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My computer died recently, the processor shot craps so I bought a barebones (case, mobo, ram, AMD Sempron 2500+ processor) system and dumped 2 HDs, DVD, CD burner, and wireless, sound, video cards into it.

Everything was cool with that, it started right up and I inserted my XP upgrade CD. Well, the CD for whatever reason couldn't find the previous install on my HD and wouldn't let me proceed. When this happened I had the following IDE config:

Primary Master: HD1
Primary Slave: HD2
Secondary Master: DVD
Secondary Slave: CD Burner

HD1 is a 40 gig Maxtor, unpartitioned, running only XP and my programs.
HD2 is an 80 gig Maxtor with a 40,20,20 partition storing media files.

Ah crap. So I pulled the IDE cables and tried the following:

PM: HD1
PS: DVD
SM: HD2
SS: None (I left the burner out for now.)

Booted up, ran the XP Upgrade CD and it found the previous install no problem. (I was running the repair feature, not the full reinstall.) It went through it's little song and dance and everything booted up and I could use my new computer. I piddled around for a while, checked my email, etc, etc.

Then I shut down to install the CD burner and my IDE cables weren't long enough to reach the CD burner so I switched back to:

PM: HD1 (Jumper set to master)
PS: HD2 (Jumper set to slave)
SM: DVD
SS: CD Burner

Then when I went to reboot I got a bluescreen "fatal error dumping to physical memory" error. Crap.

So I popped the XP upgrade CD back in and suddenly it can't find the previous installation again. I have no idea whatl is going on and why it had no problems in the second IDE config but has problems with this one. The other thing is that if I run the repair utility from the initial screen it finds the Windows install and I can browse through in a DOS environment. It's only once I go past the F8 to agree with their terms screen that this problem occurs.

I have no idea where to go from here. My other problem is that I can't find my original full Win ME installation disk (probably used it for a coaster after XP came out) so I can't just proceed that way.

Any clues why it would have no problems finding the install in that second IDE config but not in the other IDE config?
 

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hmmm.......tries this first, disconnect the 80gig hdd and leave only the 40gig hdd. turn on your computer and see if you can get into windows. you can also try replacing the ide cable but i dont know if this process will fix your problem.
 

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Sgt.
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676 Posts
What shape is the machine in?

I don't mean how mean dents the front panel has. I mean, have you been diligent with Antispyware and Antivirus programs. Is your firewall robust, is it a POS, opr do you not have any clue how to tell theh difference. (I'm betting on one of the latter two, but I could be wrong.)

The best way to fix computer problems is to take the nessisary steps involved to not have problems in the first place! I can almost garuntie that you weren't vigilent enough becasue the issue you desribe is one that just does not happen on a properly looked-after machine.

Not that you should ever have to do a repair install if your machine is properly defended from malware in the first place. You either installed something stupid like a "modded" driver (which is, essentialy, trusting your hardware to someone you barely know) or you got tricked into installing a trogan or some other malware. Either that or you've been abusing the hell out of the hardware, (and if that's the case, you don't deserve help).

Want to try and fix your problem? Kiss all the files on that hard drive bye-bye and then wipe the drive. (you'll need the HD's manufactuer's utility program for this. It makes a boot floppy for you that will wipe the drive clean.) If you're stuck with a name-brand PC (HP, IBM, Dell, etc) you're probably out of luck in that department (if your hard drive was made by IBM, don't even try: they don't support utility disks.) Can't get a boot flioppy from the HD Mfg? Fall back on a Win2K boot floppy or (as a last resort) a Win98 boot floppy.
Then do a ful install. And do it PROPERLY. If you you don't know what you're doing, consult a guide.
 

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Citizen of the world
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51,041 Posts
Sarge, to fix broken windows, we don't normally raze the house. :laugh: We try to fix the stuff before we smash everything flat and start over. Let us try to solve the poor guy's problem before we format his disk.
 
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