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Random Boot Drive Letter Changed...


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#1 shableep

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 04:22 AM

Well, I guess it's maybe not as neccessarily random as I said it is, but this is definitely bizarre... so here it is:

I have 2 HDDs. 1 is SATA, the other is IDE. Everything had been working fine for about a year. Only one installation of Windows... technically. About a year ago I had and old installation of Windows on my IDE drive which was my primary drive at the time. I rebuilt my computer with a new SATA drive, immediatly made that my primary drive and installed a brand new Windows installation. Everything worked great, SATA as C: and old IDE as D:.

Well, just recently, I started finally sifting thru all my old files on the old IDE drive and found my old installation of windows and decided to do some clean-up. I basically cleared everything off the drive except my MP3s. Having finished organizing files on my computer, I shut it down and go to sleep. This morning, I turn it on and see:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\CONFIG\SYSTEM"

Assuming my precious HDD had just crashed, I put it through all the necessary steps to find that it is in perfect shape. I load up my boot disk to browse the files and find my C: SATA drive is now D:, and the IDE drive is respectively E:.

I checked bios and the HDDs are in perfect order still. And it's still recognizing my SATA drive as the primary drive, just as drive D:. Also tried unplugging all devices, still no luck. I checked my boot.ini on the primary drive, and it was pointing to the correct partition (with no other OS installations listed). Yes, the HDD boot order is SATA, then IDE. And no, I didn't delete windows on my primary SATA drive (though, at first I definitely had one of those "oh god, I didn't just do what I think I did, did I?!?" moments).

So... the only ideas I'm stuck with are either, for some reason, Windows decided to throw some boot information on my old (secondary) IDE drive which went away with the cleaning. Or, maybe it's a BIOS or MBR problem. I've never actually messed around with MBR stuff, so I didn't wanna play with that too much.

But yah... it all makes no sense to me, so if you guys have any ideas, it'd be a huge help.

Thanks!

Edited by shableep, 18 April 2007 - 04:33 AM.


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#2 Budapest

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 04:26 AM

Cannot Start Windows XP if the System or Software Hive Is Missing or Damaged

Edited by Budapest, 18 April 2007 - 04:28 AM.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 shableep

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 05:13 AM

sweet. thanks budapest.

it's funny, the first thing i thought when i first saw the error message was "help, i'll just get my XP cd and run ChkDsk."

but when i saw my drive letter had changed, it totally threw me off.

well, oddly enough... those instructions got me in the recovery console so i thought "hey, i'll just run ChkDsk for kicks". ran it, it found and fixed errors. restarted... and it worked!

funny how this has fixed SO many computers i've worked with. TONs of them... and when it comes to mine, i get all freaked out and over complicate the HELL out of it. it's like having a jelly jar thats hard to open and i whip out a damn welding torch.

ahaha... crap. but yah, thanks again!

#4 Budapest

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 05:18 AM

Glad it worked out for you and thanks for posting back with your solution.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw




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