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Hard Drive Boot Up problems after Virtual Box & XP install

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#1 RixV


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Posted 23 April 2018 - 05:20 AM

Hi there,


From an eccentric artist using a very old Samsung NP–R 519 laptop (that had Vista installed) for a community project! I will be extremely grateful if somebody can guide me out of a huge mess - and possibly explain how I got into it...


I wanted to load video editing software that works on XP and read that one can load a second operating system via Virtual Box. Somebody then loaded XP on it and XP opened in a smaller box on screen before I powered down due to a thunder storm. When I switched on later a restore message came up and completed. Being completely clueless I thought it was correcting something that went wrong while loading XP but the same message came up the next time I switched on – only this time we had a massive power failure before it restored whatever it was restoring. After this only Samsung’s recovery screen and a message that said ‘Windows can’t boot up automatically’ came up.


I tried a system backup via Samsung Restore to an external hard drive – but after 3 hours a message came up that said the process could not be completed because of an issue on the external drive. I then tried to backup my data (mainly emails because I fortunately moved most of my work to the external drive 2 weeks before). I still can’t get my head around it - but this process took 48 hours to complete.


The laptop was donated to me for the project and although I have a product key for Vista and Office Home 2007 I have no disks – just a card that say the version come pre-installed which eliminated reloading. Somebody then suggested installing Windows 8 just to access the internet and try to download Vista. However, Windows 8 didn’t want to install on the C drive and he ended up installing it on the D drive (I have a 250GB drive with a partition – 130GB on C and the rest on D).  But now C is no longer visible. Why would this be?


I vaguely also remember a message that suggest a disk replacement – and with very limited knowledge decided to order a 1TB hard drive in the hope that it will eliminate all problems - but here’s the thing. I am currently in a rural area and will have to install and set up everything myself and wonder if there is anybody willing to confirm.... 


1)         Do I have to format the new drive first? And if so do I put it in an external case and format it from the temporary Windows 8? Or will it be done automatically while loading the operating system?


2)         In the end we never downloaded Vista – but since I have a legal XP CD and product key I rather want to install XP. Somebody said one simply follow the steps. However I read online that a few boot up and other settings need to be changed first on the laptop for XP. I downloaded a guideline – but want to know if this is indeed necessary?


3)         I have never set up partitions before but will probably have to do this because it is a new hard drive – or will XP guide me through the process during installation?


4)         I also believe after the XP install I have to re install the Samsung's System Software and drivers. (Drivers – what Drivers – and how do I install them?) I checked on Samsung’s download center’s web and this Samsung model (NP-R519-XA05ZA) is no longer supported – but some other R519 model download’s are. Will it work on this model? Do I need this at all? And if downloads don’t work is there perhaps a way to still retrieve the info from the C drive that the laptop doesn’t detect anymore.


5)         Does the laptop perhaps only detect the D Drive because the primary and recovery partition with Samsung software was deleted during the Windows 8 install? The current GB size is the same as size as the original D Drive. It is like the 130GB of the C Drive vanished.


6)         If I manage to get the laptop up and running again will a format of the old hard drive perhaps fix the errors so that I can use it as a backup drive? During one of the scans a message came up that said there were 20kb in bad sectors – not sure what this means but might a format fix this?


7)         Lastly – don’t laugh – but can the problem be transferred to another computer? I plugged my external drive into a friends PC to check my backup and the next day she also got a ‘Windows can’t boot up automatically’ message – or is it pure coincidence? Plus is there perhaps a way to test the external drive?


If anybody made it this far please know that your help will be much appreciated!!!




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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:40 AM

1: No need to format if installing XP to a new drive. Install the new drive. Boot your XP disk and follow the prompts.


2: On a computer that came pre-installed with Vista there is no need to change any BIOS settings other than perhaps the boot order


3: XP will automatically partition and format the drive. You will get one partition named C:. If you want to create additional partitions use a Partition Manager like Partition Wizard Free.


4: I found the drivers on the UK Support site including those for XP.





5: The Windows 8 install probably wiped the recovery partition. You can verify this in Disk Management. Right click Computer > Manage > Disk Management. Is there any data you need on C:?


6: If the drive is not failing wiping the drive and doing a partition/format will fix it. You can do this with Partition Wizard


7: I can't say for sure. I think it may be a coincidence unless the drive was infected. 

#3 RixV

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Posted Yesterday, 04:35 AM

Many thanks for a great response - I never thought it would be necessary to learn/do all this stuff. Please be so kind to help me right...


1) Is the BIOS settings programmed somewhere in the inner mechanics of the laptop - and not on the hard drive? Where can I find an example of what the settings should be?


Also - thanks for the guidance to ‘Disk Management’ (I will try to include 2 screenshots) – the screenshot of My Computer (My PC on Windows 8) - don’t show the original 135GB  C-Drive – and now show the 83GB  D-Drive as C. Disk Management shows the following;


14GB   Healthy (Recovery Partition) – with 100% Free.

135GB Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition) – with 47% Free.

83GB Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) – with 56% Free


2) Does the ‘Healthy’ message indicate that the drive is still in good order? &


3) Is it possible that XP still sits inside Virtual Box on the 135GB drive? Straight after the guy installed XP in virtual box I noticed that it instantly took up about 70GB (at that point I could still see it) – and it now only show 47% free in Disk Manager – which mean it must still be there.         


4) I know it is water under the bridge but I would love to know. If steps to install XP in virtual box were not followed correctly, could it have caused the laptop to go in recovery mode?   


Also just allow me the following questions regarding the partitions...


5) The 14GB (Recovery Partition) – with 100% Free. (I am not sure what the grey lines indicate) But is this partition always 100% free until one backup on it via Samsung Recovery? And does it show 100% free because I directed the Samsung Recovery back up to my external drive?


6) 135GB (System, Active, Primary Partition) – with 47% Free.  Is this original – and now ‘hidden’ C-Drive possibly still active with some important system info? Plus, since it still shows Primary Partition - is the primary partition still there? And how can there be 2 primary partitions?


7)  83GB (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) – with 14GB – Is this info an indication that the guy that also installed Windows 8 change the D-Drive to Primary Partition/C-Drive and changed the BIOS settings so that the laptop boot from here? Plus is the ‘Crash Dump’ possibly something he created to replace the Recovery Drive?


Regarding your question if there is still info I need on C – no I don’t think so. I moved most of my work to my external drive 2 weeks before all the drama. I was concerned about emails that I haven’t backed up for the last 4 months but found a folder on the external Samsung backup with some eml files for that period. I changed a few mails to html to check them because I can’t open them in Windows 8 - which brings me to another question...


8) Will I be able to read my emails again in XP - I believe Windows Mail worked with both Vista and XP?


9) Will I be able to open and change my power point presentations created in Office Home 2007 on Vista in XP?   


10) Please forgive me I have no idea what failing ‘wiping’ the drive means. I am finding myself in a completely foreign environment – but am learning. Also you talk about ‘partition/format’ might fix the current drive. Can I just format without setting up a partition if I only want to use this drive as an external backup from now?


11) A little more patience please – I went to http://www.samsung.com/uk/support/model/NP-R519-FA06UK but am not sure what to click on to find the Samsung drivers.


12) Lastly – how can I check if my external drive is infected? All my photo’s, video’s, original work, and Samsung Recovery back up is currently on it?  


Please know that your assistance is greatly appreciated!!!


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#4 JohnC_21


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Posted Yesterday, 07:27 AM

Firstly, I want to mention that XP does not have native SATA drivers. If the drive is SATA and you have a standard XP install disk you will not be able to install until you slipstream the SATA drivers into the XP install which does have a learning curve to it. It requires you to find the appropriate SATA drivers for your computer's chipset and then stream them using a program called Nlite. Samsung would have included these in the Recovery Partition which still seems to be intact. 


The below video shows how to do a factory reset. This will wipe the existing partitions so backup any of your data you need. I would attempt this first.




1: Yes, these are settings that are in the firmware of the computer. Here is a support page showing the settings.


2: That does indicate that things look good. You can also run a short and long scan using Seatools for Windows.


3: I am not sure. The partition does not have a drive letter assigned to it so Windows does not show it in My Computer. It's the System Partition and I wouldn't thing XP would be installed here. You can assign a letter and see what is in that partition. A System Partition is not normally that big and should not be used to install another OS..It looks like there is 70GB of data on the partition.


4: I am not sure. I guess anything is possible but I don't know how the person installed the VM. You do not need a separate partition to install XP in a VM like Virtual Box. 


5: Windows marks it 100% free because it does not recognize the file system. I think there is a good chance it is intact and you can recover back to a factory state after seeing the videos.


6: I am not familiar with Windows Vista but Windows 7 and 8 creates a System partition of 100MB or larger marked Active which is the boot partition and your Windows partition. I have never seen a System Reserved Partition in GBs.


7: This is a normal Windows partition but I surmise the person increased the size of the System Partition and reduced the size of the Windows partition for reasons unknown to me.


8: I do not use Windows Mail but if this is WebMail then XP would work.


9: That should not be a problem as long as you have the Office install media and license required to install. 


10: If the drive is healthy you can remove all partitions and then partition and format the drive. Removing the partitions essentially is wiping the drive. Of course if you can do a factory reset then it would not be required.


11: If you have another computer it would be best to install XP, with the SATA drivers, and then look for the required drivers by opening Device Manager and looking for any yellow exclamation marks. You can proceed from there. If you do a factory reset per the videos all drivers are included in the recovery partition and you will be back to Vista.


12: You can scan the external drive using AV software. You can start a thread in the BC Am I Infected Forum but I doubt the drive is infected.


One final note. XP and Vista are no longer supported with Security Updates. There are many vulnerabilities in both OSs that have never been patched and are open to malware attack. I would highly recommend you budget for a new computer.

Edited by JohnC_21, Yesterday, 09:01 AM.

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