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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My two year old computer recently crashed on me, and the partition table on my Maxtor 300 GB SATA got screwed up. I got to the xp-logo, then it bluescreened.

I tried to use the recovery panel from the xp-installation disc, but it just bluescreens on me (som sort of stop error, DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL_TO_ZERO yada yada).
When I try to boot from partition magic 8, it says "partition table error" and it cannot be fixed, all options are greyed out.

I bought a new Western Digital 320 GB SATA, installed xp on it, and it runs fine on its own.

However, when I plug in both drives, it always boots from the defunct Maxtor. Obviously, I tried to change the boot order in BIOS (the boot sequence list cleary contains both the Maxtor and the Western, and of course, I choose the Western). It looks like this now:

1. Floppy
2. Western Digital 3200
3. NEC DVD/RW
Boot other device: no (although I tried "yes" here also, to no avail)

I have tried different sequences but it always seem to boot from the wrong drive.

I have also tried to switch between the two SATA-connectors on the motherboard. In this case, it just hangs before it even reaches the xp-logo, but the Western disk works in both SATA-ports on it´s own.

As a last resort, I hot-plugged the Maxtor drive, but windows did not recognize it, neither automatically nor when I tried to detect it through the control panel.

I have not upgraded my BIOS, since the instructions on how to do this on the MSI-webpage was generic and less than clear. Besides, the newest version (from july 2005) was just a couple of months younger than mine and it didn´t say anything about "Fixed incorrect boot sequence" in the improvements-list.
Also, upgrading the BIOS can be risky and I rather not do it unless I absolutely have to.

I have not tried to build a raid-array of the disks, I´m not sure whether or not that would make a difference at all.

What I want to to is, boot into xp from the working drive and try to access some of the data on the Maxtor. I tried to find partition table fixing programs, but since I cannot access windows I need it to be a bootable program, and I haven´t found it. Like I said, part. magic doesn´t work here.

I don´t think it´s neither the 420 W PSU (because it should be able to handle an extra SATA, they don´t consume that much do they?) nor a temperature issue (because it´s steady under 50 degrees C).

I think I have four options here:
1. Buy a SATA-controller, insert it into the motherboard and connect the defunct drive there, and hope the computer won´t boot from it compulsory.
2. Upgrade my ami-bios, but I´d rather not
3. Find a bootable program that will be able to fix the Maxtor partition table.
4. Something else, any suggestions?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! And yes. I know I should have backed up the info on the Maxtor. Lesson learned.

Specs: AMD 64 2,6 GHz, MSI K8T Neo2 FIR, VIA K8T800 Pro, 1024 MB DDR, nVidia 6800 GT, Creative SB Audigy, Maxtor 300 GB SATA, Western Digital 320 GB SATA, NEC DVD/RW, Floppy, 420 W PSU, a nice and cool chassis with lots of fans (just like Justin)
 

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Hi,

Try reseting your BIOS to defaults.

Normally a jumper on the motherboard or a hot-key sequence. Should be in the motherboard manual.

With the power off and the machine disconnected from the mains supply Removing the BIOS battery briefly and pressing the on button normally has the same effect/ Pressing th eon button will discharge the power that was being held up by the BIOS battery.

Take Anti Static Precaautions whilst working inside the machine.

hth

Ceri
 

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Hi,

I don't know if your board has this option, but many of the newer ones have the "Hard Drive Priority" option in addition to the boot sequence or boot order if you would call it that. Might give this a look to make sure the one you want to come up is listed FIRST.

If you mentioned this and I did not understand that you had looked at this, forgive the post. Just trying to give you ideas and might have misunderstood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I thought about the whole BIOS-battery thing but I wasn´t sure what would happen. I assume there is a hard-coded BIOS on some sort of ROM-chip that get´s overridden by the software BIOS? If this is the case, flashing the BIOS shouldn´t be such a big deal? I mean, if worse comes to worse and the BIOS-flash fails, you can always just temporarily remove the battery and you´re back on square one, right? If so, that´s what I call fail safe.

Tumbleweed, I haven´t tried the priority setting, will do as soon as I get the chance. Thanks for the help!
 
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