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Hard Disc (MBR) Problems in New Vista Downgrade.


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#1
jacobt

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Greetings everybody. I recently purchased a new laptop that came with Windows Vista. I am not too into Vista (But that's a topic for another thread, I suppose), so I have been working to get rid of it and get a clean install of Expee for sometime. So far, I have been able to fumble my way through it with some help from an article I came across midway through the debacle at HowToGeek.com. So I've got a working go of Windows XP, however my hard disc master boot record is a total mess and I have access to only a small amount of the hard disc.. just the amount I partitioned to load Windows onto. The main problem initially, is that Toshiba puts a hidden partition on the machine for system restore, as a lot of laptop manufacturers do. This has been the source of a great deal of my dismay. Regardless, everything is scrambled up. If anybody has any advice to get things in order - without doing a full-on wipe of the system (which is not entirely out of the question), please let me know.

Included is a screen capture of the Windows Disk Management screen to give an idea of what's going on.
Also included is a capture of the error I receive when I try to load VBootPro to repair the boot sector -- two of them, actually.
Finally, I've tried to run PMagic as well, but that gives me errors too. I have a picture of that also.

Thank you in advance. I am pleased to be a member to this forum.
Regards, Jacob

Attached Thumbnails

  • diskmgmt.JPG
  • vbootproerr.JPG
  • vbootproerr2.JPG
  • pmagerr.JPG

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#2
Ztruker

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I don't know how to fix your problem, but I do want to make you aware that you have probably voided the laptop warranty by loading XP in place of Vista. I think you're best bet at this point is to contact Toshiba and order a set of Recovery CDs and put everything back to the way it was when you got the laptop.

Then, do a parallel install of XP so you can dual boot XP or Vista. That way you can use XP as normal while having access to Vista to learn how to use it.

Dual boot XP and Vista with Vista installed first
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#3
jacobt

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I don't know how to fix your problem, but I do want to make you aware that you have probably voided the laptop warranty by loading XP in place of Vista. I think you're best bet at this point is to contact Toshiba and order a set of Recovery CDs and put everything back to the way it was when you got the laptop.

Then, do a parallel install of XP so you can dual boot XP or Vista. That way you can use XP as normal while having access to Vista to learn how to use it.

Dual boot XP and Vista with Vista installed first


I haven't voided anything. As you can see by the pictures, The Vista partition and the original Toshiba hidden partition are entirely intact, as I have installed Windows XP in a dual boot configuration. I did the installation more or less something like the instructions in the link you referenced. The problem is that the Master Boot Record is now mangled and I can't recover it with any utilities to access the Windows drive and load some sort of Boot manager. Thanks for the advice though. Also, Toshiba still includes the recovery discs with the computer.

Thank you
Jacob
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#4
Ztruker

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Sorry about that Jacob. From your post I got the impression that you had removed Vista and installed XP. Did not see anything that indicated a dual boot scenario. Glad to hear that is what you did though.
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#5
Gravity Gripp

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jocobt,
The problem you are having with Partition Magic comes from the fact that XP can not assign a drive letter to the Vista and restore partitions. I'm not really sure WHY this is happening though. If you can find a way to assign them drive letters, it may fix your issues.

If it were me, I would wipe the disk and install xp from scratch. It's a same to waste that space on Vista and will probably save you headaches down the road. :)

Edited by Gravity Gripp, 31 December 2007 - 12:26 AM.

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#6
jacobt

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Thanks for the information. I am pretty sure that the inability to assign a drive letter is due to some sort of error with the master boot record. I tried to repair the Vista bootloader by loading the "startup repair" utility from the Windows Vista CD but this did nothing but mangle my existing XP installation as well as my Vista. I did this per the instructions in the referenced writeup <http://www.howtogeek...ista-computer>. Then it just booted to "Invalid Partition Table". Super lame! Fortunately, I was able to load XP onto my remaining partition I had made as a backup previously. So I am basically where I started way back whenever.

So right now I need some help figuring out how to access these unavailable drives and at least pull my important stuff off of them so I can format and start over, or alternatively, ideally setup a multiple boot configuration that works correctly.

Thanks everybody.
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