C:/ has become E:/ and reports 'no OS (XP)'

  dms_05 15:48 02 Feb 2010
Locked

My XP computer refused to boot reporting 'no operating system'. I assumed the MBR was the problem and ran the XP Recovery CD which loaded but couldn't find any OS.

I entered the Command Console and found that typing 'fixmbr' produced the response 'not a known internal or external command'.

More investigating showed C: was empty but E: contained all my Windows and Data files that were previously recognised as C:. FixMBR still doesn't work.

I'm now at the limits of my knowledge and ask 'Is it possible to make E: become C: again and make the system bootable?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:19 02 Feb 2010

Is this one hard drive partitioned into 2 or two separate hard drives?

Are theses both internal drives?

  dms_05 16:23 02 Feb 2010

One hard drive partitioned into C: D: E: plus a hidden partition with a copy of the OS.

  Peter 17:13 02 Feb 2010

.

Perhaps the Hidden partition has become Un-hidden, for some reason, and the computer is trying to boot to th restore partition?

Peter.

  dms_05 17:13 02 Feb 2010

I.ve tried the following click here to change the Drives.

  dms_05 17:26 02 Feb 2010

I've followed the instructions offered by MS (to edit the Registry settings as click here) but the drives remain as E: and C:. I don't use Regedt.exe but it did seem odd not having to save anything (just exit) so am I missing something?

I think the next step might be a full re-install!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:28 02 Feb 2010

No operating system usually means PC cannot find

BOOT.INI

NTDETECT.COM

NTLDR

files on the root of C: drive

Boot.ini then tells PC where the system files are i.e. which hard drive and which partition

[boot loader]
timeout=3
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

in this case the first partition (1) on the master (first) drive(0)

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