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Cannot boot after new hard drive install

  • Configuration
  • Boot
  • Windows Vista
  • Hard Drives
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
January 27, 2010 1:05:26 PM

Hi there,

My hard drive recently began failing (wouldn't kick on during boot up process, makes clicking noises, etc). I decided to replace this drive with a new one. Here's the "OLD" configuration:

DRIVE 1: 250GB SATA Drive (boot drive, drive that failed, contained only OS and program files)
-contains 2 partitions, C and D
--C is a Windows XP partition
--D is a Windows Vista partition

DRIVE 2: 250GB IDE Drive (drive used for data, documents, pictures, etc)

So I was dual booting the drive with XP and Vista. I bought a 500GB SATA drive (DRIVE 3) as a replacement for DRIVE 1. Since the new drive is bigger, I decided to copy all of the personal non-OS data from DRIVE 2 (IDE) to DRIVE 3, and use DRIVE 2 as my new OS drive and continue the dual boot setup of XP and Vista. So my NEW configuration would be:

DRIVE 2: 250GB IDE Drive (only OS and program files)
-2 partitions, C and D
--C -> Windows XP partition
--D -> Windows Vista partition

DRIVE 3: 500GB SATA Drive (data, documents, pictures, etc)

The copying to DRIVE 3 went without incident.

So, I disconnected DRIVE 1 and DRIVE 3, and used my XP installation disk to run the XP setup program on DRIVE 2 (IDE). The setup program identifies the drive and its old partitions (I had 2 on it). I selected to delete the partitions and create 2 new partitions, 1 for each OS. I formatted the first new partition for XP, and then setup begins "Copying the files" to this new partition C.

It gets through the file copying without incident and then says it must reboot to continue installation. After the reboot, however, the hard drive fails to boot anything and the CD then runs again, starting the installation process over again from the beginning. The BIOS is set to boot the hard disk first.

I'm not sure what the issue is, it seems like the IDE drive does not register during the BIOS startup as a bootable device? I'm less familiar with the whole MBR / boot sector part of things. Is there something I need to do to make the system boot from that physical drive?

As a side note, if I reconnect DRIVE 1, I can still run both XP and Vista (once the drive works properly anyway) and can see all 3 drives in Vista's Disk Management tool when they are all connected. Just in case I need to download or run anything from Windows to fix it.

Sorry to be so long winded, any help would be appreciated!


More about : boot hard drive install

January 27, 2010 1:59:02 PM

What's the order in hard drive priority. Which hard drive is set as the 1st boot device?

The install process won't start over as long as you don't press anything when you see the prompt to 'press any key.'
January 27, 2010 2:25:27 PM

Well technically during the installation process I only have the 1 hard drive connected, so I wouldn't think that should be an issue.

Also, at the break in the installation where it says it needs to reboot to continue, its a timed action that will reboot without pressing any keys in 15 seconds.
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January 27, 2010 2:48:48 PM

Yes, but after the reboot, the install continues from where it left off. It doesn't start over unless you press a key when prompted. At that point, your DVD drive is probably still your first boot device. Let it go past the 'press any key' prompt, and then it'll look for a hard drive.
January 27, 2010 3:35:34 PM

Unfortunately I'm not pressing any key even after the reboot. It goes straight to the DVD drive without pressing any keys, even though the BIOS shows boot order as hard disk first. After it goes to the DVD, it takes you to the setup screen where you can choose to setup XP or run the repair tool.

Occasionally (I've tried a few times now) it gives an error message instead of going to the DVD. The error message says "Error reading from disk, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE".
January 27, 2010 4:44:41 PM

I did the full format. Also, judging by the screens on the geekstogo link, I don't think the repair option will work, because after you hit Enter as described, it does not find any existing installations of Windows XP to repair.
January 27, 2010 6:33:01 PM

I figured that may happen, but thought it was worth a shot.

You could try running a chkdsk /r in the repair console.