Start up from 2nd hard drive

  WtheM 16:52 13 Mar 2004

Hi, I have 2 hard drives, both running XP home. Whatever I do i cannot start up from one of them. I've set the jumpers, set up in Bios and changed the IDE cable, but I keep getting the NTLDR missing error.I used to get a choice during start up but that disappeared after a friend installed "Partition Magic." Any ideas please.

  anon1 18:32 13 Mar 2004

NTLDR is the boot record. Installing partition magic should not have affected it unless the partition was changed. Why would you want the same os on 2 hdd's anyway? You should try a different os on one of them you could even give linux a go. this may help click here or this http: //;en-us;289022 (remove space after http:// then copy and paste

  temp003 07:37 14 Mar 2004

What was the old setup before installing PM? Did you have a working dual boot before PM, and how did it work?

If you installed XP on one hdd, then installed another copy on the 2nd hdd (without using third party software), the dual boot you had was created by XP itself.

With the XP dual boot, there is only one set of boot files, which are all on C. The files needed are ntldr, and boot.ini. The computer will always boot up from the C partition, load ntldr, then look at the boot.ini file which tells the boot loader what OS's there are on the computer and where to load them from.

With this type of setup, if you try to set BIOS to boot from the 2nd hdd, it won't work because the 2nd hdd has no boot files.

What exactly did you do with PM? Are you using Bootmagic? If you want to restore the old dual boot, you could try disabling Bootmagic, and let computer boot from the master hdd (or whichever disk that has the boot files).

  temp003 03:04 15 Mar 2004

By email from WtheM:

"...Last year I had a 2nd hard drive fitted to my computer, and XP pro loaded onto it. I've had some problems with the os and found it was a copy. I bought a legit version of XP home and loaded it onto the other drive, which resulted in me getting a choice of drives when starting up. I then got a mate in to format the drive with XP pro on it. He installed partition magic, tried to run it and that ended me getting into XP home. I've since installed home over the pro which I can access, but cannot get to the original XP home where all my stuff is! Hope I've made this a BIT clear! Thanks"

  temp003 08:15 15 Mar 2004

"That looks like it-no boot files now on the 2nd hard drive. Is it possible to create some?"


Please post your responses to this thread here on this forum. You get a better chance of getting a solution when more people see what your problem is, and for them to see my suggestions and CORRECT me if I'm wrong - which happens too often.

  temp003 09:25 15 Mar 2004

I'm probably just adding to the confusion.

Hdd where XP Pro was installed, I call hdd X.

Other hdd, I call hdd Y.

1st copy of XP Home on hdd Y: XP Home 1.

latest copy of XP Home on hdd X: XP Home2.

Question for you: What are file systems now, FAT32 or NTFS, on hdd X (XP Home2 - the one you can load) and on hdd Y (XP Home1)?

2nd question: when you now load XP Home2 on hdd X, can you see, in My Computer or Windows Explorer, hdd Y or its partition, and the files and folders there?

Third request: Load XP Home2, click Start, Run, type c:\boot.ini and press Enter. Copy the text and paste it here. [I assume the partition in which XP Home2 is installed is now C.]

I did think that the lack of boot files on hdd Y where XP Home1 was installed was the cause of the problem, when you tried in BIOS to boot from that hdd.

It may still be the cause, but your short summary of the long story is a bit cryptic, and may make things different. Basically I don't understand what exactly happened.

A dual boot between 2 copies of XP can be achieved in a very simple way without changing the boot drive in BIOS. This should have been done by XP Setup itself when you installed XP Home2, but you might have done something unconventional.

This can be done by simply editing c:\boot.ini (you will get a dual boot menu, but there might be a drive letter change for XP Home1).

Or you can copy/create the boot files to hdd Y, and get BIOS to boot from it (and if necessary, fix the boot sector or mbr). But you will need to change the boot drive in BIOS every time.

Or take the last option, plus use Bootmagic that comes with PM (but Bootmagic has to be installed on a FAT partition) to create the dual boot for you. You will get a boot menu from Bootmagic.

But I don't want to suggest anything because I don't know whether PM or BM is already there somewhere in your present setup.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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