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No boot filename received error and trouble with Duel Video Monitors

Posted on 2006-06-02
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
My System is a Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack #2

I had a hard drive that was making noise so I requested a replacement from Gateway as it was still on warranty.  I cloned the information onto the new drive using Acronis True Image.  I then installed the new drive and removed the old one.  Everything was working great.  Gateway insisted that I return the old drive to them so I had to remove the information from it.

I was tired and not thinking too good right then so I neglected everything I know and I plugged in the drive that needed cleaned to the second position on the cable but I neglected to shut down the computer or change pins to make it a slave or a cable select.  OOPS!

Right away the computer froze up and it took me two days to get the darn thing to boot again.  (I’m not sure how I got it to boot even now)

Anyway here are a couple of issues that remain.

When I boot now, very early in the boot during the black and white message screens it first says “Intel Boot Agent FE v4.1.10” then it says “No boot filename received” then
“PXE-MOF: Exiting Intel Boot Agent”  It also seems stuck for a minute on a "DHCP" screen just before it tells me “No boot filename received”

I believe that message is not what I want to see right?

Also I have a dual monitor system that runs off from a duel head PCI card.  The computer now thinks it has three monitors!  The start button is on the third imaginary monitor along with most of the icons and stuff you need for doing anything.  I tried everything to fix this, and even several tech support attempts but it is still a problem.

I currently have a crappy work around that seems crazy but it works.  I went and found the original AGP monitor card and found that I could use it as a one monitor computer if I remove the duel head PCI card.  Then I tried using the single head AGP card for one monitor and I plugged in the other monitor to ONE spot on the duel PCI card and it gives me the video for the second monitor!

Just to be clear on this... If I put in the duel head PCI card without the single head AGP card the computer thinks I have three monitors.  If I put in just the single head AGP card everything works as a single monitor computer.  If I put both the duel head and the single head cards and run one monitor from each card I get normal duel monitor operation.  My goal is to go back to the duel head PCI card, run two monitors and take out the single head AGP card.

I have tried to use the device manager to remove the monitor, maybe I didn't do it right.

Everything is working now…   Sort of… but I have a nagging feeling that this is not a very good set up and I want to get it back to normal if possible.

Here is my questions to you, the experts…

1) What do I do about the “no boot file name” message?
2) How do I make my computer think it only has two monitors if I remove the AGP card and only use the PCI duel head card?
3) What did I most likely damage with my stupid screw-up by slapping a hard drive onto the cable with no proper preparations for it?

Here is some information about the computer:
  Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (build 2600)

BIOS: Intel Corp. BF86510A.15A.0043.P07.0308011434 08/01/2003

NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (Gateway) [Display adapter]
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 [Display adapter]
Gateway FPD1940 [Monitor] (19.1"vis, February 2005)
Gateway FPD1965 [Monitor] (17.1"vis, s/n D54 50H 04094, April 2005)

2.80 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
8 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
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Question by:cQuinc
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by:rindi
rindi earned 800 total points
ID: 16823019
1. The PXE boot error you get is due to the system wanting to boot from your NIC first. Change the boot order, or if you can, remove the NIC from bootable devices inside your BIOS.

2. The only thing I can think of here is to go inside devicemanager and delete your display driver (If you don't have that option in add/remove programs of the control panel), and after a reboot reinstall the driver for your card.

3. Who knows?
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by:Merete
ID: 16826413
Hi, just some ideas,
1) What do I do about the “no boot file name” message
check your boot.ini r/click my computer properties/advanced/start up and recovery/settings/edit
Look in ther bios. At the boot order. You may see some of this text hjere too.

2 How do I make my computer think it only has two monitors if I remove the AGP card and only use the PCI duel head card?
If you use the default NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (Gateway) [Display adapter]
it should have a setting to run clone or dual mode monitors.
Dis-able the 2nd card/ remove it physically from the computer for the time being..
Once you get the main onboard card functioning correctly with updated drivers then add the other.

3) What did I most likely damage with my stupid screw-up by slapping a hard drive onto the cable with no proper preparations for it?
Hindsight is good :)
lol finding the right words, these card are very finacky to install when changed from the original install proceedure, the directx can cause problems.
They have become confused who is who, like any hardware if it is causing a problem and you spend days trying to "fix" somewhere in there it may not have uninstalled correctly, and ended keeping a trace of the previous install.
So usually in safemode you can see in the system devices under display if there is more than two video cards listed or more than two of any devices.
the correct proceedure here is to uninstall all the instances of multi devices all devices that should have only one, like the usb etc.. reboot to normal and then re-install the one.
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by:Merete
ID: 16826416
try this too
Windows Installer Clean Up Utility
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/MSICLEAN.htm
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by:cQuinc
ID: 16827800
Merete

I liked your idea of checking the boot ini but I could not follow your instructions on my computer.  When I right click on "My Computer" then properties, I get a three tab window I can select the "General" tab or the "Shortcut" tab or the "Revisions" tab.  Both General and Shortcut have "Advanced" as an option.  Neither Advanced options lead to a startup and recovery option.

rindi,

I liked your ideas too.  Very helpful to know it may be the NIC card hosing up the boot sequence.  On my system I have a bit of a problem getting into the BIOs to look around.  I have a Logiteck keyboard that by default assignes other functions to the "F" keys.  I have to push a "F-Lock" key to get normal "F" functions out of the keyboard but the keyboard does not seem to get power soon enough in the boot process to do that.  I need to just get a simple keyboard for the trouble shooting and I will do that some time soon.
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by:cQuinc
ID: 16827830
Merete,

OOPS...  I just figured out that your instructions were correct and I was able to follow them.  It makes a BIG difference if you right click on "My Computer" from the desk top or if you click on it from the start menu.  It turns out you get different options on the desktop because it is only a SHORTCUT !

Here is what I found in the Boot.ini

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

What does it mean?
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by:Merete
ID: 16830186
lol learn something new everyday,

but I have never seen a boot.ini with >> WINNIT=" << Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn<< and this last
this WINNIT is a windows NT.ini? This boot.ini assumes that windows is installed in the "WINDOWS" folder, for terminal server you must edit the boot.ini and replace all "WINDOWS" into "WTSRV", for Windows NT 4.0 you must edit the boot.ini and replace all "WINDOWS" into "WINNT".
the NoExecute looks in the wrong place.
 Noexcute is a securty to prevent boot viruses from accessing or changing the boot.ini soemthing like so that is ok
Look at mine and note where my NoExecute is located before the /fastdetect. << must be last that I know of??

====================================================
Here is mine ok I am running xppro sp2

[boot loader]
timeout=6
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
=========================================================================
Here is yours old one..
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn
==================================================================================
modified>>
 copy this ( yours modified)  and paste it in and see what happens. backup the old one first. or take out the WINNIT
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" / NoExecute=OptIn //fastdetect

are you multi booting? NT partition?
How to create a Windows NT 4.0, 2000, XP or Server 2003 boot floppy disk
http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/ntboot/

How to Use and Edit Boot.ini in Windows XP
http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/bootini.htm





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by:Merete
ID: 16830204
this is how I think it should look..

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)"Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /NoExecute=OptIn /fastdetect
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by:rindi
ID: 16840507
Sometimes you can force a system to wait for the input to enter your BIOS by changing something in the hardware, like removing some RAM modules. That would give you enough time to change the keyboard setup.
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by:cQuinc
ID: 16845023
I plan to try your suggested boot ini this weekend.  I want to make sure that if something is wrong I would be able to re-install the origional backup.  I have never used an emergency boot disk before so I am not sure what it would allow me to do if I could not boot otherwise.  One thing I have neglected to mention about why my boot ini is different than you expect...  I use Norton Goback.  

Maybe Norton Goback changes the boot ini because it gives you an option very early in the boot sequence to "restore" your machine to an earlier time.  These Goback files are probably first in line before booting windows.  Does this change anything about your thoughts on this?  By the way, If I try your suggested ini file as an experiment I expect that I would be able to restore the origional boot ini just by allowing Norton to take me back.  I will have a start up disk just in case that doesn't work though.

There is still a lot I do not understand about all this.  When the bios is adjusted does it write a new boot ini file?  I read the pages links you provided and I need to keep reading to learn more.
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by:rindi
ID: 16845075
Up to now I've only heard of problems when goback is in the game. Personally I don't like most symantec software as most of it is bloatware. If it were me I'd try uninstalling all goback traces, then try again. Check the symantec site, it should esplain how to completely remove it.
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by:Merete
ID: 16848144
cQuinc  you should always be able to access the safemode when a boot.ini goes astray, this why it was created, it works as diagnostic windows and uses very little of the actual system drivers, it is also a good place to scan for malware for this reason, if windows is using a progarm it will not allow any virus scans.
This is also a good place to restore your boot.ini. Just make a copy of it onto a txt or word doc and save it to your desktop.
In safemode you be able to find it ok and copy and paste it back using the r/click my computer advanced startup and recovery settings.
I agree with rindi  being here at EE for a long time we have seen majour issues using norton and goback, most og now suggest uninstall norton which btw is not that simple either, and just keep AV.

your post here:
I have tried to use the device manager to remove the monitor, maybe I didn't do it right.<< try uninstalling them in safemode, also you cannot uninstall a device / default monitors if a video card is plugged in, it will simply put it back, however if you remove the video card then boot safemode uninstall it it should work.
Sounds like you have an onboard card on the mother board plus an external video card.
Unpower and remove the external plug n play card boot to safemode and uninstall any references to this is system devices.
When you reboot your windows will find the vga card/onboard pci card, do you have a mainboard cd, I would use that to re-install all the default drivers.

Next step:

I donot know which external card you have there but trying installing the drivers for it first... choose a location>> I make new folder named> installers<<  and save all my drivers to here as a backup> then make another new folder inside and call it the video card drivers install these drivers to here:
 then shutdown and unpower insert the card make sure it clicks in place properly, then power in again and boot, windows will find new hardware use the I will choose which drivers and navigate to where you saved the drivers in the installers folder.

Merete
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by:Merete
ID: 16848161
if you are uncomfortable performing the above, try this instead.
tap f8 and boot to the advanced options screen, look down the list and will see start my computer in vga mode, this will be a huge desktop, boot and wait once windows has loaded> now go to your system devices  uninstall the video card and update the drivers>> for the external video card.
Because you are in vga mode windows is not using this cards drivers.
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by:Merete
ID: 16848188
re-reading your post>
I neglected everything I know and I plugged in the drive that needed cleaned to the second position on the cable but I neglected >>to shut down the computer or change pins to make it a slave or a cable select.  OOPS!<< I would say this changed the boot.ini.
Look in your boot order in bios.
Hvae you heard of flashing or reseting the bios?
You degausse yourself first run your hands over the tower this will discharge any electricity in your body..
 unpower pull out the power plug, remove the sidecase, look on the mainboard for the round cmos battery

using a small flat nosed pliers push it into the side of the cmos battery this will drop it out.
Power in again and boot without the battery, once the dos screen errors lol finishes, hold in the off button until the machine shuts down again, leave out the battery for about 20 minutes.
Unpower put the battery back in only goes oneway, then power in again and boot, it should have reset the your bios to factory defaults.


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by:cQuinc
ID: 16875663
Merete, (or anyone else with a comment)

I have been looking at all the options listed so far.  I do not really understand the relationship between the Bios, the CMOS and the Boot.ini.  But one thing sticks out.  I probably need to change the boot order to eliminate the "No boot file name received" error and I probably need to remove all video drivers while in safe mode and re-install the duel head PCI drivers.

Probably the most safe Bios boot order fix is to get a different keyboard (due to a F lock problem on boot), try to enter the Bios and change the order there.  But on the other hand If safe mode is available even without a boot.ini or with a damaged one I am sure I can restore a back up if needed.

I like the idea of removing the video drivers in safe mode and then re-installing them.

When I change the boot order in the BIOS does that change the contents of the boot.ini.  Or when I change the boot.ini does that change the cotents of the Bios?  And where does the CMOS fit in?  Should I have a preference as to which system I go after?

One last thing.  Yes, I have also heard bad things about Norton Goback but I have it on three computers and it has worked well for me.  I enjoy the freedom I have to try new slightly dangerous websites and experiments with it in place.  I have tried lots of software with it and it is pretty neat that I can just go back to a previous state which in some cases may allow me to try the software again at a later date.  I kinda don't want to change the boot.ini if it has instructions that would kill goback.

I'm sorry I am working kinda slow to resolve this and taking a lot of your time.  I know I need to select a course of action soon.
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by:Merete
ID: 16875759
cQuinc  you take all the time you need, think about what you wish to do,
changing the boot order does not have any effect on the boot.ini, no relationship to each.. Boot order is like the first look from the bios as to what it should start up first.. cdrom drive  then HDO and the floppy disc, the boot.ini is what cmos/bios needs to read before it can boot your windows operating system.
so to help you understand a bit of computer IT.

boot.ini
http://mirror.href.com/thestarman/asm/mbr/bootini.htm

Motherboard definitions
http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/mb.htm

Definition of System Partition and Boot Partition
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314470/
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by:cQuinc
ID: 16881451
I now have half of my problems solved.  I got a different keyboard which allows me to use the function keys on boot up.  By pressing "F-2" I got into the AMI BIOS.  I went to Boot Order and this is what I found:

1st  [4M HL DT ST DVDRAM GSA]
2ND  [1ST FLOPPY DRIVE]
3RD [IBAFE SLOT 0140 V 4110]
4TH  3M WDC WD800JB 00JJCO]

"There was a note in the BIOS that said "A device enclosed in parenthesis has been disabled in the corresponding menu"  Well, all of them are in parenthesis!  But apparently this note does not mean anything because I found if I disable any of the devices it clearly marks the item as disabled!

I did not have any options or controls to change the boot order in this BIOS so I just hit F-9 to "set up defaults".  That swithched the order some.  Then I picked 2ND  [1ST FLOPPY DRIVE] and 3RD [IBAFE SLOT 0140 V 4110] and disabled them.  I figure if I ever need to boot from a floppy or NIC card I can re-enter the BIOS and enable them again.

My Boot Order list now looks like this...

1st  [4M HL DT ST DVDRAM GSA]
2nd  [3M WDC WD800JB 00JJCO]
3rd  [Disabled}

The 4th Item dropped off the list!

Now when I boot it goes pretty quick and I do not get the boot errors and it does not look for the NIC card or the floppy drive.  I'm pretty happy about this.

I do not see any reason now to adjust the boot.ini or CMOS battery.  My next task is to fix the monitors by removing the drivers in safe mode and reinstalling them.  Also in the BIOS I saw an area to disable the AGP slot.  I plan to do that too because my duel head video card is a PCI card.

I will report the results of that as soon as I get it done and distribute points to the helpful experts.  I will be a few days before I can do it, I have some important work to finish before I can make further adjustments to the computer.

Quin
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by:Merete
ID: 16883043
sounds good and looks right, but just as a word of warning, I donot recomend having the cdrom drive as first boot, if for some reason the xpcd is left int the rom  drive it may start windows setup, so it best to have hdo as first boot /cdrom 2nd.
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by:Merete
ID: 16883048
1st  [4M HL DT ST DVDRAM GSA] << move this one to 2nd
2nd  [3M WDC WD800JB 00JJCO] << move to first
3rd  [Disabled}
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by:rindi
ID: 16883444
There should be no problem with the CD drive being first. I allways have them first. With XP CD's it'll ask you to press any key to boot from the CD anyway, so if you just leave it, it won't keep booting from there.
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by:cQuinc
ID: 16926984
My last task was to fix the video card drivers.  I started by backing up my computer to a network drive using Acronis True Image.  I got that complete and verified the image.  Then I decided to set up Norton Goback for “safe try” mode.  I figured that would be a safety net if anything got screwed up.

I changed keyboards so I could access the “F” keys.  There is an interesting rant on these new Microsoft keyboards that prevent you from using the normal F keys on boot.  We can blame it on Microsoft.  See the rant at:
http://www.udolpho.com/weblog/?id=00582&title=Killing-F-Lock-ie-restoring-the-function-keys-on-Microsoft-keyboards

Unfortunately, while setting up Norton Goback Safe try, the computer crashed.  I guess we can blame it on Goback now ;)

Once again I could not boot.  I could access the safe mode menu’s but the computer would freeze no matter what option I selected.  I had some boots to black screens and safe mode tries generally lead to one of the lines that I recognized from the Boot.ini file.  It would write the line about 50 times and then freeze.  I did not write it down so I can not say exactly.

There seemed to be nothing much to try so I proceeded to try every combination and permutation of my video cards.  Hooking up my duel monitors to the AGP cart or the PCI card or both or none,  Tried everything.

At one point I found that the computer would boot to a black screen and I could hear the welcome to windows chime.  If I used safe mode it would still hang.  Normal boot went to windows without a video display.

I pulled the CMOS battery and had the same results.  Booted without the battery.  Norton Goback was still giving the option to try it for repairs.  It didn’t work.  I didn’t think it would because of the failed setup for it.

I got my Acronis install disk to attempt to recover my system from the network drive.  I got no where with that.  It said something like it could not recognize the disk.  I got nowhere near accessing the network drive.

As a last ditch effort I took a duel head video AGP card out of another computer, removed the other cards and tried to boot.  Same problems, safe mode hangs, normal boot goes to a black screen but I hear windows.  Then I decided to try safe mode using VGA.   Guess what…  I got a desk top.

I then tried to immediately back up the minor success with Acronis.  I wanted to put the back up on the C drive instead of the network drive.  I reserved some space for the back up by trying to create what they call a “Secure Zone”.  That failed and gave me an error “Unable to write disk 1 sector 0”.  Now I find all my hard drive space is gone.  Also my network drive now has a light on it that says it is full.  (Probably from the precautionary back up)

I looked at my device manager and with the different duel head AGP card it has removed the other drivers and at least I now have a normal desktop with two monitors running.

Actually everything is working pretty good right now but I have a nagging feeling that the Boot.ini is hosed and the system has potential to not find the boot information again.

I went to Microsoft and found a procedure to rebuild the boot.ini but my windows disk is from gateway and they messed up the pure XP setup screens so they do not match the instructions.

I do not feel comfortable in editing the boot.ini now because I do not believe that it is true that safe mode can allow you to restore a back up if it is not pointing to all the right stuff.  

If anyone wants to they can say “I told you so” about Norton Go back.  Now is the time to say it.  It is now un-installed.  It will be off my system at least until I have confidence things are really fixed.

I hope I have correctly described all that happened.  I am too tired to even spell check this message :)

Anyway, I spent all day yesterday on this till the wee hours of the morning, then got up early to continue and now I am running out of time until some time next week.  This question may stay open for a while longer.

Quin
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by:rindi
ID: 16927063
Actually the boot.ini in itself isn't really that important. After all, all it is is a text file, telling the bootloader what partition to boot which os from. You could easily save the current one to some other place in case you need a backup, and you can comment the uneeded entires out. As long as you can boot with some other System, like a liveCD (knoppix), you can edit that file if it goes wrong.
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by:Merete
ID: 16928168
another option, if you have some spare cash that is :)
buy a new hdd and clean install, this way you can keep the current hdd and slave it,then you have access to yoru backups take off what you need .
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by:cQuinc
ID: 16928871
Rindi,

I really like your suggestion to use knoppix.  A great idea.  All I need is a safety net before I can go forward to adjust the boot.ini  Your suggestion is just what is needed.  Safe mode does not cut it in my opinion.  Especially after all the trouble I had not being able to boot in Safe mode.  My system right now by most appearances is working and stable and after installing the different video card it is set up with ONE correct windows dirver that is working well.  I could almost say this issue is solved but I want to figure out why it was getting lost trying to find the operating system and I want to have confidence that it is now resolved.

Merte,  I did not mention in my description of the problems that at one point I even grabbed the hard drive out of another computer and put it in as the primary thinking that maybe Acronis True Image might allow me to install my network drive mirror image into it.  Acronis would not cooperate with that drive or the origional drive to take the first baby steps to restore the image.  I just had errors saying Acrons was“Unable to write disk 1 sector 0”. It is sort of like the computer could not find the operating system or even the sectors on the disk.

What ever this problem is it seems to be pretty deep into the basic functions of the compter to access the basic stuff and Bios and Cmos stuff does not seem to resolve the issue.  Now it looks like Acronis TI has reserved a ton of disk space with nothing on it because before this started I had a ton of space and now I have almost none.  The reserved space does not show in "My Computer" and Acronis TI does not even recognize it.  I probably need some repartition tools to fix it but first I will experiment with Acronis a bit more.  Even before that I want to adjust the Boot.ini and knoppix is going to make it possible for me to go that direction.

I will make my next move sometime next week.
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by:Merete
ID: 16928986
thank you yes I missed that sory, is the MBR damaged?
I have read a few reports of unhappy folks using Acronis it installs great runs great but the backups are crap.

But more have opted to use Linux
This tutorial covers the creation and useage of boot floppies for system recovery.
Three recovery methods are discussed:
Creation / useage of a floppy with GRUB boot loader. Grub configured on floppy to point to Linux kernel on hard drive.
Creation / useage of a floppy with LILO on the Master Boot Record (MBR) to point to the Linux kernel on an existing hard drive for boot. This is typically done when the MBR is corrupted, overwritten by the installation of another operating system or as an alternative to configuring the hard drive MBR for dual boot.
Creation / useage of a recovery floppy which contains a small Linux kernel on the floppy with the proper drivers to boot the system to perform recovery operations. While this is more complex, it does not require a working Linux OS on the harddrive. Given that Linux can mount a Windows partition, it is also a viable method for recovering data from a MS/Windows drive.
Related topics in this tutorial:
Recovery using an install CD
Linux Rescue Floppy Images.
Related Information.

http://www.yolinux.com/TUTORIALS/LinuxTutorialRecoveryAndBootDisk.html


FDISK /MBR rewrites the Master Boot Record
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q69013/
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by:cQuinc
ID: 16931711
Merte
I took a look at the links you provided.  I believe I should use the procedure to re-write the MBR boot record.  The instructions did not detail how to pull up DOS on a windows XP home machine.  Maybe I have to install DOS first?  I don't know any thing about Linux but I may look into the recovery stuff you mentioned.  Knoppix looked interesting because I belive I can just boot a sick system and still get to my files to adjust them.  (I still have the boot.ini in mind).  At the moment my system is ok but before any more surgery I would want to have my options planned if I can't boot.

What do you all think of this as a plan.  I buy a second hard drive.  Miror it with my data, use F-Disk on the origional disk to make sure I have only one partition, copy the info back onto the one partition to reclaim the lost disk space, then re-write the MBR using the fdisk /mbr command?  If I still have a computer running when I am done I would then play with the boot.ini !

Quin
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Merete earned 1200 total points
ID: 16931771
yes that is the way I would go, buy a 2nd hdd and mirror it.
I would be totally sure that my hadd was clean with a good MBR, sometimes installing failed attempts can rewrite another MBR.

Fixmbr
Repairs the master boot record of the boot disk. The fixmbr command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console
fixmbr [device_name]
Parameter
device_name
The device (drive) on which you want to write a new master boot record. The name can be obtained from the output of the map command. An example of a device name is:
\Device\HardDisk0.
Example
The following example writes a new master boot record to the device specified:
fixmbr \Device\HardDisk0
Note
• If you do not specify a device_name, a new master boot record will be written to the boot device, which is the drive on which your primary system is loaded.
 
• If an invalid or nonstandard partition table signature is detected, you will be prompted whether you want to continue. If you are not having problems accessing your drives, you should not continue. Writing a new master boot record to your system partition could damage your partition tables and cause your partitions to become inaccessible.
 Diskpart
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/bootcons_fixmbr.mspx?mfr=true
===========================
otherwise you simply set the bios to boot from floppy, create a windows98 2nd edition bootdisc which you can download from bootdisc, put in the floppy and boot
http://www.bootdisk.com/

Windows 98 SE OEM boot disc.
http://www.msu-hb.de/download/boot98se.exe
====================================
instructions here at the bottom.
Fixmbr - Repair Master Boot Record with MBRFix from Windows 2000, XP etc.
Recommended use of mbrfix to run Windows again
Create any bootable floppy disk/diskette A: (even with older Windows systems)
Run MbrFix to see the current list of partitions: mbrfix /drive 0 listpartitions
Run MbrFix in the following way: mbrfix /drive 0 fixmbr
If you have more than 1 physicial hard disk (hard drive), you have to use proper number for your disk. E.g. change 0 to sdifferent number (1, 2 etc.)

http://www.ambience.sk/fdisk-master-boot-record-windows-linux-lilo-fixmbr.php
======================================
How to create a boot disk
http://www.computerhope.com/boot.htm

good luck, if you need more assistance.
Merete :)
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Author Comment

by:cQuinc
ID: 16973956
Just a quick update on my situation.  I purchased a new 160 Gig hard drive, I put in, cable select as a second drive and attempted to mirror it.  Two attempts, both failed after an hour with an error message stating "number of copied sectors differ from counted"

My solution to that will be to upgrade my older version of Acronis True Image to the latest and greatest and try again in a few days.

I should also mention my subscription to "Experts" will end on 7/2/2006.  I assume I will not be able to continue to post after that date.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 16974028
I dont know I think if you earn points within that time frame you can have it for free.

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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 16974040
I dont kinow if i can help you entirely but your wellcome to email me for more assistance, just click on my name
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Author Comment

by:cQuinc
ID: 16974074
Merete,

Thanks for your offer for personal assistance.  I do not feel stuck at all, I just need a little time to work through the issues.  I don't like admitting it but probably Goback is the source of my trouble.  I did some reading about it and Goback does change the MBR and the partition tables both.  The error with Acronis True Image relating to Partition tables seems to me that it could be a result of something like a record keeping error.  For example the number of partitions that the computer thinks it has may be different from actual or something like that.

Here is a link from the Norton Goback knowledge base that makes it clear that Goback can mess up the partition table and the MBR.  It is a long link, I hope it works here as pasted:

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/goback.nsf/docid/2001092611363307?Open&src=hot&docid=2001101713193807&nsf=goback.nsf&view=docid&dtype=&prod=&ver=&osv=&osv_lvl=&seg=hho

Anyway, I will continue to post my experiences and consider all ideas expressed.  I am heading for a repair of the MBR but I do not dive into that until I have 100% conficence that I can get back to my starting point.  For now I will decline the offer for personal assistance but I appreciate it.

Quin
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16974217
I don't think the end of subscription will cahnge anything except that you can't open new questions, but this thread will stay active for you.
0
 

Author Comment

by:cQuinc
ID: 16977171
Here are my comments on the help received from the Experts:

It appears that I have been able to resolve all issues with my computer.  Here are the three areas I was concerned with in my original question:

1) What do I do about the “no boot file name” message?
2) How do I make my computer think it only has two monitors if I remove the AGP card and only use the PCI duel head card?
3) What did I most likely damage with my stupid screw-up by slapping a hard drive onto the cable with no proper preparations for it?

The first question was resolved by getting into my Bios and changing the boot order and eliminating the NIC card in the boot list.

Expert Rindi was first to identify what was causing the “no boot file name” error and he offered a brief description of what to do to resolve it.  Expert Merete suggested looking at the Boot.ini.  I believe my issue was resolved without having to adjust the Boot.ini.  I was concerned and afraid to play with the Boot.ini because I believed that I could render the system un-bootable if I made a mistake.  

On this subject Merete states:
>>Just make a copy of it onto a txt or word doc and save it to your
>>desktop.
>>In safemode you be able to find it ok and copy and paste it back
>>using the r/click my computer advanced startup and recovery settings.

I am skeptical that safe mode can be accessed if the Boot.ini is not pointing to the operating system.  I had several times while resolving my issue that the safe mode menu would come up after pressing F-8 but the computer would not continue into safe mode where I would be able to restore the origional Boot.ini.  Therefore at least in this case it may have been prudent to make a back up copy of the Boot.ini but it was risky to think I could use safe mode to restore the back up.

I believe I got good advice from Expert Merete on how to remove the extra monitor from my system and Safe Mode in this case is the way to go.  Unfortunately my system crashed and would not boot before I could give it a try.  This issue was actually resolved by grabbing a video card out of another computer and booting with it.  Windows on it’s own removed all the offending drivers for me and I am still using the computer with the borrowed card.

On the third question  “What did I most likely damage with my stupid screw-up by slapping a hard drive onto the cable with no proper preparations for it” ?
Merete speculated on what may have been damaged or changed on my system.  His thoughts on this are reasonable.

Merete offered helpful links to more information on relevant topics as we worked to resolve the problems.

Rindi offered a really good solution to help if my system continued to give me trouble booting.  He recommended knoppix.  I had forgotten about this but it is really neat.  You can boot and work on files using this CD without installing anything to your system.  It would be a wonderful way to restore the Boot.ini if Safe Mode was not available.  Unfortunately or maybe fortunately I did not have to resort to this to resolve my issue.

My computer issues morphed into problems that relate to the MBR, Partitions and a massive loss of space on my hard drive.  Here the experts did not have too much advice but Merete suggested a second hard drive might be useful and I ended up following that advice.  Unfortunately when I tried to mirror the primary drive using Acronis True Image I got an error relating to the number of partitions on the hard drive and it failed.

I ended up resolving the Master Boot and partition issues by running Norton Disk Doctor which is included with Norton System Works.  It went through and found errors on my hard drive and after the errors were fixed I was able to mirror my system to a second hard drive and reclaim the lost hard drive space on the primary drive.

My system is now set up with the smaller 75 GB drive as the primary and a mirrored 160 GB drive as the secondary.  I plan to use the secondary drive exclusively for backups and from time to time I will mirror the primary drive onto the secondary drive.

Both Merete and Rindi were very helpful and I am glad that I was able to use their advice to resolve this problem.  I will wait to review any additional comments Merete and Rindi may have and if no additional persuasive information is submitted I will split the points.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 16977280
excellent news cQuinc  my man, well done.
Your concerns with the boot.ini does concern me a little, I wish you could feel safe doing these, I can assure you that accessing safemode does not require the boot.ini.You normally boot to the advanced options screen first this is before windows.
To assist you and feel I have also satisfied myself in helping you these three are the most often shared as they have very good illistrations.
How to Use and Edit Boot.ini in Windows XP
http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/bootini.htm
http://www.computerhope.com/issues/chsafe.htm
Accessing The  Different Methods of Repair Available in Windows XP
http://www.theeldergeek.com/repairing_windows_xp.htm

The advanced options screen and the bios are both  the most important functions in repairing windows and I believe it important that one become familiar with it could save you an enormous amount of time.

Its been a pleasure and a as usual we feel your successes, I endevour never to forget you have to do the leg work and I only make suggestion.
So I try to keep my suggestions in simple language so that it cannot be mistaken.
Best wishes to you
Merete
PS I am a female :D





0
 

Author Comment

by:cQuinc
ID: 17020239
I struggled as to how to award points for this question.  Rindi was the first to identify that I needed to change the boot order.  Merete followed up with a suggestion to try changing the boot.ini (which I did not do).

The answer I accepted from Merete suggested getting a second hard drive and mirroring it and also led to what I believe solved my real problem which probably was related to a corruption of the Master Boot Record (MBR).

Many of the experts suggestions were probably good but I was not able to try all of them due to trouble booting into safe mode etc.  Others may view their suggestions and have good results.

The point split was 200 / 300 due to the detail of Merete's answers and her great desire to help.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 17021489
Your welcome and it  is always a pleasure to know I have assisted in someway to help you.
Good Luck.
Regards Merete
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17022303
Thanks too, your welcome.
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