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Lost working partitions

4 year old, self built PC. XP SP2, 1800mhz 750mb. 2 HD ( 40 and 329 gigs.)

I'm at a total surrender state.
I thought by buying a new 320gig drive I would have fixed the problem. What happened
to my old backup HD now happened to the brand new backup HD.
My second physical HD was partitioned in 3 sections. 1 to run
another version of XP and the other 2 to store pics and music. I had configured all
3 partitions the way I wanted them successfully and worked for a week. Please see:

This morning I tried to boot XP in the new HD and i got the blue screen about conflicts
with drivers or hard drives. After a few reboots I got a message saying that the
file hal.dll was corrupted or missing and couldn't boot anymore.
I went back to boot XP from my main HD and found that the 3 partitions in the new
HD are not accessible. Please see:

Needless to say I'm deeply pissed. This happened to my old HD and I thought it went bad. It took me days to trasfer 80 gigs of data to the new HD via a 1.1 usb!
There's got to be something in XP or my bios that gets confused. What I don't understand
is why my setup worked for 4 years and now 'something' changed.

Any suggestion??

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Collapse -
I see it and raise...

In reply to: Link

I read the encripted message in the article you suggested . I must admit I can't understand where to go to change the HAL configuration the process of looking in the device manager I saw a conflict under "microsoft system management BIOS driver". I tried to update the driver and I got :
"the hardwate was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary software".
At this point i can't understand if the driver pertains to the HD or it's a system driver OR...the MB BIOS>

ANy tip?

Collapse -
Things that age.

In reply to: Lost working partitions

1. Electrolytic capacitors.

We see then outright fail (type BAD CAPS in to just go unstable with random reboots and data loss. Sometimes we can spot a bulged capacitor, but in the case of power supplies we just fit a new big one.

2. Heat.

Some don't keep the machines clean and change out failed or slow fans.

3. Memory errors.

A few keep bad memory since they "never had a problem." Such memory can be used as a buffer to write to the hard disk and ...

4. Failing IDE cable.

Rarer but with the pressure for reduced costs I toss any overused cable and replace with new shiny 80 conductor cables.

5. Configuration issues.

I will not debate hard disk jumper schemes. I go by the book here.


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