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Can't restore WinXP after failed mem upgrade


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#31
wannabe1

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We'll soon find out... :)

Type ex and press "Enter".

At the prompt, type bootcfg /rebuild and press "Enter". Let it scan for operating systems. When it shows you the list of operating systems and asks if you want to add the installation to the boot list, type Y and press "Enter". For the Load Identifier, type Windows XP Home Edition and press "Enter". For the OS Load Options, type /fastdetect and press "Enter".

Type exit and press "Enter".

See if it will boot to Windows. (You may have to choose which operating system you want to start...choose the top one)

Do you have a Linux distro installed on either HDD?
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#32
BrooklineTom

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Sadly, no joy. I did as requested, rebooted (without the CD), and got the same response.

I have to get to a dinner meeting, let's pick up the thread tomorrow if you can.

I appreciate your patience, attention, and effort.
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#33
BrooklineTom

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Oh, and no linux distros installed yet ... though I confess to contemplating same.
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#34
wannabe1

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Just wondering if we were dealing with a Grub loader issue, as well.

We'll pick it up tomorrow then.
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#35
Digerati

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Oh, and no linux distros installed yet ... though I confess to contemplating same.

If Linux has never been on there, that would rule out grub issues - though running fixmbr seems the next step anyway.
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#36
wannabe1

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I wholeheartedly agree... :)
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#37
BrooklineTom

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Good morning, I'm back in the saddle.

It sounds like we're contemplating fixmbr, sounds like a plan to me.
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#38
wannabe1

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Yes...let's try the fixmbr command.

Boot to Recovery Console. At the prompt, type fixmbr and press "Enter". Agree to the prompt asking you if you really want to do that. When back at the prompt, type exit and press "Enter"...let it try to boot to Windows.
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#39
BrooklineTom

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Fixmbr complained that the existing mbr was nonstandard. It replaced it.

Now, when it tries to boot, the system complains "Invalid partition table".

I don't mind reformatting both HDs, if that makes it easier. Is this a reasonable time to try rerunning the recovery CDs that came with the sys?

I haven't tried "fixboot" yet, by the way.
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#40
wannabe1

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Go ahead and run the fixboot command the same way you ran fixmbr...and try to boot to Windows.

Do you have any data you need to recover? Formatting the drive may allow your recovery set to run properly.
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#41
BrooklineTom

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No, no data. Well, there was some, but it's long one. Mostly saved games for the kids. We'll just reinstall everything. My daughter will be disappointed about losing her hours of "alice" development, but that will be a good experiential lesson for her in the importance backing things up.

Sadly, the partition on the C: drive is hosed, the Recovery Console doesn't see it.

I think it's time to run the recovery CDs again, using the destructive option to reformat and reinstall everything. Then, if it won't boot, I'll repeat the sequence we've run through here.

The C drive is way bigger than the 136G max that the basic BIOS handles, could that be adding to the confusion? When I formatted the drive, I used the disk manager in sp3, which seemed to handle it just fine. It won't be a problem if I end up with a smaller hard partition (100G?), it will just make the job of eventually installing a dual-boot with Linux that much easier.

If none of this works, then I suppose I"ll bite the bullet and take the box for some paid support. I've got a guy here who's really good, I just like to avoid the expense if I can.

Speaking of which, I plan to make a donation to the site here, in appreciation of everything you've already done. This is a *great* resource, and I'm happy to support it financially.
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#42
wannabe1

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When formatting a machine without support for large drives there is a limit of 137 GB...which is more than sufficient for a Windows installation. If you plan on installing a Linux Distro on the second partition, you should be aware that the Windows boot.ini file will be put aside and you'll be using the Linux boot manager (Grub). While this works fine in most cases, it can be problematic if you run into boot problems in the future.

That said, many Linux distributions will run "live" from the cd...which is a good way to give them a test drive to see if you like them. I run a machine with Ubuntu 8 installed, and while it is a pretty slick operating system, I find Windows to be more user friendly and more compatible with the hardware and software I normally run. Just something to think about while you play.

If you have no important data aboard, go ahead and try the recovery disk again. If we have to format the drive before the recovery will take, I can point you to some good free formatting tools that will get the job done.
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#43
Digerati

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If your XP disk includes SP1 or later, you should not have a problem with the 137Gb limit.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303013
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#44
BrooklineTom

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Still no joy. When I ran fixmbr, it seems to have trashed the existing partition on the C drive. So I used diskpart from the recovery console to build a new one, at the recommended size (136G). Bill, the original system, and therefore its recovery CDs, dates from 2002. I think that pre-dates SP1, though I'm not sure. I sized the new partition to be small enough just in case.

Then I ran the recovery CD again. Still no joy. I tried running fixmbr, and it again trashed the partition.

We seem to be going in circles here, there seems to be something broken about either the recovery CDs, the hardware, or both.

I think I'll wait for the new memory to arrive (it shipped today), install it, and then pack the system up and take it over to Tony. He's very expensive and very good. I appreciate all your help, guys. Assuming that Tony is able to get it working, I'll check back in (probably sometime next week) and update you about what he found.

Thanks again for all your help, I'm sorry we didn't get to a more successful outcome.
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#45
Digerati

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I'm sorry we didn't get to a more successful outcome.

Me too. Keep us posted.
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