Commented:
problem solved. use win98se to fdisk again. use delpart.exe to delete the ntfs partition.
do you think that this worked for you because the ntfs partition which had the os somehow got corrupted or how would you explain what happened...and i guess just by deleting the ntfs partition and starting from fat32 install fixed this problem??? how did you come about to thinking of using win98se fdisk???...did you try to reinstall xp...and if so was it as fat32 or ntfs partition....thanks a million as i have the same problem.
alvon_chuAuthor Commented:
i has been installing the winxp for more than 5 times either by deleting the partition in the very beginning of the installation process, but end up when come to the second boot, the "Error loading operating system" still bugging at me, i even tried MaxBlast III from Maxtor to clear the hard disk and partition it, result - same.
I saw a forum saying that win98se/win98me is the best startup process that for clean installation, u must misunderstand that i only use the fdisk and delpart to repartition the whole new hard disk but... i not format yet using FAT32. I format it using NTFS like normal in the winxp installation process, one more thing, dun format using NTFS under quick option - never, format it using NTFS, if i not forget is the 3rd option.
If you change the settings for your hard drive in the BIOS from CHS to LBA, i think this will actually solve your problem
alvon_chuAuthor Commented:
NO, change the setting will not solve, i tried before
the bios and whatever jumper settings do not contribute anything to solving the problem,i presume.the only trick lies in the file neccessary for the latest version of windows that rely on ntfs and on a single partition.however,we should not try to leave your primary partition without an extended secondary partition.

do this my friend-remove your hard-drive from your PC and install it on a friend's Pc and select master on the jumper.perform the format on the disk and gently do the partitions and finally install your operating can be 100% sure that your drive will be recognised by your PC and get rock n rollin' !!!

good luck.please update me on your procedure.
alvon_chuAuthor Commented:
no, i re-fdisk my harddisk and create a primary and an extended secondary par without leaving any space then it rock and roll oredi, whoops...
Have you tried using a Ultra IDE PCI Controller and see if that would install without a problem?
You guys are th bomb!  I have been having this problem for 3 weeks.  Tried everything possible.  The drive I was using had been used in a previous machine with an NTFS 5.0 partition.  Anyways, I though my DVD drive was bad because of read errors.  I noticed that the hard drive in the machine was showing CHS instead of LBA.  I tried BIOS upgrades, forcing LBA, etc.  Same problem.  Replaced DVD, changed all IDE cables, same problem.  I used FDISK on my win98 bootup disk and the drive suddenly read as LBA on it's own.  Reinstallation of XP works, now I just hope Linux works, since this will be a Linux box.  Thanks again!
Did any of you guys try installing XP under Standard PC HAL, ie without ACPI? (hit F5 when it tells you to hit F6 to install RAID/SCSI driver and use Standard PC instead of ACPI Uniprocessor)?

We had a KM400 mobo that kept rebooting while installing windows which was solved by installing without ACPI...just a thought
I've had problems with drives disppearing in the past and they have been Maxtor drives.  Have not yet decided if this is in fact a Maxtor problem or a problem due to the malicious actions of Internet users who've hacked my system.  My router seems to be constantly probed on ports used by viruses and trojans and my letters to the abuse departments have never resulted in anything.  I'd swear they just collect statistics and don't do anything beyond that.  USELESS!!!

At any rate, I'm low-level formatting to insure that if it was a malicious user infecting my boot sector and/or master boot record (since virus scanners aren't catching or indicating any viruses), that my disk is completely wiped and their code along with it.

Low-level formatting is a drastic measure and I realize it should only be used as a last resort.  Zeroing the drive is another option, but to my knowledge, it gets rid of the partitions but may still leave cleverly hidden malicious code intact...  possibly in the boot sector.  I could be wrong but I'd rather be safe.  

Maxtor makes a utility called maxllf.exe.  It takes an awful long time to run (several hours) but in the end, you end up with a drive that is squeaky clean and that you can fdisk and set partitions up without fear of malicious code lingering around...  Run it before you go to bed and hopefully your drive will be done by morning.


Just because, you can load 98 and upgrade it. I had this problem exactly with XP. Struggled with it, then got tired, installed 98SE, then it upgraded fine. Resolved the issue, can't say why. but........ it's been up and running for 6 months since. So I'm happy.

Hey guys, I have done everything on this articel but still have the same problem. I have tried 3 different HD's and still the same. The only thing I did was change my processor from a AMD 2600 to an AMD3200+. After this I started getting the errors. And this is only because I could not boot back to the same hard drive that was running windowsXP just before I changed it. I tried all these things and gave up. I came back a day later and all the sudden it installed on the smallest HD I had previously tried it on. I had tried a Quantum 18.2G, Maxtor 30G and a WD120G. As I said it finally installed on the Quantum. I still can't get it to load on any of the others. Any ideas?
FYI.....if you install any windows os on any chip...let's say pentium II
then change the chip to pentium will not work....the chip has a unique id for each program
and os it installs.........this would be different for the new chip...therefor giving you your problems.....
the same is tru for any chipset.

The solution if you have an extra hard could install that as the primary hard drive on your box....put the old hard drive as install windows on your primary...then boot....and copy the files you want to keep off your old one....aside from that you would have to reinstall on your drive and it may wipe out the info you want to keep....used hard drives on ebay can go for as low as 10 bucks...all u need is a 10gb...for an os...then when done copying the files you want to install the drives as opposite ( primary becomes secondary...then re install on your original drive the os you want and continue from there )....having 2 drives is great for this type of error aversion.
Sorry for not posting in a while but the answer above fixed my problem too. I didn't follow the instructions to the T and continued to have problems. Once I ran delpart and fdisk and then let windows format during the install everything was fine. Seems crazy though since I have done these things before and never had a problem. And I did try using different hard drives with the same result on each. Oh well, works now. Thanks for everyones input.
Anodrac had the right idea for me. When I went into the BIOS on this box (ECS, XP Home, Maxtor 80GB) LBA was turned off. I let the BIOS redetect the drive and LBA was turned back on. When I rebooted...voila ! No more "error loading Operating System"
I have a similar problem, but with two hard drives instead of one.

I have a Maxtor 120gb with WinXP installed.  I just bought a western digital 120gb.  I want to keep winXP on the Maxtor and have media files on the WD.

I installed the new hard drive, everything was fine.  Transfered some files over to it.  Then I restarted and got the "DMI Pool" error "Error Loading OS"

I tried the BIOS upgrade, LBA/CHS, Master/Slave/Cable Select, none of that works.

I don't really want to format the Maxtor with Windows XP since I have some important stuff on it.  Any ideas?
Go to your BIOS once again, in the settings for your bios select USER,
make sure that the mode is set to NORMAL but not to LBA, LARGE (SMALL OR CHS if selectable)
Then type in for fields [field name: value]
Cyl: 1024
Heads [hd]: 16
Sectors: 63

Set precomps and other fields to 0

Then your Hard Drive will be set to the absurdely low value of 528 mb or something close to that.
This should make your BIOS able to hit on the right spot on your new large hard drive to boot up the OS.
IF not, now is the correct time to run your DISC MANAGER utility that you can get from your vendor.
They will then be able to set the MBR correctly for that value so your bios starts the drive but your OS detects the
correct size.
I have a 20 gig and 80 gig Maxtor hard drives. The 20 gig is the main drive c:. I want to install the 80 gig as the main drive and on the second reboot I got the error message error loading system. Went to the BIOS and selected LBA then rebooted and recieved the message "disk error reading". That is when I try to make the 80 gig drive the primary drive. My BIOS recognizes the drive if I use it for data storage, but when I try to install Windows XP I run into problems. any suggestions?  HELP!

Larry, gp40
Hello. Just solved my own problem. I submitted a question and finally decided to do something else. I disconected the 20 gig drive and set the 80 gig as the master and rebooted. YES! It booted right up. The Problem? A conflict with both drives trying to load the operating system. I had downloaded Casper XP 2.0 which is the trial version. Copied the 20 gig to the 80 gig and then used diskpart to extend the partition. Why? Because the trial version of Casper XP dosen't allow to size the whole partition. You have to pay for it. I may do that. After booting up with the 80 gig drive and verifing it was indeed the main drive I reconected the 20 gig. Everything works fine now. Just one more thing. Be sure to set the BIOS for detecting the drived to LBA not AUTO or another setting cause it won't work.

Larry, gp40
I just ran into this problem as well. I had partitioned the disk earlier with Knoppix, and everything would run fine, however, after installing XP, upon the next reboot, I received the error. My solution was to boot to a Windows 98se CD, run FDISK (Y), then delete partitions, and I believe delete extended. Just delete any partition you can. Once FDisk says there are no more partitions left to delete, you should be set.
I am also facing the same problem, after Win2K installation, machine reboots and the unmovable error "ERROR LOADING OPERATING SYSTEM". I tried everything in the world possible, fdisk/mbr with win98se boot disk, low level formatting of the hard disk, deleted all partitions, etc. But whenever I install win2K, I get the same error. Please let me know solutions for this if any. One strange thing I observed, when I used FDISK, it shows harddisk size 5.9GB whereas I have 40GB Seagate harddisk. Is this a problem?

I was having a related problem trying to upgrade a 30 GB HD partitioned as a 10/20 to an 80 Gb HD partitioned 30/50. Running under Win XP I tried to partition using the Western Digital Data Life tools. I could format the entre 80 GB drive as 1 partition. If I tied the EZ automatic settings it would format a 48 GB NTSC and 32 GB FAT 32. If I tried to custom partition the drive I could only get a 12381 byte partition. Running the Data Life tools under DOS I could get the partitions I wanted but on boot up I got the dreaded "Error Loading OS" message.  I tried lots of things including partitioning using the Windows XP Disk manager, and Norton Ghost.  After reading through some forums I finally got the insight to solve the problem. Although I had the BIOS set to auto detect my hard drives it wasn't getting it right. The solution was to adjust the BIOS setting for the 80 GB HD from "Auto" to "Large".  I re-ran the Datalife tools unter Win XP normally and partitioned appropriately. I've installed a lot of drives but this was the first time I'd seen this problem. That MB was an Abit Nforce-2 NF-7.
I have a brand new DFI lanparty Ultra D and was getting the same error.  I went into the bios and sure enough 3 or the four hard drives were set to CHS.  Strange that one was not but I changed them all to auto and the problem went away.  Very strange because I've loaded XP on this machine several times for testing without issue.  I have also cleared the bios several times and each time the drives were set to Auto by default, thats why I never looked at it. Now I know better!

Anyway, Thanks for everyones help.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.