Repair old Windows 2000 boot

Hi,

I am a bit out of those old machines and my mind is not clear lately, but tomorrow morning I need to repair customer's CNC machine, which has OEM built in Windows 2000 workstation to manipulate with CNC machine.

A "smart" guy at machinery shop thought, he could upgrade this CNC machine from Windows 2000 to Windows XP so he ran XP side-by-side install and broke everything. Neither it boots now to Win 2000, nor to Windows XP.

They called me today and I tried to help him by issuing some commands via phone:
- he inserted Windows 2000 install CD and went to Recovery Console
- then I told him to select proper partition to repair
- and issue "fixmbr" command
- as this did not help, I told him to try also with "fixboot d:" command (as Win 2000 partition is on D: partition)....but no help either

I'll bring some old repair CDs tomorrow, but I'd like to get some ideas before, so to have a bunch of different approaches handy just in case, my methods wouldn't work.

DIsk 0
- MBR partition 0 with Windows XP install, C:
- Extended partition 1, with Logical Volume and partition 3 is Windows 2000, D:

How to make Windows 2000 partition BOOTABLE?
LVL 18
Andrej PirmanAsked:
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Curt PetriccaIT TechnicianCommented:
Geez... That's quite a nightmare... I would reach out to manufacturer and see if it's possible to get a image disk. If not then do a reinstall of 2000 so just the windows system files are overwritten and pray it works, Good Luck!!
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KimputerCommented:
Wow that's been quite a while for me since I touched a Win2000 machine.
Anyway, it's still better to describe exactly what you see when the system boots. Do you still get the boot menu (with an option to start with WinXP or Win2000)? If so, what happens after choosing either one? Error screen?  BSOD?
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Andrej PirmanAuthor Commented:
Well, by default only "System disk not found" or something simmilar was displayed.
When we messed up with DOS editor to edit "boot.ini" file (via phone) and added options for partition (0), (1) and (2), still the same result, whatever they select.

Regarding OEM manufacturer...this is 4-axial CNC machine, worth 100.000+ and is long over the maintenance contract. Manufacturer does not support it anymore, instead they provide upgrade for a couple of 10k EUR.... :)
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Curt PetriccaIT TechnicianCommented:
PRAY PRAY PRAY. I hate to be brutal but it's been at least 10 years since I have even seen a box with 2k on it and I am so glad I am not in your position. I really hope you are charging them a nightmarish price for this.

I would pull hard drive and extract data. After that I would look at replacing system files by hand and then rebuild boot.ini based off a win2k example. Remember the boot.ini format has changed over the years.

Good Luck!
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it_saigeDeveloperCommented:
If the user simply installed XP to a new partition, then you can modify the boot.ini so that the boot priority takes it to the Windows 2000 installation.  However, I believe that the user did an inplace upgrade.

If this is the case, then I hate to say it but you will be doing a fresh install after you copy out the local data as specified above.

You can also see if there are backups of the registry in C:\Windows\System32\repair\ (if memory serves me correctly).

-saige-
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it_saigeDeveloperCommented:
My memory did serve me correctly:  This Microsoft TID discusses recovering from registry backups.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/307545 - (Applies to XP)

This article discusses 2000/2003:

http://www.davidjnice.com/registry_restoring_a_non_booting_server.html

-saige-
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
check the active partition (must be a primary partition) using diskpart.exe and on this partition check the boot.ini
[boot loader]
timeout=30
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" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000" /fastdetect

Open in new window

Windows 2000 is probably on partition 2
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arnoldCommented:
The difficulty as others pointed out desks with knowing exactly what the person did? If memory serves, you would need to have all requisite drivers during the repair install attempt..

Missing boot could mean during the attempted install, the existing partitions were deleted..

Windows 2000 I think still used the winnt as the Windows root folder

Once on site as others pointed out, what you see will guide you.

As David' boot.ini shows, the difficulty based your comments suggests the XP install attempt corrupted the boot setup.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
First of all you need to check if the boot data of Windows 2000 is on the drive at all. I would suggest booting the machine from Rescue Kit Free: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-free/download.html
Checking with File Transfer if the drive contains partitions and if the partitions are there - if there is still the system data.
If all this is ok then start Boot Corrector tool from this Rescue Kit and use Search Windows Installations to correct. It will let you set the partition active (the one where Boot.ini is located), then update partition boot record, edit Boot.ini etc.
Use these options if needed and let Boot Corrector do its work. After that try to boot into Windows.
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frankhelkCommented:
Hmmm - "system disk not found" smeels a bit like a destroyed MBR and/or boot sector.

At first I'd make an image backup of the system ... a sysrescuecd (google for it) would be a good, cheap and simple start for that if you're familiar with Linux. Works fine for old Windows machines, too.

Such a MBR problem could be fixed with
fdisk /MBR

Open in new window


(as far as I remeber the syntax ... may differ by DOS version ...).

I've had some machines from HP (others may do similar) with similar problems  ... these machines boot to a tiny partition which hasonly some hardware/BIOS init code init and forwards to the real partition. If that tiny partition is omitted/wrecked, the machine  won't boot. Wit a sysrescuecd I've been able to restore that thing from another, identical machine and place an image of the the new OS behind that (but that's real black magic stuff ... not recommended for the weak hearted).
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Andrej PirmanAuthor Commented:
Woah, how many replies! Thank you, guyz!

What I found on site was surprisingly messay, and on the other hand pleasant:
- Both partitions (examined with Tiny XP) held \WINDOWS folder, so I could not distingush between them at first sight
- Seems like user did in-place upgrade of C:\ partition, while there was a stale/not used install also on D:\ partition

So after trying to REPAIR with ALL here mentioned methods, spending few hours, I quit.
Rather than restoring original system, I begun collecting info about apps which were installed for this CNC milling machine. Got a contact of (very nice) guy who installed it a decade ago, he's willing to help in form of providing install and reissue registering code, so we're now in the middle of FRESH install. At the end, I think that will be the best possible option.



But what bothers me most, is the actual employee who did all those mess. What I found out on field he's a really nice guy, willing to help and he's struggling with bureaucracy all the time. They have brand NEW CNC milling machine right there, 10-times faster and better, but they delay due to some paper works. He was trying to do the best when dedicated link between DESIGNER's machine and CNC machine failed, and the production acutally stopped because they could not load files.
So he decided to TRY installing dual-boot Windows XP there, so it would recognize USB disk drive, so they would be able to transfer files to start working.
But his attempt failed and now the company holds him responsible - he will be probably fired, and he will need to pay ALL MY EXPENSES. I saw him leaving home with 15 years old junk of the car. He's broke, I can see that....so how can I charge anything at all, knowing that he will probably bankrupt with my bill?... :/
Tough decision at the end :(
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Andrej PirmanAuthor Commented:
Woah, how many replies! Thank you, guyz!

What I found on site was surprisingly messay, and on the other hand pleasant:
- Both partitions (examined with Tiny XP) held \WINDOWS folder, so I could not distingush between them at first sight
- Seems like user did in-place upgrade of C:\ partition, while there was a stale/not used install also on D:\ partition

So after trying to REPAIR with ALL here mentioned methods, spending few hours, I quit.
Rather than restoring original system, I begun collecting info about apps which were installed for this CNC milling machine. Got a contact of (very nice) guy who installed it a decade ago, he's willing to help in form of providing install and reissue registering code, so we're now in the middle of FRESH install. At the end, I think that will be the best possible option.



But what bothers me most, is the actual employee who did all those mess. What I found out on field he's a really nice guy, willing to help and he's struggling with bureaucracy all the time. They have brand NEW CNC milling machine right there, 10-times faster and better, but they delay due to some paper works. He was trying to do the best when dedicated link between DESIGNER's machine and CNC machine failed, and the production acutally stopped because they could not load files.
So he decided to TRY installing dual-boot Windows XP there, so it would recognize USB disk drive, so they would be able to transfer files to start working.
But his attempt failed and now the company holds him responsible - he will be probably fired, and he will need to pay ALL MY EXPENSES. I saw him leaving home with 15 years old junk of the car. He's broke, I can see that....so how can I charge anything at all, knowing that he will probably bankrupt with my bill?... :/
Tough decision at the end :(
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arnoldCommented:
who hired you? Your interpretation of who might be held responsible might not come to fruition?
Issue your bill as expected.
If you are still concerned that it will come out of the hide of the employee, you could check.

I doubt the person on its own decided to do this.

Did you install XP or 2000 or a newer OS?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Why didn't here take backup first? I take backup even before I do a clean install on private users request. Because it is already a tradition that when you erased everything - they make big eyes and tell you - Oh my God!!! I forgot to copy out the most important file of my life!!!! Any way to restore it now? And if not - you are responsible for everything.

Back to the topic. Have you tried to set the right partition active and use Rescue Kit as I suggested? If the Windows is there - it would definitely boot with the help of Rescue Kit.
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Andrej PirmanAuthor Commented:
Hi,

After much ado I figured out the old disk controller is dying, which was obviously the reason for failure in first place. Actually the enthusiastic guy at facility was quite right about installing Windows XP, but was too confident that using the free/unused partition for Windows XP cannot harm the whole system behaviour.
I put Windows XP now on the NEW disk and is running fine, despite of machine being from 1999. It's obvious the mainboard is industrial-grade, because I tried to inspect electrolytic capacitors, but found none. Seems only high-quality tantalum or other long-life capacitors are used, so the disk is actually the weakest point.

Thank you all for help!
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