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[SOLVED] Disk boot failure when replacing second hard drive

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Disk boot failure when replacing second hard drive within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I was replacing a secondary hard drive on a friend's aging desktop that has PATA drives, running Windows XP Home


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Old 10-26-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
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EEK!

I was replacing a secondary hard drive on a friend's aging desktop that has PATA drives, running Windows XP Home SP3. After I replaced the old secondary hard drive with a newer one that I've freshly formatted as NTFS (it came from my own desktop so I know it works and I did a quick read/write test on it after formatting), I left the primary hard drive with the Windows XP installation untouched. However, when I attempted to boot up with this new configuration I got a "DISK BOOT FAILURE" even though BIOS recognises the two hard drives.

I booted up with an Ubuntu live CD and both the drives were readable, writable and seemed all fine.

Disconnecting the second hard drive and leaving in just the primary hard drive, I was able to get to the Windows XP start up animation. After which I shut it down. I reconnected the second hard drive, put in a Windows XP recovery CD - it took way too long to start and when it did it gave me the message: "Setup either detected multiple disks in your machine that are indistinguishable or detedted raw disk(s). Setup had corrected the problem, but a reboot is required."

After this, any attempt to run the recovery CD with the two disks connected is extremely slow and then gives me a repeat of this "indistinguishable" nonsense. The single primary drive by itself gives me a "DISK BOOT FAILURE". And when running recovery console with the single hard drive connected, it starts up faster but it won't let me do anything, not even a "DIR", looks like it doesn't want to read the drive at all.

Any clues on what went wrong there and how I can recover the XP installation?

EDIT: I've checked the PATA cable connections a few times, they all seem to be tight.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:15 PM   #2
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Did you check the jumpers? Sounds like you have them both set to master.

"I was able to get to the Windows XP start up animation. After which I shut it down"
Never do that. You "crash" the system and this will result in chkdsk errors
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:50 AM   #3
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Thanks, it was the jumpers that stopped it from booting! One was Cable Select the other was Master.

However, I suspect the Win XP recovery CD made things even worse by getting confused and deleting the entire partition that had Win XP on it! After much toil I've recovered it using the TestDisk utility on UBCD4WIN.
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