Posted 05 February 2010 - 05:42 PM
Well, that was a bit of a scare.
From what I was gathering, the advice was to change the SATA Mode in the Bios setup from the ACHI that this laptop was set for to IDE, which would allow the SATA to recognize the XP installation. After doing a few ACHI VS IDE google searches, it sounded like a harmless enough change to make. So when starting up the laptop I pressed F2 to get into the Setup and changed the SATA mode from ACHI to IDE, saved and exited.
After that I got the windows error recovery message saying windows failed to start and went to a windows repair window. Its only solution was a System Restore, which supposedly would bring it back to before the problem started. I chose it and it restarted, but it went right back into the same Windows failed to start/windows repair loop. So I turned off the computer and and went back to Setup and changed the IDE back to ACHI and saved and exited.
To my horror, regardless of the fact I had changed it back to where it was in the first place when it worked, it STILL gave the same error messages and windows repair loop. So not only was I not able to get the dual boot thing going, I was no longer able to do ANYTHING with that computer. I was in panic mode.
But after a while of the third time around windows repair loop going, it said it couldn't fix the problem and gave an option to send an inquiry in to MS and I restarted again.
This time, for what ever reason, windows DID start. Doesn't seem to be any permanent damage, other than now the McAfee isn't working and clicking "FIX" doesn't help. Guess I'll take that one up with McAfee.
In regards to my desired dual boot issue, I'm back to square one, and much more nervous about trying to make any other changes to things I don't really understand in the first place.
If I had to choose between the two systems, at this point I would go with the XP Pro which would work better with my home network and printers and worry about upgrading to 7 later. I assume since the laptop didn't come with a Windows 7 disk that once I wipe the slate clean I won't be able to install it later without having to go out and buy it. But oh well. That would probably be around the time I would upgrade ALL my computers and printers anyway, so would most likely end up with Windows 7 Pro (or whatever they call it).
Okay... now that that is settled, my next question would be this: How do I reformat the drive for an XP Pro install? Since the Bios is set up in the ACHI instead of IDE, and apparently won't let me change it without punishing me, won't I run into the same problems in trying to install the XP Pro after I reformat? Also, will reformatting be a problem since I already took the step of shrinking the volume before I attempted the install the XP for the dual boot?
I don't know if it helps or not, but here is the laptop I have: Acer Aspire # 5517-5689, HDD: Toshiba MK555GSX, SATA/300.
I appreciate all the help everyone has given me so far. If I can just figure out now the best way to make this laptop into an XP Pro only, I would be happy at this point.