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Formatting HD


This topic is an extension of a topic I recently posted called ?Where is my free space??. I followed the suggestions I received but nothing seemed to work, so I purchased a new SATA hard drive. The previous problem is of no concern any longer, but a new issue has risen. I will try to be short and keep this as simple as possible.

I?ll be talking about 2 SATA drives that I have (please see the image), Disk 0 (D:) and Disk 1 (C:).

The NEW drive is Disk 0 (D:), which I added two days ago. Currently my OS is running on it. Previously I used Disk 1 (C:), which still has the old installation of Windows on.

The original intention I had was to install Windows on the NEW drive, then format the OLD one and use it for whatever. When the NEW drive arrived, I unplugged the old one and plugged in the NEW one, then proceeded to install Windows. That didn?t work. I got the following message (or similar), ?partition table invalid?. Then I connected the OLD drive, and then I was able to start installation of Windows on my NEW drive. After I finished installing Windows, I proceeded to format my OLD drive. That did not work, because Windows sees OLD disk as a System Volume, and my NEW disk as a Boot Volume (I do not know the difference between the two). Now when I disconnect the OLD drive (C:), and turn on the PC, during the boot process I get the following message: NTLDR is missing.

When you look at the picture, you?ll see that under Computer Management > Disk Management I do not have the options to Format, Delete Volume or Convert to Basic Disk (I converted it to Dynamic hoping that that would change something and allow me to format the OLD drive).

I also tried changing Boot Priority in BIOS, putting the NEW drive as number 1 (please remember that Windows is running from this drive). When I do that, I again get the message that NTLDR is missing. When I change Boot Priority back to the OLD drive, even though I run Windows from a different drive, I am able to boot.

So the question is: how do I get this to work and format the OLD drive?
I?m assuming I need to change something so the NEW drive becomes a System Volume, but how do I do this?

Thank you all a lot!!!


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Do SATA drives have the jumper switch

In reply to: Formatting HD

like normal drives do? If they do, maybe you have to make one the master and one a slave???

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not on SATA

In reply to: Do SATA drives have the jumper switch

SATA drives don't have master/slave/CS designations. Many SATA HD models do have jumper pins, but they are for other reasons, such as enabling an SATA 300 drive to operate on an SATA 150 motherboard.

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Not that difficult

In reply to: Formatting HD

For whatever reason, the Windows installer doesn't seem to like drives that are either unpartitioned or partitioned using some other format (such as a Linux partition). The key to getting around this is using a bootable Linux CD or HDD utility CD to make sure the partitions are set up as FAT or NTFS beforehand. Just useful info for the future.

Now, there are two ways you can solve your problem. The first, is to simply install again. Now that you've partitioned and formatted the new drive, there shouldn't be any problem installing Windows on it without the old drive connected.

The other option, is to install the NT/2K/XP bootloader (ntldr -- NT Loader) onto the new drive. This SHOULD be possible by simply booting into the recovery console from the XP CD, with the old drive disconnected/disabled, and running the command "fixmbr". If that doesn't do it, you've always got the other option. It takes longer, but is pretty much guaranteed to get the bootloader on the right drive.

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Re: Not that difficult

In reply to: Not that difficult

Hello Jackson,

Frankly I'd rather take my time and install Windows again then to play with Recovery Console, but the problem is that when I now unplug the old drive Windows won't boot. It tells me that NTLDR is missing....

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I agree with Jackson Dougless

In reply to: Re: Not that difficult

Sometimes you need to get the new HD partitioned and formatted before attempting a XP installation. I like using the free utility available from the hard drive maker for this.

If you are uncomfortable with Recovery Console and want to reinstall everything, you can force XP installer to put NTLDR on your SATA HD if it is the only HD connected during XP installation.

Also note that you must press F6 when prompted during the early blue screens of the XP installation program to install the SATA driver for your motherboard (or SATA controller card).

What is your hard drive make & model?
What is your computer make & model (or motherboard model if you built it)?

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Re:I agree with Jackson Dougless

In reply to: I agree with Jackson Dougless

Hello linkit,

I did format the new drive (Windows is running on that drive right now). I am actually trying to format the old drive, which Windows sees as a System Volume (that old drive has still Windows installed).
I do not have SATA controller card. Both drives are connected directly to SATA connectors on motherboard, although I do have 2 floppies that came with the MB. One is Intel Matrix Storage RAID Drivers for 32bit OS and the other one is JMicron eSATA RAID Drivers. Since I do not have an eSATA drive, I'm assuming I shouldn't use the second floppy. Should I use the first one then?
Also, hoiw do I force XP installer to put NTLDR on my SADA HD? Here is the screenshot I get during the installation -

Motherboard: DFI INFINITY 975X LGA 775 Intel 975X -
NEW DRIVE: Western Digital Caviar RE WD1600YS 160GB -
OLD DRIVE: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA - ST3300620AS

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it's automatic

In reply to: Re:I agree with Jackson Dougless

"Also, hoiw do I force XP installer to put NTLDR on my SADA HD?"

Answer: Jackson Dougless gave you the two options 1) reinstall XP -or- 2)fixmbr in Recovery Console

* * * * *

"Intel Matrix Storage RAID Drivers for 32bit OS" should be the one to use during XP installation.

As noted in earlier posts, if the computer only has the one SATA drive available during installation (all other drives are disconnected), then that is where NTLDR will be installed. It's automatic.
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Re: it's automatic

In reply to: it's automatic

So here it the update:

I disconnected the old partition and reinstalled Windows on the new. It worked perfectly fine. I even managed to format my OLD drive and to convert it back to basic. It is no longer a System Volume. Great!!!

Then I tried to make 2 more partitions on my NEW drive using Partition Magic (I used it many times before and it worked great). Partition Magic needs to turn off Windows to make new partitions, but I got the following message: Windows cannot start because the following file is missing or corrupt: system32\drivers\pci.sys.

I tried booting a few more times but nothing helped. At the moment I am reinstalling Windows once again. I will try to create new partitions using Windows' Disk management instead of Partition Magic. Hope this'll do it. I'll update you as soon as I'm done.

Thank you all a lot!!!

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Always that risk

In reply to: Re: it's automatic

If you read the fine print in the Partition Magic license agreement, you'll see a disclaimer about not being responsible for loss of data, and the usual sorts of things. They don't like to advertise it, but there's always a chance that what you experienced will happen. It's generally pretty small, but statistically, SOMEONE has to run into it sooner or later.

It's probably too late now, but the best option would be to create the partitions before even installing the operating system. Either using Partition Magic, or the disk partitioning tool that is part of the XP setup program. That way, at most you have to format the extra partitions.

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Re: it's automatic

In reply to: it's automatic

I got it fixed! Finally!

Thank you all a lot!!!!

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