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Drive Letters Changed..wont Boot Windows Xp


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#1 DreamRyder

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 08:44 PM

Hi,

I was convinced that I was compromised by a virus. My ewido anti-spyware said it found a Dialer.Generic but my Trend Micro Internet Security 2005 didnt find it nor did anything else I had find anything. So I decided to use a well trusted online virus scanner (wont mention who because what happened to me may be completely unrelated to using it & I dont want others to not use it fearing the same results). In order to use this online scanner I had to download & install it via Active X. I had completely setup my security to NOT download any Active X whatsoever, so I had to change my IE settings to allow the ActiveX installation. Well, the installation was completely successful & it did find & disinfect a few very low-risk infections which I knew about--but wasnt conserned with. So, I decided after reading a few other related topics, & the results from the online scan didnt find this Dialer.Generic, I wasnt so concerned about this dialer found by ewido. Besides, I dont use my modem since migrating to Satellite Broadband.

I therefore decided to reboot my computer. Well all hell broke loose!! I couldnt reboot to my XP OS! Not even in Safe Mode!! Fortunately I have a dual OS boot system installed, so I booted to Windows 98 -- successfully. I went directly to Windows Explorer to check my XP OS drive only to find that the previously assigned drive letters on a few of my drives had been somehow reassigned!!! :thumbsup: My XP OS drive letter was J, but now it is L, so therefore when I try to boot to my XP it obviously looked for the OS on the New J Drive & obviously didn't know to look in New L Drive instead!!! :inlove:
This is way over my head, but being that I have over 150GB of files, programs, & all sorts of things saved everywhere on my system I absolutely refuse to just format the drive/partitions & the like & reinstall the OS etc. unless there is absolutely no other way to resolve this issue. All my data seems to be there & intact, so I know I can grab a few hundred disks & start to copy it all, but the days/weeks it would take to come close to getting back to where I was is totally undesirable & unacceptable!

So, if anyone knows how to resolve this issue your help will be deeply appreciated. Maybe it can be as simple as finding the boot loader for my operating systems & somehow tell it that for XP look in L rather than J. I know I might have to do a lot of reinstalling & manipulating of files, but that would be soooo much easier than reformatting & reinstalling everything!

I dont know what may have caused this to happen...My educated guess is some vermin may have gotten in while I was downloading the installer with my system open to the world for Active X invaders!! The only thing I have done since that might disprove this is I scanned the entire computer from the Windows 98 platform--and it shows clean.

I will NEVER do that again..My system was secure & just to see if I was infected by one thing I dropped the protection & I possibably unwittingly opened my doors to someting else much much worse!!!!!

Then again, this may not be virus caused, but some silly(not smiling) coincidental file corruption?? I havent got a clue otherwise. :flowers:

So again, if anyone knows how to possibly resolve this issue your help will be deeply appreciated.

Thank you for putting up with my rambeling. Im hoping you can help me with this mess. :trumpet:
Bobby aka DreamRyder

Edited by DreamRyder, 17 July 2006 - 08:51 PM.

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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 12:43 AM

You have to have Active X enabled and use IE to do Windows Updates.
How have you been doing Windows Updates?

You did not get a virus using any of the well known online av scans unless you mistyped the address in and wound up at a malicious site.

How did you get to using J drive as a boot drive? Windows looks for C or the first drive on your computer?

Are you trying to boot from a sata drive?
Serial ATA in the Microsoft Operating System Environment
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/stora...ialATA_FAQ.mspx

#3 DreamRyder

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 05:31 PM

You have to have Active X enabled and use IE to do Windows Updates.
How have you been doing Windows Updates?


I don't do Automatic Updates, I do them on a regular basis manually.


You did not get a virus using any of the well known online av scans unless you mistyped the address in and wound up at a malicious site.


I would hope so, but there is always a possibility--very slim because of my firewall. And Im very sure I was on the proper site because I was there many times before for othre reasons. Because I did not get any hits from my scans to say I was infected by any sort of virus etc. I dont think this is the problem. Some how, some way I feel that maybe something got corrupted in the boot sector that changed my partition table or caused it to be re-done. As I said in my post not all the drives changed--just a few (I have quite a few on 2 HDDs). My luck is that the most important one on the drive was switched!! :thumbsup:


How did you get to using J drive as a boot drive? Windows looks for C or the first drive on your computer?


Geez, this is a no-brainer..As I stated I have a Dual-Booting OS System. My first OS, Windows 98, is located on the C: Drive. My Windows XP Pro, which I added later on, is/was installed on my J: Drive which, when I look in explorer via Win98, is now showing as Drive L: . Drive J: is another partition now with other data. When I boot up every day I am asked which OS I want to use. My Windows XP Pro is the default OS which will load automatically in 30 seconds if I do nothing or select it. Windows XP Pro is my main OS that I use 99% of the time & is loaded with 99.5% of all the programs I use. I keep Windows 98 just in case I find something that wont run on XP or has trouble doing so. It is also my lifesaver & in this case it truely is because without it I would be like a cork in the ocean--no land in sight!!

Are you trying to boot from a sata drive?


No, they are simple IDE drives:
#1-primary- is 80GB with drive letters CEFGHIJKLM
#2-secondary- is 120GB with drive letters DNOPQ

If I could find where on the C: Drive the information on the Windows XP selection loads to, fixing this problem may be as simple as changing something like:

Windows XP load J:\WINDOWS --to-- Windows XP load L:\WINDOWS or somthing similar.

I know there will be a lot of other modifications as to running programs, but at least I would be in XP on my desktop with all my normal Icons & shortcuts etc, etc, etc...

I hope this answered all your questions. If you need more info Just ask, & if its over my head please instruct me on how to get the info you will require.

Thanks,,,Bobby AKA DreamRyder
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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#4 DreamRyder

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 08:52 PM

If I could find where on the C: Drive the information on the Windows XP selection loads to, fixing this problem may be as simple as changing something like:

Windows XP load J:\WINDOWS --to-- Windows XP load L:\WINDOWS or somthing similar.



Well, I found where on the C:\ Drive loads the selection script from. Its the BOOT.INI

This is the contents of the .ini file:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(9)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(9)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
C:\="Microsoft Windows"


I changed a few things in there, but not knowing what I was doing it didnt work. It seems not to depend on the location of the drive.

I thought I might just be able to change the drive letter, but the only thing I could find related to that was in Windows HELP


To change the drive letter assignment for a disk or CD-ROM drive

Open the System Properties dialog box.
Click the Device Manager tab.
Click the plus sign next to the type of drive, and then double-click the disk or CD-ROM drive for which you want to change the letter.
Click the Settings tab.
Under Reserved drive letters, change the drive letter assignment.

Notes:
You can also open the System Properties dialog box by clicking Start, pointing to Settings, clicking Control Panel, and then double-clicking System.
If the option to change the drive letter assignment is unavailable, you cannot change the drive letter.


Well it shows the Entire Drive with all the letters assigned & there isnt any options or selections to access changing an Individual Partitions Drive Letter Designation. :thumbsup:

So, again Im up against what sees to be a brick wall. :flowers:

If anyone has any ideas on what I could do, please help. I am open to all suggestions.
Thanks,
Bobby :trumpet:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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#5 Enthusiast

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 08:51 AM

Try booting to safe mode and choose last known good configuration.

#6 DreamRyder

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 08:21 PM

From My Origional Post Above: I therefore decided to reboot my computer. Well all hell broke loose!! I couldnt reboot to my XP OS! Not even in Safe Mode!!

Yes, I did try that but unfortunately it wont even load XP in any form of safe mode :thumbsup: (See Quote).

Bobby

Edited by DreamRyder, 20 July 2006 - 08:36 PM.

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#7 ThorXP

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:12 PM

You are not going to like the fix for this. If re-directing the Boot.ini file does not work and apparently it did not then the only way you are going to get this fixed is a full re-installation of Windows from scratch. I would suggest backing up all of the data that is important to you from any hard drive to another media like CD-R's or DVD, and then Re-install with format every drive and set the partitions again.

I know not why Windows changed the info for booting up around and I am afraid the only one that might know works at Microsoft.

I will give you some articles for doing this deed and you might want to print them for reference

How to partition and format a hard disk in Windows XP During an Install.
http://www.directron.com/formatdrive.html#3

Microsoft KB - How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;EN-US;310353

#8 usasma

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 07:40 AM

There are commands that you can use from the Recovery console to fixboot and fixmbr - but I'm not conversant with their use.

Also, you can try SFC.EXE and a repair install before resorting to a format and clean install. Both of these options will keep your programs and settings intact.

SFC.EXE link: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43051/how-to-use-sfcexe-to-repair-system-files/

Repair install link: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 angler

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 10:50 PM

If you decide to go the fresh install road, I'd suggest laying down the money for an extra HDD. Think of it as an investment in both time, and disk space. :thumbsup:

Alternatively, if you have a windows network and available space on other computers, you could always download a version of bootable Linux with Samba installed (e.g. Knoppix) and backup your files via network transfer. That will be a lot slower than the first approach, but if you leave it running over night, it should eventually get the job done. :flowers:

-Angler

#10 DreamRyder

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 11:01 PM

HiYa John,

Thanks for the reply. The SFC.exe sounds interesting. I just need to know before getting too excited. As you have probably seen I have absolutely no access to WindowsXP at this point. Not even safe mode. That being said I am presently using my Windows 98 platform which is still bootable via my Dual OS Boot. Can I just browse with win98's windows explorer to find this .exe on the drive it found my WinXP installation on ( which it has in 2 places L:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 & L:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DLLCACHE). Can I double click on SFC.exe to run from either of those locations? BTW I do have my XP disk handy just in case.

Thanks,,Bobby

Edited by DreamRyder, 21 July 2006 - 11:05 PM.

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#11 usasma

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 08:09 AM

Yes, you can browse to it with Win98 and try to run it.

But, I tend to favor the repair install over the SFC.EXE. It'll fix everything that SFC.EXE fixes - and then will fix more stuff.

In this case, it should fix your boot sector and still enable you to dual boot w/98.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#12 DreamRyder

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 07:48 PM

****** UPDATE ON PROGRESS ******

Well, All attempts failed to reap good results! :inlove:

Therefore, I see no way out of doing a clean install on a reformated logical drive (partition). As I stated before I lost not one bit of data, just had my logical drive partition letters changed mysteriously. Why, go figure?! Im at a loss as to the actual reasons.
So, here is what I did/am doing. I copied the entire contents of my former XP Boot logical partition drive to a safe location. Once I was totaly satisfied I had all the files copied I reformated the partition now labeled as my L:\ drive. I did a thorough Scan Disk to ensure there were no problems on the drive. I scanned all (each & every bit of data) with as many tools as possible to also ensure there were no "meanies" habitating in the shadows. Once satisfied everything was clean & on the up & up, I reinstalled my Windows XP Professional OS on the L:\ drive. I then reinstalled all my drivers (Motherboard & various other hardware). I then re-installed my core Windows updates & protection programs (AV, Firewall, Anti-Spyware & Anti-Malware). I then re-installed a few helper utilities (WinZip, Notepad+++, etc,etc). Then I copied my Desktop, Start, & Document files from my origional XP that I saved, as noted earlier, into the new XP Installation. Now I am going inch by inch, program file link by program file link to see what can be ressurected & what needed to be either re-directed because of drive letter change ( the program say used to be on my E:\ but now resides on my F:\ due to logical partition drive letter reassignments ) & make changes in link properties where possible or delete the old non-working program & completely reinstalling it from scratch. Anyone in the know, who might have had to do this before, knows this is a slow-go at best. Being I had in excess of over 300+ programs--utilizing over 150Gigs of space-- this task I do not & would not wish on my worse enemy (not true :thumbsup: but sounds good!) .

So soon now, hopefully, I will have everything Up & Working close as possible to 100% as before. Well, hopefully before my Great Grand Kids start to breed!!! :flowers:

Wish me luck! Thanks again for all the help!!

Bobby AKA DreamRyder :trumpet:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP1 (6.00.2600.0000)
NVIDIA
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