Hi there Tom's Hardware community. I seek your highly recommended assistance.
Rather out of the blue when turning my computer today, I was met with the message 'Error Loading OS' which scared me somewhat. I have made absolutely no hardware changes, 'tweaks', modifications of that nature in well over a year, nor any significant installations at all recently and had no BSoDing or serious problems since. Running XP pro 64bit, latest service packs I believe.
I loaded 'failsafe' BIOS settings, (oh the irony) after that the system began the Windows loading screen, but the system powered down after 30 secs or so of that.
I entered the recovery console with XP disks to do a CHKDSK as recommended by a few people, however it does not seem like it recognises a windows partition with which to perform any such function. A while later I tried the same thing, and there WAS a windows partition to interact with, though it was not able to perform the CHKDSK, FIXBOOT or FIXMBR as it couldn't access the partition apparently.
Another note of interest is that when I reboot and enter the BIOS, seemingly randomly, my boot drive does not appear along side my other Data HDs. Whereas sometimes it does, also the boot device priority has altered without my 'consent' as it were, and 'Floppy' has appeared in there not of my doing.
Any help would be hugely appreciated, and sorry again for the apparent schizophrenic disposition of my system.
The point at which is says 'Error Loading OS' is very shortly after the MOBO logo appears, immediately after the line of text which reads 'Verifying DMI pool data' if that's any help. And yes I have 3 Hard Drives, and it is the OS one which acts temperamentally in terms of being detected. The others appear consistently.
HOw old is the HDD and what type is it ? - sounds like it might be time to replace it - If the system is finding it sometimes and not at others it might be that the HDD is starting to fail and is working at times and not at others. You could try creating a windows boot Disk on a USB thumbdrive ( See HERE ) and boot from it and copy off the info you need from your HDD and then run some sort of HDD diagnostic tests to see if the drive is functioning properly and replace if needed.