XP wants to install on D drive


G

graveller39

I did a clean re-install of Windows XP Pro SP2.

I have 3 physical drives connected - one on each of the two SATA channels
and the 3rd on the PATA channel along with a CD/DVD drive also on the PATA
channel.

On SATA channel 1, I installed a new hard drive. The only way I could get
the XP Setup program to see this new disc as the C drive (rather than D, E,
or F) was to disconnect the other drives - except for the CD drive.

During the install, I partitioned the new drive.

After the install, Windows Explorer recognizes the drives as such:
C - local drive (1st partion of new disc 1)
D - 2nd SATA drive
E - CD/DVD drive
F - 2nd partion of disc 1
G - PATA drive

Everything seemed fine, but after a couple weeks I received a disc
configuration error on bootup.

When I insert the Windows disc to attempt a repair/recovery, the Setup
program sees my Windows install on the D drive.

I cannot perform bootcfg /rebuild as the Windows installation can't be
found. chkdsk seems to work ok and afterwards the system boots up fine, but
after a day or so I get the same configuration error on bootup.

Any ideas...?

And why would Windows Recovery see my Windows installation on the D drive???
 
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B

Big_Al

graveller39 said:
I did a clean re-install of Windows XP Pro SP2.

I have 3 physical drives connected - one on each of the two SATA channels
and the 3rd on the PATA channel along with a CD/DVD drive also on the PATA
channel.

On SATA channel 1, I installed a new hard drive. The only way I could get
the XP Setup program to see this new disc as the C drive (rather than D, E,
or F) was to disconnect the other drives - except for the CD drive.

During the install, I partitioned the new drive.

After the install, Windows Explorer recognizes the drives as such:
C - local drive (1st partion of new disc 1)
D - 2nd SATA drive
E - CD/DVD drive
F - 2nd partion of disc 1
G - PATA drive

Everything seemed fine, but after a couple weeks I received a disc
configuration error on bootup.

When I insert the Windows disc to attempt a repair/recovery, the Setup
program sees my Windows install on the D drive.

I cannot perform bootcfg /rebuild as the Windows installation can't be
found. chkdsk seems to work ok and afterwards the system boots up fine, but
after a day or so I get the same configuration error on bootup.

Any ideas...?

And why would Windows Recovery see my Windows installation on the D drive???

Just a suggestion. I have IDE / SATA on my desktop and now and then the
order of the drives is different in the BIOS. I boot from the first
SATA drive, and if it becomes the secondary drive then the primary drive
IDE tries to boot, with no OS I get errors and know immediately I have
to reorder the drives in the BIOS.
 
R

R. McCarty

Your problem is entirely the PATA drive. Whenever one is installed,
it becomes the physical drive where letter C: is assigned to the first
partition. It's an internal structure of BIOS/Windows and not easily
fixable. About the only possible solution might be to recreate the PATA
drive as entirely Logical drives and not use any Primary volumes.
 
G

graveller39

:

graveller39 wrote:
I did a clean re-install of Windows XP Pro SP2.

I have 3 physical drives connected - one on each of the two SATA channels
and the 3rd on the PATA channel along with a CD/DVD drive also on the PATA
channel.

On SATA channel 1, I installed a new hard drive. The only way I could get
the XP Setup program to see this new disc as the C drive (rather than D, E,
or F) was to disconnect the other drives - except for the CD drive.

During the install, I partitioned the new drive.

After the install, Windows Explorer recognizes the drives as such:
C - local drive (1st partion of new disc 1)
D - 2nd SATA drive
E - CD/DVD drive
F - 2nd partion of disc 1
G - PATA drive

Everything seemed fine, but after a couple weeks I received a disc
configuration error on bootup.

When I insert the Windows disc to attempt a repair/recovery, the Setup
program sees my Windows install on the D drive.

I cannot perform bootcfg /rebuild as the Windows installation can't be
found. chkdsk seems to work ok and afterwards the system boots up fine, but
after a day or so I get the same configuration error on bootup.

Any ideas...?

And why would Windows Recovery see my Windows installation on the D drive???

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Just a suggestion. I have IDE / SATA on my desktop and now and then the
order of the drives is different in the BIOS. I boot from the first SATA
drive, and if it becomes the secondary drive then the primary drive IDE tries
to boot, with no OS I get errors and know immediately I have to reorder the
drives in the BIOS.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
thanks Big Al,
I noticed the same thing in my BIOS - changing the 1st boot drive allows me
to boot up sometimes - other times I still need to do a chkdsk before I can
get my system to boot.
Strange that I never had the problem before though. I had exactly the same
setup except I had a Seagate 250GB on my SATA channel 1 - now I have an
Hitachi 1000GB.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 
G

graveller39

thanks - Can I use the Disk Management tool to change my PATA drive to a
logical drive? Or should I try Partition Magic? Will I lose my data when I
change it?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
R

R. McCarty

Before doing ANYTHING back up the data & verify it. I use a tool
from Acronis - Disk Management. Depending on your version of PQ
Magic it should offer to convert Primary to Logical. However, I seem
to remember operations of that type are prone to failures.
 
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A

Anna

thanks - Can I
use the Disk Management tool to change my PATA drive to a
logical drive? Or should I try Partition Magic? Will I lose my data when
I
change it?


graveller39:
First of all I can't see where your problem is a result of the PATA HDD
that's installed in your system. I'm at a loss to understand R. McCarty's
statement that "Whenever one is installed, it (the PATA drive) becomes the
physical drive where letter C: is assigned to the first partition." We've
worked with hundreds of systems that had a mix of PATA/SATA HDDs and I've
never come across a situation where a PATA HDD rec'd the C: drive letter
designation in some automatic fashion. It would only occur should the user
install the XP OS onto that drive and actually create the drive as the boot
disk. It is true that at times this occurs accidentally in the sense that
the user mistakenly creates this situation. But merely because there's a
PATA HDD installed in the system does not automatically mean it will be
designated as the C: drive.

As to your problem...

You surely did the right thing when you indicate that when you installed the
new SATA HDD in your system it was connected to the first SATA connector on
the motherboard. It *was* the first SATA connector, right? Some motherboards
designate the first SATA connector as SATA0 (not SATA1). But we'll assume
it's properly connected to the motherboard's *first* SATA connector.
Furthermore you were correct in disconnecting all your other storage devices
(the other HDDs in your system), i.e., the other SATA HDD and the PATA HDD
when you installed the XP OS onto that new SATA HDD. And, as you've
indicated you multi-partitioned the new SATA HDD during the install of the
OS so that the drive has two partitions. And there were no problems along
the way during the install, right? Do I have all this correct so far?

Again, you're absolutely certain the new SATA HDD has been properly
connected - both power & data, right?

(And we're not dealing here with any RAID configuration, right?)

So that I assume that immediately following the XP OS fresh install the new
SATA HDD booted without incident and properly functioned, right?

Then (apparently) you reconnected your other HDDs - the other SATA & the
PATA HDD, yes. When you booted up with all those drives connected there was
no problem, (at least initially) right? Again, the system booted to the new
SATA HDD and all worked well. The boot drive was designated as C: and the
other HDDs had different drive letter assignments, yes? Do I still have this
right?

I'm more or less repeating what you've indicated but I want you to confirm
all this.

Now "after a couple of weeks" you say you're getting a "disc configuration
error on bootup". What *precisely* is that message?

I assume that before you installed the new HDD, the XP OS was installed on
your older SATA HDD and that drive served as your boot drive. And presumably
that disk still contains the XP OS.

First of all it would be a very good idea to check out the new SATA HDD with
the HDD diagnostic utility from the disk's manufacturer. It's conceivable
you may be dealing with a defective disk. In any event it would be wise to
check it out.

When you access your BIOS boot priority setting does all look well there,
i.e. the first HDD boot is to the new SATA HDD? What happens if you again
disconnect the other two HDDs and attempt a boot to the new SATA HDD. Goes
OK, or do you still get some kind of an error message affecting the boot?
Anna
 
K

kiki

got something similar here(pata/sata combo), poking inside bios did not
help, so only way to sort drives and drive letters as i want (and not as
bios/windows combo would want) is to phisicaly disconect sata drive or
drives while instaling windows on pata drive and reconect them later when
windows setup is finished. dunno what will that do to a different mobo/
setup but its another option to think about.

btw i COULD install windows to a pata drive even if i dont disconect sata
drives but then boot info and files end up on some other drive/partition
wich is really annoying
 
G

graveller39

thanks Anna - you've got it pretty much exact.

I double checked, and yes, the new HDD is connected to SATA1 - the other
channel is labelled SATA2.

All drives are connected OK and work fine once I'm booted up - and no, this
is not a RAID configuration.

The error message I've received several times now is:

" Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration
problem.

Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.

Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and
your hardware reference manuals for additional information. "

I found Article ID 314477 on the Microsoft Help and Support site and tried
to follow their Method 2 to use the bootcfg utility in the Recovery console.

This is when the only Windows installation found is shown as D:\WINDOWS. I
have definitely installed Windows on the C drive and that is where it appears
in Windows Explorer. There is no OS installed on my D drive (there never has
been).

When I try running bootcfg /rebuild, I get a message saying no operating
system could be found and I must run chkdsk first. I ran chkdsk and it said
it found some errors (that's all it says - no details).

After running chkdsk, my system booted up fine... until the next time the
same disk hardware configuration message appeared. I repeated the same steps
to get booted up again.

You assume correctly that before installing the new HDD, the XP OS was
installed on an older SATA HDD and it served as my boot drive. That drive
however is no longer on my system and does not contain the XP OS as I deleted
the partition when I attempted to re-install XP on that drive. The partition
would not format - I believed the drive had had its day - thus the new HDD
was used instead. I still have another HDD on SATA2 though and the PATA HDD
as well.

I have checked the new HDD with the Hitachi Fitness Drive Tool and it
checked out fine. Twice I’ve checked the BIOS and the new HDD was not
selected as the 1st boot drive – I selected it and yet the 2nd time it was
back to #2 or 3 again (yes – I saved my changes).

The one other thing I’m wondering about is my boot.ini file… I have one on
each of my drives (except for partition 2 on the new HDD which I haven’t used
yet to save any data to). Is that to be expected? Or should the boot.ini
file only be on my C drive? Also, the boot.ini file has /usepmtimer at the
end of the last line – it wasn’t there when I checked 2 days ago… I’m not
too familiar with the boot.ini file.

So… any other suggestions? I’ve yet to try booting up again with only the
new HDD connected – I could try that next time if I get the disk hardware
configuration message again…

thanks so much for your help – it is very much appreciated,
Dave

--------------------------------------------------------------
 
A

Anna

graveller39 said:
thanks Anna - you've got it pretty much exact.

I double checked, and yes, the new HDD is connected to SATA1 - the other
channel is labelled SATA2.

All drives are connected OK and work fine once I'm booted up - and no,
this
is not a RAID configuration.

The error message I've received several times now is:

" Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware
configuration
problem.

Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk
hardware.

Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration
and
your hardware reference manuals for additional information. "

I found Article ID 314477 on the Microsoft Help and Support site and tried
to follow their Method 2 to use the bootcfg utility in the Recovery
console.

This is when the only Windows installation found is shown as D:\WINDOWS.
I
have definitely installed Windows on the C drive and that is where it
appears
in Windows Explorer. There is no OS installed on my D drive (there never
has
been).

When I try running bootcfg /rebuild, I get a message saying no operating
system could be found and I must run chkdsk first. I ran chkdsk and it
said
it found some errors (that's all it says - no details).

After running chkdsk, my system booted up fine... until the next time the
same disk hardware configuration message appeared. I repeated the same
steps
to get booted up again.

You assume correctly that before installing the new HDD, the XP OS was
installed on an older SATA HDD and it served as my boot drive. That drive
however is no longer on my system and does not contain the XP OS as I
deleted
the partition when I attempted to re-install XP on that drive. The
partition
would not format - I believed the drive had had its day - thus the new HDD
was used instead. I still have another HDD on SATA2 though and the PATA
HDD
as well.

I have checked the new HDD with the Hitachi Fitness Drive Tool and it
checked out fine. Twice I've checked the BIOS and the new HDD was not
selected as the 1st boot drive - I selected it and yet the 2nd time it was
back to #2 or 3 again (yes - I saved my changes).

The one other thing I'm wondering about is my boot.ini file. I have one
on
each of my drives (except for partition 2 on the new HDD which I haven't
used
yet to save any data to). Is that to be expected? Or should the boot.ini
file only be on my C drive? Also, the boot.ini file has /usepmtimer at
the
end of the last line - it wasn't there when I checked 2 days ago. I'm not
too familiar with the boot.ini file.

So. any other suggestions? I've yet to try booting up again with only
the
new HDD connected - I could try that next time if I get the disk hardware
configuration message again.

thanks so much for your help - it is very much appreciated,
Dave


Dave:
It is rather puzzling why this problem has arisen based on the info you've
provided. Especially so from this distance...

Anyway, perhaps to simplify things in terms of resolving the problem...

I'm assuming that your second SATA HDD and the PATA HDD are simply being
used for storage and/or backup purposes. In any event there is no need for
either of those HDDs to contain the OS. If that's the case, on both drives
could you delete the WINDOWS folder (including its contents of course)
should one exist, and in the two drives' root directories delete the
boot.ini, NTDETECT.COM, and ntldr files, again, should they exist?

Disconnect those two secondary HDDs from the system and reinstall
(fresh-install) the XP OS onto your new Hitachi SATA HDD. I'm assuming that
there's no problem with a fresh install in that there's no data currently on
that HDD that you need. I'll assume no problem occurs during the OS install.

The system should boot to the new Hitachi SATA HDD and the disk should, of
course, receive a C: drive letter assignment.

Now reconnect the two secondary HDDs. When you boot the system, access the
BIOS to ensure the boot priority order does indicate a boot to the Hitachi
SATA HDD. (It can follow a setting to boot to the optical drive, of course,
but it must be the first boot *HDD*.) This should be automatic in that
ordinarily no user intervention is necessary to change the boot priority
order setting in this instance, but do check the BIOS to verify.

This should work. If it doesn't you'll indicate the nature of the problem
and let us know the make/model of the motherboard.

Incidentally, while we haven't covered this aspect I'm assuming that there's
no OEM consideration involved here. That you're working with a retail
version of the XP OS installation CD (or a non-branded OEM version).
Anna
 
A

Andy

got something similar here(pata/sata combo), poking inside bios did not
help, so only way to sort drives and drive letters as i want (and not as
bios/windows combo would want) is to phisicaly disconect sata drive or
drives while instaling windows on pata drive and reconect them later when
windows setup is finished. dunno what will that do to a different mobo/
setup but its another option to think about.

btw i COULD install windows to a pata drive even if i dont disconect sata
drives but then boot info and files end up on some other drive/partition
wich is really annoying
The disk drive that is at the top of the list in the Hard Disk Boot
Priority or Hard Disk Drives setting in BIOS setup is the disk that
the BIOS boots from, and is the disk that Windows setup places the
System partition containing the boot files (provided the BIOS is not
buggy).
 
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G

graveller39

Anna - the following files are on both D and G drive root directories:

AUTOEXEC.BAT
boot.ini
CONFIG.SYS
IO.SYS
MSDOS.SYS
NTDETECT.COM
ntldr

my D drive also has:

PMEMNT.SYS
install.dat
video.pass

Are they all safe to delete? I'm not sure what the last two on the D drive
are.
There is no WINDOWS directory on any drive - except for the C drive.
I've used a retail version of XP Pro SP2.

thanks again,
Dave
 
A

Anna

graveller39 said:
Anna - the following files are on both D and G drive root directories:

AUTOEXEC.BAT
boot.ini
CONFIG.SYS
IO.SYS
MSDOS.SYS
NTDETECT.COM
ntldr

my D drive also has:

PMEMNT.SYS
install.dat
video.pass

Are they all safe to delete? I'm not sure what the last two on the D
drive
are.
There is no WINDOWS directory on any drive - except for the C drive.
I've used a retail version of XP Pro SP2.

thanks again,
Dave


Dave:
Yes, the first seven (7) files you listed that appear on your two
non-booting secondary HDDs are safe to delete and should be deleted.

Its possible that the install.dat file can be some sort of malware probably
related to adware of some type. See...
http://www.spywareremove.com/removeinstalldat.html and Google for other info
on this file. And, of course, check the drive with your A-V & anti-spyware
programs for any indication of a problem with this file. It may be perfectly
innocuous.

I'm virtually certain you could delete the video.pass file since it's a very
old file that seems was used for video encoding. But it shouldn't be causing
any problems if you let it be.

Ditto for the pmemnt.sys file - see
http://www.file.net/process/pmemnt.sys.html
Anna
 
G

graveller39

Anna said:
Dave:
Yes, the first seven (7) files you listed that appear on your two
non-booting secondary HDDs are safe to delete and should be deleted.

Its possible that the install.dat file can be some sort of malware probably
related to adware of some type. See...
http://www.spywareremove.com/removeinstalldat.html and Google for other info
on this file. And, of course, check the drive with your A-V & anti-spyware
programs for any indication of a problem with this file. It may be perfectly
innocuous.

I'm virtually certain you could delete the video.pass file since it's a very
old file that seems was used for video encoding. But it shouldn't be causing
any problems if you let it be.

Ditto for the pmemnt.sys file - see
http://www.file.net/process/pmemnt.sys.html
Anna
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I may not be able to try those suggestions for a couple days, but will let
you know how it goes when I do.

One question in the meantime though...

Any idea how the system files might've got to the D and G drives if I've
never installed an OS on them?

thanks,
Dave
 
A

Anna

graveller39 said:
I may not be able to try those suggestions for a couple days, but will let
you know how it goes when I do.

One question in the meantime though...

Any idea how the system files might've got to the D and G drives if I've
never installed an OS on them?

thanks,
Dave


Dave:
Generally speaking there are two ways that I'm aware of that would have
caused this...
1. The usual way - the user installed the OS onto the drive(s), perhaps
accidentally without even noticing or realizing that he or she was
installing an OS on the drive(s) - believe me, it's a frequent occurrence in
my experience, or,

2. Somewhere along the line the disks had been the recipient of a clone (or
disk image) of a HDD containing the OS.

I suppose there could be other ways but in my experience the two mentioned
above are the "usual suspects".
Anna
 
G

graveller39

Anna said:
Dave:
Generally speaking there are two ways that I'm aware of that would have
caused this...
1. The usual way - the user installed the OS onto the drive(s), perhaps
accidentally without even noticing or realizing that he or she was
installing an OS on the drive(s) - believe me, it's a frequent occurrence in
my experience, or,

2. Somewhere along the line the disks had been the recipient of a clone (or
disk image) of a HDD containing the OS.

I suppose there could be other ways but in my experience the two mentioned
above are the "usual suspects".
Anna

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

so, I deleted all the system files on the D and G drives (saved them on a
floppy just in case), and have rebooted twice so far - no problems...

I haven't reinstalled XP - I'll see how things go first - but I'll try
booting up with the XP disc to see which drive its seeing Windows on now.

I'll let you know what happens and if I have any more configuration errors -
d'you think with the extra files on my D/G drives it was confusing the system
on bootup?
 
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A

Anna

so, I deleted all the system files on the D and G drives (saved them on a
floppy just in case), and have rebooted twice so far - no problems...

I haven't reinstalled XP - I'll see how things go first - but I'll try
booting up with the XP disc to see which drive its seeing Windows on now.

I'll let you know what happens and if I have any more configuration
errors -
d'you think with the extra files on my D/G drives it was confusing the
system
on bootup?


Most likely this caused the anomaly you experienced. I simply can't think of
another reason. Anyway, there shouldn't be any further problems you
experience in this regard after you clean-install the OS onto your new HDD.
Anna
 
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