View Full Version : "Could not open boot partition to check boot signature"

27-11-2004, 07:03 PM

An old PIII 500MHz system I have recently kicked the bucket, as such. It stopped recognising a hard drive and refused to boot, if so spasmodically.

So I took it apart, and tried to check the drives. The disk drives themselves are fine (checked in another PC), and upon replacing them into the system with refiddled jumpers everything worked fine - or so I thought.

However my problems started here - I could not boot spinrite to check the drives, so I had to use another PC again. Eventually spinrite booted, giving constant errors about partition read fails and not working at all.

So I took the faulty drive out, and tried to install a fresh copy of Windows 2000, only to get this error whenever I boot:

Could not open boot partition to check boot signature

(Windows 2000 then continues to boot.) The CD ROM in there wouldn't boot originally, so I had to replace the drive. After the above error, the system manages to load the setup program, format any drives, and then restart. However, when it restarts, I get the same error and the setup program reloads.

I looked around google, and I found that this error was more common than not. The Windows Setup program infact generates the message as opposed to BIOS or the motherboard.

People online said that the issue was to do with the hard disks - or the motherboard. They said to try diagnostic utilities from the drive manufacturers, but I a) can't load them and b) know that the drives are OK (as I have checked them elsewhere and have used multiple known-working drives). They also said to check jumpers - done that, and that Windows 2000 needs a series of 4 disks to format the drive as NTFS prior to loading (which was irrelevant as the exact same functionality, I found, was on the CD, and I had done it.)

So there's my problem.

When attempting to boot Windows 2000 (after a fresh install), i get:

Disc I/O Error: Status=00000A00, and Failed to Arcread the boot
partition to check for a signature.

Does anyone know what could be wrong? I'm sure it must be the motherboard's IDE controller, as nothing works in the PC alone...

Thanks for anything in advance.

27-11-2004, 09:16 PM
I'm pretty sure you're right.

I suggest you buy a cheap $40 IDE RAID PC133 controller, and use that instead of the one on the motherboard.

Cheers George

27-11-2004, 09:34 PM
are the cables ok?, i found out the other day that one of my ide had a little nick in it and it wouldnt detect it, but that may be different

27-11-2004, 10:18 PM
Cables are fine - I've tried two.

Apparently it can happen when unallocated space finds itself at the beginning of a disk - so I followed advice, nuked the harddrives, changed all bits to zero and started fresh - same thing.

27-11-2004, 10:22 PM

Check Mail.


27-11-2004, 10:51 PM
I love you drb1. (He's a lifesaver, like the kind that swing the crane hook so you can jump onto it when you're jumping from a building packed with explosives set to go off in 1 second.)

Back to the problem - although I'm losing faith in ever fixing it, I've found that the problem may have something to do with my motherboard not supporting INT 13 Extensions...

28-11-2004, 03:03 AM

Your'e not supposed to tell everybody I do nice things.

It will destroy my reputation as a TeleScam and Scamme winger, and dribbler about nothing,

The fine points of 13h are beyond me, but.

As youve done all the write zeroes, reformatt, jumper things

Dum questions,

is it over 128gb?

Are you trying to use a SATA drive with an adapter?

Try setting BIOS to default, clear the comos including battery removal, with power disconnected, do the jumper and or battery shorting thing, leave it all a while, reset defaults.

Some drives must be set cable select to get them recognized somtimes, some others will not be recognized if they are set cable select, but you know all this and have done it before coming here.

I am with the others its probably very F , but I allways check everything severall ways before condemming,

See if you can patch it, and send it to a victim on Scamme, probably with your sisters ID.


28-11-2004, 10:43 AM
Oh no ---

I lied, drb1 was a meanie... in his only thoughtless email he harrassed everything I stood for.

The drive's 4GB (:p), IDE, I've cleared CMOS (the battery and jumper way), and scamme may just be the way to go.

(The irony that the first hard drive, that died, came from that place.)

I just updated the BIOS and something seems to be different. Thingers (yes, thingers) crossed.

28-11-2004, 10:48 AM
> Cables are fine - I've tried two.
> Apparently it can happen when unallocated space finds
> itself at the beginning of a disk - so I followed
> advice,

Elaborate and explain with what and how

nuked the harddrives, changed all bits to
> zero and started fresh - same thing.

Critics of the Bible regard the truth as their most valuable possession. Therefore they are careful to use it as seldom as possible
- Anonymous

28-11-2004, 03:46 PM
>Elaborate and explain with what and how

I don't know what you're getting at, but if you want an explanation of the issue, it is, as far as I know, caused by boot partitions at the beginning of the hard drive being created in formats unrecognisable to Windows 2000. These are therefore ignored by the setup program, and one is unable to format anything else as the boot partition instead. When the computer boots, the ignored stuff at the beginning is read and misunderstood, causing problems similar to mine.

And is that last bit your signature or as such or are you calling me a liar? :p

Well good news - by updating the BIOS I have successfully managed to get past the stupid aforementioned error. I had to use the win2k boot disks this time though.

28-11-2004, 03:47 PM
Oh, and if you meant for me to elaborate on what the advice was, it was to infact nuke the hard drive.

28-11-2004, 06:06 PM
> Oh, and if you meant for me to elaborate on what the
> advice was, it was to infact nuke the hard drive.

nuke with what??

28-11-2004, 06:48 PM
Darik's Boot & Nuke


28-11-2004, 10:41 PM
A hammer, what else?

08-01-2005, 06:07 PM
I had this issue with a 200gb hd. the solution was rather odd. I had to hook up the hard drive as the slave on the IDE cable with the old hard drive @.@ <(confused, swirly eyed face) um... okay... well, it works. thats all i care about.

08-09-2005, 04:12 PM
So what was the end fix. You have me curious ;)