Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

XP Boot Problem

Last response: in Windows XP
Share
July 26, 2010 8:44:21 AM

I’ve got a boot problem with my pc which I’ve googled and struggled with and am not getting anywhere, as follows.

When I turn on my pc I get the message “no boot device”. But, if I boot to a Hiren disc, it then gives me the option to boot from the hard drive, and it boots ok.

The pc spec is an Optiplex 755 with 2 x 160gb HDDs in a raid0, running XP pro SP3. Raid software says everything is normal. I have 3 partitions c: is the primary ntfs for the operation system. D: and e: are logical partitions for data.

Both Partition Magic and Acronis Disc Director run without reporting any problems.

First I thought the boot files might be corrupt so I ran the recovery console from an xp installation cd and replaced the ntldr and netdetect files, ran bootcfg and fixboot. No change.

I’ve checked the following bios settings :- Boot sequence is cd, then floppy, then raid. Sata0 and sata1 are correctly identified and managed by the raid software.

I’ve also upgraded the bios, but still get the same error.

I have the feeling the problem is something simple, but I’m really stuck now and would appreciate any input.

More about : boot problem

July 27, 2010 5:59:18 AM

What happens when RAID is set as the first item in the boot sequence?
July 27, 2010 6:30:36 AM

ko888 said:
What happens when RAID is set as the first item in the boot sequence?


I've just tried this, but I get the same result, ie :-

"no boot device" error message,
but if the hiren disc is in the drive then I can select the "boot from hard drive" option, and it boots ok.

Related resources
July 27, 2010 7:06:37 AM

It seems like the RAID array isn't ready when the BIOS tries to find a boot device to load the MBR from.

What happens when you put a non-bootable CD in the CD drive? Does the "boot from hard drive" option appear?
July 27, 2010 7:23:05 AM

MisterRusty said:
I've just tried this, but I get the same result, ie :-

"no boot device" error message,
but if the hiren disc is in the drive then I can select the "boot from hard drive" option, and it boots ok.

Quote:
I’ve checked the following bios settings :- Boot sequence is cd, then floppy, then raid. Sata0 and sata1 are correctly identified and managed by the raid software.


How did you First initialize the drive (as a RAID)?

If you boot from the XP Cd, and load the repair console, and enter "DIR C׃\" What do you see?




July 27, 2010 7:57:40 PM

ko888 said:
It seems like the RAID array isn't ready when the BIOS tries to find a boot device to load the MBR from.

What happens when you put a non-bootable CD in the CD drive? Does the "boot from hard drive" option appear?


thanks ko888,

I 've tried your suggestion, but a non bootable disc in the drive gives the same error.


July 27, 2010 8:11:10 PM

tigsounds said:
Quote:
I’ve checked the following bios settings :- Boot sequence is cd, then floppy, then raid. Sata0 and sata1 are correctly identified and managed by the raid software.


How did you First initialize the drive (as a RAID)?

If you boot from the XP Cd, and load the repair console, and enter "DIR C׃\" What do you see?





thanks tigsounds,

the array was already set up when i bought the machine.
I've added the intel matrix storage manager which reports no problems.

Note that it's a mirroring raid (level1) rather than level0 as I said originally.

If I do dir C:\ from the repair console, I get a list of what i think i should see on a c: drive ie
autoexec.bat
boot.ini
config.msi
config.sysio.sys
netdetect.com
ntldr
a few other bits and a windows folder.

Is that any help ?
July 27, 2010 8:18:31 PM

MisterRusty,

In your initial post you said "... I ran the recovery console from an xp installation cd and replaced the ntldr and netdetect files, ran bootcfg and fixboot. No change."

Did you also run fixmbr ? If you didn't, I would suggest that you do so.
July 27, 2010 9:48:30 PM

MisterRusty said:
thanks tigsounds,

the array was already set up when i bought the machine.
I've added the intel matrix storage manager which reports no problems.

Note that it's a mirroring raid (level1) rather than level0 as I said originally.

If I do dir C:\ from the repair console, I get a list of what i think i should see on a c: drive ie
autoexec.bat
boot.ini
config.msi
config.sysio.sys
netdetect.com
ntldr
a few other bits and a windows folder.

Is that any help ?


I was having you check if the Windows files were in fact there in the C drive, as a non-windows system would see the drive, as drive C is the choice of Windows, no matter what any other system would see it as. (Windows names it's own resident partition as Drive C if it is installed from the Cd, but not necessarily the physical layout of the drive). This can be, and usually is, of no concern to us, because we start Windows and it runs in what we perceive as drive C. It becomes a problem when the Master Boot Record is not pointing to our Windows installation. A third party boot-loader would look at all partitions and show us Windows and boot to it but the computer wouldn't be able to do it on it's own because it won't go looking for Windows.

ko888 said:
Quote:
Did you also run fixmbr ? If you didn't, I would suggest that you do so.


Here may be your entire problem.
July 28, 2010 5:36:03 AM

ko888 said:
MisterRusty,

In your initial post you said "... I ran the recovery console from an xp installation cd and replaced the ntldr and netdetect files, ran bootcfg and fixboot. No change."

Did you also run fixmbr ? If you didn't, I would suggest that you do so.



I've just run fixmbr from the repair console
but the problem is just the same

not the magic bullet
July 28, 2010 6:46:35 AM

Did this PC boot properly when you first purchased it?

If I owned that PC I would purchase and install a large hard disk drive and back up all of the partitions from the RAID array onto it and disconnect it.

I would then wipe and recreate the RAID 1 array, and then repartition the RAID array and reinstall the operating system to ensure that it boots properly. If this doesn't work there's no reason to restore the backed up partitions until the boot problem is resolved.
July 28, 2010 7:53:11 AM

If you fell like investigating a bit more,

Boot from the XP CD,
initiate a full Windows repair.
After all the files are copied to the drive, and Setup re-starts Windows, tap the F8 key once a second to make the Windows boot options menu screen appear, stalling Setup from continuing the repair.
Look at the boot choices menu.....
Does it only show Windows installation/repair?
If it shows your present Windows installation, select it and see if Windows loads normally.
Once Windows is running,(if it ran) go to Control Panel, System, Advanced, Startup and Recovery, Settings,
Click the drop-down box and select your normal Windows installation as the default program to load.
Click Ok.

Re-start Windows. Maybe this time it will work.

If it only shows Windows installation/repair, your boot loader is not on the actual BIOS boot drive.
If it showed nothing (impossible) you have a partition problem. (but I said it anyway)
July 30, 2010 8:48:30 AM

thanks for your suggestions
I think I'm going to wipe the drive and start again with the raid array
I'll let you know how I get on
August 2, 2010 8:31:12 AM

Here's a surprise.
I started Super Fdisk off a Hiren disk in order reformat the drive but got an error message straight away that there was a boot error on the drive which SuperFdisk could fix, which it duly did.
Problem solved and the pc now boots fine.
Only puzzle is why none of the other solutions worked.
!