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Boot Priority - insert system disk

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by neway, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. neway

    neway Member

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    Hello,

    I have read a lot of threads on this subject, often with many unsuccessful procedures and checks advised.

    I have two hard drives, both 200gb, two dvd drives, all this has been working correctly until one night when I was doing lots on the computer, it froze and corrupted the hard drive (C) which now has a few unreadable sectors but can be used to store files. I have since installed the operating system on (D) as the OS on C kept running into problems.

    Since setting up the computer (again!!) I wanted to install the card reader which had vanished from windows explorer (usually displayed as 4 drives) So I unplugged the three cables from the motherboard (USB, Firewire etc) that were in the back of the card reader. At the same time I installed a PCI fan to give extra cooling.

    When I now start the computer I get INSERT SYSTEM DISK - PRESS ENTER. It wont boot off CD or the hard drive.
    If I unplug one of the hard drives, the CD will boot.
    I installed windows back on the C drive then on reboot plugged the other hard drive back in and had a choice of operating systems, so I booted the D drive and wiped off the XP setup files on C drive. All was well until I left the computer on and came back to "boot priorities have changed" then the INSERT SYSTEM DISK - PRESS ENTER" problem again.

    If I boot from CD I can see the directory of the D drive so access is not a problem, all drives are detected on startup, I have checked all connections and I have everything set ok in BIOS I think!

    Any ideas?
     
  2. ianski7

    ianski7 Guest

    Hey

    Dissconnect all HDS and boot to Bios. Shut down. Reconnect the drive with the O/S only and boot to Bios.While in Bios, check the Boot Sequence and make sure the HD is set to 0. Save settings - shut down. Power up and you should be in Windows.

    Start
    Run - type 'msconfig'
    You should not have the 'Boot ini' tab

    Shut down and connect the slave drive.

    Go back to 'msconfig' and see if the 'Boot Ini' tab is there. If it is,click on the option to check boot paths and kill it.




     
  3. neway

    neway Member

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    Hi,
    Thanks for your suggestions.

    When I set the hard drive with the OS as master and disconnect the other drive, no hard drive is found. It will only boot when I connect both hard disks and set the corrupt one as master, then I get a choice of operating systems.
    However, when I leave the system for more than a few hours I come back and find it rebooted, with the hard disk priority changed in bios and no access to the hard drives, until I change the priority again!

    Do you think it could be that each hard drive is a separate partition and the corrupt hdd is the primary, and has to be present (i.e they are linked in some way)

    Maybe partition magic will enable me to change the priority.

    Thanks again for your help, it is appreciated.
     
  4. neway

    neway Member

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    Hello again,

    I have had more problems with the computer but I need to change the D drive into the system drive.

    I dont understand that if I change the connections and hard drive master switches over, the D drive will not boot on its own.

    Can anyone shed some light?
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2004
  5. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    are the hd's western digital??
     
  6. neway

    neway Member

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    Looks like I am going to sort this problem out by replying to myself!

    I have worked out that the MBR is on the C: even though there is no OS on it, that is required to then initiate the bootup of windows on the D:

    So now, the question is - how do I create a MBR on the D:?

    I have tried just plugging the D: in as a master and when I booted from A: and did fdisk /mbr, there was an error, because the D: does not have a MBR.

    THE HARD DRIVES ARE BOTH BARRACUDA 7200.7 (SEAGATE)
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2004
  7. CJC

    CJC Regular member

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    All hardrives have a Master Boo Record, if it has a active partition.

    the FDISK D:/mbr just clears out the MBR and puts a fresh default copy back on it, as some viruses attack the MBR.

    Im not 100% sure on what your trying to do.

    So Windows is installed on the SLAVE and notthing on the MASTER ??

    The Drive with Windows has to be MASTER on the PRIMARY channel.

    Try booting with just the Hard Drive with Windows on MASTER on the PRIMARY Channel by itself.

    If that works then plug the 2nd Hdd as SLAVE on the PRIMARY Channel.

    If it detects both Hard Drives, good.

    If this isnt what you mean, could you please connect me.

    CJC
     
  8. neway

    neway Member

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    Ok, I have one corrupt hard drive (C:), I tried to clear up the unreadable areas and install windows back on it, it was fine to begin with then files started missing and more areas were corrupt. I thought I would put the OS on D: drive. That was fine.
    I now would like the D: as the master. However, there is no way that I can use just the D drive, regardless of the jumper or boot.ini.
    If the old Master drive is not connected, the D drive will not boot up (which is C drive when on its own, set as master)
    I have made sure all the necessary boot files are on the drive, I have changed the the boot.ini, the boot priority in Bios automatically sees the drive as master because it has a jumper on it.

    When the computer boots up, it uses the C: drive's boot.ini to start the OS on the slave.

    What I want is to just have the D drive plugged in and it boot into windows.

    There is nothing on C: apart from the boot files.

    Hope this is enough info. and thanks for your help.
     
  9. CJC

    CJC Regular member

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    Ok, we will call your Old C: HDD1 and the D: HDD2.

    HDD1 got the bad sectors so you want to use HDD2 as the main drive with windows on it.

    So you put the Jumper on MASTER on HDD2 and put the jumper as SLAVE on HDD1.

    But when HDD2 is MASTER you are getting that error.

    I take it there is stuff on both drives you want to keep and you dont want to format, thats ok.

    First off, remove the MBR on both drives.

    So from the A:/> type FDISK C:/MBR likewise to D:

    See if that fixes it... if not...

    What you should do is put HDD2 which is the drive you want Windows on as MASTER and that only. Make sure that the BIOS detects that its there.

    Now make sure CD-ROM is the 1st prority in the Boot Menu so that you can boot from your Windows XP CD.

    Load windows over the top and see if that fixes the problem.

    Am i understanding what you mean correctly...


    CJC
     
  10. neway

    neway Member

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    Yes, thats more or less it.

    I have nothing on HDD1 that I need to keep, all my files are on HHD2 - I will try your suggestions over the weekend and let you know.

    Thank you very much.
     
  11. neway

    neway Member

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    Hello,

    When I boot from A: I get a message that C: and D: has no label.
    When I boot from the XP CD, it sits on the "setup is starting windows for a while" then opens recovery console with no choice of windows installation.

    It cannot see C or D drive. and comes back with "there is no floppy disk of CD in the drive"

    I can start windows but after about 10 mins it hangs.

    I tried both the hard drives on their own and got nothing.
     
  12. neway

    neway Member

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    When only HDD2 was connected, without a jumper, the XP boot disk recognised the drive and I was able to install windows again.

    I ammended the boot.ini so the choice of OS's is not there, and it boots straight into windows.

    I have no idea why when the jumper is set to master, the drive can not be seen by any boot disk.

    It still doesnt seem 100% right, but can do nothing other than wait and see.

    Thank you all for your help
     

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