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External HDD, Booting and Troubleshooting

Last response: in Storage
April 9, 2009 12:58:30 AM

I recently rescued a friend's HDD from their laptop and dumped it into an enclosure. (The power adapter on the board was just plain busted, and it was cheaper to get a new laptop for her and an enclosure than try to resurrect this old system, believe it or not.)

I'm currently in recovery console running a few diagnostics to make sure there's nothing wrong with the drive. Just to be 100% on its integrity, I'm putting it through some CHKDSK rigors.

Here's the trick, though, how do I boot to it? I set my board's BIOS to boot CD, external/USB, internal - in that order. It will boot the CD just fine, but it seems to bypass the external HDD. The HDD does have a full, licensed and (last I knew) functional version of XP Home on it.

What do I need to do in order to get inside the OS and take care of things from that side?

a b G Storage
April 9, 2009 6:52:26 AM

You probably need to repair the current windows install on the external HD b/c the hardware has changed.
April 9, 2009 1:51:54 PM

How would I do that? I made it into recovery console, ran CHKDSK /R as well as FIXBOOT, and still came up with the same errors.

That's about the extent of my knowledge for repairing an install of Windows, from that level, anyway.
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a b G Storage
April 9, 2009 3:11:55 PM

boot off of the OS disc (same way as if you were to install windows). Then instead of installing a new copy of windows, use the 'r' option to repair the current install.
April 9, 2009 4:10:52 PM

Did that. It's how I got into Recovery Console. But I don't know much about it beyond what I already did: CHKDSK and FIXBOOT.
a b G Storage
April 9, 2009 7:33:01 PM

What you are referring to is the command prompt. The screen is black right?

You want to boot off of the OS disc. Meaning you need the optical drive listed first in the boot order. Then restart and look for the message to 'press any key'. Then you can choose your partition and use the 'r' option to repair that install.
April 12, 2009 2:34:06 AM

Not entirely sure you're getting it... Let me be more explicit.

My motherboard is set to the following boot priority: CD-ROM, External, Disabled, Disabled

I put the Windows XP CD into my drive and boot from it. I get the blue and gray screens titled "Windows Setup." This screen eventually provides me with three prompts: "ENTER" to set up Windows XP, "R" to repair an installation and "F3" to cancel setup. I am pressing "R."

The screen goes blue except for "Windows XP Setup" at the top and "Examining disk configuration" at the bottom in the gray bar. After almost a minute of that, I'm taken to a command prompt, with the following text:

Microsoft Windows XP(TM) Recovery Console.
The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.
Type EXIT to quite the Recovery Console and restart the computer.


Which Windows installation would you like to log onto
<To cancel, press ENTER>?

In this screen I've run CHKDSK /R and FIXBOOT. What else can I do to make this hard drive, that I removed from a laptop and put in an external enclosure, boot to the fully-functional Windows operating system on it?
a b G Storage
April 12, 2009 5:07:58 AM

Ok, I understand what's going on now. I thought you were booting straight to the recovery console. I didn't know that the format process was kicking you into the recovery console.

In that case, you may need to fix the MBR on the HD. At the recovery console, try the 'fixmbr' command. It will rewrite the MBR for the HD.

April 12, 2009 4:53:26 PM

Ran FIXMBR, using the MAP function first, to get the full device name. Then I booted, and the hard drive started to load Windows and then I saw a Blue Screen for less than a quarter-second.

I attempt to boot into safe mode, and I see all the things it's checking, including a few listed as "press esc to cancel loading _____." And after two of those (SPTD.sys, d347bus.sys), it just reboots without warning or error message.

(I know it'd be easier to recover the data and wipe the drive, but it'd be even better if I could give a bootable drive back to my friend who I'm fixing this for.)

What's my next step? Would a BSOD that brief and that early in the loading of windows create a dump file inside windows? I might be able to go find that...
a b G Storage
April 12, 2009 11:03:03 PM

Now that the MRB has been fixed, you should be able to repair the windows install. It sounds like there are drivers missing for the hardware that's trying to boot up.