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Boss's Computer


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13 replies to this topic

#1 DaveM59

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 12:50 PM

Here's the story. Boss has an old computer -- Intel 440BX motherboard. Hard drive has problems. So he buys a new drive, installs it, partitons, formats, installs Windows XP. Everything working good.

Now, he needs to recover data from the old drive, so he hooks it up, powers on, and goes into BIOS. Resets the boot order to:

New drive
CDROM
floppy
Old drive

Apparently the BIOS will not let him leave the old drive off the "boot device list" altogether.

After saving settings, he allows the machine to restart and -- you guessed it -- the durn thing tries to boot from the old drive! When it can't it gives a failure message. Will not boot from the new drive.

Back into BIOS, settings confirmed -- new drive is first boot device, old drive is last.

The only way he can get the machine to boot from the new drive is to disconnect the old one. Regardless of the BIOS boot settings, as long as the old drive is connected, that's what it tries to boot from.

Here is the physical setup:

New drive: Seagate, jumpered as Master
Old drive: Western Digital, jumpered as slave (not Single, he knows about this)
New drive on cable end connector
Old drive on cable middle connector, same cable
Both drives on IDE channel zero

Why is the boot order setting being ignored?

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#2 TheYoda

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 02:09 PM

Does he or anyone he know have a USB adapter so he can run the harddrive outside of the machine and then let it boot and not hook it up until the system has started?

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#3 DaveM59

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 06:27 PM

Thanks for the suggestion.

He actually got the machine to boot off a BartPE CD and tried to recover his data that way, but putting the bad drive in a USB housing and booting off the new HD would be faster.

In any case he was not able to recover his Outlook files -- many read errors. So this may be a dead end I'm afraid.

I'm still puzzled though by the boot behavior of his BIOS.

Cheers,

Dave

#4 gavinseabrook

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:03 PM

Sometimes drives dont work well together. Try setting both to cable select.

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#5 Sneakycyber

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 02:11 PM

I agree with Gavinseabrook, if the jumpers are not set correctly the computer will boot to what ever drive is master.
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#6 oldf@rt

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 02:20 PM

In some cases, installation of newer larger hard drives on an older computer need an 80H offset to boot. This is accomplished by the installation program that is shipped with the new hard drive. placing the older hard drive back in the computer, regardless of the jumper settings, causes the offset not to be read by the bios, as standard boot is read first.
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#7 DaveM59

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 06:11 PM

Thanks for the replies, folks.

I thought of cable select and the boss tried that -- made no difference.

I'm afraid I don't know what an 80H offset is -- is this something like the overlay software that allowed you to circumvent the 8 gig or 32 gig BIOS limitation?

Anyway, oldf@rt, it sounds like you have seen this before. Question -- what if he were to remove the Active flag from the boot partition of the old drive? Would the new drive still be unbootable?

#8 oldf@rt

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 06:30 PM

Sorry, 80h offset is drive overlay software, I have removed the active flag before, but not all machines boot.

but putting the bad drive in a USB housing and booting off the new HD would be faster.

If the machine still wont boot after removal of the bootable partition flag, this is probably the easiest way to attempt recovery of files.
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#9 DaveM59

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 09:21 PM

Thanks for the information, oldf@rt. I'll let you know how this comes out.

Dave

#10 usasma

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:09 AM

Thanks oldf@rt! I always wondered why that happened.
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#11 rigel

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:39 AM

Have you tried placing the new drive on IDE channel 0 and the old drive on IDE channel 1?

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#12 DaveM59

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:45 AM

As far as I know, he has not tried the drives on different channels.

Have not spoken to the boss about this since Thursday, I may see him later this morning. If so I promise to pepper him with questions.

#13 DaveM59

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 09:51 AM

New and puzzling information.

Both drives -- old and new -- are large (200 gigs or over) and recently bought.

Both were set up in the computer using the Windows XP CD -- not the manufacturer's disk. He took the defaults, both drives were set up as a single active partition with NTFS.

Recently, he tried installing the old drive as slave in a different computer with an Intel 865(?) motherboard. (Not sure about the number but he says it's a modern board, still being sold.) Same deal, with old drive installed it would not boot from the system's previously installed C:\.

The good news is he managed to recover his Outlook files. There was some damage but all current data is there.

How he did it:

Booted the 440BX computer from a BartPE CD.

Turns out the old hard drive had R Studio installed on it. He was able to launch R Studio, recover the files, and save them to a 4 gig thumb drive.

All's well that ends well, but the mystery remains.

#14 oldf@rt

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 02:48 PM

Really interesting. if there is no drive overlay software, all the 440BX chipset boards that I have seen would not take a drive over 20gig. Was an additional IDE controller installed?

Edited by oldf@rt, 01 July 2007 - 02:49 PM.

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