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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, guys, I'm trying to be corherent here, doing my best to avoid hysterics. I was trying to make a bootable USB drive with Ghost so I could ghost win98 onto this old laptop that didn't have a floppy drive.
I found instructions here:
http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~shaher/Bootable_USB.html
And followed them
I have a sony Vaio Media Center PC /w windows XP
I found all my drives in the BIOS and set their PIO to 0
Then I booted with a win98 floppy (my desktop has a drive)
and checked to make sure my Pendrive was C:
It was.
I ran fdisk and deleted all partitions and made one new one.
I restarted with the win98 floppy
dir c:
cannot read media
Abort Retry Fail

Ok, I thought this was too much work, so I'd find a real 98 disk somewhere
So I pop out my floppy, reset the drives to auto in the BIOS, boot up:
MISSING OPERATING SYSTEM!!!!

Ok, ok, don't panic, check the BIOS.
The BIOS sees the drive, it's there.
Boot with Puppy Linux live CD...
Puppy does NOT see the hard drive
I'm scared guys... I'm scared.
Four months of finding, refining, editing, installing, and tweaking on that comp
Please, GOD don't say I lost it
 

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I ran fdisk and deleted all partitions and made one new one.
I restarted with the win98 floppy
dir c:
cannot read media
Abort Retry Fail
You have to format it to make it accessible.
MISSING OPERATING SYSTEM!!!!
Was the unformatted USB drive still attached as C drive?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The first quote, happens when either the pendrive, or the internal harddrive is C: And the internal harddrive should already be formatted and readable. It can see my external harddrive as D: and dir d: shows all the files that should be there.

As for the second quote, no. That's when I have restored all my BIOS defaults and taken out the pendrive.
 

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I found all my drives in the BIOS and set their PIO to 0

reset the drives to auto in the BIOS, boot up:
What does this mean?

Did you set the IDE drive to NONE then back to AUTO

When I see PIO = 0 this suggests you set the drive to the lowest transfer speed ( 3.3MB/s), it doesn't disable the drive.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Download TestDisk, maybe it will pull up the partition info...
http://www.cgsecurity.org/index.html?testdisk.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
o.0 Is that what PIO is? I thought it meant priority, and if I set it to zero, it would effectively ignore the drive.
When I had them set to 0, it showed the pendrive as C:
At least when I booted with the floppy, and I did dir C: it showed me the one file I put on the drive so I'd be able to distinguish.
New development.
My pendrive still has that file on it, indicating that when I deleted all partitions on C:, it might not have been the pendrive.
Now when I boot up with the floppy and all the drives enabled:
dir c:
Unable to read media, abort retry fail?

But when I run fdisk, show current partitions, it sees a 59700 Mbyte drive, where 2000 Mbytes is partitioned as C:

Uhm... I don't have anything with 60 Gigs. My internal hard drive is 200 Gig and my external is 120 Gig, and the pendrive is 512 MB.
Could this be because.
The first time I ran fdisk when I thought I was only touching the pendrive,
it asked if I wanted Large File Support or something. It said my drive was bigger than some number (It started with a 5, and I just assumed it was showing me the size of the pendrive in bytes. I'll never misread a filesize again XD)
I said I didn't want Large File Support because I thought it was unneeded and might cause compatibility issues. Could it be that when I did this, it told my internal Hard drive "NO! You are NOT 200gig, you're 60!"? I rebooted later and ran fdisk and selected yes on the Large File Support, but when I selected display current partitions, it still showed a 59700 Mbyte drive.

Please note nothing, DOS, or Bootable CD even sees C: Just fdisk
 

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RutRoh Elroy...

Remove the pen drive, remove the external drive and remove all floppies, cd's, etc.

Reboot the computer... If nothing, then you did it....

Ghost is nothing to sneeze at.. it sounds like you imaged the pen drive to the main hard drive.
 

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Your hdd was winXP (NTFS file system) and dos programs cannot read NTFS partitions. Also if it was fdisked and not formatted then it is in an indeterminate state until a file system is installed (ie: dos format), hence dos/linux programs cannot read a file table-because it doesn't exist.

Further, the win98 version of fdisk has a 64 Gig limitation and doesn't correctly report the drive info with larger drives, you have to use the winME version of fdisk.

Since you didn't enable Large drive support then fdisk would use FAT16 file system (the 2 Gig you see).

It appears you have repeatedly fdisked the drive so I doubt there's much chance of recovering at this point, but you can try-sometimes one gets lucky.

Use the TestDisk program to check if it can still find the NTFS partition.

In future, physically disconnect drives to guarantee this mistake can't happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Stu. I'll try TestDisk and if that fails, I'll hook it up as a slave on another comp. If that fails as well... *sigh* At least I'll be virus free. But all the Vaio recovery is located on the hard drive, no CDs. Who came up with that?
 

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phaenilda said:
Thanks Stu. I'll try TestDisk and if that fails, I'll hook it up as a slave on another comp. If that fails as well... *sigh* At least I'll be virus free. But all the Vaio recovery is located on the hard drive, no CDs. Who came up with that?
I like your attitude. The Vaio recovery was created by the same person that gives you a web site for tech support if you can't get connected to the web. :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
UNBOUND JOY! Er.... semi-UNBOUND JOY
Testdisk found my NTFS partitions and wrote it to the table, and I listed all files on the disk, and EVERYTHING is still there!!!
I rebooted and it no longer tells me Missing Operating System, but it does say:
Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.
Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.
Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

I tried changing the MBR with testdisk, and rebuilding the boot sector, neither had any effect.
=D I knew I didn't delete all partitions on my harddrive.

By the way, ronsena, please don't post on any of my problems in the future. =D Thanks.
 

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Okay, I'm not that familiar with Viao's setup but there are a few points that we can work with...

Sony puts a 5 Gig restore partition on the hard drive to reinstall XP (the F10 at start up).

The error message suggests there is a path problem, which is reasonable since the drive was fdisked.

Let's see if XP is still salvageable.

Download the attached xpmulti.zip file, extract and copy the contents to a formatted BLANK floppy (no system files) and boot with this floppy. I have modified the boot.ini menu so you can try different disk arrangements, try the default first (just press enter) if it doesn't start XP then reboot and try 1, 3, and 4 on the menu.

If you get windows running then go to disk manager to check the state of the drive, I think it will show there is a partition that is unformatted (the restore partition). Don't change anything, report back with your findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Non-System disk or disk error

Replace and strike any key when ready


Ack
 

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Well I see I negelected to mention that the BLANK floppy has to be formatted by WinXP (or 2k) versions as a blank from 9x/me or dos version formats isn't the same. Though after it's formated the zip files can be copied to floppy from any version. :1angel:

If that doesn't work the other thing you can try is downloading the XP boot floppies (see bootdisks link below) and try the recovery method. Use the xp floppies to boot and select "R" at the Welcome Screen. Then try the BOOTCFG command, if it doesn't work then try MAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, first disk, it gave me the four choices, none of which gave me any success, they just kept booting back to the four choices. I didn't have 6 floppies, so I couldn't make the XP floppies, but I did make one of the XP quickfix 145KB floppies, and using thing, I can now boot into XP with all my data. I tried rebooting after removing the floppy and no dice. I'm looking at the disk manager. My 180GB partition is healthy, and there is a 6.01 GB partition labeled as "Unallocated"

o.0
 

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Well done.
and there is a 6.01 GB partition labeled as "Unallocated"
This is the OEM partition but should say "Unrecognized", leave it for now and we will work on the important part first.
My 180GB partition is healthy
Okay, check the root directory to verify the same files that are on the floppy also appear in the root, if not then copy them to the root. Next, the partition needs to be marked active so use Disk Manager lower panel section: at Disk 0 right click in the windows xp partition area (the 180 Gig part that has windows on it) and select 'Mark Partition Active'. On the top menu bar click Action > Rescan.

Remove the floppy disk and Restart.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, I rescanned, and it was already set as active, and I'm not sure what you meant by root directory. And which floppy?
Anyway, I rebooted, and I still need the Xp Quickfix floppy to boot or I get the old configuration error message.
I didn't mention that before when I booted with this floppy, it gave me the screen to choose between safe mode and normal and last known good config. I chose last know good config and that worked fine, but now when I boot with this floppy, it doesn't ask me anything, it just boots up Windows XP as if it was normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Should I just boot up into XP and do a system restore to the day before everything went crazy?
 

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Leave the floppy disk your using to boot into xp in the drive and do following...

Click Start > Run and type CMD then click okay.

Now on the command line type COPY A:\*.* C:\ and press enter (note the spaces COPY<space> A:\*.*<space> C:\).

The boot files will be copied to the root directory. Then close the window, remove floppy and reboot.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
o.0 Ooh ok.
All files are already in C:\ except the textfile. I thought I'd copy them anyway in case they were corrupt. ...It denied me access. What the **** does it think it's doing denying me access?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Alright. I changed the folder settings and told it to show me all protected windows files. Then, drag'n'dropped all the files from A to C, and overwrote the existing ones. Reboot without floppy..
....
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....
....
...
..
.
YAI!
Works great, thanks a lot Stu, might have killed myself without you. =D
 
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