Boot sequence problem: Very odd


M

Michael Wardreau

I've inherited an old Win98 macine that has 2 hard drives in it, onc
clicking very loud on boot up

I've determined the bad drive but I cannot remove it:

The bad drive is a 1.6 GB WD Caviar on the Primary Master IDE
The good drive is a WD Something-Else? 8 GB on the Primary Slave.
All the software is on the 8 Gb drive. The 1.6 Gb drive diesn't show
up in any explorer windows.

If I take out the 1.6 Gb drive and make the 8 Gb the master, the
machine's BIOS doesn't see the drive and I get a boot failure.

Any configuration of the two hard drives won't be recognized except
the configuration above. A real puzzler is that with only the 1.6 Gb
drive hooked up and on the Pri-Master, the BIOS won't recognise it,
but if I slip the 8 Gb drive in as Pri Slave, The Bios recognizes the
Slave as being the Master and boots!!

When I drop down to a DOS-box, only the 8Gb drive is seen.

I guess the question(s) I have is:

Is it possible the 8 GB drive has no MBR and thus any booting is the
responsibility of the 1.6 drive?

Can a drive have only an MBR and perhaps unformatted partition(s)

I don't have any floppies around any more, and my bootable CD
experience has never been favorable.

The computer isn't worth much, but I like to play and learn.

What's your take on this?

Michael W.
Ohio
 
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J

John Doe

Michael Wardreau said:
I don't have any floppies around any more, and my bootable CD
experience has never been favorable.

Hmm. If you'd like to "play and learn" you should have boot media
IMO.

Time to upgrade to Windows XP (the XP CD should boot, at least on
your main system). There are lots of files on the Internet nowadays
that will help make a bootable CD. A disk manager like Acronis Disk
Director helps solve boot up problems.

Good luck and have fun.
 
J

John Doe

I said:
A disk manager like Acronis Disk Director helps solve boot up
problems.

By the way. Learning how to use a disk manager can help make your
main system bulletproof. If you want to play and learn (on a spare
system) with a seriously productive purpose, that's your ticket.
 
M

Michael Wardreau

If you want to make the 8GB drive bootable, boot from a Windows 98
floppy, run fdisk, and make the primary partition active. Then execute
sys c: to make the disk bootable.
Msdos.sys on the 1.6GB drive contains the information for launching
Windows 98, which has to be copied to the 8GB drive and modified. The
drive letter of the 8GB drive will change, and probably cause problems
with the running of the Windows 98 installation.
Thaks for the responses. the 'puter is really old. The BIOS
copyright date is 1984 - 1998. There's no point in doing anything
with the computer. The boot is just puzzling.

I'm helping to diagnose problems on another computer from a frien and
I took his 40-Gb drive out, put the jumper ob Master and put it in
this strage computer. The BIOS reported no hard drive. Going into
setup the drive showed up but nothing is filled in with cyl, trks,
etc.

I've got a ton of boot diags including Acronis, but I really am not
wanting to revive the coputer; I'm just curious as to why the BIOS
won't boot unless the 1.6 drive has nothing on it is configured as
Master.

There's some logic to it but I thow I'd throw it out here. I'll play
tomorrow but it's cold as a polar cap in the garage attic. I can't
play in the house.
 
S

Sjouke Burry

Michael said:
Thaks for the responses. the 'puter is really old. The BIOS
copyright date is 1984 - 1998. There's no point in doing anything
with the computer. The boot is just puzzling.

I'm helping to diagnose problems on another computer from a frien and
I took his 40-Gb drive out, put the jumper ob Master and put it in
this strage computer. The BIOS reported no hard drive. Going into
setup the drive showed up but nothing is filled in with cyl, trks,
etc.

I've got a ton of boot diags including Acronis, but I really am not
wanting to revive the coputer; I'm just curious as to why the BIOS
won't boot unless the 1.6 drive has nothing on it is configured as
Master.

There's some logic to it but I thow I'd throw it out here. I'll play
tomorrow but it's cold as a polar cap in the garage attic. I can't
play in the house.
I think there are some hidden boot files on the old master drive.
The master is drive c, and the slave drive d, so even if you
swap drives, its not going to work, because the software was configured
for running from drive d.
If you leave the old drive as slave, and get any working drive for c,
you can copy the hidden root files from the old c to the new c, and use
fdisk to make the new c bootable(fdisk /mbr).

Check the contents of msdos.sys on the old c, it contains the boot
target drive, see below for mine.
If those first 3 lines indeed point to D:,you can make it boot again.
MSDOS.sys is just a text file, and you can edit it accordingly
You can copy things below, and make a new one, but beware of the WinVer
line, its better to use the old sys file.
[Paths]
WinDir=C:\WINDOWS
WinBootDir=C:\WINDOWS
HostWinBootDrv=C

[Options]
BootMulti=1
BootGUI=1
DoubleBuffer=1
AutoScan=1
WinVer=4.10.2222
;
;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to be >1024 bytes).
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxa
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxb
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxd
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxe
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxf
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxg
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxh
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxi
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxj
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxk
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxl
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxm
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxn
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxo
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxp
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxq
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxr
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxs
 
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M

Michael Wardreau

I think there are some hidden boot files on the old master drive.
The master is drive c, and the slave drive d, so even if you
swap drives, its not going to work, because the software was configured
for running from drive d.
If you leave the old drive as slave, and get any working drive for c,
you can copy the hidden root files from the old c to the new c, and use
fdisk to make the new c bootable(fdisk /mbr).

Check the contents of msdos.sys on the old c, it contains the boot
target drive, see below for mine.
If those first 3 lines indeed point to D:,you can make it boot again.
MSDOS.sys is just a text file, and you can edit it accordingly
You can copy things below, and make a new one, but beware of the WinVer
line, its better to use the old sys file.
[Paths]
WinDir=C:\WINDOWS
WinBootDir=C:\WINDOWS
HostWinBootDrv=C

[Options]
BootMulti=1
BootGUI=1
DoubleBuffer=1
AutoScan=1
WinVer=4.10.2222
;
;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to be >1024 bytes).
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxa

That might be thee info I need. I've messed with that before, but
have since forgotten it.

We have to be sure what drive's we're talking about.

When the computer boots I'll be able (tomorrow) to look on C:\ root,
but that is the 8Gb drive which is the slave. Don't then=y number
drives starting at "0" (zero)? So C:\ (when Windows boots) is HD1

Windows doesn't see anything on HD0, like it doesn't exist.

I'm thinking that HD0 only has a MBR on it and not even a DOS System.

What I strive to do is use the drives separately as minimal systems
for trouble shooting later. I can use them as throw-aways because
their value by today's standards is approximately $0.00.

I remember the msdos.sys files from days of DOS 2.1. I know the
Windoes version of the file has to be 1K, I just forgot about looking
at the file from windows or even dropping to DOS and using Edlin.

That sounds like a foreign language, nowadays.

Thanks for the tip. Now I'm hot to try that in the AM.

MW
 
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