primary not recognised

  stingray 16:20 23 Oct 2010

Hi I have two hard drives both running xp and happily so for years. about 3 months ago I formatted and reinstalled xp on my primary drive with no problems and at boot up both choices were displayed but automatic start up was to the primary drive.
Yesterday I did the same to the secondary drive and the install went well, the problem I now have is that at boot up unless I select the other as opposed to the default option it boots directly to my secondary drive. There may be a further problem as I have tried to force it to boot the primary by disabaling the secondary in the bios but get the message system disk not found.Any ideas please.

  GaT7 16:38 23 Oct 2010

I think what you need to do is reinstall XP on the secondary drive WITHOUT the primary drive being present - disconnect it physically. Otherwise the new install sometimes has the tendency of placing the secondary's drive's boot files on the primary drive.

Then finally reconnect the primary drive, setting this as the 1st boot drive in the BIOS, & see how it goes. If it doesn't work as before (i.e. 'at boot up both choices were displayed but automatic start up was to the primary drive'), you may need to edit the boot.ini file on the primary drive so that it does. We'll tackle this if & when it doesn't work as before. G

  gengiscant 16:46 23 Oct 2010

This you might find useful click here

  GaT7 17:01 23 Oct 2010

Good suggestion that gengiscant. I'm actually using that program to manage dual-booting Win7 & XP on my other PC. Didn't think it was suitable for the same OS installed as a dual-boot, but I may be wrong. I suppose if one sets the parameters right in EasyBCD it should work. G

  gengiscant 18:25 23 Oct 2010

It will work fine with two o/s's the same. I had two Windows 7 installed on different drives whilst I tried to figure put a problem. Turned out it was a mobo fault.
So there should be no problem with XP.

  stingray 17:26 25 Oct 2010

Hi there thanks for the responses I have been away the weekend and have just read the posts.
I will try your suggestion crossbow7, I am just wondering though that as I tried to force it by setting the primary as the only boot option in the bios and received "sytem disk failed" will that still not be the case after following this route? Thank you for your patience.

  woodchip 17:45 25 Oct 2010

Use your XP CD to do a Repair of the primary Drive OS. You will have to reload all windows Updates after including SP3

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:57 25 Oct 2010



from the secondary to the root of the primary disk
i.e C:

Make sur there is also a boot.ini file on the root of C:

see if it will then reboot to to the primary

if not then edit the boot.ini
to point to windows on the primary

  GaT7 18:03 25 Oct 2010

If you'd like to try a shortcut method first....

With both drives attached, boot into the 2nd drive & install EasyBCD.

Then use EasyBCD to configure the boot options as you need it, with the 1st drive booting first & the 2nd drive booting second.

You may need to experiment a little & reboot a few times till you get it right. Hopefully EasyBCD will rewrite the MBRs on the drives & change the boot.ini file accordingly.

If no joy with the above, you can do what woodchip says. Probably best done for BOTH drives connected ONE at a time. Instructions at click here. G

  stingray 22:45 30 Oct 2010

Hi Guys to cut a long story short I now have two drives each working perfectly, the problem, though slight, is that the preference is still to the secondary drive. Ok I only have to press 2 keys to alter this but it is still Irritating!!!
I have been looking at and trying to understand the boot ini on both drives and have noted that on the primary there are two option one ending "fastec" and one ending "fastec excecutable"
On the secondary only the executable exists.
On both drives boot ini the following line is default, multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS. Fruit Bat suggests editing this as a possibility.
I am something of a novice this deep in and would be grateful if you guys would give guidance.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:23 31 Oct 2010

Assuming you wish to dual boot at log on
and have two separate hard drives not partitioned.

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

As windows first loads it will give a black screen and the choice of the two systems to load up

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