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Can not boot after plugging external USB drive, Need expert help to boot windows
booot
post Sep 6 2008, 04:51 PM
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Hi, I would appreciate if someone could help me fix the problem.

When I plugged in an external hard disc (from another laptop, cased) into my laptop via USB and tried to install Windows from a CD onto this external hard drive, I discovered that I could no longer boot Win XP on my laptop normally. I removed the external drive and tried to start my default system normally, it failed. The system won't detect the laptop's hard disc anymore reporting that there are problems with hard disc configuration. And so I can not boot any longer. I checked boot sequence in BIOS and it is set to boot from HDD first, then Win XP CD. HDD is in PM mode. CDROM in SM mode. The furthest I can get is to onto the windows installation screen, where the hard drive is not present.

Would you have any advise on how I can get the system up and running?
Thx
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jaclaz
post Sep 6 2008, 06:36 PM
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From what you say, it seems like the failed install has altered something, possibly in boot.ini

Can you describe more exactly what happens?

I mean "System" is vague, it is either BIOS or WINDOWS.

If the message is fairly long, and in the language of your Windows (old) install, it comes from Windows, if it is "short" and in English most probably comes from BIOS.

Can you boot from CD?

Which filesystem has the internal HD first (Active) Partition? NTFS or FAT16/32?

Can you burn a CD on another machine?

Can the laptop boot from USB/have you handy a USB stick?

jaclaz
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booot
post Sep 6 2008, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE (jaclaz @ Sep 6 2008, 06:36 PM) *
From what you say, it seems like the failed install has altered something, possibly in boot.ini

Probably, how do I solve this?

QUOTE (jaclaz @ Sep 6 2008, 06:36 PM) *
Can you describe more exactly what happens?


Basicially, I can no longer boot from my hard drive - I get black screen with blinking cursor before windows loading should actually start and I assume it is because the hard drive is not detected. Confirmation to this is the message which I get when I try to install new Win XP on top of the existing one from a CD: "...disk hardware configuration problem..." All this happened after I tried to install Win XP onto an external hard disc from another laptop.

QUOTE (jaclaz @ Sep 6 2008, 06:36 PM) *
I mean "System" is vague, it is either BIOS or WINDOWS.


I think it has to do with BIOS or hard drive, I don't think it is a software problem.

QUOTE (jaclaz @ Sep 6 2008, 06:36 PM) *
Can you boot from CD?


Yes, to the point when I can perform a new install or recovery, however - I can't do neither because the internal hard drive is not detected.

QUOTE (jaclaz @ Sep 6 2008, 06:36 PM) *
Which filesystem has the internal HD first (Active) Partition? NTFS or FAT16/32?


NTFS

QUOTE (jaclaz @ Sep 6 2008, 06:36 PM) *
Can you burn a CD on another machine?


Yes

QUOTE (jaclaz @ Sep 6 2008, 06:36 PM) *
Can the laptop boot from USB/have you handy a USB stick?


Yes and yes. I don't know, however, how to make a bootable stick.


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booot
post Sep 6 2008, 08:16 PM
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I have just booted from a CD and did recovery. Checking dskchk returned: the volume contains one or more unrecoverable problems
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booot
post Sep 6 2008, 10:44 PM
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QUOTE (booot @ Sep 6 2008, 08:16 PM) *
I have just booted from a CD and did recovery. Checking dskchk returned: the volume contains one or more unrecoverable problems



Fixed! The problem was in Boot sector, it was damaged. The damage occurred during installing windows onto an external hard drive...
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jaclaz
post Sep 7 2008, 09:28 AM
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Yes, the blinking cursor or sometimes a "j" on a black screen is usually due to a bootsector problem.

It is very strange however that it was caused by a (futile (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) ) attempt to install XP on USB drive. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif)

For the record, it is well possible to install XP on a USB drive, but you need some "special" procedures:
http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=14181
http://www.ngine.de/article/id/8
http://www.usboot.org/tiki-index.php

Happy the problem was solved. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

jaclaz
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booot
post Sep 7 2008, 10:29 AM
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Thanks, I appreciate your help. Now I have to fix my gf's laptop, so she can work -- the problem with this one is:

1. Windows not loading normally nor in safe mode - there is a boot problem
2. CD ROM not responding - can't boot from CD
3. Loading windows in normal mode returns blue screen of death: Unmonutable boot volume; loading win in safe mode stops on some driver...bluetooth driver or smth *.sys

Can you see any possible solution?
Thx
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jaclaz
post Sep 7 2008, 11:38 AM
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If it boots from USB, the easiest would be to make a bootable USB stick.
Maybe just Recovery Console and CHKDISK is all that's needed.
Or create an "Install XP from USB" and try doing a Repair install.

You will need the XP source CD, slipstreamed to the same service pack that the XP now on the laptop and, if needed, with "peculiar" drivers integrated.

Following either of these two methods should be fairly simple:
http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?...ic=4900&hl=
http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?...ic=5306&hl=
(second one, maybe a bit more complex, gives you a complete PE environment, much more complete when compared to Recovery Console, and doing a Repair install, if you are not sure that the source has the same SP level and drivers of the installed system, may as well be not resolutive)

jaclaz
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