We help IT Professionals succeed at work.
Get Started

Installed XP on Slave Drive. Can't get the machine to boot up properly.

Intrapman asked
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
This one is going to truly require an expert. Last week I was having all sorts of problems with my machine. It got to the point were I couldn't even reboot. With hundreds of important files on my machine I had to find a way to get the thing to boot up (at the time I couldn't even get it running in safe mode).

I have two hard drives (master and slave) in my machine so I thought the best way to solve my problem would be to install Windows on the slave drive. To simplify things let's call the master Drive "A" and the Slave drive "B". I use "B" exclusively for file back up purposes - there is no OS or any applications that run from this drive - all that stuff is installed on "A". I have important files on both drives so I didn't format either before doing a fresh installation of XP on "B". Everything went smoothly - that is until I swapped the drives. When I swapped the hard drives (i.e. made "B" the master and "A" slave - and yes I've got the right jumper settings) and changed my BIOS settings to boot from "B" the system wouldn't boot up. The only way I could get it to boot up was to set the BIOS settings to boot from "A". As the system starts up it recognizes that there are two Operating Systems it needs to choose from - one on "A" and one on "B". When I select the OS on "B" the system boots with no issues - everything works.

This lead me to believe that a boot sector wasn't created on drive "B" when I installed XP. So I went into the XP repair mode and added a boot sector with the BOOTCFG /ADD command. I then did FIXBOOT and followed that up by making it the default boot sector by doing BOOTCFG /DEFAULT. Everything seemed to work but I still can't get the machine to boot directly from "B".

Below is the contents of the Boot.ini file:
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

Just to recap "B" is now my master drive and I've created a boot sector but the machine will not boot directly from "B". I need to start the boot sequence from "A" then select the operating sytem on "B" to get everything up. I really really really do not want to delete everything on "B" and start over. Is there anybody that can help me?

Many thanks.
Watch Question
Independednt Consultant
Top Expert 2005
This problem has been solved!
Unlock 1 Answer and 12 Comments.
See Answer
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE