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agent
19-04-2003, 06:21 PM
Components concerned: a 6GB Seagate HDD, which is vital to my computer running properly. Why? Because it contains all the files necessary to boot, notably boot.ini, autoexec.bat, and all their cousins.

Background info: as of two weeks ago, I dropped an AGP card on my then working mobo. Somehow, it did something to the mobo. Byebye mobo. Today, I get a new mobo. Shove in all my old stuff, plus the IR slot, sound card, and two extra USB slots, and a new DVD/CD-R/W drive. I run Windows XP Professional. Had to tell my BIOS to boot off the slave drive, as I decided to make the former slave, 40GB Barracuda IV, the new master.

What happens when I press the power button: screen stays blank for about ten seconds. Put this down to the nature of the mobo, ie, different mobos behave differently on boot up. Then up pops the usual stuff. After running all the stuff, it proceeds to go through my boot devices. Then says "A disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart".

I decided to use a Windows ME boot disk to perform a minimal boot into DOS, then ran PartitionMagic ME off a boot disk. For the 6GB drive, it said "Error #108". Looked in the help file, it's something about the partition table. #108 said something along the lines of "the blocks do not end where they are expected to" (cannot quite remember exact phrase), then "Refer to #105". Further digging under the "partition table" section of the General Troubleshooting section of PM Help said I should backup the data on the concerned drive, delete the partition, format the drive, recreate the partition, and put the data back on.

I had about 1.5GB free space on the concerned drive, but I don't know what caused this error. It might be I knocked it a little bit trying to get it back into the drive bay with an AGP card and PSU in the way. Who knows. It could be just because it was sitting around on it's side, mounted, for two weeks. But I can't do what the help file told me to, as the Windows ME boot disk doesn't read the drive, and PartitionMagic refuses to do anything with it except format it, because it could cause "loss of data" when trying anything else.

Used my Windows XP CD to boot into the Recovery Console, everything goes fine until... I find the "copy" command doesn't support wildcards, meaning I cannot say "copy C:\*.* D:\WINDOWS\winmebk". I wondered if using the "batch" command to run the above command would work, but, considering the Recovery Console cannot run external applications, I doubt that it would bypass the wildcard problem.

To make matters worse, the concerned drive is in the NTFS format. My 40GB drive isn't. This could wreak [filesystem] havoc when copying NTFS files over to a FAT32 partition, then back again, hence losing all security settings. Of course, because I have 18GB free on my 40GB drive, I could make an NTFS partition on that drive, but that ads a whole lot more stress. Then again, it would allow me, in theory, to recreate my NTFS partition on the 6GB drive from scratch - including the special file that Windows recommends you create, in the size of 1024 bytes for every file and folder on the partition (or something random like that).

The idea of shoving the concerned drive in a different computer is plausible, but inconvenient, as I would also have to move the 40GB drive, as I have no other drives with enough free space to backup the 6GB drive, especially in NTFS format.

So, anyone willing to face up to the challenge here and help me out with some directions, specifically about whether or not to backup onto an NTFS partition, why my drive got this way, and if there is an easier way of solving this.
Please, goddamnit, someone help me. *Lengthened uncomfortable pause*. Hello? Anyone? Can you hear me?

robsonde
19-04-2003, 06:35 PM
sounds like the bios settings are not quite the same as when the drive was partitioned / formated.

back up all data, re partition re foramt re install all data.

Pheonix
19-04-2003, 06:55 PM
Sometimes the autofind for IDE doesn't work properly. You might be getting errors because the drive thats set-up does not match what it should be.

If you HD has specifications on it (Cylinders, heads etc) try these steps. :
Go into the Bios, Then manually set up the hard drive to the specifications on the HD itself. Save and restart.

As for the file copying diffculties you could try something like Norton ghost or a similair clone (i'm sure there is some freeware lieing about) That can back up the whole partition into one file and has some sort of front end so you can view and extract these files at will (Or dump the image back to disk saving the partition info etc...)

Hope this helps
Pheonix's Son.

agent
20-04-2003, 01:50 PM
Right, well...

Thought of putting both HDDs in another computer... BIOS wouldn't handle the 40GB HDD though, and needed a power cable splitter.
Made a Linux partition... cancelled that idea. Left my computer on overnight (amazing that it didn't wake me up more than twice really, though I admit, without the old 6GB drive it no longer makes disk caching sounds... pretty damned quiet now :D) moving the partition, in order to install Windows XP brand new on a 4GB partition... gonna have to reinstall everything. Suppose it's a good time to make a Ghost of the system. That is, after installing the necessary drivers (modem, maybe sound card, IR too I think). Currently, my computer is "compressing" about 4GB of music for the File and Settings Transfer Wizard.

I never thought I'd go through so much learning. Like, don't have your Windows installation and the boot drive on different drives. And plan ahead (something I didn't do; if I had sorted things out before installing the trial version of XP Pro eight months ago, I wouldn't have all this trouble now). And don't drop things on your motherboard. And don't pull out power cables by the cords (I now have a disconnected yellow wire going from one plug to my floppy drive, and I'm afraid that it could come out at any time and cause my HDD to lose power... goddamn, I didn't think of that before... *runs off to make sure computer is safe*... oh, well, it's not on the affected part anyway, so I'm safe until I plug in the 6GB HDD to get excess files off it before formatting it multiple times and shoving it in another case with the mobo I had before the last one... 500MHz system, with one possible dead stick of RAM (stupid pop-out things... how was I supposed to know it popped out?).

I'll take a guess my system won't be back to normal by the end of this next week (I'm not American, so don't count Sundays as the first day of the week). And I changed my system settings so instead of fixing a negative sign (-) infront of negative numbers, it puts them in brackets... my accounting teacher would be proud.

agent
20-04-2003, 01:51 PM
I seem to be making a habit of long, rambling posts.

Pheonix
20-04-2003, 02:17 PM
Ain't fast learning curves neat..:) Good luck. I also make a ghost of my original XP install. haven't had to use it yet, but learn't from win98 and I had to do it several times and wow did it save some time.