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XP Fresh Install Problem

Posted on 2010-11-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi

I have a problem that I cannot, for some reason, get through.  

I have a client for whom I am doing a fresh XP Pro SP2 install on s Dell Optiplex 330 after discovering the original disk was suffering hardware failure.  I am using what I believe is the OEM XP disk that came with the system.

I'm replacing the original 160 GB SATA drive with a 500 GB SATA drive.

I ran the clean install as expected, but after the initial reboot, I get the3 following error:

Windows could not start because of computer disk hardware configuration problem.  
Could not read from the selected boot disk.  Check boot path and disk hardware.
Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and hardware reference manuals for additional information.

I've run bootcfg, which gets me to c:\Windows boot choice, but it fails as above when the OS is selected.  I also redid the3 install partitioning only 120 GB for the boot partition to avoid any large disk complications.  

I'm frustrated that I must be missing something fundamental.

Ideas? Insights?

Thanks

I've done a lot of XP installs, and this is a new one.
P
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Question by:mlitin
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9 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 100 total points
ID: 34168654
According to this http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optix_330_techspecs.pdf , a 250GB drive was the largest offered for that system.
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34168738
Get the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.  Browse the page and see what utils are there for you.  Make the CD and boot from it and run TesDisk.

TestDisk http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

Tutorial http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

See what TestDisk makes of your disk and NTFS file system and partitions.

Also does the BIOS of this machine permit switching out of SATA mode?
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Expert Comment

by:rem1010
ID: 34168847
Take a close look at the 160 drive you removed and make sure that any jumpers are matched exactly.
Normally there are no jumpers, but look carefully at that 160 as Dell sometimes does things to their drives.

Also, the new boot sector may be different than that 160, as Dell usually had a recover disk on the first partition and then hid it with an unusual boot sector location.

reset the bios, assuming you upgraded the bios to current version, if not be sure to do so.

If the OLD 160 still works, try putting it back in and make sure computer boots.

All else fails, boot from LIVE ubuntu disk and make sure you can see and read/write to the new 500gb.

That is a problem, but Dell sometimes has some funny boot sectors on drives.

Also make sure that a new MBR is written to the new 500GB drive.

A live Linux disk can rewrite a new MBR to the hard drive for you.
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Author Comment

by:mlitin
ID: 34169557
OK.  Thanks for the quick responses.  

I looked at the original drove, and there are no jumpers at all.

Based on Dell (confirmed), in this case assign the first sectors to the recovery partition, that the product doc states specific disk sizes including 250, but not 500, and that I have confirmed the original disk does have a load of bad sectors...


...he're what I'm gonna do.

-Replace the 500 GB w/ a 250 GB (I have)
-Clone the disk with broken Windows on it to the 250.
-Attempt to boot to the 250, which will probably hang during boot like the original disk did.
-Assuming necessary, repair-install XP on the new disk, hoping to keep the data and  programs intact.

Make sense?


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Accepted Solution

by:
dbrunton earned 200 total points
ID: 34169579
>>  Make sense?

Alternative suggestion.  Note suggestion only.

Could you try a bare install from the CD on the 250 Gb drive first?  Just to see if it will take the OS on that.  Curious to see if it will boot from one partition only.
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Expert Comment

by:jodix2002
ID: 34170820
Is the AHCI setting on BIOS still disabled or enabled?
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 200 total points
ID: 34171957
You can connect 500GB as external drive and clone the partition from it to 250GB drive that you want to replace the 500GB with.
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Author Comment

by:mlitin
ID: 34173029
Good idea to start w/the 500 as a clone, I'll try that. I'll also be sure the bios is set correctly. As far as trying as bare install with the 250, I want to minimize the time for my client, so I;ll leave that for a subsequent try.

thanks all, for your ideas.

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Author Closing Comment

by:mlitin
ID: 34242439
Hi All

Thanks for your input.

What I finally did was a clean install on the 500 GB drive, and reload software.  The OS/disk damage from the original drive was the deciding factor to drop the cloning as a means of loading to a new disk.  I attached the old drive as a slave to drag the content off of it.

Thanks again.
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