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Changed boot.ini file, now Windows is gone - help!


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#1
brian + gry

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In trying to fix an issue we were having with Adobe Lightroom, an Adobe rep suggested we "turn on" the /3GB switch in our boot.ini file. I am not a software wiz but found steps to do so on the Microsoft site as suggested by the Adobe person here: "Firstly, if you have 4gb of RAM, you can set the /3GB switch in your boot.ini file. Instructions are here: http://www.microsoft....AE/PAEmem.mspx . Lightroom 1.2 and up are Large Address Aware."

When I tried to reboot the computer I got a long message saying "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. . ." I've tried to repair from the XP CD that I installed from but it is as if there is no Windows XP installed on the machine and then get the following when I try to run chkdsk - "the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems"

Can't reach Microsoft tech support at this time of night and it looks like it would cost over $500 for phone tech support anyway!

Help!. This is the primary computer that the other machines in our office are networked through.

Thanks, hope all have a great Thanksgiving. . .I know I will.

brian
www.woodwardandrick.com
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#2
brian + gry

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bump! Please folks, if you have any suggestions now is the time. If you know any Windows experts living in Western NC please have them contact us. This is a real emergency, we are basically out of business until this is resolved.

Thanks and we know it is Thanksgiving, hopefully we'll hear more tomorrow.

brian + gry
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#3
wannabe1

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Hi brian + gry...

Try the instructions Found Here.

Though you don't have the same symptoms, you do need to rebuild the boot.ini...this procedure will do that.

wannabe1
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#4
brian + gry

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Hi brian + gry...

Try the instructions Found Here.

Though you don't have the same symptoms, you do need to rebuild the boot.ini...this procedure will do that.

wannabe1


Hi wannabe1,

thanks for your response however we already tred that procedure. Tried again just now and here's what happened:

7. At the command prompt, type bootcfg /list, and then press ENTER. The entries in your current Boot.ini file appear on the screen.
The message "There are currently no boot entries available to display." appeared.

8. At the command prompt, type bootcfg /rebuild, and then press ENTER. The message " Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system run chkdsk." appeared.

Ran chkdsk and got the following message: "The volume appears to have one or more unrecoverable problems."

Again, everything was working normally until I tried to do this /3GB switch suggested by the Adobe rep. This was the procedure link she gave "if you have 4gb of RAM, you can set the /3GB switch in your .ini file. Instructions are here: http://www.microsoft....AE/PAEmem.mspx "


Now what? Thanks again for your help. Anyone from Microsoft ever look at this forum?

brian + gry
info@woodwardandrick.com
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#5
wannabe1

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Microsoft is quite aware of our little site... :)

32 bit Windows doesn't do well with anything over 3 gigs of RAM...you'll need 64 bit Windows to utilize 4 gigs.

Try running the disk check again only use the command chkdsk /r

This will run a more comprehensive check and will take a lot longer. When it finishes, type exit and press Enter. Let it try to boot normally.

What kind of machine is this? Is it a build or brand name? If it's a branded machine, what is the make and model number? We still have several options available...
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#6
brian + gry

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Microsoft is quite aware of our little site... :)

32 bit Windows doesn't do well with anything over 3 gigs of RAM...you'll need 64 bit Windows to utilize 4 gigs.

Try running the disk check again only use the command chkdsk /r

This will run a more comprehensive check and will take a lot longer. When it finishes, type exit and press Enter. Let it try to boot normally.

What kind of machine is this? Is it a build or brand name? If it's a branded machine, what is the make and model number? We still have several options available...


Thanks wannabe1 for sticking with this. I tried your suggestion, booted from CD, went back in the Recovery Console, and at the prompt entered chkdsk /r. Got the same message as before - "The volume appears to have one or more unrecoverable problems."

This is one of two identical machines built for us about 4-5 months ago. Mine is the primary machine that the other twin and another computer are networked through (Windows network). The twin computers are QuadCore 2.66ghz processors, Intel D975XBX2 MBs, each has two 2GB sticks of RAM (the other computer runs fine with 4GB, the guy who built the compters did something to allocate the RAM so the 4GB bugaboo should not be a problem), each has two 160 GB Raptor HDs as system drives, both have ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro video cards.

Again, everything was working fine except for some issues with Adobe LightRoom before we tried the /3GB switch trick suggested by the girl from Adobe. . .I hope she gets a rash. :)

I probably won't be back today. . .I'm the chef today and my daughter wants to play. Thanks again so much for your help, I hope there is a solution other than a complete re-install of Windows. . .I'm not a computer wiz but know enough, with clear instruction, to get by. I'll check back first thing in the morning.

brian
info@woodwardandrick.com
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#7
wannabe1

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Sometimes you have to scan the drive for installations as a separate operation. I hope that's all that's keeping RC from finding your Windows installation.

At the Recovery Console prompt, type bootcfg /scan and press "Enter".

Does it list your Windows installation? If yes, type bootcfg /rebuild and press "Enter". When asked if you want to "Add installation to boot list?", type Y and press "Enter" For the Load Identifier, type Microsoft Windows XP Professional and press "Enter". For the Load Options, type /fastdetect and press "Enter". Type exit and press "Enter".

If you were able to do that, you will be offered a choice when the machine boots. Try the top option first, if Windows doesn't start, try the other. One of them is the standard load instructions...the other is the one you modified. If you are able to get to Windows, you will be able to edit the boot.ini to remove the 3G switch...which is not helping you anyway.

++++

If you are unable to do any of that, enter the BIOS Setup (usually by pressing either F1 of Delete) and set the BIOS Fail Safe Defaults if there's a setting, or press F5 and see if it offers to give you BIOS defaults. You will have to set your boot priority again once you do this...don't forget to save the settings (F10) when you exit Setup.

See if the machine will boot normally.

++++

If still no joy, see if you can run this REPAIR to your installation of XP. This procedure will not damage or change your current files or settings...it will just repair or replace damaged system files. You will be asked for your Installation CD and may be asked for your product key. Follow the instructions carefully...print them out if you can. Note: This option is not always available on OEM Recovery Cd's

Once this repair has completed, you will have to download all Windows Updates again.

++++

If still no joy, we have only a couple options left...one of which will require a floppy drive. Do you have one installed on that machine?
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#8
brian + gry

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Sometimes you have to scan the drive for installations as a separate operation. I hope that's all that's keeping RC from finding your Windows installation.

At the Recovery Console prompt, type bootcfg /scan and press "Enter".

Does it list your Windows installation? If yes, type bootcfg /rebuild and press "Enter". When asked if you want to "Add installation to boot list?", type Y and press "Enter" For the Load Identifier, type Microsoft Windows XP Professional and press "Enter". For the Load Options, type /fastdetect and press "Enter". Type exit and press "Enter".

If you were able to do that, you will be offered a choice when the machine boots. Try the top option first, if Windows doesn't start, try the other. One of them is the standard load instructions...the other is the one you modified. If you are able to get to Windows, you will be able to edit the boot.ini to remove the 3G switch...which is not helping you anyway.

++++

If you are unable to do any of that, enter the BIOS Setup (usually by pressing either F1 of Delete) and set the BIOS Fail Safe Defaults if there's a setting, or press F5 and see if it offers to give you BIOS defaults. You will have to set your boot priority again once you do this...don't forget to save the settings (F10) when you exit Setup.

See if the machine will boot normally.

++++

If still no joy, see if you can run this REPAIR to your installation of XP. This procedure will not damage or change your current files or settings...it will just repair or replace damaged system files. You will be asked for your Installation CD and may be asked for your product key. Follow the instructions carefully...print them out if you can. Note: This option is not always available on OEM Recovery Cd's

Once this repair has completed, you will have to download all Windows Updates again.

++++

If still no joy, we have only a couple options left...one of which will require a floppy drive. Do you have one installed on that machine?


Good Morning,

OK, tried the bootcfg /scan command and got this message "Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This appears to be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning." Then it tell me to run chkdsk again.

Now, I did hear from the fellow who built the machines for us and this is what he said (again, I am NOT a software wiz and I had no idea how he set up the OS on these machines) As follows:

I know why the repair console can't find the windows install, (or at least i think i do.) you are probably not loading the intel raid drivers into the "setup" program when you're booting with the windows CD. (which wouldn't allow setup to see your raid 0 array that has the system on it.) to do that, you need to hook up the floppy drive, (both power and data cables, of course) and hit the appropriate key when setup asks you if there are any third party raid / scsi drivers you need to load. once you do that, you should be able to repair your windows install and be up and running again.

Does this make sense to you or sound plausible? Yes, we do have a floppy drive that we scavenged from an old computer that we can hook up and use.

Thanks again wannabe1 for your help with this. . .at the very least I owe you a beer or two.

brian
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#9
wannabe1

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That would explain a lot...I didn't know you were running on an array.

Installing the SATA/RAID drivers when setup loads should, indeed, allow you to access the disk(s). You'll need to have the drivers on a floppy diskette. When you start the setup, you will be prompted to "Press F6 if you need to install third party SCSI or RAID drivers"...press F6 and have the drivers installed from the floppy.

Once you have done that, you should be able to do the boot configuration change. I would suggest following the first set of instructions in post #7, log on to Windows using which ever of the OS options that works to load windows, then edit the /3g switch out of the boot.ini, and remove the extra line that was added to start Windows.

Doing it this way should put you back to where you were before you made the edit to the boot.ini. I really don't think you need to run the Repair install.

You might start a topic in the Applications Forum about the Adobe issue...someone there may have the answer to the problem.
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#10
brian + gry

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Thanks, there is still hope. Will let you know how this turns out.

Thank you!

brian
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#11
brian + gry

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That would explain a lot...I didn't know you were running on an array.

Installing the SATA/RAID drivers when setup loads should, indeed, allow you to access the disk(s). You'll need to have the drivers on a floppy diskette. When you start the setup, you will be prompted to "Press F6 if you need to install third party SCSI or RAID drivers"...press F6 and have the drivers installed from the floppy.

Once you have done that, you should be able to do the boot configuration change. I would suggest following the first set of instructions in post #7, log on to Windows using which ever of the OS options that works to load windows, then edit the /3g switch out of the boot.ini, and remove the extra line that was added to start Windows.

Doing it this way should put you back to where you were before you made the edit to the boot.ini. I really don't think you need to run the Repair install.

You might start a topic in the Applications Forum about the Adobe issue...someone there may have the answer to the problem.


OK, that did it! We were able to load the RAID driver from the floppy and followed the steps you laid out in post 7 above and success!

Thank you again!

brian
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#12
wannabe1

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My pleasure! :)

Always nice to end up with a positive outcome....
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