MBR fix - how? (2 drives)


J

John66

Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive is essentially
a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup. Supposedly the backup
drive should be bootable and act just as the primary drive should the primary
drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running for my
system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this possible?) so
that I can boot from the primary drive by itself and the backup drive by
itself - but have both drives running at the same time (for backup purposes)?

Thanks for any advice you may have.
 
Ad

Advertisements

H

Holz

Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive is
essentially a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup.
Supposedly the backup drive should be bootable and act just as the
primary drive should the primary drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running
for my system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this
possible?) so that I can boot from the primary drive by itself and
the backup drive by itself - but have both drives running at the same
time (for backup purposes)?

Thanks for any advice you may have.

Do you mirror the drives, or do you image them?
disconnect the secondary drive, boot from the xp cd, select repair
(make sure you know your admin password) at the prompt type
fixboot - press enter and Y to confirm
fixmbr press enter and Y to confirm
exit to reboot.
re-plug the second drive.
 
J

John66

Thank you for the information. I will follow your instructions.

Which admin password are you referring to?

Thanks again
 
H

Holz

Which admin password are you referring to?

The original machine administrator password, the one you use in order
to log the Administrator account on the machine. If you did not add any
other accounts, that it is probably the only one.
 
A

Anna

John66 said:
Thank you for the information. I will follow your instructions.

Which admin password are you referring to?

Thanks again


John66:
If Holtz's suggestion re using the XP Repair Console with the commands
he/she indicated works, fine. But I don't think that's the answer to your
problem.

What probably happened (as Holtz apparently suspects) is that you used a
disk-cloning program to clone the contents of your "source" HDD to your
secondary ("destination") HDD. (Although when you make comments like "The
second drive is essentially a copy (not a mirror but close)", that's
somewhat unnerving. "but close"??

Anyway, assuming that secondary HDD is a "true" clone of your source HDD and
should be bootable & functional in & of itself...

What probably happened is that *immediately* following the disk-cloning
operation (I'm assuming that secondary HDD is an *internal* HDD) you booted
the machine with *both* HDDs connected. In many (but not all) cases this is
a "no-no" following a disk-cloning operation. Immediately following the
disk-cloning operation you should *disconnect* the source HDD and boot
*directly* to your cloned HDD *without* the source HDD connected in the
system.

Determine that the cloned HDD is bootable & functional. After doing this,
power down the machine and reconnect your source HDD. (You can leave the
secondary cloned HDD still connected at this point. Thereafter you should be
able to boot to either HDD without any problem either through a change in
the BIOS boot order setting or simply disconnecting your source (primary)
HDD should you want to boot to your second HDD.

What's apparently happening now is that the system boot files are located on
your cloned secondary HDD so that when the system boots with both HDDs
connected it looks for those boot files (and finds them!) on the cloned
secondary HDD. So it needs both HDDs connected for a functional boot. As
I've indicated above I do not think a fixboot/fixmbr commands will correct
your present problem in this instance but try it and see what happens. It
would certainly make your life easier!

(As an aside...another reason that we prefer the Casper 4 disk-to-disk
cloning program (see http://www.fssdev.com) is that it avoids the type of
problem you have run into (assuming our diagnosis has been correct). We've
never run into a single problem with that program along the lines of the one
you described. We can leave both HDDs connected immediately following the
disk-cloning operation and there's no subsequent problem booting to either
HDD.)
Anna
 
T

Timothy Daniels

John66 said:
Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive
is essentially a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup.
Supposedly the backup drive should be bootable and act just
as the primary drive should the primary drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running
for my system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this
possible?) so that I can boot from the primary drive by itself
and the backup drive by itself - but have both drives running at
the same time (for backup purposes)?


I will assume that the 2nd HD contains a clone of the OS that is
in the 1st HD, including the boot files (ntldr, boot.ini, ntdetect.com).
1) Did you make the clone with Ghost? If so, did you tell it to mark
the clone's partition "active", and/or did you tell it to copy the MBR
to the 2nd HD as well?
2) Which partitions on both HDs are marked "active"?
3) What do those "active" partitions contain?
4) Which partitions are the OSes in?

*TimDaniels*
 
Ad

Advertisements

T

Timothy Daniels

Anna said:
(As an aside...another reason that we prefer the Casper 4 disk-to-disk cloning
program (see http://www.fssdev.com) is that it avoids the type
of problem you have run into (assuming our diagnosis has been correct).
We've never run into a single problem with that program along the lines
of the one you described. We can leave both HDDs connected immedi-
ately following the disk-cloning operation and there's no subsequent
problem booting to either HDD.)
Anna

This is good news! That also means that OSes can be cloned to
other partitions on the same HDD without having to kludge around
with 3rd-party utilities to "hide" the parent partition when the clone is
first booted. I might have to break down and buy the new Casper.

*TimDaniels*
 
A

Anna

Timothy Daniels said:
This is good news! That also means that OSes can be cloned to
other partitions on the same HDD without having to kludge around
with 3rd-party utilities to "hide" the parent partition when the clone is
first booted. I might have to break down and buy the new Casper.

*TimDaniels*


It would be a wise choice...
Anna
 
J

John66

Thank you Tmothy and Anna for your replies.

I apologize for not responding more quickly - I was out of town.

When I created my second hard drive I did use some cloning software. It was
not Ghost nor Casper. I want to say it was XXClone or the software that came
with the hard drive or some other demo version of software. It was so long
ago that I really can't remember what I used. I just recall that some of the
software just wouldn't clone without 'errors' of some sort so I would go on
to the next piece of software. I'm learning my lesson from that choice
now.... I now have an older version (7) of Acronis True Image that I will
probably try to use once I get this problem sorted out.

Timothy,

It appears that drive 1 has the system and boot partitions. Drive 2
(backup) has the active partition.

The OS is in the BOOT partition

The SYSTEM and ACTIVE partitions are essentially copies of each other - on
different disks. They are not on the boot drive\partition.

I searched for the BOOT.ini file, it is in the BOOT partition in the root
direcory and the associated backup drive. The only references to the ntldr
and ntdetect.com files are in the ..\$ntservicepackuninstall$ and ..\i386
directories of both the 'boot' drive\partition and the associated backup
drive. I do have the 'show hidden' checkbox marked.

Thanks again for your time - it is very much appreciated.

John
 
T

Timothy Daniels

If you want to try repairing the MBR of HD1, you can use the
Recovery Console in your WinXP installation CD. Here is
documentation on the Recovery Console and the syntax of the
"fixmbr" command:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

I'm surprised that that there is no Primary partition on HD1
that is marked "active", but tha there is such a partition on
HD2. Usually there is no "active" flag visible in Disk Management
only if there is just one partition on the HD. Try seeing if you
can mark the partition with the ntldr/boot.ini/ntdetect.com files
(i.e. the "System" partition) as being "active". Then try booting.

BTW, I'm not sure if you know Microsoft's partition terminology.
MS calls the partition with the boot files the "System" partitions.
MS calls the partition with the system files the "Boot" partition.
(I know, it's counter-intuitive, but it's for historical reasons.)
Thus, on your HDs, the "System" partition (the one with the boot files)
should be marked "active" for the executable code in the MBR to
pass control to the Boot Sector of that partition.

Since both HDs have the same boot.ini and OSes, they each should
be able to boot their OSes if they are the only HD in the system.
Can they each do that separately?

It would further help if you listed the contents of the boot.ini file
from each of the HDs. Then we could see if the values of rdisk()
point to the correct HDs and whether the values of partition() are
correct. Also tell us how many partitions there on each HD and
what their order is on the HD.

Last question: Does your BIOS allow you to set the boot order
for the hard drives? (That is NOT the "Boot Sequence", but the
Hard Drive Boot Order.) Some BIOSes in pre-SATA days had
that, and it defined the meaning of the argument in "rdisk()".

*TimDaniels*


John66 said:
When I created my second hard drive I did use some cloning
software.
[.......]
It appears that drive 1 has the system and boot partitions.
Drive 2 (backup) has the active partition.

The OS is in the BOOT partition

The SYSTEM and ACTIVE partitions are essentially copies of each
other - on different disks. They are not on the boot drive\partition.

I searched for the BOOT.ini file, it is in the BOOT partition in the root
direcory and the associated backup drive. The only references to the
ntldr and ntdetect.com files are in the ..\$ntservicepackuninstall$ and
..\i386 directories of both the 'boot' drive\partition and the associated
backup drive. I do have the 'show hidden' checkbox marked.


Timothy Daniels said:
I will assume that the 2nd HD contains a clone of the OS that is
in the 1st HD, including the boot files (ntldr, boot.ini, ntdetect.com).
1) Did you make the clone with Ghost? If so, did you tell it to mark
the clone's partition "active", and/or did you tell it to copy the MBR
to the 2nd HD as well?
2) Which partitions on both HDs are marked "active"?
3) What do those "active" partitions contain?
4) Which partitions are the OSes in?

*TimDaniels*
 
J

John66

Timothy,

I will start reading from the link you provided for fixing the MBR.
In light of my possible getting things confused with my improper use of
terminology I will restate a little of what the Disk Management window is
telling me.

In the Disk management window I see hard disk 1 having a primary partition
that says 'system' in the status column. Also on disk 1 I have a logical
drive partition which has a status of 'boot'

On disk 2 I have a primary partition which says 'Active' in the status
column. No other partitions are marked with different statuses - all do say
'healthy'.

The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which has a status
of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


The boot.ini file from the associated backup (disk 2) is exactly the same.

I have previously tried booting from each drive separately but was unable to
do so. in fact that is how I found out I have the problem I do. I had been
trying to come up with a better backup system to meet my needs.

Now what is interesting is that I found another boot.ini file which points
to a different partition (3) in the partion which is marked as 'boot' in the
disk management screen. Likewise there is a copy of this found in the
associated backup file on disk 2. --- I'll have to figure out which is the
correct one. I would assume the one found on the 'system' partion where the
ntldr and ntdetect files are found.

Now if I mark Disk 1 ('system' partition as per disk manager) as active, can
this cause the system to not boot up? If it can, what steps would I take to
set things back to how they are now? I assume that I would just leave the
current disk 2 - system partition as active.

Here is the partition information
1 - OEM (a utility partition - non windows)
2 - primary - this would be the 'system' partition as per disk management
- on the backup drive this is the 'active' partition
3 - extended
4 - logical - this is the 'boot' partition
5 - logical
6 - primary

I do not have a BIOS option for selecting which hard drive to boot from.

Thanks again,
John

Timothy Daniels said:
If you want to try repairing the MBR of HD1, you can use the
Recovery Console in your WinXP installation CD. Here is
documentation on the Recovery Console and the syntax of the
"fixmbr" command:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

I'm surprised that that there is no Primary partition on HD1
that is marked "active", but tha there is such a partition on
HD2. Usually there is no "active" flag visible in Disk Management
only if there is just one partition on the HD. Try seeing if you
can mark the partition with the ntldr/boot.ini/ntdetect.com files
(i.e. the "System" partition) as being "active". Then try booting.

BTW, I'm not sure if you know Microsoft's partition terminology.
MS calls the partition with the boot files the "System" partitions.
MS calls the partition with the system files the "Boot" partition.
(I know, it's counter-intuitive, but it's for historical reasons.)
Thus, on your HDs, the "System" partition (the one with the boot files)
should be marked "active" for the executable code in the MBR to
pass control to the Boot Sector of that partition.

Since both HDs have the same boot.ini and OSes, they each should
be able to boot their OSes if they are the only HD in the system.
Can they each do that separately?

It would further help if you listed the contents of the boot.ini file
from each of the HDs. Then we could see if the values of rdisk()
point to the correct HDs and whether the values of partition() are
correct. Also tell us how many partitions there on each HD and
what their order is on the HD.

Last question: Does your BIOS allow you to set the boot order
for the hard drives? (That is NOT the "Boot Sequence", but the
Hard Drive Boot Order.) Some BIOSes in pre-SATA days had
that, and it defined the meaning of the argument in "rdisk()".

*TimDaniels*


John66 said:
When I created my second hard drive I did use some cloning
software.
[.......]
It appears that drive 1 has the system and boot partitions.
Drive 2 (backup) has the active partition.

The OS is in the BOOT partition

The SYSTEM and ACTIVE partitions are essentially copies of each
other - on different disks. They are not on the boot drive\partition.

I searched for the BOOT.ini file, it is in the BOOT partition in the root
direcory and the associated backup drive. The only references to the
ntldr and ntdetect.com files are in the ..\$ntservicepackuninstall$ and
..\i386 directories of both the 'boot' drive\partition and the associated
backup drive. I do have the 'show hidden' checkbox marked.


Timothy Daniels said:
:
Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive
is essentially a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup.
Supposedly the backup drive should be bootable and act just
as the primary drive should the primary drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running
for my system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this
possible?) so that I can boot from the primary drive by itself
and the backup drive by itself - but have both drives running at
the same time (for backup purposes)?


I will assume that the 2nd HD contains a clone of the OS that is
in the 1st HD, including the boot files (ntldr, boot.ini, ntdetect.com).
1) Did you make the clone with Ghost? If so, did you tell it to mark
the clone's partition "active", and/or did you tell it to copy the MBR
to the 2nd HD as well?
2) Which partitions on both HDs are marked "active"?
3) What do those "active" partitions contain?
4) Which partitions are the OSes in?

*TimDaniels*
 
Ad

Advertisements

T

Timothy Daniels

Since you didn't specify, I'll assume that the partition scheme that
you gave is identical for both HDs. Your boot.ini files both say to
load the OS from partition 4 or HD0 (your HD 1, probably, although
some BIOSes would allow you to set any HD to "HD0"). In my
experience, and conforming to MS documentation, the Primary
partitions are numbered first, followed by the logical drives (i.e.
logical partitions) in the Extended partition. And if your PC is like
the Dell machines, your OEM utility partition isn't entered in the
Partition Table. In that scheme, your first "logical partition" would
be numbered as "3". Why one or the other OS boots with
"partition(4)" in the boot.ini file, is a mystery to me. First, try
marking the1st Primary partition in HD0 (your HD 1) as "active".
To do that, in Disk Management, rt-click that partition in the
GUI and select "Mark Partition as Active". If you can't do that,
there is a problem beyond by knowledge. Next, in the boot.ini file
of HD0 (your HD 1), add lines under "[operating systems]" identical
to the line that is there, except that the value of "x" in "rdisk(x)" ranges
from 1 to 5. Also add this no. in the character string (between the
quotes) to let you know which line the screen menu corresponds to.
This should result in 5 lines. Then make that hard drive the only hard
drive in the system, and try booting, each time selecting a different
line from the boot menu that appears on the screen. Post which
no'd entry works. Do the same for your HD 2.

Remember that the boot files have to be in the Primary partition
that is marked "active". If you're finding boot files in Primary
partitions that are NOT marked "active", something has been hosed
since the time of installation.

*TimDaniels*

John66 said:
I will start reading from the link you provided for fixing the MBR.
In light of my possible getting things confused with my improper
use of terminology I will restate a little of what the Disk Manage-
ment window is telling me.

In the Disk management window I see hard disk 1 having a
primary partition that says 'system' in the status column. Also on
disk 1 I have a logical drive partition which has a status of 'boot'

On disk 2 I have a primary partition which says 'Active' in the
status column. No other partitions are marked with different
statuses - all do say 'healthy'.

The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which
has a status of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft
Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


The boot.ini file from the associated backup (disk 2) is exactly
the same.

I have previously tried booting from each drive separately but
was unable to do so. in fact that is how I found out I have the
problem I do. I had been trying to come up with a better backup
system to meet my needs.

Now what is interesting is that I found another boot.ini file which
points to a different partition (3) in the partion which is marked as
'boot' in the disk management screen. Likewise there is a copy of
this found in the associated backup file on disk 2. --- I'll have to
figure out which is the correct one. I would assume the one found
on the 'system' partion where the ntldr and ntdetect files are found.

Now if I mark Disk 1 ('system' partition as per disk manager) as
active, can this cause the system to not boot up? If it can, what
steps would I take to set things back to how they are now? I
assume that I would just leave the current disk 2 - system partition
as active.

Here is the partition information
1 - OEM (a utility partition - non windows)
2 - primary - this would be the 'system' partition as per disk
management - on the backup drive this is the 'active' partition
3 - extended
4 - logical - this is the 'boot' partition
5 - logical
6 - primary

I do not have a BIOS option for selecting which hard drive to boot
from.

Thanks again,
John

Timothy Daniels said:
If you want to try repairing the MBR of HD1, you can use the
Recovery Console in your WinXP installation CD. Here is
documentation on the Recovery Console and the syntax of the
"fixmbr" command:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

I'm surprised that that there is no Primary partition on HD1
that is marked "active", but tha there is such a partition on
HD2. Usually there is no "active" flag visible in Disk Management
only if there is just one partition on the HD. Try seeing if you
can mark the partition with the ntldr/boot.ini/ntdetect.com files
(i.e. the "System" partition) as being "active". Then try booting.

BTW, I'm not sure if you know Microsoft's partition terminology.
MS calls the partition with the boot files the "System" partitions.
MS calls the partition with the system files the "Boot" partition.
(I know, it's counter-intuitive, but it's for historical reasons.)
Thus, on your HDs, the "System" partition (the one with the boot files)
should be marked "active" for the executable code in the MBR to
pass control to the Boot Sector of that partition.

Since both HDs have the same boot.ini and OSes, they each should
be able to boot their OSes if they are the only HD in the system.
Can they each do that separately?

It would further help if you listed the contents of the boot.ini file
from each of the HDs. Then we could see if the values of rdisk()
point to the correct HDs and whether the values of partition() are
correct. Also tell us how many partitions there on each HD and
what their order is on the HD.

Last question: Does your BIOS allow you to set the boot order
for the hard drives? (That is NOT the "Boot Sequence", but the
Hard Drive Boot Order.) Some BIOSes in pre-SATA days had
that, and it defined the meaning of the argument in "rdisk()".

*TimDaniels*


John66 said:
When I created my second hard drive I did use some cloning
software.
[.......]
It appears that drive 1 has the system and boot partitions.
Drive 2 (backup) has the active partition.

The OS is in the BOOT partition

The SYSTEM and ACTIVE partitions are essentially copies of each
other - on different disks. They are not on the boot drive\partition.

I searched for the BOOT.ini file, it is in the BOOT partition in the root
direcory and the associated backup drive. The only references to the
ntldr and ntdetect.com files are in the ..\$ntservicepackuninstall$ and
..\i386 directories of both the 'boot' drive\partition and the associated
backup drive. I do have the 'show hidden' checkbox marked.


:

:
Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive
is essentially a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup.
Supposedly the backup drive should be bootable and act just
as the primary drive should the primary drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running
for my system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this
possible?) so that I can boot from the primary drive by itself
and the backup drive by itself - but have both drives running at
the same time (for backup purposes)?


I will assume that the 2nd HD contains a clone of the OS that is
in the 1st HD, including the boot files (ntldr, boot.ini, ntdetect.com).
1) Did you make the clone with Ghost? If so, did you tell it to mark
the clone's partition "active", and/or did you tell it to copy the MBR
to the 2nd HD as well?
2) Which partitions on both HDs are marked "active"?
3) What do those "active" partitions contain?
4) Which partitions are the OSes in?

*TimDaniels*
 
T

Timothy Daniels

John66 said:
The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which has a status
of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


I notice that in mid-June of last year you reported the identical
problem, only the boot.ini file then said "partition(3)". Would you
care to elaborate on what you've been doing with the HDs in the
meantime?

*TimDaniels*
 
A

AJR

The default Windows setup proceedure is to install "System" files in one
partition and "Boot" files in another partition (resulting in a system
designated partition and a boot designated partition)- if the partitions are
available.

However usually the "C" drive, as one partition, is selected for Windows
installation - in which case "System" and "Boot" files are installed in the
same partition - resulting in one system/boot partition.


John66 said:
Timothy,

I will start reading from the link you provided for fixing the MBR.
In light of my possible getting things confused with my improper use of
terminology I will restate a little of what the Disk Management window is
telling me.

In the Disk management window I see hard disk 1 having a primary partition
that says 'system' in the status column. Also on disk 1 I have a logical
drive partition which has a status of 'boot'

On disk 2 I have a primary partition which says 'Active' in the status
column. No other partitions are marked with different statuses - all do
say
'healthy'.

The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which has a
status
of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


The boot.ini file from the associated backup (disk 2) is exactly the same.

I have previously tried booting from each drive separately but was unable
to
do so. in fact that is how I found out I have the problem I do. I had
been
trying to come up with a better backup system to meet my needs.

Now what is interesting is that I found another boot.ini file which points
to a different partition (3) in the partion which is marked as 'boot' in
the
disk management screen. Likewise there is a copy of this found in the
associated backup file on disk 2. --- I'll have to figure out which is the
correct one. I would assume the one found on the 'system' partion where
the
ntldr and ntdetect files are found.

Now if I mark Disk 1 ('system' partition as per disk manager) as active,
can
this cause the system to not boot up? If it can, what steps would I take
to
set things back to how they are now? I assume that I would just leave the
current disk 2 - system partition as active.

Here is the partition information
1 - OEM (a utility partition - non windows)
2 - primary - this would be the 'system' partition as per disk management
- on the backup drive this is the 'active' partition
3 - extended
4 - logical - this is the 'boot' partition
5 - logical
6 - primary

I do not have a BIOS option for selecting which hard drive to boot from.

Thanks again,
John

Timothy Daniels said:
If you want to try repairing the MBR of HD1, you can use the
Recovery Console in your WinXP installation CD. Here is
documentation on the Recovery Console and the syntax of the
"fixmbr" command:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

I'm surprised that that there is no Primary partition on HD1
that is marked "active", but tha there is such a partition on
HD2. Usually there is no "active" flag visible in Disk Management
only if there is just one partition on the HD. Try seeing if you
can mark the partition with the ntldr/boot.ini/ntdetect.com files
(i.e. the "System" partition) as being "active". Then try booting.

BTW, I'm not sure if you know Microsoft's partition terminology.
MS calls the partition with the boot files the "System" partitions.
MS calls the partition with the system files the "Boot" partition.
(I know, it's counter-intuitive, but it's for historical reasons.)
Thus, on your HDs, the "System" partition (the one with the boot files)
should be marked "active" for the executable code in the MBR to
pass control to the Boot Sector of that partition.

Since both HDs have the same boot.ini and OSes, they each should
be able to boot their OSes if they are the only HD in the system.
Can they each do that separately?

It would further help if you listed the contents of the boot.ini file
from each of the HDs. Then we could see if the values of rdisk()
point to the correct HDs and whether the values of partition() are
correct. Also tell us how many partitions there on each HD and
what their order is on the HD.

Last question: Does your BIOS allow you to set the boot order
for the hard drives? (That is NOT the "Boot Sequence", but the
Hard Drive Boot Order.) Some BIOSes in pre-SATA days had
that, and it defined the meaning of the argument in "rdisk()".

*TimDaniels*


John66 said:
When I created my second hard drive I did use some cloning
software.
[.......]
It appears that drive 1 has the system and boot partitions.
Drive 2 (backup) has the active partition.

The OS is in the BOOT partition

The SYSTEM and ACTIVE partitions are essentially copies of each
other - on different disks. They are not on the boot drive\partition.

I searched for the BOOT.ini file, it is in the BOOT partition in the
root
direcory and the associated backup drive. The only references to the
ntldr and ntdetect.com files are in the ..\$ntservicepackuninstall$ and
..\i386 directories of both the 'boot' drive\partition and the
associated
backup drive. I do have the 'show hidden' checkbox marked.


:

:
Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive
is essentially a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup.
Supposedly the backup drive should be bootable and act just
as the primary drive should the primary drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running
for my system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this
possible?) so that I can boot from the primary drive by itself
and the backup drive by itself - but have both drives running at
the same time (for backup purposes)?


I will assume that the 2nd HD contains a clone of the OS that is
in the 1st HD, including the boot files (ntldr, boot.ini,
ntdetect.com).
1) Did you make the clone with Ghost? If so, did you tell it to mark
the clone's partition "active", and/or did you tell it to copy the MBR
to the 2nd HD as well?
2) Which partitions on both HDs are marked "active"?
3) What do those "active" partitions contain?
4) Which partitions are the OSes in?

*TimDaniels*
 
T

Timothy Daniels

The installer does not select the "C:" partition in which to
install Windows. It names the partition into which it
installs Windows "C:" if that letter is available on the HD.
Otherwise it will choose another letter. But these letters
do not exist outside the running OS, so if a clone is made
of an OS which called its own partition "C:", and if that
clone is placed on a HD which contains other clones which
call their own partitions "C:", the OS among them which is
running will always refer to its own partition as "C:", and it
will refer to the patitions containing the other OSes by other
letter names. Since this behavior implies that the letter name
of a partition does not exist in the partition table, but rather
in the registry of the OS, it appears that the installer, in
searching for other Windows OSes in the system, inspects
the registries of those OSes that it finds on the local HD to
find out what those local OSes call their own partitions.

This fluidity of the identity of the "C:" drive seems, from my
reading of the NGs, to have started with the possibility of having
2 HDs, perhaps with Win95. My vague understanding is that
prior to that, "C:" was always the first partition on the single HD.

*TimDaniels*

AJR said:
The default Windows setup proceedure is to install "System"
files in one partition and "Boot" files in another partition
(resulting in a system designated partition and a boot
designated partition)- if the partitions are available.

However usually the "C" drive, as one partition, is selected
for Windows installation - in which case "System" and "Boot"
files are installed in the same partition - resulting in one
system/boot partition.


John66 said:
Timothy,

I will start reading from the link you provided for fixing the MBR.
In light of my possible getting things confused with my improper use of
terminology I will restate a little of what the Disk Management window is
telling me.

In the Disk management window I see hard disk 1 having a primary partition
that says 'system' in the status column. Also on disk 1 I have a logical
drive partition which has a status of 'boot'

On disk 2 I have a primary partition which says 'Active' in the status
column. No other partitions are marked with different statuses - all do say
'healthy'.

The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which has a status
of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


The boot.ini file from the associated backup (disk 2) is exactly the same.

I have previously tried booting from each drive separately but was unable to
do so. in fact that is how I found out I have the problem I do. I had been
trying to come up with a better backup system to meet my needs.

Now what is interesting is that I found another boot.ini file which points
to a different partition (3) in the partion which is marked as 'boot' in the
disk management screen. Likewise there is a copy of this found in the
associated backup file on disk 2. --- I'll have to figure out which is the
correct one. I would assume the one found on the 'system' partion where the
ntldr and ntdetect files are found.

Now if I mark Disk 1 ('system' partition as per disk manager) as active, can
this cause the system to not boot up? If it can, what steps would I take to
set things back to how they are now? I assume that I would just leave the
current disk 2 - system partition as active.

Here is the partition information
1 - OEM (a utility partition - non windows)
2 - primary - this would be the 'system' partition as per disk management
- on the backup drive this is the 'active' partition
3 - extended
4 - logical - this is the 'boot' partition
5 - logical
6 - primary

I do not have a BIOS option for selecting which hard drive to boot from.

Thanks again,
John

Timothy Daniels said:
If you want to try repairing the MBR of HD1, you can use the
Recovery Console in your WinXP installation CD. Here is
documentation on the Recovery Console and the syntax of the
"fixmbr" command:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

I'm surprised that that there is no Primary partition on HD1
that is marked "active", but tha there is such a partition on
HD2. Usually there is no "active" flag visible in Disk Management
only if there is just one partition on the HD. Try seeing if you
can mark the partition with the ntldr/boot.ini/ntdetect.com files
(i.e. the "System" partition) as being "active". Then try booting.

BTW, I'm not sure if you know Microsoft's partition terminology.
MS calls the partition with the boot files the "System" partitions.
MS calls the partition with the system files the "Boot" partition.
(I know, it's counter-intuitive, but it's for historical reasons.)
Thus, on your HDs, the "System" partition (the one with the boot files)
should be marked "active" for the executable code in the MBR to
pass control to the Boot Sector of that partition.

Since both HDs have the same boot.ini and OSes, they each should
be able to boot their OSes if they are the only HD in the system.
Can they each do that separately?

It would further help if you listed the contents of the boot.ini file
from each of the HDs. Then we could see if the values of rdisk()
point to the correct HDs and whether the values of partition() are
correct. Also tell us how many partitions there on each HD and
what their order is on the HD.

Last question: Does your BIOS allow you to set the boot order
for the hard drives? (That is NOT the "Boot Sequence", but the
Hard Drive Boot Order.) Some BIOSes in pre-SATA days had
that, and it defined the meaning of the argument in "rdisk()".

*TimDaniels*


:
When I created my second hard drive I did use some cloning
software.
[.......]
It appears that drive 1 has the system and boot partitions.
Drive 2 (backup) has the active partition.

The OS is in the BOOT partition

The SYSTEM and ACTIVE partitions are essentially copies of each
other - on different disks. They are not on the boot drive\partition.

I searched for the BOOT.ini file, it is in the BOOT partition in the root
direcory and the associated backup drive. The only references to the
ntldr and ntdetect.com files are in the ..\$ntservicepackuninstall$ and
..\i386 directories of both the 'boot' drive\partition and the associated
backup drive. I do have the 'show hidden' checkbox marked.


:

:
Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive
is essentially a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup.
Supposedly the backup drive should be bootable and act just
as the primary drive should the primary drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running
for my system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this
possible?) so that I can boot from the primary drive by itself
and the backup drive by itself - but have both drives running at
the same time (for backup purposes)?


I will assume that the 2nd HD contains a clone of the OS that is
in the 1st HD, including the boot files (ntldr, boot.ini, ntdetect.com).
1) Did you make the clone with Ghost? If so, did you tell it to mark
the clone's partition "active", and/or did you tell it to copy the MBR
to the 2nd HD as well?
2) Which partitions on both HDs are marked "active"?
3) What do those "active" partitions contain?
4) Which partitions are the OSes in?

*TimDaniels*
 
A

Andy

Timothy,

I will start reading from the link you provided for fixing the MBR.
In light of my possible getting things confused with my improper use of
terminology I will restate a little of what the Disk Management window is
telling me.

In the Disk management window I see hard disk 1 having a primary partition
that says 'system' in the status column. Also on disk 1 I have a logical
drive partition which has a status of 'boot'

On disk 2 I have a primary partition which says 'Active' in the status
column. No other partitions are marked with different statuses - all do say
'healthy'.

The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which has a status
of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


The boot.ini file from the associated backup (disk 2) is exactly the same.

I have previously tried booting from each drive separately but was unable to
do so. in fact that is how I found out I have the problem I do. I had been
trying to come up with a better backup system to meet my needs.

Now what is interesting is that I found another boot.ini file which points
to a different partition (3) in the partion which is marked as 'boot' in the
disk management screen. Likewise there is a copy of this found in the
associated backup file on disk 2. --- I'll have to figure out which is the
correct one. I would assume the one found on the 'system' partion where the
ntldr and ntdetect files are found.

Now if I mark Disk 1 ('system' partition as per disk manager) as active, can
this cause the system to not boot up? If it can, what steps would I take to
set things back to how they are now? I assume that I would just leave the
current disk 2 - system partition as active.

The system partition has to be an active primary partition. Otherwise,
the partition would not be bootable, and therefore could not be the
system partition. In other words, the system partition is always
primary, and always active.
 
Ad

Advertisements

J

John66

Tim,

Basically I screwed up another computer around the same time I was working
on this problem - not a major loss but I lost confidence in what I was doing
and so just hoped for the best ( no failures). I did search for the previous
question I asked but could not find it - I still can't.

Since that time I have had two hard drive failures at work (not associated
with this problem or computer) - it put the scare back into me to make sure I
had a backup solution that worked. It was interesting how one of the failures
happened in the middle of making a complete backup. I lost the hard drive and
the backup at the same time - that is how my luck usually manfests itself.

As I mentioned in the previous post I found another boot.ini file which
pointed to partition 3 - so there are two boot.ini files on different
partitions. I don't think I did anything to the system to change things - at
least nothing I recall. I don't know which boot.ini file is actually being
used. I guess it would have to be the one that refers to partition 4 since
that one would be on the system partition based on my understanding.

To get the partition information I used the 'diskpart' command to list the
partitions. I'd never heard of it before, but assume it provides the correct
information.

Thanks again, I appreciate the opportunity you are affording me to learn and
stretch a bit out of my comfort zone.
John


Timothy Daniels said:
John66 said:
The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which has a status
of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


I notice that in mid-June of last year you reported the identical
problem, only the boot.ini file then said "partition(3)". Would you
care to elaborate on what you've been doing with the HDs in the
meantime?

*TimDaniels*
 
J

John66

Tim,

I am unsuccessful in setting the 1st primary partition as active. Here is a
summary of the partitions and if the option to set the partition to active is
available, greyed-out, or not available


1 - OEM (a utility partition - non windows) ----Not Available
2 - primary - this would be the 'system' partition as per disk ---Greyed-out
management - on the backup drive this is the 'active' partition
3 - extended ---- Not applicable
4 - logical - this is the 'boot' partition ----Not Available
5 - logical ----Not Available
6 - primary ----Available

These results are the same for the backup drive (disk 2 - HD(1)) as well.

Thanks,
John


Timothy Daniels said:
Since you didn't specify, I'll assume that the partition scheme that
you gave is identical for both HDs. Your boot.ini files both say to
load the OS from partition 4 or HD0 (your HD 1, probably, although
some BIOSes would allow you to set any HD to "HD0"). In my
experience, and conforming to MS documentation, the Primary
partitions are numbered first, followed by the logical drives (i.e.
logical partitions) in the Extended partition. And if your PC is like
the Dell machines, your OEM utility partition isn't entered in the
Partition Table. In that scheme, your first "logical partition" would
be numbered as "3". Why one or the other OS boots with
"partition(4)" in the boot.ini file, is a mystery to me. First, try
marking the1st Primary partition in HD0 (your HD 1) as "active".
To do that, in Disk Management, rt-click that partition in the
GUI and select "Mark Partition as Active". If you can't do that,
there is a problem beyond by knowledge. Next, in the boot.ini file
of HD0 (your HD 1), add lines under "[operating systems]" identical
to the line that is there, except that the value of "x" in "rdisk(x)" ranges
from 1 to 5. Also add this no. in the character string (between the
quotes) to let you know which line the screen menu corresponds to.
This should result in 5 lines. Then make that hard drive the only hard
drive in the system, and try booting, each time selecting a different
line from the boot menu that appears on the screen. Post which
no'd entry works. Do the same for your HD 2.

Remember that the boot files have to be in the Primary partition
that is marked "active". If you're finding boot files in Primary
partitions that are NOT marked "active", something has been hosed
since the time of installation.

*TimDaniels*

John66 said:
I will start reading from the link you provided for fixing the MBR.
In light of my possible getting things confused with my improper
use of terminology I will restate a little of what the Disk Manage-
ment window is telling me.

In the Disk management window I see hard disk 1 having a
primary partition that says 'system' in the status column. Also on
disk 1 I have a logical drive partition which has a status of 'boot'

On disk 2 I have a primary partition which says 'Active' in the
status column. No other partitions are marked with different
statuses - all do say 'healthy'.

The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which
has a status of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft
Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


The boot.ini file from the associated backup (disk 2) is exactly
the same.

I have previously tried booting from each drive separately but
was unable to do so. in fact that is how I found out I have the
problem I do. I had been trying to come up with a better backup
system to meet my needs.

Now what is interesting is that I found another boot.ini file which
points to a different partition (3) in the partion which is marked as
'boot' in the disk management screen. Likewise there is a copy of
this found in the associated backup file on disk 2. --- I'll have to
figure out which is the correct one. I would assume the one found
on the 'system' partion where the ntldr and ntdetect files are found.

Now if I mark Disk 1 ('system' partition as per disk manager) as
active, can this cause the system to not boot up? If it can, what
steps would I take to set things back to how they are now? I
assume that I would just leave the current disk 2 - system partition
as active.

Here is the partition information
1 - OEM (a utility partition - non windows)
2 - primary - this would be the 'system' partition as per disk
management - on the backup drive this is the 'active' partition
3 - extended
4 - logical - this is the 'boot' partition
5 - logical
6 - primary

I do not have a BIOS option for selecting which hard drive to boot
from.

Thanks again,
John

Timothy Daniels said:
If you want to try repairing the MBR of HD1, you can use the
Recovery Console in your WinXP installation CD. Here is
documentation on the Recovery Console and the syntax of the
"fixmbr" command:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

I'm surprised that that there is no Primary partition on HD1
that is marked "active", but tha there is such a partition on
HD2. Usually there is no "active" flag visible in Disk Management
only if there is just one partition on the HD. Try seeing if you
can mark the partition with the ntldr/boot.ini/ntdetect.com files
(i.e. the "System" partition) as being "active". Then try booting.

BTW, I'm not sure if you know Microsoft's partition terminology.
MS calls the partition with the boot files the "System" partitions.
MS calls the partition with the system files the "Boot" partition.
(I know, it's counter-intuitive, but it's for historical reasons.)
Thus, on your HDs, the "System" partition (the one with the boot files)
should be marked "active" for the executable code in the MBR to
pass control to the Boot Sector of that partition.

Since both HDs have the same boot.ini and OSes, they each should
be able to boot their OSes if they are the only HD in the system.
Can they each do that separately?

It would further help if you listed the contents of the boot.ini file
from each of the HDs. Then we could see if the values of rdisk()
point to the correct HDs and whether the values of partition() are
correct. Also tell us how many partitions there on each HD and
what their order is on the HD.

Last question: Does your BIOS allow you to set the boot order
for the hard drives? (That is NOT the "Boot Sequence", but the
Hard Drive Boot Order.) Some BIOSes in pre-SATA days had
that, and it defined the meaning of the argument in "rdisk()".

*TimDaniels*


:
When I created my second hard drive I did use some cloning
software.
[.......]
It appears that drive 1 has the system and boot partitions.
Drive 2 (backup) has the active partition.

The OS is in the BOOT partition

The SYSTEM and ACTIVE partitions are essentially copies of each
other - on different disks. They are not on the boot drive\partition.

I searched for the BOOT.ini file, it is in the BOOT partition in the root
direcory and the associated backup drive. The only references to the
ntldr and ntdetect.com files are in the ..\$ntservicepackuninstall$ and
..\i386 directories of both the 'boot' drive\partition and the associated
backup drive. I do have the 'show hidden' checkbox marked.


:

:
Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive
is essentially a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup.
Supposedly the backup drive should be bootable and act just
as the primary drive should the primary drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running
for my system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this
possible?) so that I can boot from the primary drive by itself
and the backup drive by itself - but have both drives running at
the same time (for backup purposes)?


I will assume that the 2nd HD contains a clone of the OS that is
in the 1st HD, including the boot files (ntldr, boot.ini, ntdetect.com).
1) Did you make the clone with Ghost? If so, did you tell it to mark
the clone's partition "active", and/or did you tell it to copy the MBR
to the 2nd HD as well?
2) Which partitions on both HDs are marked "active"?
3) What do those "active" partitions contain?
4) Which partitions are the OSes in?

*TimDaniels*
 
T

Timothy Daniels

John66 said:
Timothy Daniels said:
John66 said:
The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which
has a status of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP
Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


I notice that in mid-June of last year you reported the identical
problem, only the boot.ini file then said "partition(3)". Would you
care to elaborate on what you've been doing with the HDs in the
meantime?

*TimDaniels*


Basically I screwed up another computer around the same time
I was working on this problem - not a major loss but I lost
confidence in what I was doing and so just hoped for the best
( no failures). I did search for the previous question I asked but
could not find it - I still can't.

Here it is:
http://groups.google.com/group/micr...a/51494bf99ca2f8d1?lnk=st&q=#51494bf99ca2f8d1

Since that time I have had two hard drive failures at work
(not associated with this problem or computer) - it put the scare
back into me to make sure I had a backup solution that worked.
It was interesting how one of the failures happened in the middle
of making a complete backup. I lost the hard drive and the backup
at the same time - that is how my luck usually manfests itself.

As I mentioned in the previous post I found another boot.ini file
which pointed to partition 3 - so there are two boot.ini files on
different partitions. I don't think I did anything to the system to
change things - at least nothing I recall. I don't know which boot.ini
file is actually being used. I guess it would have to be the one that
refers to partition 4 since that one would be on the system partition
based on my understanding.

To get the partition information I used the 'diskpart' command
to list the partitions. I'd never heard of it before, but assume it
provides the correct information.

Thanks again, I appreciate the opportunity you are affording
me to learn and stretch a bit out of my comfort zone.
John


Would your computer by chance be a Dell? It seems that Dell
(and perhaps HP) use a special MBR that allows them to boot to
that proprietary utilities partition that is used for system diagnosis
by Dell's tech support staff when you call them with a problem
while the system is still under warranty. It is possible that the special
MBR got either mangled or replaced or rendered invalid by your
attempts at cloning. You can read background on this by going
to http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/ and following *all* the links.
The solution to your problem might involve saying goodbye to that
utilities partition and using "fixmbr" to go with a standard MBR.

Also try adding those lines to the boot.ini file(s) to see which one
is successful in booting the OS in HD0.

Please use Disk Management to keep us on the same page.

*TimDaniels*
 
Ad

Advertisements

T

Timothy Daniels

What do the nos. at the beginning of each line mean? Is there
really an Extended partition box in the 3rd place in the graphic
for Disk Management, followed by 2 boxes for logical partitions?

Where does the phrase "Not Available" appear?

Please say whether the current HD0 is the drive from the PC
manufacturer, or if it resulted from an attempt to clone HD1.

Please add the lines that I mentioned to the boot.ini files of
the system partitions on both HDs and try using them to see
which entry does what.

*TimDaniels*

John66 said:
I am unsuccessful in setting the 1st primary partition as active.
Here is a summary of the partitions and if the option to set the
partition to active is available, greyed-out, or not available


1 - OEM (a utility partition - non windows) ----Not Available
2 - primary - this would be the 'system' partition as per disk ---
Greyed-out
management - on the backup drive this is the 'active' partition
3 - extended ---- Not applicable
4 - logical - this is the 'boot' partition ----Not Available
5 - logical ----Not Available
6 - primary ----Available

These results are the same for the backup drive (disk 2 - HD(1))
as well.

Thanks,
John


Timothy Daniels said:
Since you didn't specify, I'll assume that the partition scheme that
you gave is identical for both HDs. Your boot.ini files both say to
load the OS from partition 4 or HD0 (your HD 1, probably, although
some BIOSes would allow you to set any HD to "HD0"). In my
experience, and conforming to MS documentation, the Primary
partitions are numbered first, followed by the logical drives (i.e.
logical partitions) in the Extended partition. And if your PC is like
the Dell machines, your OEM utility partition isn't entered in the
Partition Table. In that scheme, your first "logical partition" would
be numbered as "3". Why one or the other OS boots with
"partition(4)" in the boot.ini file, is a mystery to me. First, try
marking the1st Primary partition in HD0 (your HD 1) as "active".
To do that, in Disk Management, rt-click that partition in the
GUI and select "Mark Partition as Active". If you can't do that,
there is a problem beyond by knowledge. Next, in the boot.ini file
of HD0 (your HD 1), add lines under "[operating systems]" identical
to the line that is there, except that the value of "x" in "rdisk(x)" ranges
from 1 to 5. Also add this no. in the character string (between the
quotes) to let you know which line the screen menu corresponds to.
This should result in 5 lines. Then make that hard drive the only hard
drive in the system, and try booting, each time selecting a different
line from the boot menu that appears on the screen. Post which
no'd entry works. Do the same for your HD 2.

Remember that the boot files have to be in the Primary partition
that is marked "active". If you're finding boot files in Primary
partitions that are NOT marked "active", something has been hosed
since the time of installation.

*TimDaniels*

John66 said:
I will start reading from the link you provided for fixing the MBR.
In light of my possible getting things confused with my improper
use of terminology I will restate a little of what the Disk Manage-
ment window is telling me.

In the Disk management window I see hard disk 1 having a
primary partition that says 'system' in the status column. Also on
disk 1 I have a logical drive partition which has a status of 'boot'

On disk 2 I have a primary partition which says 'Active' in the
status column. No other partitions are marked with different
statuses - all do say 'healthy'.

The following is the boot.ini file which comes off disk 1 which
has a status of 'system'
[boot loader]
timeout=10
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft
Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


The boot.ini file from the associated backup (disk 2) is exactly
the same.

I have previously tried booting from each drive separately but
was unable to do so. in fact that is how I found out I have the
problem I do. I had been trying to come up with a better backup
system to meet my needs.

Now what is interesting is that I found another boot.ini file which
points to a different partition (3) in the partion which is marked as
'boot' in the disk management screen. Likewise there is a copy of
this found in the associated backup file on disk 2. --- I'll have to
figure out which is the correct one. I would assume the one found
on the 'system' partion where the ntldr and ntdetect files are found.

Now if I mark Disk 1 ('system' partition as per disk manager) as
active, can this cause the system to not boot up? If it can, what
steps would I take to set things back to how they are now? I
assume that I would just leave the current disk 2 - system partition
as active.

Here is the partition information
1 - OEM (a utility partition - non windows)
2 - primary - this would be the 'system' partition as per disk
management - on the backup drive this is the 'active' partition
3 - extended
4 - logical - this is the 'boot' partition
5 - logical
6 - primary

I do not have a BIOS option for selecting which hard drive to boot
from.

Thanks again,
John

:

If you want to try repairing the MBR of HD1, you can use the
Recovery Console in your WinXP installation CD. Here is
documentation on the Recovery Console and the syntax of the
"fixmbr" command:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

I'm surprised that that there is no Primary partition on HD1
that is marked "active", but tha there is such a partition on
HD2. Usually there is no "active" flag visible in Disk Management
only if there is just one partition on the HD. Try seeing if you
can mark the partition with the ntldr/boot.ini/ntdetect.com files
(i.e. the "System" partition) as being "active". Then try booting.

BTW, I'm not sure if you know Microsoft's partition terminology.
MS calls the partition with the boot files the "System" partitions.
MS calls the partition with the system files the "Boot" partition.
(I know, it's counter-intuitive, but it's for historical reasons.)
Thus, on your HDs, the "System" partition (the one with the boot files)
should be marked "active" for the executable code in the MBR to
pass control to the Boot Sector of that partition.

Since both HDs have the same boot.ini and OSes, they each should
be able to boot their OSes if they are the only HD in the system.
Can they each do that separately?

It would further help if you listed the contents of the boot.ini file
from each of the HDs. Then we could see if the values of rdisk()
point to the correct HDs and whether the values of partition() are
correct. Also tell us how many partitions there on each HD and
what their order is on the HD.

Last question: Does your BIOS allow you to set the boot order
for the hard drives? (That is NOT the "Boot Sequence", but the
Hard Drive Boot Order.) Some BIOSes in pre-SATA days had
that, and it defined the meaning of the argument in "rdisk()".

*TimDaniels*


:
When I created my second hard drive I did use some cloning
software.
[.......]
It appears that drive 1 has the system and boot partitions.
Drive 2 (backup) has the active partition.

The OS is in the BOOT partition

The SYSTEM and ACTIVE partitions are essentially copies of each
other - on different disks. They are not on the boot drive\partition.

I searched for the BOOT.ini file, it is in the BOOT partition in the
root
direcory and the associated backup drive. The only references to the
ntldr and ntdetect.com files are in the ..\$ntservicepackuninstall$ and
..\i386 directories of both the 'boot' drive\partition and the
associated
backup drive. I do have the 'show hidden' checkbox marked.


:

:
Can anybody point me in the right direction here.

I have 2 hard drives installed on my system. The second drive
is essentially a copy (not a mirror but close) I use as my backup.
Supposedly the backup drive should be bootable and act just
as the primary drive should the primary drive fail.

It turns out that I need to have both drives installed and running
for my system to boot. I assume this is because of the MBR.

So, how do I go about fixing the MBR on both drives (is this
possible?) so that I can boot from the primary drive by itself
and the backup drive by itself - but have both drives running at
the same time (for backup purposes)?


I will assume that the 2nd HD contains a clone of the OS that is
in the 1st HD, including the boot files (ntldr, boot.ini,
ntdetect.com).
1) Did you make the clone with Ghost? If so, did you tell it to mark
the clone's partition "active", and/or did you tell it to copy the MBR
to the 2nd HD as well?
2) Which partitions on both HDs are marked "active"?
3) What do those "active" partitions contain?
4) Which partitions are the OSes in?

*TimDaniels*
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top