My most sincere apologies for bringing you all this problem, as I realize you have all seen it too many times to count...
Here's the issue. My father in law is having some major computer problems and I brought his computer to my house to try to figure out what was wrong with it. For some reason, it stopped reading his S-ATA hdd, and I thought I'd try to see if it would still read an IDE hdd. I believe the mistake I made was to install the wrong hdd into his, but I'm not sure that's my problem, and I'm not sure how to fix it...
I have 2 hdds. My master is a Seagate Barracuda 160GB and my slave is a Western Digital 80GB. Ever since I built this computer, my Master has been /D and my slave /C for some reason. Windows XP SP3 is installed on /D and it has booted directly to there, with no troubles what-so-ever, for months.
I pulled both of my hdds and installed my master into his computer to boot up and see if it would recognize the drive. It did recognize the drive. I told my father in law what was going on and that I confirmed his S-ATA drive was ok by installing it into my computer where it booted with no problems.
He decided that he'd get a new computer, as this one is pretty old anyway and asked me if I'd trade his 250GB S-ATA for my 80GB backup, just so he'd have a computer until he could replace this system...
I installed Windows XP onto the 80GB drive and had no problems, but after initial installation, it would only boot in safe mode for some reason. After we discussed the options, I put my computer back together with the 160GB Master and the 80GB slave (I'm keeping the S-ATA, but I haven't installed it yet) and suddenly I can't boot to my Master at all
Boot sequence is the same, no change in jumper settings or cable position, but for some reason, I keep getting the message, "Reboot and select proper boot device". The only reason I'm able to get online and post this message is that I've installed Windows onto the 80GB drive, and that's what I'm running right now. I can access the 160GB drive from this one, I can watch video from it, access a few of the programs on it (like Firefox) but I can't boot directly to the drive at all.
My apologies for such a long post... I tend to talk a lot and I'm not sure what info you'll find useful...
Any and all help is appreciated...
Been trying to post this for hours, but I've had trouble logging in... Since then, I still have that problem + another. I've tried repairing the installation with my original XP disk, but the repair option never came up, so now I have 2 copies of XP on a very nearly full hdd (I now have 3GB free).
Ok, I'm getting confused with all the drives and which windows was installed on each one from which machine.
as far as I understand, for a bios to recognize the hdd as bootable, the OS needs to be installed while the HDD is plugged into that particular motherboard. If you installed OS on that HDD in other configuration and then trying to move it to another computer and use it as primary drive it won't work. You need to reinstall windows on it. But it seems that in your case it worked anyway at first.
250 gb - sata - windows installed from another computer
160 gb - - windows installed from your computer
80 gb - - windows installed from your computer
perhaps you cannot boot from your 160gb because it has been to another mobo. But I might be wrong :S