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HELP! Master boot record problem!

Last response: in Windows XP
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November 28, 2003 1:54:35 PM

I installed WinXP on a temporary 4Gb hardrive and after getting my 80Gb I'd ordered installed WinXP on that one as well while it was primary slave and the small susbstitute was primary master. Now I've got a problem because I have two OS's and seemingly can't remove the little hardrive since that is the one I have to boot from (I've tried changing the large HD to Primary master which didn't help). My guess is it has something to do with the Master boot record and that it exist solely on the little HD thereby unabling me to remove that one without losing the ability to boot windows!

I read about something called recovery console available through the installation-cd and that this could possibly help, anyone knows if it actually could help? And which command should I use in that case? fixmbr? And should I remove the small HD before doing that? Will I llose all my data etc?
November 29, 2003 7:28:59 PM

There's a simple solution to all this, boot using WinXP disk (if it doesn't boot, change it in the BIOS to boot) and than when it tells you to select a pratition, format both drives and install XP on the 80gig one. You will of course lose all data on both drives. There's a more simple option if your BIOS lets you select the order according to which the BIOS will ask the HDs to boot the computer.

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I'm a nuclear reactor cooling system programmer, if you see me running, it's probably already too late.
Anonymous
November 29, 2003 7:53:48 PM

If you want the OS on the larger drive, you'll want to reinstall windows with that drive set to primary master. Save anything important to your smaller drive first though. I might even go as far as disconnecting it after backing up those files. After you reinstall, shutdown your computer and reconnect your smaller drive, and get your files you need off of it. Then format it, and reboot. After all this, if your MBR is still showing 2 OS's, let us know and we'll go from there.

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November 29, 2003 11:42:33 PM

Just unplug the small drive from the ide connector, boot from a floppy and fdisk /mbr

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
November 30, 2003 3:42:59 PM

Quote:
Just unplug the small drive from the ide connector, boot from a floppy and <b>fdisk /mbr</b>

It won't fix the problem since the Harddrive needs XP Bootloader which can be fix only by using XP CD.
Boot your comp with XP CD (also remember remove the small 4Gig HD if you want only XP in 80G HD), at <b>Setup</b> menu choose <b><font color=red>R</font color=red></b> for <b>Recovery console</b>. At prompt, enter the partition number that contains XP system (usually is 1), then provide administrator's password when asked (If your XP is Home version, its password by default is blank so just press Enter). To fix the Bootloader, enter <b>Fixboot</b> at command prompt. Type <b>Exit</b> to reboot. Other thing, make sure you have these files in Root sector of your 80G HD before proceeding, NTDR, NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI which can be copied from your small HD. They are hidden so you need to change the <b>View</b> to show them (<b>Control Panel\Folder Options</b>).

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
November 30, 2003 4:21:16 PM

It will so work. I've used just a boot floppy to re-write the /mbr many times on XP systems. And I don't mean just copying over the old files, I mean deleting grub/lilo and installing the XP loader.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
November 30, 2003 5:24:48 PM

ok, silverpig so you're pretty much right! Tried first the fixboot which didn't work and then tried your solution which at first only worked so-so. Meaning I got the OS's choice-menu and could choose only one since the os on the small hd wasn't found as I had disconnected it. So far so good. Until it froze at the welcome screen. I even try the failsafe(?) (don't know what it is called in english) starting option whith the same result. So I connect the small HD but still boot from the large. This time it doesn't freeze and both os's are operational. I start both and then shut down once again disconnecting the small HD. This time it actually works the whole way for some strange reason!

I have a question though; how do I get rid of the fact that I have to choose between the 'real' OS and the now non-existent one every bootup?
November 30, 2003 8:18:42 PM

That's because your system already had XP Bootloader when his system the bootloader was only existed on the small HD.

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
November 30, 2003 8:23:42 PM

Quote:
how do I get rid of the fact that I have to choose between the 'real' OS and the now non-existent one every bootup?

Do you know which partition of XP you want to boot from? If yes, you can edit the file <b>BOOT.INI</b>. Delete the line that refers to the old one similar to this
<b>multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect</b>

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
!