new build pc will not boot

  Cherkassy 23:23 15 Mar 2009

I have a boot problem...

I very recently bought the following:

AMD Phenom X4 9650 2.3GHz Socket AM2+ 2MB L3 Cache
Seagate ST3500320AS 500GB Hard Drive SATA II 7200rpm *32MB Cache*
Kingston 2GB DDR2 1066MHz/PC2-8500 HyperX Memory CL7 (7-7-7-20)
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G Socket AM2+ onboard VGA 8 channel audio mATX Motherboard
With a Lite On DVD Writer drive

I have assembled it all in the case and wired it all up correctly (I believe!). The Hard drive is wired through the orange SATA lead that came with the motherboard and the SATA power lead. The DVD drive is wired using the IDE lead and the standard power lead.
I have installed the XP operating system from a pair of 2003 XP setup discs (without SP2 or 3). The Bios setup recognises the Hard drive as Master and the optical one as slave (but on different channels).
When I try to boot up, I get the black screen with Windows XP logo and the moving bar – for about 10 seconds then a blue screen appears with the message that windows has stopped because of an
“Unmountable Boot Volume”.
I have removed the memory and re-installed it, the same with the hard drive, checked and rechecked the leads; it still happens – it will not boot.

I figure that the hard drive may have a problem – but as I can't check it – I can't find out.

I have looked at 20+ different (googled) answers for this situation and a lot of folk say boot from the cd and choose R to repair; but my 2003 XP disk does not enter the stage of allowing this option and neither can I “CHKDSK / R or /F”... - I think these options may have come about with the SP2 and SP3 updates... I can't even download the SP3 update and put it on a CD and put it in – because to get SP3 – you have to allow Microsoft to scan the system to see what it needs and then it updates as required – can't find any other way of doing so. That won't work cos you need to be online and running an OS to get the update!

Does anyone have any answers for this situation... (would using another XP set up disk change anything or is it still likely to be caused by a problem with the hard drive? - But then if so – why would it allow the XP set up process to complete – loading it onto the hard drive – it would have to work for that to take place...?

I have also noticed that the hard drive is not 'named' as 'C' anywhere - and the BIOS setup doesn't seem to have the facility to name it as 'C'...?

Many thanks

  MAJ 23:43 15 Mar 2009

This part confuses me, Cherkassy.

"I have installed the XP operating system from a pair of 2003 XP setup discs"

As this is a new build (I assume?), you need to install XP from an XP CD, not "a pair of 2003 XP setup discs" or a manufacturer's restore disk. It wont boot until you do that. Get an XP CD, set the BIOS to boot from the Lite-on drive, insert the XP CD, restart the PC, Press any key to boot from the XP CD and follow the onscreen prompts to format the drive and install XP.

  MAJ 23:50 15 Mar 2009

ps: chkdsk doesn't come with SP2/3, it's came in to replace scandisk in Windows 2000 and is on the operating system disk.

  Audio~~Chip 00:08 16 Mar 2009

the XP CD sounds non legit

  Cherkassy 09:56 16 Mar 2009

Right - to be more precise - I bought a pc in 2003 which came with a pair of 'restoration' discs for the xp os. That is what I mean - but I have upgraded that 2003 pc twice or 3 times since with new hard drives and motherboards and processors... I have always loaded windows xp from these two discs and everything's been fine in the past...
If I now put the 1st one in the dvd drive and then set it to boot from that drive instead of the hard disk, it eventually gives me two options; a) to load windows xp or b) to set the boot command prompt (or something like that).
I didn't put a floppy drive into the new build but can do if I need to for this situation...

  ened 10:47 16 Mar 2009

Recovery discs are just that -for recovery of a certain machine. They will contain drivers etc for the machine they were created for.

You will need an authentic XP cdrom to be able to install the os on your new machine.

  Cherkassy 12:17 17 Mar 2009

I appreciate your taking the time to reply and I value your advice.. I have ordered a new XP os - it'll be here in a day or two... However if these two 'xp restoration discs' can not load windows xp from scratch - how is it that I have upgraded the hard drive, the motherboard and the processor in the same pc that I got them with and then used them to reload xp - to work perfectly? In my old, 'just about to die' current pc - the only thing original from the start is the case... I can grasp that there may be some code in the board that the os might look for - but I have loaded the xp os several times (virus attack meant reformat original hdd, then I changed the original 40Gb to an 80GbHDD) and there's never been a problem?
Granted, I am taking the os to a new build completely (to replace the old dying pc)- but if it worked in principle with the original pc upgraded - why wouldn't it work now. (Clearly something's not working though :o)

  canarieslover 12:50 17 Mar 2009

It looks like this must be the first time you have tried it with a SATA hard drive. Early versions of XP do not have built in SATA drivers and you would have to load them from floppy quite early in the installation process. The new disk that you have ordered should be with sp3 which will recognize the SATA drive without the need for additional drivers.

  woodchip 13:11 17 Mar 2009

As above you need to go out and buy a XP or Vista CD

  Cherkassy 14:02 17 Mar 2009

It is the first time with a SATA drive - if I had the drivers I could install the floppy internally just for the process of loading them at the beginning of a reload of the xp I have; that might have worked without the need of the new xp os... However when I might update the xp to sp3 microsoft might deny the upgrade because they'd have that particular os registered to a previous pc...

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