Need help booting RAID drive


M

M.L.

I can't get my XP Pro system to boot the RAID drive.

Specs: Powerspec B647, Intel Core 2 Quad, 4 GB RAM, two 500 GB
mirrored RAID hard drives (RAID controller drivers integrated into XP
via nLite).

The RAID BIOS setup utility shows the following:
Boot: N/A
Status: Healthy
Vendor: Nvidia
Array: Mirror
Size: 465.76G

When I boot to Safe Mode: computer reboots repeatedly after the *.sys
enumeration list completes.
When I boot to normal mode: got BSOD 0x000000BE with "An attempt was
made to write to read-only memory."

I performed a chkdsk /r in Recovery Mode and no errors were found.
I performed a fixmbr in Recovery Mode and got some scary warnings as
follows so I decided not to go through with it:

1.) "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master
boot record."

2.) "Fixmbr may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This
would cause all partitions on the current hard disk to become
inaccessible."

3.) "If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do not
continue."

Can someone make sense of the next steps I should take to get XP to
boot properly? Thanks.
 
Ad

Advertisements

M

M.L.

I can't get my XP Pro system to boot the RAID drive.

Specs: Powerspec B647, Intel Core 2 Quad, 4 GB RAM, two 500 GB
mirrored RAID hard drives (RAID controller drivers integrated into XP
via nLite).

The RAID BIOS setup utility shows the following:
Boot: N/A
Status: Healthy
Vendor: Nvidia
Array: Mirror
Size: 465.76G

When I boot to Safe Mode: computer reboots repeatedly after the *.sys
enumeration list completes.
When I boot to normal mode: got BSOD 0x000000BE with "An attempt was
made to write to read-only memory."

I performed a chkdsk /r in Recovery Mode and no errors were found.
I performed a fixmbr in Recovery Mode and got some scary warnings as
follows so I decided not to go through with it:

1.) "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master
boot record."

2.) "Fixmbr may damage your partition tables if you proceed. This
would cause all partitions on the current hard disk to become
inaccessible."

3.) "If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do not
continue."

Can someone make sense of the next steps I should take to get XP to
boot properly? Thanks.

BTW, I plan to use Puppy Linux to save the following folders to an
external drive before doing anything irreversible:
My Documents, Desktop, Favorites, Wallpaper
 
M

M.L.

The only "nLite" that I have know of is used to assist in creating
bootable installation CDs for Windows.

I downloaded the Nvidia RAID 16.12 drivers from the Powerspec website
and used nLite to integrate them into an XP install disc since the PC
would not recognize my external USB floppy.
Does
"Windows XP Pro[fessional]" mean you are using the 32-bit or 64-bit
version of it? If the 64-bit version, you MUST use a 64-bit version of
drivers.

Only 32 bit XP Pro supported. I'm confident I'm using the correct
drivers especially since the XP recovery was not allowed to proceed
until I integrated those drivers.
If you are using a multi-boot manager then it, too, usurps the bootstrap
area (first 446 bytes) of the MBR.

No multiboot manager present that I'm aware of.
Have you tried installing Windows *without* the RAID support that you
slipstreamed into the install CD? That is, slipstream another CD using
nLite that does NOT have whatever RAID drivers/software that you
slipstreamed in before. Just see if you can get Windows to boot from
your non-RAID setup.

I tried unsuccessfully to install without the RAID drivers.
I integrated both SATARAID and IDE drivers into the XP CD.
In a reply to your own original post (rather than burying it under this
subthread) so others know the actual details of your setup, identify the
following:

- Make and model of motherboard.

P6NGM-FD (MS-7366)
- RAID controller chip on the mobo, or RAID controller card (make &
model).

Not specified on Powerspec website.
http://www.powerspec.com/support/support_archive.phtml?selection=B647
- Are all hard disks IDE or are all SATA? Is there a mix of IDE and
SATA hard disks?

All SATA. The Powerspec B647 PC comes standard with 1TB RAID 0 (2 x
500GB SATA RAID HDDs) which the P6NGM-FD (MS-7366) motherboard
natively supports.
- Where you got the SATA drivers (if using SATA drives).
- Where you got the RAID drivers (mobo maker or RAID chip maker).

At the Powerspec website shown above.
- If Windows was already installed and then you tried using RAID. Get a
non-RAID version of Windows working first before adding RAID.
Do mirroring afterward (as long as the mobo or chip maker state that
doing so is non-destructive, or you want to experiment on a fresh
install of non-RAIDed Windows with no user data to lose to do the
destructive checking yourself).

I don't think that will work.
- Which service pack level for Windows on the install CD.
SP3

- Are you relying on just the software-only RAID support included in
Windows, or a RAID manager app provided by the mobo maker, or relying
just on the RAID BIOS settings?

Relying on BIOS settings. Powerspec comes standard with the ability to
downgrade from Vista Business to XP Pro so I don't think there's a
need to make changes to the basic RAID configuration in order to get
XP to boot.
- If using hardware-level RAID (i.e., in a RAID BIOS or a Windows GUI
utility that interfaces with the RAID BIOS).
- Does Windows install successfully if not using any RAID config?

No it does not.
- After installing Windows (in a non-RAID config), did you ever install
the chipset drivers provided by the mobo maker?
N/A

You do realize, right, that mirroring is only for hardware recovery, not
for data recovery? Anything you do to your data on the primary drive
will get reflected on the mirrored drive.

I planned to save My Documents, Desktop, Favorites, Start menu and
Wallpaper folders before implementing fixmbr, if needed.
If you use imaging backup programs then do you really need to use RAID
mirroring?

RAID mirroring is standard per the PC specs. It's not my computer so
I'm reluctant to make basic hardware configuration changes.

I want to thank you for your exhaustive analysis of my boot issue with
respect to RAID hardware and software. My greatest issue now is to
determine whether I should go forward with a fixmbr command to see if
it'll fix things or just make things worse.
 
M

M.L.

After saving some precious folders I reluctantly decided to proceed
with fixmbr in the Recovery Mode.

Result: It booted into Windows just fine. It even restarted OK. I hope
that result is permanent.

In Windows, the WGA window came up, apparently wanting me to enter an
activation key. In addition, a System Preparation Tool 2.0 window
opened asking me to select the option of Factory, Audit or Reseal.
I'll look up what those selections mean and hope one of them takes
care of the XP activation.

Powerspec B647 was factory delivered with Vista Business but allows a
downgrade to Win XP Pro. However, I don't know if that downgrade
offers an XP activation key. I've been trying to get in contact with
the owner but no luck so far. I suspect she had someone else help her
with the XP install before turning it over to me.
 
V

VanguardLH

M.L. said:
After saving some precious folders I reluctantly decided to proceed
with fixmbr in the Recovery Mode.

Result: It booted into Windows just fine. It even restarted OK. I hope
that result is permanent.

Since this sounds like a fresh install of Windows XP, you didn't have
much to lose by letting fixmbr do its job.
In Windows, the WGA window came up, apparently wanting me to enter an
activation key. In addition, a System Preparation Tool 2.0 window
opened asking me to select the option of Factory, Audit or Reseal.
I'll look up what those selections mean and hope one of them takes
care of the XP activation.

You somehow obtained a sysprep "image" to do an install of Windows XP?
You don't install an image. You lay it down on the hard disk (or volume
if using RAID). Sysprep images are used in a corporate environment or
by jobbers to quickly setup similar licensed images; however, that
sysprep image is part of a volume license so you might not be permitted
to distribute that instance to a user outside the organization to which
the volume license was issued. If a jobber using sysprep to build hosts
for resale, they're expected to follow with a product key update that is
unique and provides a separate license to the customer.

You sure that you restored a legitimate image for Windows XP? If using
sysprep, you didn't actually do an install of Windows XP. If you used
sysprep to replace/lay an image into a partition or volume in the
computer, do you have an OEM license where you can slice out instances
for distribution to outsiders (i.e., customers)? The customer doesn't
get your volume license, so what do they get to prove ownership of a
license?

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457069.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc758953(WS.10).aspx
http://www.petri.co.il/using_sysprep_in_an_image_based_installation.htm
Powerspec B647 was factory delivered with Vista Business but allows a
downgrade to Win XP Pro. However, I don't know if that downgrade
offers an XP activation key. I've been trying to get in contact with
the owner but no luck so far. I suspect she had someone else help her
with the XP install before turning it over to me.

The "downgrade" requires that you have a Windows XP install CD. You
don't actually downgrade an existing install of Vista down to XP. You
do a fresh install of XP, call Microsoft and give them your Vista
product key, and they will give you back an XP product key to use.

Microsoft doesn't care how you get the install media for Windows XP.
They won't supply it. You have to obtain it somehow. They even mention
that it could be for a friend's computer (i.e., you are using their
install media for your computer so you are using it for 2 computers).
They only care that you have a legit copy of Vista (only the Business
and Ultimate versions have the downgrade option) for which they will
issue a product key for Windows XP however you manage to get it
installed. OEMs are supposed to supply their own means for the
downgrade, like providing a separate Windows XP installation. Retail
users of Vista have to somehow obtain a copy of install media for
Windows XP to do a *fresh* install as the "downgrade".

http://download.microsoft.com/downl...cbd-699b0c164182/royaltyoemreferencesheet.pdf

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9040318/FAQ_Giving_up_on_Vista_Here_s_how_to_downgrade_to_XP

You get a downgrade *right*. You don't actually get the downgrade
installation media. That you have to obtain yourself. Once you figure
out how to do a fresh install of Windows XP (to "replace" Vista) then
you call Microsoft to get a product key for Windows XP by giving them
your Vista license key.

Although many instructions say to do a fresh install of Windows XP and
use whatever product key came with it, I don't think you actually have
to use a product key to activate that install of Windows XP. Just do
the fresh Windows XP install and then call Microsoft.

Since you already got the Windows XP install to successfully complete,
just leave it there. Then get the product key from the customer for the
Vista version and call Microsoft to get them to give you the product key
for the existing Windows XP installation (be sure to record that product
key to give to the customer). They need to retain the license doc and
COA for the Vista license to prove they have a legit *right* to the
downgrade (which was actually a fresh install) to the Windows XP
license.
 
A

Andrew E.

Youre not even close to having RAID.....
Integrating drivers is the last step,including them in a xp cd probably
hurts more than it helps...At this point,boot into the BIOS,set it for
RAID (advanced chipset),set it for 2nd boot priority (xp cd 1st),once thru,
exit,enter RAID configuration utility.Delete if such an item as a RAID set
appears (probably not),create one,use 128,once thru,exit,boot to xp cd
(press F6 key),install RAID drivers from floppy when asked,do this 2X,once
asked to use floppy drivers procceed,then press enter key when thru,procceed
to xp installation,delete partition (s),create one,reinstall xp..Also,read
owners
manual.Also,once in xp,install chipse installation utility,then RAID
drivers/software.
 
Ad

Advertisements

M

M.L.

Since this sounds like a fresh install of Windows XP, you didn't have
much to lose by letting fixmbr do its job.

Not a fresh install, but an XP Recovery. All data and programs are
intact. The owner told me she had Microcenter do the Vista to XP
downgrade in Sept 2009.

I got rid of the WGA wizard with a utility. Microsoft Security
Essentials validated successfully during its install so the system is
already properly activated.
In addition, a System Preparation Tool 2.0 window

You somehow obtained a sysprep "image" to do an install of Windows XP?
You don't install an image. You lay it down on the hard disk (or volume
if using RAID).

No install involved. All I did was type "Y" when prompted by fixmbr
during recovery. I really don't know how or why sysprep showed up.
You sure that you restored a legitimate image for Windows XP? If using
sysprep, you didn't actually do an install of Windows XP.

No install, just an XP Recovery.
The "downgrade" requires that you have a Windows XP install CD. You
don't actually downgrade an existing install of Vista down to XP. You
do a fresh install of XP, call Microsoft and give them your Vista
product key, and they will give you back an XP product key to use.

Thanks for that information. It's important to know. Microcenter did
the downgrade for the owner.
They need to retain the license doc and
COA for the Vista license to prove they have a legit *right* to the
downgrade (which was actually a fresh install) to the Windows XP
license.

The Vista COA sticker is glued to the top of the PC. I'm going to call
Microcenter tomorrow to ask them how to get rid of the sysprep window
in XP.

Thanks for all the additional info you provided. I learned a lot.
 
M

M.L.

I've since learned that those warnings are standard for fixmbr.
Youre not even close to having RAID.....
Integrating drivers is the last step,including them in a xp cd probably
hurts more than it helps...At this point,boot into the BIOS,set it for
RAID (advanced chipset),set it for 2nd boot priority (xp cd 1st),

Those BIOS settings were already present.
once thru,
exit,enter RAID configuration utility.Delete if such an item as a RAID set
appears (probably not),create one,use 128,once thru,exit,boot to xp cd
(press F6 key),install RAID drivers from floppy when asked,

I tried the floppy route first but the PC wouldn't recognize my
external USB floppy. That's why I resorted to the nLite RAID driver
integration. Overall I found the nLite solution easier since no F6
interruption was necessary.
do this 2X,once
asked to use floppy drivers procceed,then press enter key when thru,procceed
to xp installation,delete partition (s),create one,reinstall xp..Also,read
owners
manual.Also,once in xp,install chipse installation utility,then RAID
drivers/software.

No installation was necessary, just an XP Recovery. I'm going to leave
my RAID configuration as is since implementing fixmbr during the
recovery process appears to be working, with the exception of a
lingering System Preparation Tool 2.0 window. I'll call Microcenter
tomorrow to ask them how to get rid of it.
 
Ad

Advertisements

M

M.L.

I'm going to call
Microcenter tomorrow to ask them how to get rid of the sysprep window
in XP.

I was told to simply select:
1.) Check "Don't regenerate SIDs" option
2.) Select Reseal option
3.) Select Shutdown option

After reboot XP made me enter a user account name, made me set the
time zone, and made me select my Internet connection type. The only
changes it made to the previous setup was a lowered desktop resolution
(to 1024x768), and the owner has to reenter passwords of apps like
Skype and MSN. Otherwise everything looks back to normal.
 

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

Similar Threads


Top