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Windows XP MCE boot problems (dual HDD boot only)

  • Configuration
  • Boot
  • Hard Drives
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
February 26, 2012 4:58:06 PM


I'm having a bit of an issue where my Windows XP MCE HDD will only boot if my second HDD with Windows XP Home is connected.

If the XP Home HDD isn't connected My XP MCE install freezes during the third splash screens (1. Windows loading screen 2. Welcome screen 3. Windows mini logo when mouse pointer appears.) This also applies to starting in Safe Mode.

Now, When I do boot into XP MCE with the XP Home HDD installed the computer loads fine except for the fact that a "product registration" window pops up and that I can't use my mouse or keyboard. The wifi card is still active even after the "registration" window appears and it seems that the computer isn't necessarily frozen, just not accessible by peripheral input.

The XP Home Edition boots without issue (both together and on its own) and I am able to see and use the XP MCE HDD as a separate drive when it's connected while XP Home is running.

The first time I encountered the boot problem I also got a NvCpl.dll error. A window popped up stating that it couldn't be found on my XP MCE system and that I would need to restart the computer. I did a search and found that the XP MCE did indeed have the dll but it wasn't being loaded. The XP Home edition does not have this file and when I added it to the XP Home HDD the error window has not returned.

My guess is that the XP MCE is loading from the system32 file from my XP Home HDD. This of course is assuming that my hypothesis is even possible. I know a bit about this stuff but clearly not enough. Is there anyway to prevent this and get the computer to load from its own file system?

I've tried from Windows Recovery on the XP MCE HDD:

Chkdsk /r and /p
I tried adding a new boot.ini

Unfortunately this computer doesn't have a "system restore point"

and it uses an HP Recovery disk to install not a windows disk. Although I do have a Windows Install disk too. Not sure if that will help at all.

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated!

More about : windows mce boot problems dual hdd boot

February 27, 2012 5:34:17 PM

Sounds like when you installed the second XP setup you setup or moved some files onto the second drive. Try re-installing the second OS again.
February 27, 2012 5:57:15 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Sounds like when you installed the second XP setup you setup or moved some files onto the second drive. Try re-installing the second OS again.

Sorry I didn't state that both OS' were installed on the same computer at different times. I had plugged both in at one time to dual boot. Lapse in judgement on my part. Currently I'm backing all my files up. I was hoping to avoid having to reinstall the OS either as a repair or fresh. But it seems that may be my only option, considering I don't have a lot of time to fix this issue.

Thanks for the response.