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king of nothing

Windows XP help

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Okay... so I can't get Windows to boot.

 

Background info

I have three OS's on 2 hard drives. Windows XP home and knoppix on a 40G Maxtor and Debian on a 40G partition of an 80G WD. XP has partition 1 of hard drive A and it is oblivious to the Linux installs. Everything has worked fine for quite a while.

 

I use GRUB as my bootloader and it is installed into the MBR of HD-A. When booting Windows GRUB starts the NT bootloader which then boots Windows. GRUB boots the Linux kernels directly.

 

I know that Windows partition is at least mostly okay because I can access it from Linux. I also verified that the Windows paritition has a 'boot flag'. I'm not really sure how important that is.... but I thought I'd pass it along.

 

 

Problem

So now (as of a couple days ago) when I select Windows XP from my GRUB menu all I see are the commands that GRUB is executing and a flashing 'cursor'. I put cursor in quotes because I'm not able to enter anything... it just looks like a cursor. I'm not sure if it's not finding the NT loader or if the NT loader is not finding the OS. It just sits there until I restart. I don't think the problem is with GRUB because it boots the Linux kernels fine.

 

 

Things I've tried

At first I thought it was GRUB. I checked the 'commands' that it uses to boot Windows and they are the same as they've been for months. I updated them again.... just to make sure.

 

I used my WindowsXP install disk and went to the repair console and tried 'fixboot'. It said it fixed it. It didn't work.

 

I tried repairing my install. It found my install and went about repairing it. Then it got to the part where it restarts your computer and says it will continue with setup after it reboots. It would not reboot to itself so it couldn't finish the repair. It just gave me the boot from cd option which started the install process all over.... or it would go back to the GRUB menu.... which would then not boot to XP.

 

I thought maybe it didn't like having GRUB in the MBR when it was trying to reboot so I went to the repair console again and did 'fixmbr'. After the warnings that I had an incorrect bootloader, etc...... it said it fixed the MBR. I tried repairing my install again. This time when it went to reboot in the middle of the install it said 'no operating system found'. After this I used a floppy to boot to Linux and put GRUB back in the MBR so I could boot to linux more easily.

 

 

Basically, I'm out of ideas.... except, of course, wiping the drive and starting over. I'm hoping you guys have a better idea.

 

thanks

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Guest culinist

Man King would have thought that fixing mbr and then reinstalling GRUB would have fixed it. It sounds like your mbr is hosed. Probably since you couldn't finish the initial repair, windows is not fully accessible, so it can't find it when you go to repair now.

 

I have not had a boot prob while dual or tri booting that fixmbr will not help, so I can't tell ya what else to do. Have you posted in some Linux forums? PCPER, 8dimensional, linuxforum, etc.....?

 

Good luck bud, and wish I could be of more assistance.

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Thanks culinist....

 

After experimenting some more, it appears that 'Ntldr' isn't getting started.... by GRUB or by fixing the mbr. I made a boot floppy to see what it would do if ntldr got started and I got my boot.ini menu but then got an error that a file was missing.... but it was there. I'm still reading up on that error.

 

Do you know what actually 'starts' ntldr? It seems that my problem is there.... wherever that is. :confused:

 

I'm going to try a couple more things... and I may post it somewhere else. I'm thinking about copying my windows partition to another partition and then doing a fresh install. It's probably about time to do some house cleaning anyway.

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Guest culinist

I would think that since you actually got Gentoo running that you are more knowledgable of Linux than I, so I don't think I can be of much more help to ya bud. Besides moral support.:) The only time I had a ntldr error if I remember correctly fixmbr repaired it.

 

I am a member of a few different Linux forums and if you don't want to go through the hassle to join let me know and I'll copy and paste your thread in them, for ya. I would think that you would find a solution pretty quick at linuxforum.com.

 

cul

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Okay.... so I ended up moving my Windows partition to another partition on my WD hard drive so I can save stuff. Now I'm trying to get XP to do a fresh install.

 

It still won't reboot to itself when it is installing. It just says 'no operating system found'. I've tried formatting multiple times and I used Maxblast to write zeros to the entire drive. It seems that the MBR is messed up and 'fixmbr' doesn't appear to fix it. It says it does... but if I do it again it still gives me the warning that my mbr is not normal. Any suggestions? Is my hard drive fried?

 

thanks

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So... I finally got Windows to reinstall. It turns out it was the LBA hard drive setting thing. I've always had it set on Auto and it never gave me a problem.... until a few days ago. Auto appeared to identify it as LBA so I'm not quite sure what the problem was but when I set it to LBA it works. :rolleyes:

 

I've read about this kind of stuff happening after a BIOS flash and about some BIOS versions defaulting to CHS.... but I didn't flash my BIOS... or even mess with the HD settings so I don't really know what caused Window to abruptly commit suicide. It's also curious that GRUB would work fine but NTldr wouldn't work.

 

Oh well.... Windows is back and the wife is happy again. ;)

 

 

Originally posted by Angry_Games

hey toasterboy, i getting your box shipped today ;)

 

put a tshirt in it too ;)

Thanks! :D :nod: :shake:

 

/toasterboy camps out on front porch waiting for delivery truck to bring good stuffs. :nod:

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