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Error Starting Windows/Hard Drive - PLEASE HELP!

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 2, 2004 8:40:45 PM

Hey everyone - first off, this will probably be a long post and read, but I'd GREATLY appreciate it out there if someone could help me. And I'm offering a $5 paypal sent reward for anyone who can help me retrieve my files (lol I know it's not a lot, but I'm only in high school) - Ok, here's a description of my problem.

For Xmas, I got a new WD 120 GB hard drive. I installed it and everything went well, so I thought I'd just do a complete system format (of the old hard drive too) so I'd have the best possible setup. So I transferred all of my files I wanted to save to my brother's computer (23.1 GB's worth). The reinstall went fine and the computer works great. However, whenever I went to turn on my brother's computer and transfer my files back over via the network, I got this error message.

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.
<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.
Please re-install a copy of the above file."

That's the exact error message that I recieve on his computer when trying to start it up - his pc is running Windows XP on the NTFS file system. I've already tried to boot in safe mode but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

Also, for some reason, the error message has changed to this instead.

""Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file."

Now, here's what I've tried to do to fix the PC or just to get my files (that's really the only thing I'm worried about now because I can always do a system format to fix Windows).

I tried to boot the pc from the Windows CD and enter the command prompt and do the command "chkdsk /r" however the hard drive locks up once it hits 25%.

I've also tried putting the hard drive in a different computer as the slave drive. However, the computer won't boot with that hard drive in the computer. It loads past the Window loading screen, but right before displaying the actual desktop, I hear the bad hard drive starting to make a repeated weird noise (kind of a grinding noise). Is this a sign of a failing hard drive?

I've also tried to do a repair of the windows installation however that doesn't work as it doesn't seem to detect an existing windows installation.

To get my files off, I've also tried sticking in a FAT32 drive and using this utility from bootdisk.com to transfer over my files. http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm However it seems to have an error anytime I try to transfer files which leads me to believe that the hard drive is failing :(  however it can display a list of all the files on the hard drive - just can't transfer them for some reason to another drive...

I've also tried doing a system restore through the command prompt - however, it gives me some file cannot be found or w/e when I enter the command to do it.


ok so that's about it - I WOULD BE VERY VERY GRATEFUL IF ANYONE CAN FIND ME A WAY TO EITHER GET WINDOWS TO BOOT SO I CAN TRANSFER MY FILES TO MY OTHER PC, OR JUST A WAY THAT I COULD GET MY FILES OFF THE PC. I'm offering a $5 dollar reward for anyone that can help! Thank you very much in advance for your help!!
January 4, 2004 9:29:08 PM

First, make sure your IDE cables are good and that they are ATA100 one, not the ATA 33/66 one.What I would do is to use your a clean HD, clean install win xp on it, alone in the computer! You have to be sure that Windows boot from the fresh install, not the old one. once done,put your brother's drive set as slave on the same cable or the other channel if available. leave it set as slave, even if you have to put your cdrom/dvd/burner(if you have one)as master. the system must boot from the fresh install. if it boots, then check if you can acces the files on the other hd.

If that works, give the 5$ to an organisation that takes care of sick childrens. Even if that dont, you can do it anyway!

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
January 4, 2004 10:37:46 PM

just for your information, IDE cable (ie ATA 33/66/etc.) makes absolutely no difference on the drive's workability, it is a theoretical performance factor, nothing else.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
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January 4, 2004 10:39:59 PM

all you have to do is reinstall windows into different folder on the same partition ("NewWindows" or something), that is assuming that drive is still workable.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
January 5, 2004 12:52:06 AM

it does make a difference. they are not the same. ata33/66 has 40 wires, ata100/133 has 80 wires. They act as shielding.To prevent one line from disturbig the other. The extra wires are needed for stability at higher transfer speed. Using a 40 wires with an ATA100/133 drive will likely cause problems and corrupted files.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
January 5, 2004 3:18:55 AM

I have used ATA33 cables on an ATA100 drives since the drives came out, and have not even one file corrupted, any more "proving you are smarter than we do"?

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
January 5, 2004 7:21:35 AM

I dont pretend to be smarter, but I got a lot of problem because of that. changing old motherboard for new one with ATA100 connector without paying attention to the cable, and starting to wonder why drive are not recongnized, why files get corrupted. Putting new cable fixed all the problems. Maybe it happens only on one of my machine, my mom machine and my friend machine...but it happend to me and can likely happen to somebody else.Just like why some mobo works for some and not for other...it just happen!


I'll be out for the week, cannot continue this tread for now...

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
January 6, 2004 9:25:06 PM

Quote:
The extra wires are needed for stability at higher transfer speed. Using a 40 wires with an ATA100/133 drive will likely cause problems and corrupted files.


Only if you're running the drive at ATA 100/133 speeds. If the controller is ATA 100/133, it should detect whether or not a 40-pin cable is connected. If it detects a 40-pin cable, it defaults to ATA 66. It will only run at ATA 100/133 if it detects the proper 80-wire cable.

Basically, it's a long-winded way of saying that the cable won't make a difference; unless you force ATA 100/133 using a 40-wire cable.

The hard drive sounds as if it's had it. If you can get a system up and running with the drive installed, get some diagnostics of some sort to run on the drive. From everything you've said though, it does sound as if the drive has failed.

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
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