History: This hard drive lives in a computer with another 6 Gig hard drive. The 6 Gig hard drive has Windows Home. The 6 Gig hard drive is what has been booting the computer for years and then I select Windows XP Prof on the 30 Gig hard drive and launch into windows without a problem. About 4 years ago, I installed Windows XP Prof on the 30 Gig while the 6 Gig was still in the computer; I probably did this while booted from the 6 Gig. Now, I need to take the 6 Gig hard drive out of service.
Without the 6 Gig, the 30 Gig won't boot the computer even though there is a perfectly good Windows OS on this hard drive. I suspect it has something to do with the boot sector.
Things I've tried:
* Using the Windows Recovery Console to issue fixmbr and fixboot - Nothing changed on boot.
* Check the master/slave drive jumpers - I don't think this is where the problem is.
* Booted from GParted Live CD and wrote TestDisk MBR code to first sector - Nothing changed.
* Booted from GParted Live CD and wrote the Partition Table with TestDisk - Got "ntlrd is missing"
* Using the Windows Recovery Console, I copied ntlrd and ntdetect.com - Back to the flashing cursor on boot.
* Booted from GParted Live CD and rewrote the Partition Table with TestDisk - Nothing changed.
* Booted from GParted Live CD and analysed the partition extensively, rewrote the Partition Table - Got an "Invalid boot.ini file" error message on boot; computer just restarts over and over again
* Using the Windows Recovery Console to run bootcfg /rebuild - "Error: Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdisk to detect any disk errors."
* Ran chkdisk /r - Minor problem
* Ran chkdisk /r again - No problems
* Run bootcfg /rebuild - Same error as before - "Error: Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdisk to detect any disk errors."
* Run "bootcfg /add" - Same error as above
* Run "attrib -h -r -s C:\boot.ini del C:\boot.ini" - parameter is not valid
Most of the posts I see from here says to clean install Windows. This is not something I want to do. (Although I've probably spent more time trying to figure this out than if I had done a clean install.)
Anyone have any other suggestions about how I can get this hard drive to boot?
I have plenty of external HDs I can copy the partition back and forth with. Is there a way to install a good MBR and partition and then copy my partition back into place? For example, another application on the GParted Live CD will allow me to copy a partition/disk to an ISO file. I thought I'd copy both the 6 Gig hard drive and the the 30 Gig hard drive. I then restore the 6 Gig hard drive with MBR and then over write that partition with the 30 Gig partition. Would something like this work?
If anyone has any guidance, please speak up.