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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My machine:

AMD 64 3500+
Asus A8N-SLi Mobo
Samsung 80G HD (HD1)
Western Digital 80G HD (HD 2)
BFG 7800GTOC
Creative Audigy Soundblaster
4x 512 ram

Situation:

I had two installs of Windows working fine main install on HD 1, and a back up install on HD 2. I got a new sound card and decided to replace my chipset fan that had stopped working some time ago, but I have been too lazy to replace, so I completely remove everything from teh case, replace chipset fan, put in new sound card, and everything is peachy, right...wrong. Windows won't boot up, so I fiddle with things switch HD connects on mobo, and finally get it working to were I can log in via selecting the hard drive manually through set up (F8), I was getting a "NTLDR is Missing
Press any key to restart " error, so I fix that after some trying a couple different things, now the issue...

Seems that now, I can boot into the second HD, Windows still sees it, I can still get to it from my promary installation, but no matter what I try, I can't boot into it. I tried reinstalling Windows on it again, Windows starts to install, but when it comes to the first reboot, I get the same error...


"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

Please re-install a copy of the above file."

So, before I reinstalled Windows again, I looked in the system32 file, and the file was there.

Now, even after trying to reinstall Windows, I still get it, I tried installing Fedora core 6 on there too, adn when it gets to the step asking if you're sure you want to proceed, and I say "yes" it comes back with a "hda missing" error with some options.

Should I just try completely reformatting the whole HD again with something like Partition Magic, or is it possible that something in my primary system is what is missing? Something that points the computer during boot up to that HD?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only problem is that there is no second installation now to log into. I tried to reinstall, hoping it would wipe whatever was giving the error clean, but it didn't, and now the files are there for the renistall, just not installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a viscious cycle, and now that there is no OS on that HD, I am thinking it may be a real pain to get it right again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One suggestion presented to me was to unhook my primary HD, and make the problem one the sole HD connected, then do the install of Windows, with a full format. Seems like a viable solution, but my question is, when I plug the primary HD back up, is the MBR still going to point to the second HD? Or am I going to have to edit it?
 

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Anytime I do a format and install most times I only connect the primary master to the system to avoid issues. The system is to boot to only the master drive, is it possible you have your jumpers set incorrectly?
 

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I can help within the "WinXP" universe, but as soon as you start introducing Linux O/S you step WAY into the land of "exotic" as Linux does things and does them in ways that only Linux people know about. In general, it seems to me that you have complicated your system past your ability to manage it, which means either you need to simplify it or increase your understanding of what is happening and how it all works together. That's just a general, more long-term suggestion.

You idea of removing one of the Hard Drives and focusing on the other is a good one, but that whole idea is completely predicated on your understanding of how the machine finds and boots from Hard Drives.

If you understand Master/Slave configurations and how (and why) to change them, where HD's need to be on the cable and how to access Boot Priority (or order) in the BIOS, then Yes, I say disconnect the Primary, bet the O/S running properly on the Secondary and then re-focus efforts on the primary.

Usually, for problems with booting from what used to be a perfectly good HD, I would recommend booting to the Windows Recovery Console and running "fixboot", "fixmbr" and "chkdsk" from the command line.

However, the existance of a Linux O/S makes the situation a complete unknown (for me at least). I had Ubuntu and it's grub caused a lot of problems when I tried to get rid of the Ubuntu partition. I can't say what problems Fedora might cause.

IF you (like I was) merely experimenting with Fedora (and not really using it for any necessary purpose) the best "overall" strategy might be to completely get rid of Fedora (however you would do that, I have no idea) and simply try to get to the point where you have to bootable XP installations on each HD.

THEN maybe re-install Fedora with eyes wide-open, paying attention to exactly how it gets installed, and how to remove it if necessary.

Seems that now, I can boot into the second HD, Windows still sees it, I can still get to it from my promary installation, but no matter what I try, I can't boot into it. I tried reinstalling Windows on it again, Windows starts to install, but when it comes to the first reboot, I get the same error...
This statement is less than clear. Can you boot into the Primary, the Secodary or both ? Given all this troubel, I can't understand why you would further complicate the issue by throwing Fedora into the mix.

There needs to be some preparatory work done before an New Install (or Repair) is attempted, the most important being running "chkdsk", as HD errors will cause install attempts to fail, as will malware, and hardware conflicts. USB devices that are in conflict are the most common causes of these types of failures, and should all be removed before an Install is attempted. Given the situation with the Sound Card, I think it is likely that that might be the cause of your Install problems. You can install XP with the Sound Card removed, get it working with all the drivers updated, etc... and then install the Sound Card on a working system as a way of avoiding the possiblity that a (non-essential) Sound Card is preventing XP from installing properly.
 

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I think from what I've read you've messed something up on the hardware. I don't think your windows is corrupt at all but some piece of hardware or it would be against normality and illogical. By the sound of it, these errors are only generated with the corruption of a component that is easiest to damage - the motherboard.

Get the HDD, before you do anything else with it (as it was perfect before you left everything opened so it cannot just become corrupt) and try it on a friends/relatives computer. All you need to do is test if it gives the same error. If yes, then it can be your HDD thats corrupt or your OS itself.

If no, then its hardware problems. Most likely caused by whats explained here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,82184-page,1/article.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually, I have a decent understanding of how the system works, as I had it dual booting Windows x2 for the last year, and before that I dual booted XP and several different distros of linux. I do not have Linux installed, as a posted that it returned the same error, just in Linux form when I tried, right now the HD has nothing on it at all. What was not making since was that when I did try to install a new Windows install on it, it seems it should have overwritten anything that was corrupt and since it did rewrite the boot.ini to reflect that a new install of Windows was there (or, at least there to finish), that's where it loses me.

When I get home from work I am going to try disconnecting my primary, and installing on the lone disk and hope it works, though I have a feeling i'll have to mess with the boot.ini to add my primary install back.

I can boot into the second HD, Windows still sees it, I can still get to it from my promary installation,
Should have read:

I can't boot into the second HD, Windows still sees it, I can still get to it from my primary installation,
 

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I would test the hard drive on another system only if it you set it to a slave position, setting it as master and trying to boot will almost give you some type of error as the hardware configuration is not set to boot from that system.


I got a new sound card and decided to replace my chipset fan that had stopped working some time ago,
Chipset fan?? Are you referring to the processor fan? If so and it had stopped working for you then your processor may have overheated and fried itself without the proper cooling it needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Chipset fan?? Are you referring to the processor fan? If so and it had stopped working for you then your processor may have overheated and fried itself without the proper cooling it needs.
No, the small chipset fan on the bottom half of the mobo below the video card.
 

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Chipset fan?? Are you referring to the processor fan?
Typically, when I read posts from OverClockers referring to the "chipset fan" they are talking about a fan on the Northbridge, which is sometimes added on by the user to provide additional cooling to an overclocked system.

I assumed this is what the OP meant, since he had been running without it for some time.

However, Geekgirl is right. Running without a CPU fan pretty much guarantees your CPU is cooked, but I think this OP is expert enough to not be in this situation, given his previous post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No, it isn't overclocked at all. A played with OCing with I first got it, adn nothing outrageous, but after a little time, and not a whole lot of benefits I returned to to OEM clock speeds. This was a couple years ago, and has had no problems since, well that I couldn't fix, until now :(
 

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Anytime I do a format and install most times I only connect the primary master to the system to avoid issues.
Thats what should be done!

Trust me I'm bruised by seeing the "D:\" instead of a "C:\" drive there all the time as when I installed, even though I chose the drive correctly, unknowingly, it was set to Slave.. my XP install became D:\ permanently :sad:
 

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Trust me I'm bruised by seeing the "D:\" instead of a "C:\" drive there all the time as when I installed, even though I chose the drive correctly, unknowingly, it was set to Slave.. my XP install became D:\ permanently
Same thing happened to me. After the 2nd day, I believed some people (and with some support from MicroSoft) and tried to do the "change D:\ to C:\" thing and completey wrecked the whole system. Had to re-format and re-install all over again.

Key word: "Permanent"
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, I unhooked my primary HD, and just hooked up the second, reinstalled Windows no problems, it booted right into it.

Now the problems...during the reinstall it assigned C:\ as the drive letter, which I knew was going to be an issue, but I don't think there's a way you can change this by default during installation, so we can deal with it later.

I reconnected my primary as the master, and the problem HD as the slave, and rebooted, and it booted into my primary no problem..phew. Now, it sees the second HD, upon the second reboot into primary system, but it is calling it D:\ I am guessing that it is because it has the same drive letter so it doesn't confuse itself. So I rebooted and try to go in to the second HD, and bam, same issue.

Now from what I understand, the computer boots, performs it's POST, and then moves to the MBR, reads the info, and hands off control to the ntdrl, and then runs ntdetect, reads the boot.ini, then loads ntoskrnl.exe, which is the file I am apparently missing, or is corrupt. I am assuming this is on the MBR that is on my primary HD, and needs to be rebuilt.

So first problem now would be to change the drive letter of the second HD. I know this can cause BIG problems, is there ANY way to do this safely without compromising the integrity of the OS installed on the drive? Once I have the drive letter changed, I can then go about rebuilding the MBR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
So I did bootcfg /rebuild in the repair console, added both of the installs it found, and now this is what my boot.ini looks like

Code:
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Home Edition" 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\$WINDOWS.~BT\Windows="Windows XP Professional" 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
The top two entries are what ti created, and the bottom two are hte previous entries. Now when I boot into the Pro install, it gives the same message except instead of ntoskrnl.exe, it is Hal.dll, I see this as progress :)

Seems like these two:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Home Edition"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\$WINDOWS.~BT\Windows="Windows XP Professional"

Should be:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Home Edition"
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\$WINDOWS.~BT\Windows="Windows XP Professional"

And shouldn't the end entry for both be /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT?
 

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Why do you have two Windows installed on the same partition? Or did have and it wasn't formatted. Two of the XP Home entries are on different partitions aswell.

That doesn't look decent to me.
 
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