Weird Boot Issues

I have an older PC that I put together roughly 3-4 years ago. 2 300GB HD's, nothing else really of note.

Anyways, I plugged it back in a few days back and to my surprise, was telling me to boot from disk. I installed Windows on E:/ for whatever reason and everything seemed fine.

Just today I turned this same PC back on and it, for whatever reason, booted back to C:/ where I last left it prior to being told to boot from disk and installing Windows again.

My question is: how do I access my install of Windows on my other drive, E? I have some documents that I was using at the time that I'd like to get back and for whatever reason it will only boot to C:/ now like nothing every happened.

Thanks in advance. Oh by the way, both installs of Windows are Windows XP Pro.
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More about weird boot issues
  1. Boot from disk means widows did not find the C hard drive. In BIOS set the C hard drive as the primary boot disk and Windows would find that hard drive and boot to it and not ask to boot from disk. So, windows was still installed on C and you installed a second seperate installation of Windows on the D hard drive. C hard drive still have the boot files and is probably defaulted as the primary boot drive in BIOS. You may be able to go into BIOS and set D hard drive as the primary boot drive if you need to boot to that second Windows installation and get some files, etc. Basically you now have a system with Windows installed seperatly on both C and D hard drives.
  2. Eh, I just now realized that I installed Windows on my E drive twice -- I hadn't used the system in sometime so I completely forgot where I had it prior and just selected one of the hard drives and went for it -- it's all coming back to me now.

    So I suppose now I question becomes: is there a way to access the newer install on the same hard drive? Never done this before, but I suppose this is what happens when I don't use a system for sometime. I just noticed that there are two folders in the E drive, "WINDOWS" and "WINDOWS.0"

    The system was booting to the newer install WINDOWS.0 for the past few days and now just today, decided to revert back to the other install. Any way I can choose here?
  3. Possibly choose the second Windows installation by bring up the 'Boot Menu' at start up. Bringing up the system boot menu is commonly done by booting the system and tapping or holding down a specific 'F' key and choosing the hard rive or installation you wish to boot from. Which 'F' key that would be on your system I am not sure. You could use trial and error to get to the Boot Menu. Even then I am not sure that second XP installation would be accessible. The boot files are on the first installation.

    Also, the MB battery may be bad from setting. That may be why you got the Boot From Disk Error. The BIOS had changed and the C drive was not set as the primary boot device.
  4. What does the boot menu look like and what will be listed that may let me choose between installations?
  5. Well, you have two installations of XP on the same hard drive. The boot menu will bring up that hard drive as an option to boot to, but I doubt that second XP installation you did will be available. The boot files are on the first XP installation.

    Maybe use trial and error booting the system and tapping continusly each different 'F' key. A menu will pop up and by using the arrows key you can choose which option you want to boot the system to. The hard drive will be one option. But likely only that first XP installation is available. Someone may know how to add boot files to the second installation and make it accessible if that is possible.
  6. Another possibility in reaching the second XP installation is to boot to the installation disk and perform a 'repair install' of the second XP installation. I'm not certain, but if you deleted the first installation AND performed a repair installation of the remaining second XP installation, it may work. The repair install would repair/replace the boot files to that installation.
  7. Hmm, that sounds like an option - I'm more or less concerned if anyone has done something similar with successful results?
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