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Can't make new HDD bootable? :( :x

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April 19, 2007 7:56:40 AM

This is driving me really mad, I hope some of you guys can suggest a solution.

I'm trying to upgrade my hard disk from a Seagate Barracuda 160GB to a Seagate Barracude 400GB. Both are PATA. My system is a shuttle SN41G2v2, which has the nForce2 chipset on it. I'm using the mobo HDD controller. Bios seems to report it ok.

I don't have space in the unit to put in both hard disks, as I have a card reader in the floppy bay, so I need to make this drive bootable.

The first thing i tried was Seagate's drivewizard software to clone the old disk onto the new one. It claimed I didn't have any Seagate hard disks installed (!!!) so quit with an error message. So i found Driveimage XML and copied the contents over from the old one to the new one, after partitioning and formatting in the windows drive management doo-dah. That worked fine - copied over all the files, and i could read them off the new drive no problems. So I connected the new disk onto the primary controller by itself, and removed the old disk. The computer claims the drive isnt' bootable.

So I got out a windows XP CD, booted off that into recovery console and re-partitioned the disk (it said it was not partitioned at all!!) and reformated it, then tried installing windows on the disk. That proceeds ok until it gets to the reboot stage, at which it says the hard disk isn't bootable!!

I'm really stumped and hope someone can help with this. It's got me really frustrated.

I'm trying to use the drive as a single partition, dunno if this is the problem? The old one was partitioned into 100 and 50 GB drives. Can't remember why i did that tho.

More about : make hdd bootable

April 19, 2007 8:49:50 AM

0. Open your case.

1. Install new HDD (only one for simplicity) as primary master.

2. Install optical drive (should be in secondary).

3. In BIOS set to boot from optical 1st then HDD 2nd.

4. Insert Windows XP CD in optical drive and make your computer boot from that CD ( can't recall that you have to hit space bar? maybe)

5. Clean install XP.

6. If your drive is not formatted yet, XP should ask you to format or partition it. This step I am not sure because I did this long time ago.

7. If HDD fails during XP insatlling process, either your HDD or controller (i.e. mainboard) has a problem.

8. After you DONE installing, remove XP CD, it will boot from HDD. Then you can change the BIOS to boot from HDD 1st later. .....DONE means complete, not the reboot step that XP insatllation process makes !

9. File transfer? That's another story.

Good luck and let us know how you make it.
April 19, 2007 10:13:14 AM

Something else you could try is Acronis Migrate Easy 7.0 you can download a trial version that is good for 15 days. I used it once about 9 months ago and it worked great
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April 19, 2007 10:31:04 AM

Quote:
This is driving me really mad, I hope some of you guys can suggest a solution.

I'm trying to upgrade my hard disk from a Seagate Barracuda 160GB to a Seagate Barracude 400GB. Both are PATA. My system is a shuttle SN41G2v2, which has the nForce2 chipset on it. I'm using the mobo HDD controller. Bios seems to report it ok.

I don't have space in the unit to put in both hard disks, as I have a card reader in the floppy bay, so I need to make this drive bootable.

The first thing i tried was Seagate's drivewizard software to clone the old disk onto the new one. It claimed I didn't have any Seagate hard disks installed (!!!) so quit with an error message. So i found Driveimage XML and copied the contents over from the old one to the new one, after partitioning and formatting in the windows drive management doo-dah. That worked fine - copied over all the files, and i could read them off the new drive no problems. So I connected the new disk onto the primary controller by itself, and removed the old disk. The computer claims the drive isnt' bootable.

So I got out a windows XP CD, booted off that into recovery console and re-partitioned the disk (it said it was not partitioned at all!!) and reformated it, then tried installing windows on the disk. That proceeds ok until it gets to the reboot stage, at which it says the hard disk isn't bootable!!

I'm really stumped and hope someone can help with this. It's got me really frustrated.

I'm trying to use the drive as a single partition, dunno if this is the problem? The old one was partitioned into 100 and 50 GB drives. Can't remember why i did that tho.


I'm presuming that you either removed the card reader or hung the new drive out of the side of the open machine.

Did you make the primary partition active when you did that partition and format? It needs to be active when installing XP or it wont be recognised as a boot drive.

During a clean install on a new, unpartitioned, unformatted drive XPsetup will normally create the first partition to the size you specify in fdisk (which is launched by setup) and then format it and make it active in one shot. If given the option, always opt for a full rather than a quick format, even if the drive is new and unused (there has been a lot of debate over this one, but I've had problems with quick in the past and none with full, so I always full-format now). Also, try partitioning the drive into more than one partition.

Just a couple of points that can be missed, even by frequent builders, when rushed :oops:  -

(edit)zero, turn the machine off to install it;
first, master/slave jumper settings;
second, IDE cables seated correctly in all sockets (master drive on end, slave in middle);
third, molex power connector in properly.

When you turn the machine on pop into the BIOS and see if the drive is recognised correctly and whether the master/slave configuration is set properly (master-HDD,slave-optical). Check boot order, 'first drive', and 'boot other device' settings.

Another thing to check is whether your motherboard BIOS will support a drive that size; some don't (partition).

If all BIOS settings are correct and you do a full, clean install of XP on the clean, single drive and it still won't recognise the drive, then it is just possible that you have a bad drive and may need to RMA it. Download SeaTools to check the drive.

Q
April 21, 2007 10:11:55 AM

Thanks for all your helps guys, especially the mention of SeaTools. Unlike the other Seagate software, this one recognised my drive as Seagate! :) 

Seams track 0 of the HDD was somehow corrupted, and using SeaTools to write zeros over it seems to have fixed the problem.

Weird. Lets hope the problem doesn't recur.

I wrote zeros over the first part of the hard disk several times for good measure. According to the SeaTools help file, this writing zeros thing helps the firmware identify dodgy sectors, and reallocates spare ones it keeps up it's sleeve for the purpose. I guess you learn something everyday...

Very glad not to have to RMA the drive. I need it working ASAP and I heard that ebuyer where I bought it isn't the easiest to deal with on that kind of thing. At least they have a phone line now. 5 years ago you had to email...

I'm now trying to copy all the files over from the old drive. Dunno if this will work so I dont' have to reinstall all the programs, but will find out soon...

Will try Acronis Easy Migrate if not, thanks for that suggestion too.
!