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Problems with Hard Drive

Posted on 2011-02-18
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a SATA drive running Windows XP that I can read but when I try to boot the drive in a PC I just get blank screen with a blinking cursor. So far I put the drive in a identical pc and got the same thing but I can hook the drive up to an external reader and read the files. Any ideal why this is?
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Question by:ahmad1467
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34928932
You can read it on another system, because the data/files is still intact.  You cannot boot to it because the boot files are corrupt or missing.  You need to see if you can get in using Last Known Good Configuration, then Safe Mode, then if you still aren't able to get it, then you will need to boot to your XP CD to repair Windows boot files.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34928939
Get to LKGC or Safe Mode by hitting F8 BEFORE you would normally see the Windows screen (or the blinking cursor).  Just start tapping F8 about once per second after the system comes on.
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by:mslunecka
mslunecka earned 333 total points
ID: 34928968
Here's a great article that shows you the steps on accessing the XP Recovery Console.

Just pop in your XP CD and load into this.

If you type in /HELP from the command line you'll get a list of tools you can run.  

Try the FIXBOOT and FIXMBR ones and see if that helps
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mslunecka earned 333 total points
ID: 34928974
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34928992
Once in the Recovery Console (R for Repair using Recovery Console instead of Enter to Install), I would run a chkdsk /r first to make sure Windows has cleaned up any corruption that may keep fixboot from working.  I would run the chkdsk /r then fixboot, then see if you are able to boot at that point.  If not, then run chkdsk /r again, then fixboot and fixmbr the second time around.
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by:ahmad1467
ID: 34929058
I tried booting into safe mode by tapping on F8 but it just goes to a black screen with a blinking Cursor.
Could I copy the boot file to the drive or would I have to do a repair from the XP disk?

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by:mslunecka
ID: 34929088
If you do the Recovery Console from the XP Disk you don't necessarily have to do a full GUI repair.

Just try the CHKDSK /R,  FIXBOOT and FIXMBR commands and see if those help.  I like to try FIXBOOT and FIXMBR first because they only take a few seconds.  CHKDSK /R does a full scan of the whole disk and takes quite a while.

If those two commands don't get you booting up again, then come back to recovery console and either try a chkdsk or just go through the re-install process.  Worst case scenario with a repair installation is you have to reinstall some of you applications, but your data will still be intact.

If the recovery console commands work it should come back up as if nothing ever happened.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34929202
You often cannot run fixboot until you've run chkdsk /r first, as chkdsk /r fixes things that help fixboot do its thing.

ahmed ... it is a matter of timing ... you have to hit it at just the right time ... just start tapping it as soon as the BIOS screen comes up.  It  has to be BEFORE Windows tries to load.

If you can't get that screen up, you may want to simply attempt a repair from the XP CD.
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by:ahmad1467
ID: 34929359
When I boot from the XP disk I get a blue screen with a message stating:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and
terminated. Run chkdisk/f to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.
Technical information: STOP: 0x0000007B

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by:mslunecka
ID: 34929665
Are you using a custom windows XP boot disk?  Such as one that has had SATA drivers slipstreamed onto the disk?

If so try using a standard hologramed XP CD direct from microsoft.  Preferably one that matches your servicepack level, but that isn't strictly necessary for the recovery console.

If your computer does have SATA hard drives in it, as pretty much all PCs now do, you'll need to get a floppy disk with your motherboard's sata controller drivers installed, and probably a USB floppy drive to load from, then press f6 during setup to load the drivers from the floppy disk.  It's a huge hassle.  I'll never forgive microsoft for never releasing a first-party XP installation disk with SATA support.
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by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 34929701
If the windows boot disc bluescreens then you probably have memory issues. Make a memtest86 boot cd and run that.
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by:edbedb
ID: 34930238
Turn on the computer and press the key to enter the BIOS settings, usually Delete, F1 or F2.

In the SATA section change it to IDE mode. It might not say IDE, it could be ATA or Compatible mode. Then you will be able to boot from the XP install CD.
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by:nobus
ID: 34931925
if you want to test ram and disk, i suggest to download ubcd - it has them all :
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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by:ahmad1467
ID: 34933409
I don’t think it’s the ram because I tried another system and it did the same thing and I took the drive from the other system and put it in the first system and it worked. One thing I did try is boot with a Hirans disk with the NT loader and it boot up but when I tried to boot without the disk it wouldn’t come up

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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34933562
It would do that on no matter which system its on because Windows is corrupt.  If you can't get into F8 or if LKGC/Safe Mode doesn't work, then you have to boot to your XP CD to do anything with it (either a Repair Install or Recovery Console to attempt to fix it).  You have to either use a floppy at F6 with the drivers on it or use http://nliteos.com to integrate the drivers and create a new CD to boot from.
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by:nobus
ID: 34933598
do NOT assume they are ok -  TEST them to know...
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by:ahmad1467
ID: 34933636
Ok I'll try this out
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by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 34933651
Don't assume there is only one problem. If the original system has some bad memory it can mess up the harddrive. So just because the harddrive also doesn't work in another system doesn't mean the only problem is with the drive...
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34933686
I'm not saying there may not be another problem, but even if it is the memory or the disk, you've only found the cause, not the fix.  Yes, test away ... you might not be able to fix it if you still have a hardware problem.  But to "fix" it, you need to do as decribed above.
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by:ahmad1467
ID: 34934065
I am using an XP Disk made with Nlite with the drives but know luck. Do you know why is it that if I use the [Admin Edit] an use the boot to hard with NTLDR option it boots up find?



Reference to bootleg software deleted.

Vee_Mod
Experts-Exchange Moderator

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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34934083
Since talk of that utility is kind of off limits on these forums, I won't say much other than to guess that it is bypassing Windows corrupt boot files - the ones you have to fix from the XP CD.
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by:ahmad1467
ID: 34934096
opps! what about using mbrfix
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by:ahmad1467
ID: 34934311
I got it backup do you think I should still run the Ram and Run the http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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by:edbedb
ID: 34934536
If you are now able to boot the XP CD to the repair console just run fixmbr and then fixboot.

Post back with the result.
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by:ahmad1467
ID: 34935603
Now I am able to boot into to Windows but it keeps going to the screen {Please Please select the operating system to start} but I have to select Windows XP because it defaults to Microsoft Windows Xp Professional Setup
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 167 total points
ID: 34935613
You can change (or delete) the OS's listed in the boot menu by going to:

Start, Run..., msconfig, Boot, and Remove/Delete the entry that doesn't work (should be the first entry if you have to "select" the right one), or

Right-click My Computer, Properties, Advanced tab, Startup and Recovery, and Edit the list of operating systems (or simply select the right default, then change the time to display choices to 0).
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