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XP Home reinstall created duplicate hard drives


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#1 Jenlanu

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:00 PM

A while ago, my computer (a custom built one) stopped booting. Ultimately we ended up reinstalling Windows XP Home. In the interest of full disclosure (not sure if it makes a difference) the license is a Microsoft Genuine Advantage Kit.

After finally getting the installation done, there are two problems:

1) It will only boot with the CD as primary boot drive. Even though on boot I let it skip over the CD boot (i.e. I don't press the key to confirm CD boot, and then it boots from the hard drive--I think this is what is happening anyway. If I change the settings so that the primary boot is from the hard drive, it won't boot up. So I've left it on CD boot as primary for now.

2) More disturbing and weird, though, is that in my list of drives, I have C:, D:, and E:, which were my original partitions. But I also have F:, G:, and H: which initially were copies of C, D, and E. I say initially, because after using the computer for a while, changes (i.e. new files and directories that I create, and updated copies of pre-existing stuff) are different on the new drives. Some of the C/D/E files are no longer accessible by certain applications (i.e. my Quicken Medical Expense Manager couldn't use the original data file that was on my E drive, saying file doesn't exist, when I could in fact find the file in the explorer). All of my System related files are on F and that is what the OS seems to be using, even though there are apparently copies also on C. And the weirdest thing is that my hard drives were more than 50% full before this happened. And, if I look at file usage on C/D/E, the total is more than 50%. However, the totals on F/G/H are ALSO more than 50% full. So it seems like the new drives must be some sort of virtual drive, but I don't know how to get things back to the original C/D/E, especially without losing any new work that seems to think it lives on F/G/H. Finally, I do web development on this computer, and since this problem started, I cannot get my local Apache service to start. I suspect it has something to do with this drive confusion, but changing my configuration file for Apache to reference the new drives doesn't fix the problem.

Basically, this is too weird for me. I can't find any reference to this kind of problem anywhere, but maybe you experts will have some idea.

I can provide additional information if needed, just let me know. Thanks!

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#2 Guest_Abacus 7_*

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:14 PM

Step 1?

Did you remove the XP Disk from your CD/DVD?

That should stop the Display on Boot!

Post back?

:thumbsup:

#3 Jenlanu

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 07:11 PM

Oddly enough, my husband loaned out my disk tonight. So without the disk, the computer goes into and endless reboot cycle, something to the effect of:

(on a black screen) We're sorry for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. This may be due to a recent change (or something like that).

Then it gives me the menu of various safe mode start up options, last known working configuration and windows normal load. Selecting any of these causes immediate restart returning to the same screen.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:45 AM

From what I see...the MS Genuine Advantage Kit is issued for systems where a bogus version of XP is deemed worthy of the privileges accorded to a genuine version.

That would make me think that...the version of XP which you used to install XP...is the problem. No one can say for sure what may be wrong or right with such version.

I would just do a clean install and reapply the MS Genuine Advantage Kit.

Louis

#5 Jenlanu

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 11:45 AM

Could be. We had issues using the Genuine Advantage Key product and ending up having to get Microsoft support to finish the install. But maybe with all the problems something didn't quite make it. We'll try that and see what happens.

Any ideas on the duplicate drives being out of sync, though?

#6 dc3

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 12:06 PM

Oddly enough, my husband loaned out my disk tonight. So without the disk, the computer goes into and endless reboot cycle, something to the effect of:

(on a black screen) We're sorry for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. This may be due to a recent change (or something like that).

Then it gives me the menu of various safe mode start up options, last known working configuration and windows normal load. Selecting any of these causes immediate restart returning to the same screen.


If you disable the Automatic restart feature an error message should come up at those times, try disabling it and please post the exact message back here.

Start> right click on My Computer> Properties> Advanced> Startup and Recovery. Under startup and Recovery click on Settings, uncheck the box in Automatically restart under System failure.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 hamluis

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 02:22 PM

Well...I would look at it in this manner...when Windows isn't working properly...how can you expect the data presented/processed, etc...to be reliable?

Seems to me that you have a situation where you need to get one thing resolved before moving on to ancillary matters.

Hard drives are hard drives, in my world. They either work or don't work, they are (other than the boot partition/drive) mere storage containers. If they behave properly on System A, but don't behave properly on System B...chances are it's your system that's at fault, not the drive.

Louis

#8 Jenlanu

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 03:50 PM

I'd agree that the system is probably the primary problem, but I was worried about the net changes I've made to data files in the meantime being lost once the "ghosts" go away. Obviously a backup of said datafiles could alleviate that concern...

#9 Jenlanu

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:27 AM

I'm willing to give the reinstall a try, but I am so paranoid of losing files because of this apparent duplication/divergence. I've been mucking around with trying to secure those files, but will post back once I've done the reinstall.

#10 Jenlanu

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 03:20 PM

If anyone cares, here was the resolution to this problem.

1) We ended up getting a new hard drive (unrelated to this problem) which allowed me to make a really easy back up of all my documents and other files.

2) We reinstalled WinXP

3) After some fighting with the hardware drivers, related to the new motherboard, it was determined that the duplication of drives issue was due to the fact that somehow the RAID array become un-RAIDed. I had completely forgotten that I had a RAID setup. Duh!

Once all of that was resolved, everything is working again. Now the long process of reinstalling software and sorting through data files to restore them from the backup. But it's almost like having a new computer again.

Thanks for the help.

#11 hamluis

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:09 PM

Thanks for posting your resolution, feedback appreciated...happy computing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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