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Can't restore WinXP after failed mem upgrade


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#16
BrooklineTom

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@wannabe1 -- the original manufacturer's recovery CDs are all I've got -- at least for that machine.

I have a stack of recovery CDs from different vendors for the various machines I've had here, but I don't think I have any plain WinXP install disks.

The original 60G drive that's in the machine now doesn't have anything on it anyway. I can reinstall the 500G HD that was in place (and working just fine) when I did the failed upgrade if you think that will help. I took it out to restore the HW to match its as-shipped condition as closely as possible before starting in with the recovery CDs that shipped with the system.

Is the MBR that Data Lifeguard stores on the HD different from whatever would be loaded from the WinXP recovery console? I tried storing the MBR from the Data Lifeguard CD both before and after running the recovery CDs -- on both (60G and 500G) HDs, and neither seemed to make any difference.

My thought was to get something running on the 60G HD with the current RAM, just so that I know specifically what the problem is. When I get the compatible memory upgrade, I'll install it, make sure it works, and then re-install both disks and rebuild the system.

I hope to end up with a working WinXp system with 2G RAM and 2 HDs (500G and 60G).
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#17
wannabe1

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If you have an operating system on the 500GB drive, let's work on that one.

Download RC.iso and burn it to a cd as an ISO image. You may need a burning tool like ISO Recorder to do this...be sure to get the version for the operating system you'll be creating the disk on. This must be burned as an ISO image or it won't boot the machine.

This contains the startup files contained in the XP Boot Disk Set...and Recovery Console. It should allow us a good look at the boot configurations on the system drive and see if we can get the machine reading some boot instructions.

Are you familiar with using Recovery Console?
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#18
BrooklineTom

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I'll download this and then pick up the thread when I'm not so tired, later in the weekend. I've got infrarecorder, hopefully that will work.

I'm offline tomorrow with my kids, I'll check back in when I have something to report

Thanks for your help so far, hopefully we'll get this nailed.
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#19
BrooklineTom

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Ok, I'm back. I downloaded RC.iso from the link posted by wannabe1 above, burned it on a CD, reconfigured the disks, and started things up.

It boots up (off the CD) just fine, and I used the "R" mode to look at the system installed on the large (500G) C: drive. I see /windows, /program files, and that sort of thing. I'm not sure what else I'm looking for. Both HDs are visible, by the way, so the hardware seems to be working well enough to read the disks. I think the HW is fine, actually -- at this point, I think we're repairing a corrupted HD.

Judging from the touch-dates on the C: drive, it appears that the PowerSpec Recovery CD at least tried to do something. I see recent touch dates and various folders labeled "PowerSpec". Prior to the catastrophe, that drive had 60G worth of games, files, and various accumulated tidbits.

In answer to wannabe1's question, no I'm not familiar with the Recovery Console. I'm reasonably good at following directions though -- bearing in mind that the machine is in a different room on a different floor from where I'm typing this.

Let me know what you'd like me to do next.
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#20
wannabe1

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The first thing we want to do is check for file system corruption.

At the Recovery Console prompt (C:\Windows>), type chkdsk /r and press "Enter". This will be a long check...let it complete all 5 stages. It may appear to hang or even back up a time or two...this is normal, let it run to completion. When it completes and you are back at the prompt, type exit and press "Enter". See if the machine will boot to Windows.

If no joy, boot back to Recovery Console and we'll take a look at the boot configuration.
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#21
BrooklineTom

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Will do, I'll get back to you when it's done.

Thanks enormously for the help!
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#22
BrooklineTom

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So "chkdsk /r" ran to completion, and said that it found an corrected one error.

I rebooted (after removing the RC.iso cd), and the reboot hung after searching for and not finding a bootable drive in either CD.

When I say "hung", what I mean is a black screen, with white characters describing the boot sequence, and a blinking white cursor at the start of the last line:
"
Boot from CD :
Boot from CD :
_
"
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#23
wannabe1

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Enter the BIOS Setup and change your Boot Priority (sequence) to:
  • CD-ROM
  • HDD
Save the settings (F10) and see if it will boot to Windows.
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#24
BrooklineTom

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I just tried that, no joy -- same response.

I tried setting it to cdrom and then "hdd1" (instead of "hdd0"), and got the familiar "Error loading OS" instead of a blank line. I changed it back to "HDD0", and it now does the same as before.

Could there be a missing MBR on HDD0? I don't see the disk light even flash during this portion of the boot sequence.
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#25
wannabe1

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Ok...let's look at the boot configuration.

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

List what it finds for me.
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#26
BrooklineTom

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It answers:
[1] C:\WINDOWS
[2] D:\WINDOWS

The C: drive is the big (500G) HD and the D: drive is the small (60G) original HD.
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#27
wannabe1

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At the prompt, type bootcfg /default and press "Enter".

What does it show as the default system?

Sorry to be giving you so much exercise...it's going to take me a bit to figure out just what's going on here. :)
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#28
BrooklineTom

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No problem about the exercise, it's good for my heart (offsets my cigars!) :-)

bootcfg /default answers:

"
[1]"Microsoft Windows Whistler Personal"
OS Load Options: /fastdetect
OS Location: C:\WINDOWS
Select installation to add:_
"

I notice, in the help screen, "FIXBOOT" and "FIXMBR". Hmmm ...
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#29
wannabe1

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What version of Windows is installed? Home, Pro, or MCE?

You show a non-standard boot.ini file entry we need to straighten out.
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#30
BrooklineTom

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It's supposed to be WinXP/Home.

I think the MBR came from the Data Lifeguard CD that came with the WD hard drive, could that be the problem.
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