Norton Partition Magic messed my computer

y hallo thar!

Might as well start with the specs of my computer.

Windows XP Pro SP2 (updated to... the 10th of August, 2 days ago)
AMD Athlon x2 3800+
Asus M2N-E
Nvidia 7600 GT
Western Digital Caviar 250gb (sata)
cousins hdd, 120gb Seagate (pata)
Antec TruePower II 550 Watt PSU

A little while ago my cousin was having problems with his hard drive, so I replaced it for him. What was weird is that on my computer the hard drive was working fine, so I thought that later on I would use the drive as a spare drive, just for stuff that I wouldn't mind losing if the hard drive crashed. Yesterday, I saw that hard drive on my floor when I was cleaning my room, and decided I'd put the drive in and format it.

Put it in, everything was fine, checked and there were 2 partitions there, so I installed and opened Norton Partition Magic 8. Told it to delete the two partitions on the disk and make a new partition. It said it needed to restart for it to do that, and so I did. When my computer restarted, at the windows loading screen, at one point the loading bar stopped moving. I didn't think too much of it then, just thought that something was initializing with partition magic, and just left it to go clean the bathroom. A half hour later, I come back in and the computer hasn't moved since then.

I restarted and tried it again, but it does the same thing, and when I go into safe mode, after initializing one of the drivers, it just stops just like before. I popped in my xp cd and went into the recovery console. To try and make this shorter, I tried this and that and did a fixboot, fixmbr and a bootcfg /rebuild, and none of it worked. It ended up that now I can access the information when connected to another computer, and when I'm in the recovery console, as well as the setup disk says that there is a winxp installation there, but when I turn on my computer, it gives me a "DISK BOOT FAILURE. INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER." error. It gives me hope, because at least I know that the contents of my hard drive are still there and working, but the system cannot access the hard drive.

any ideas, other than a backup/reformat or a repair install? I'll take the backup/reformat as a last resort, I really don't like formatting my hard drive, it just takes so freaking long to set everything back up how I like it.

PS: while I was typing this and doing a little research on my own to try and fix it, the mouse on this computer died somehow, I don't think this is my lucky weekend. It sucks because I've got a long weekend this weekend.

edit: actually the disk boot failure message only came after I unplugged the second hard drive, before I pulled out the boot disk. I do not have a partition magic backup disk, I don't have a floppy drive and it wouldn't write it to a flash drive.

Also, now when I type fixboot it says "cannot find the system drive, or the drive specified is not valid". It'll only work when I do fixboot c:.

If you need any more information, then just ask, I've got nothing better to do until my computer gets fixed.
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More about norton partition magic messed computer
  1. Make sure that the boot order is correct. Check the jumper on the PATA drive. The system's must be from the SATA drive.
    SATA and PATA don't go along well with some boards.
    I would do a repair install with only the boot drive in the computer if necessary.
  2. May I ask why you didn't just remove the 2nd drive when you had this problem? And try to just boot up to see if your pc was working fine before you went crazy with a windows XP cd?

    From your post it sounds like you did all that jazz before even testing it. It is indeed a odd problem...Bad hard drives can cause a lot of problems....
  3. I did take out the 2nd drive before I started doing things with the xp cd, but it didn't act any different, just froze at the same spot.

    and I don't have the 2nd hard drive hooked up anymore, I'll figure out what I'm gonna do with it after I get my system working again.
  4. Ahhh...k. I would recommend tossing out that spare drive. It's only gonna bring you more problems once you get your pc back up and running. Are you sure the drive had 2 partitions?...and you didn't just merge your systems partition with the spare drive?..cause if you did that...then that's the big problem....a BIG problem..try running a repair install..If that doesn't work I would just suggest formatting.
  5. I'm sure it had two partitions, one was a big 112 gig partition, and another one was a little partition for the hp backup software. They were both named HP Pavilion (something), and I checked that they were both from the same hard drive.

    and doesn't a repair install really fsk up your registry and programs and stuff? I've got a computer simulation that I've been running for the past 4 months, and I'm 3/4 of the way through it, so I really don't wanna reformat, and I can't back it up to start again after the reformat.
  6. if you got the spare drive off someone else will it have an os installed? (i have absolutely no idea if that would affect anything but it might)
  7. it did have an os installed, but I made sure that the computer would read off of my hard drive instead of it, I restarted a few times in between plugging it in and using partition magic.

    Thanks for all the help so far though, I had the same post sitting at the windows xp forum part of the forums for a full day and I've only got 2 replies (that aren't mine)
  8. so the one thing I need to know is if when you do a repair install of windows, if it messes up your registry and settings. a few weeks ago my friend did a repair install, that ended up being botched, and then repaired the repair install, and his registry was very messed up.
  9. never mind, I found it on one of the far reaching corners of the internet, it does NOT mess with your registry and user settings.
  10. No, but repair doesn't always fix it either; also ditch norton and go with Acronis partition manager, Norton's quality is crap.
  11. aaaaand it didn't work. I told it to do a repair install, and it copied over all the files, restarted and then went back to the beginning, starting from cd again. When I took out the cd, it gave me the disk boot failure error again.
  12. Hi.
    I would suggest that you first try to take your data out of that disk either by plugging it into another computer or using knoppix ( or ubuntu ( live CDs. That would atleast give a bit of peace of mind. You could transfer the important data onto an external harddisk or to CDs/DVDs/thumbdrives depending on their size. But be very careful if using knoppix atleast some of their versions have a track record of screwing up if you try to WRITE to NTFS partitions.

    Then i would suggest trying testdisk ( to rebuild your partition table and boot record. That should take care of the problem. Please do keep us posted on your progress.

    All the best!
  13. The repair install looks just like a regular installation. You have to let the computer reboot without rebooting the CD and run it through it's entire course. After tat you should have a running operating system with a few minor glitches.
  14. no I tried to run the repair install just like a regular installation, and it didn't work.

    and thanks, I'll try the testdisk thing, but the knoppix bittorent site is down or something.
  15. First off... yuck at the new forum design.. what a UI step in the wrong direction! Oh well, not here to rant about that..

    Your problem is a rather simple one.. PM decided (or you told it to- its easy to do) to make your boot partition unactive. Windows cannot boot from a partition that is not active and will not boot.

    Hopefully, you have a floppy drive. Google for bootdisks and find one for Windows 98SE. Boot your PC from that and run fdisk. Set the partition active again, and boot back into Windows. Hope you did not start that repair install yet, because its not needed!
  16. well, I finally found a floppy drive, and got a w98se boot disk, ran fdisk, and right there in my face was "set active partition". I changed the active partition, and windows started right up... going straight to PM, which then had an error since it couldn't find the hard drive.

    now I just have to go through this lovely repair install, and hope it doesn't go for shits.
  17. I stand corrected.

    looking at my computer screen, and watching the installer go "cannot find x file, point me in the direction, even though it's right in front of my face", I think of a certain quote...

    "This will not be over soon. You will not enjoy this. I am not your queen."

    edit: this is especially true right now where it's trying to find some drivers, and my mouse and keyboard aren't working, so I can't click anything.
  18. well, after screwing around all day, my computer is mostly up and running right now. The xp disk I had used to do the repair install was a bit corrupted, so I had to do a bit of work getting some of the dlls and ocxs working, but things are starting to work again.

    Just in time, I just got a 20 inch monitor, ordered it on thursday evening, it came today.
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