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Repairing XP -Cant Find Hard Drive


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#1 Melish67

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 04:43 PM

I am attempting to either repair or reinstall XP Home Edition SP2 on a friends laptop. After booting from the XP CD and getting to the Install or repair option both give me a message that it cannot find the Hard Drive.
The Hard Drive does appear to be working. When booting up normally an option screen appears with two choices of operating systems to start. Both are Windows XP Home. One Version works but doesn’t have any of the computers files available. The other option gives an error message that says the file <Windows Root>\system32\hal.dll is missing or corrupt.
I was attempting to either repair the broken version of XP and save the data on the laptop, or if needed wipe the whole thing and install one lone version from scratch but in either case I am stopped by the "cant find the hard drive" problem
The laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1525

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 06:01 PM

The message that the system cannot find the hard drive could mean several things.

Go into the BIOS/Setup...and see if the hard drive is properly reflected on the main page. Then go to the

<<One Version works but doesn’t have any of the computers files available. The other option gives an error message that says the file <Windows Root>\system32\hal.dll is missing or corrupt.>>

Worth reading, IMO: XP FAQ, Two XP Installs On Same Partition - http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/xpfaq.html#20

It sounds to me as if you have attempted a repair install and actually wound up with two installs on the same partition.

First thing I suggest...boot into the install that works...then follow the guidance for running chkdsk at XP FAQ, Two XP Installs On Same Partition - http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/xpfaq.html#20. You only want the directions for Starting Chkdsk, only the item marked 1.

After you reboot the system, the command will execute...before booting into XP.

When the command is done, the system will again present you with the two choices...try the one which previously gave you the error message.

Louis

#3 Melish67

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:55 PM

CHKDSK ran but didnt seem to resolve the problem.
I saw another thread about the missing <Windows Root>\system32\hal.dll is missing or corrupt.>> but the fix still involves booting and repairing from the CD drive which is still saying it cant detect the Hard Drive. I tried going into the BIOS setup, the Hard Drive is shown. I also reset the BIOS settings to factory default. But no luck there.
Is there a way to access the files from the non working installation by using the working installation? If I can salvage the files I would wipe the drive and start from scratch.

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#4 hamluis

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:06 PM

You can salvage data files only...no programs that are installed, no settings.

Data files can normally be recovered (if there is no files system/hardware damage) by just attaching your boot drive (temporarily) as a secondary drive on a known good system.

To access (from the second system) the files in My Documents, My Videos, etc...you will probably have to Take Ownership - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421.

Louis




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