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XP will only boot with second HDD disconnected


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#1 Al1000

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 03:48 PM

Operating Systems (all are 32 bit): Windows XP Home SP3, Kubuntu 14.04.1, Linux Puppy
CPU: AMD Athlon 4200 Dual Core
RAM: 3GB
Motherboard: ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe
Video Card: Gainward Nvidia Geforce 8600GT
Power Supply: 500W

HDDs:
500GB for operating systems
1TB extra storage

Hi,

Everything has been working fine until today, when I discovered by trial and error that I could only boot into XP by disconnecting the 1TB HDD. With both HDDs connected, the computer hangs during boot up every time I try to boot into XP, but I have no problems booting into Linux.

Trying to boot in safe mode, when it hangs, the drivers at the bottom of the screen are either aswRvrt.sys, aswVmm.sys, or most often Mup.sys.

The power supply and both of the hard drives are only a few months old, and the motherboard and video card are around 10 years old.

I initially thought this might be a software issue, so scanned the Windows partition for viruses using F-Prot on Puppy, then tried renaming aswRvrt.sys and aswVmm.sys which I think are antivirus software files, and swapped Mup.sys for one from an old and failing but still accessible HDD that also has XP installed on it. Renaming aswRvrt.sys and aswVmm.sys just led to it getting stuck on Mup.sys, and swapping it for another Mup.sys didn't make any difference.

It was only when I eventually started disconnecting the hardware to see if I could narrow the problem down, that I discovered it booted into XP no problem with the 1TB HDD disconnected. So I have now returned all the files I changed to their original status, and am left with not being able to boot into XP with the 1TB HDD connected.

I am wondering if at least part of the reason it boots into Linux but not XP with both HDDs connected, is because the 1TB HDD isn't mounted by default in Linux; but after booting up I can mount it and it seems to work fine.

I am not particularly bothered with XP itself, and only normally boot into it because I haven't got round to changing my email application from Outlook Express to something on Linux, and only plan on keeping XP for a few games that I only play on the odd occasion. But whatever the problem is I would rather fix it than work round it, in case it's the start of a bigger problem.

Any advice on what to do from here would be appreciated.

Edited by Al1000, 23 July 2014 - 03:53 PM.


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#2 dicke

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 05:37 PM

Is the BIOS up to date and does it support a 1TB drive. If not partitions might solve the problem. A bit more RAM might not hurt operations either.

Remember that there are no security updates for XP so be sure you have security software in place and keep it current.

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#3 Frozwire

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:09 PM

It could be a possible file system issue on the 1TB drive that prevents XP to successfully boot when that drive is connected. Have you tried booting XP in safe mode command prompt only?


"Encryption...is a powerful defensive weapon for free people. It offers a technical guarantee of privacy, regardless of who is running the government... It's hard to think of a more powerful, less dangerous tool for liberty...” - Esther Dyson


#4 Al1000

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:55 AM

Is the BIOS up to date and does it support a 1TB drive. If not partitions might solve the problem. A bit more RAM might not hurt operations either.
Remember that there are no security updates for XP so be sure you have security software in place and keep it current.
Keep us posted


I have never updated the BIOS, but just checked the manufacturer's website for my BIOS version which is 0645, and there are no updates there for it, so I take it that would mean it's up to date?

http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=M2N32-SLI+Deluxe&p=1&ft=3&os=30

I assume that it must support a 1TB drive, as it was working fine before yesterday.

I gather that XP 32 bit is only able to use just over 3GB of RAM, so I already have close to the maximum that it could use. I have a swap partition for Linux on the 500GB drive, but have never seen it being used. When I first built this computer I only fitted 1GB of RAM, but I have since upgraded it thru 2GB to 3GB, which seems to be more than enough for the applications I use.

#5 Al1000

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:01 AM

It could be a possible file system issue on the 1TB drive that prevents XP to successfully boot when that drive is connected. Have you tried booting XP in safe mode command prompt only?

I was trying ''safe mode only'' yesterday, and hadn't tried ''safe mode with command prompt'' until this morning. Much to my surprise it booted up when I selected that option, but unfortunately I tried rebooting again to see if it would, and it wouldn't. So I will leave it switched off for a few hours and try again.

If I can't get it to boot into safe mode with command prompt again, I'll boot into Linux and carry out a file system check of that drive from there. If I can boot into safe mode with command prompt, I'll check the drive from there. Are there any other tests I could do if I do get it to boot into safe mode with command prompt, besides chkdsk?

Edited by Al1000, 24 July 2014 - 03:07 AM.


#6 Al1000

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

I tried booting into safe mode with command prompt again after leaving the computer switched off for a few hours, but it hung during boot again.

 

So I booted into Kubuntu and ran a file system check on the drive, and got some rather ominous looking results.

al@al-System-Product-Name:/$ sudo ntfsck /dev/sdb
Boot sector: Bad jump.
Boot sector: Bad NTFS magic.
Boot sector: Bytes per sector is not a multiple of 512.
sectors_per_cluster (190) is not a power of 2.
Failed to read file record at offset -7077527983169519520 (0x9dc791cc334b4060).
Loading $MFT runlist failed. Trying $MFTMirr.
Failed to read file record at offset -4114768257275626784 (0xc6e568122c087ae0).
Loading $MFTMirr runlist failed too. Aborting.
NTFS signature is missing.

I'm not sure how reliable those results are though. The hard drive is a single NTFS partition with no operating system on it, so I wouldn't have thought it would have a boot sector.

 

Now I'll try booting up with the Windows CD and see if I can run chkdsk on that drive from the Recovery Console.


Edited by Al1000, 24 July 2014 - 03:27 PM.


#7 dicke

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:20 PM

If possible you might want to run the manufacturer's disk utility.

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#8 Al1000

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:24 PM

Thanks, it had never occurred to me that there would be such a thing. There is a DOS download available for the HDD and instructions on how to make a DOS bootable USB, so I'll try that over the weekend.

 

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=608&sid=2&lang=en

 

I used ''chkdsk /r'' on the drive from the Recovery Console, and it didn't say anything about any errors once it had finished, but XP still refuses to boot with the HDD connected.

 

I also tried moving the SATA plugs for the two HDDs and the CD/DVD drive from the first three sockets on the motherboard to the last three, which have never been used, but that didn't make any difference.


Edited by Al1000, 24 July 2014 - 03:25 PM.


#9 dicke

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:27 PM

When you make hardware adjustments like that it doesn't hurt to unplug the system and remove the CMOS battery. Then when you're done replace the battery and plug in the AC. During boot a new inventory of the connected devices will be made.

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#10 Frozwire

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:21 PM

If you can successfully boot into Linux with that drive connected. Back up your important files from that drive and try to remove all the partitions/volumes you've made on that 1TB drive. Then after you have remove those volumes/partitions try to reboot your PC in Windows XP and find out if it will boot with that 1TB now without partitions. If XP does successfully boots then try setting up the volumes/partitions in disk management as you want. You could run the disk diagnostics again if you had already formatted the drive properly with NTFS in Windows XP.


Edited by Frozwire, 24 July 2014 - 10:26 PM.

"Encryption...is a powerful defensive weapon for free people. It offers a technical guarantee of privacy, regardless of who is running the government... It's hard to think of a more powerful, less dangerous tool for liberty...” - Esther Dyson


#11 hamluis

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:40 PM

If the second hard drive is not being properly detected during boot...Windows won't boot.

 

I'd run appropriate diagnostic on external drive.

 

Louis



#12 Al1000

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:35 AM

My computer doesn't seem to be capable of booting from USB. The only other option in the BIOS boot device menu besides hard drive and CD, is ''removable device,'' which I assumed would be it, but after trying two different applications to create a bootable USB on two different USB sticks, all I get when I select ''removable device'' (and disable the other options) is a disk boot failure error message.

So for now I'm going for the option that Frozwire suggested, as I have 300GB of unallocated space on my 500GB drive, and only around 100GB of files on the 1TB drive, so it's superfluous anyway. So I'm formatting a new NTFS partition on the unallocated space on the 500GB drive at the moment, and will boot back into Linux and copy all the files from the 1TB drive onto it, then delete the partition on the 1TB drive and see if Windows will boot with it connected after that.

I would still like to run the manufacturers diagnostic utility on the 1TB drive though, so will look into how I can do that without having to boot from USB. I am looking into the possibility of creating a FREEDOS bootable CD, or if that isn't possible I could try connecting an old floppy drive that I took out of my Windows '98 computer many years ago, which worked fine last time I used it as far as I recall, and see if I can boot with that.

Edited by Al1000, 26 July 2014 - 04:36 AM.


#13 Al1000

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 06:11 AM

This is a snapshot of the 500GB drive I took a while ago.

drives1_zps6b134a22.jpg

I created a new primary partition with XP using all the unallocated space after the extended partition, called it ''D:'' and formatted it to NTFS. I originally tried to format it when I created it, but got an error message when the formatting should have begun. So I rebooted the computer and tried formatting it again, and everything went fine.

Then I tried to boot into Kubuntu, only to find that sda7 which is where Kubuntu is/was installed, now shows up as unallocated space!

I'm now copying everything from the 1TB drive to the new partition on the 500GB drive using Puppy, then it looks like I'll have to create a new sda7 partition where the old one used to be, and install Kubuntu again.

EDIT: I found a program called testdisk which I installed to a live session of Puppy, and am using it to attempt to recover the lost partition.

Edited by Al1000, 26 July 2014 - 08:26 AM.


#14 Al1000

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 09:25 AM

I couldn't recover the lost partition as Windows seems to have messed it up, by creating the new NTFS primary partition overlapping the Linux extended partition. What I reckon I should have done is left some space between the end of the Linux partition and the start of the new NTFS partition, then filled the gap by using Linux to extend the Linux partition afterwards.

Anyway, I have now fixed the Linux partitions and reinstalled Kubuntu on the 500GB drive, then deleted the NTFS partition on the 1TB drive, but XP still wouldn't boot with it connected. Then I booted up with Puppy and using GParted, created a new primary partition on the drive and formatted it with the ext3 filing system. I also ran the ''check'' facility in GParted and it didn't report any problems, but XP still won't boot with the drive connected.

I then booted into Kubuntu and ran ''sudo badblock -v'' on the drive and got an error message saying ''invalid starting block (0): must be less than 0''

I'm not in any particular hurry to find out what's wrong with it, so I'll take this opportunity to learn how to use some Linux disk error checking/repair applications and will also try the manufacturer's application at some point, and will report back here with what I find.

Many thanks to everyone for all the advice.

Edited by Al1000, 27 July 2014 - 09:32 AM.


#15 Al1000

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 05:55 PM

I finally decided to have another look at this hard drive. Since posting this thread I've found out how to boot my computer from USB, so I downloaded the diagnostic tool from Western Digital's website and made a bootable USB.

The hard drive passed both the short and extended tests without any errors, so I tried booting up XP with the hard drive connected, and it worked!

So whatever the problem was, it somehow seems to have fixed itself. :)




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