Few days back, a friend of mine brought me his netbook to reinstall operating system. He didn't have recovery CD, so I used WinXP install disc. With usb_prep I've copied it to SD card and then used it to install Windows.
Everything went ok, I installed drivers, etc. However, now Windows won't boot without SD card set as 1st boot device. I've checked boot.ini file, tried fixboot and fixmbr tools and nothing. Without SD card inserted, all there is on the screen is a cursor blinking in the upper left corner
I've read somewhere that updating the BIOS might fix the problem, but not this time. There is only one partition on its SSD, and it's made active (install should do that, but I did it manually once again, just to be sure).
Many people are using USB flash disks to install Windows on these kind of PCs, and almost none reported this kind of issue. Only if there's a difference in installing from USB key and from SD card, but I'm not willing to spend few more hours doing everything from the start just to check that theory...
So, I got to say I'm out of ideas... If anyone knows what could be causing this, or how could I solve the problem, please let me know.
this windows xp cd you used, was it a retail or OEM supplied version?
OEM license typically locks the hardware profile in place so you cannot spread the windows to other machines.
It is a retail version. I found out that usb_prep tool, besides installing windows, also installed GRUB loader inside sectors before partition start. I'm not sure how come fixmbr and fixboot haven't fixed that... I'll try to replace partition boot sector myself and if that doesn't work, I don't know...