XP SP2 install, SATA Drive faulty?

  Danoh 09:45 16 Sep 2005

My son’s MESH (1 yr old) has given him intermittent problems of freezing which he has tried to resolve by reformatting via reinstalling XP-SP2 Home. As his single 160 Gb SATA HDD has been partitioned into 4, this results in 4 instances of XP installations (excluding MESH 5Gb’s factory-image reload partition I: which is at the very start of the HDD.)

In an attempt to delete all partitions, lose all data and start afresh, I find that booting from the XP SP2 (with SATA drivers) CD does not follow the same sequence and only very occasionally goes into the screen that enables me to delete and create partitions.

From boot-up, going into the BIOS the SATA drive is not listed but if boot-up is allowed to continue without hitting the “DEL” key, it is listed with a RAID configuration facility’s option. Not my main query but how and where did this load from?

After the XP CD runs, I get different sequences. When I get the delete/create partitions screen, I tried to delete just one partition at a time. But then I get “A problem has been detected and Windows shut down to prevent damage to your computer.” ~ Run CHECKDSK /F etc.

When I do cold-reboots (waiting for 1 or more hours), I get other error screens. At times when I do not get the delete/create partitions screen, the installation continues by itself but then ends with the same error message as above.

On the occasions I manage to get the delete/create partitions screen, I would delete and create partitions again.

A couple of times, I got a message that the previously formatted (NTSC) partition’s format is incompatible with XP and Setup wanted to format it. I then get “Because C is larger than 2048 (Mb), Setup will format the drive with the FAT32 File System.” But when I tried to do this, after 20-30% of formatting, I get the “Windows shut down to prevent damage” msg again, but this time with a “PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA” error.

I have contacted MESH and they believe it’s a HDD fault and are sending an engineer to come on site. However that is not for another week and I was hoping if anyone can confirm it is a hard disk fault, or what else we could attempt in the meantime. My son needs his computer to go back to Uni.

His MESH PC specs are; Athlon 64 3000+, single 512Mb PC3200 RAM, 160 Gb SATA HDD, XP Home + SP2.

Many thanks in anticipation of suggestions and help provided.

  BigMoFoT 09:54 16 Sep 2005

say where the problem lies but there obvioulsy is one. As it seems to be happening when accessing the disk it could be faulty drive or it could simply be a screwed partition - made a little trickier with the fact that it's SATA.

I think the best option for you would be to find a way of completely formatting the drive - I would have thought that the MESH partition is firmwared into the HDD so there would be no danger of losing that. Can you put the hard drive inot another PC perhaps a friends and format it that way?

  Danoh 10:05 16 Sep 2005

BigMoFoT; thanks for responding so quickly. The MESH partition is just another partition ~ I’ve only left one 20Gb partition un deleted out of the 5. Do you know where I can download a bootable utility to low-level format a SATA drive? (which will also need to have the SATA drivers of course) I have a separate PC (ATA drives so can’t slave the SATA) which I could use to burn a bootable CD.

What are the problems people have encountered reinstalling XP on a single SATA drive? I’ve searched the threads for “SATA” but have not read anything substantive so far.

  woodchip 10:06 16 Sep 2005

If you start messing with a Hard Drive Partition that as only got a Restore disc. You are going to lose your ability to restore XP and any software that came with the PC. If you want to do a Stand alone Install you will need to buy a Full XP CD and all relevant Software. Then you can do what you please with the drive. but after you may as well throw the Restore disc in dustbin

  Danoh 10:12 16 Sep 2005

Thanks woodchip; I understand that the MESH restore disc (like Evesham's) is a full XP CD. The MESH partition is a copy of the factory image which can only be reinstated by MESH's own code, which is now lost as my son and I have successfully reinstalled XP from the restore disc before.

  BigMoFoT 10:16 16 Sep 2005

the partition would have been firmwared into the drive I know Time\Tiny's stuff were!

Ah well!

  woodchip 10:18 16 Sep 2005

You can then clear the Partition with KillDisk and set as you want with the XP disc click here

  Chegs ® 10:49 16 Sep 2005

PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA errors are "usually" referring to a RAM problem,but as you only have a single stick,chances are its elsewhere(possibly with so many instances of XP)Try killdisk from Woody's link.

  Danoh 10:59 16 Sep 2005

Thanks woodchip & Chegs ®; will give KillDisk a go. Will post results back. Much appreciated.

  Danoh 12:05 16 Sep 2005

Nearly 1 hr later and zero-writes to the 1st 5Gb partition appears to be stuck at 4%. Is this the normal speed for KillDisk to run?

  Chegs ® 12:44 16 Sep 2005

I haven't used Killdisk,a faster method of removing all partitions is to d/l a 98se bootdisk from click here and then use FDISK.

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