"before which I create a hard-disk partition"
That's a fine way to trip up a windows install. Do that again but do not create that partition before you install Windows. Let the Windows installer create the partition.
I have a Toshiba Satellite A100 laptop , having Windows XP OS and SP3.
Problem is that it does not boot up from the HDD automatically like it used to do before. The Toshiba splash screen appears displaying the logo & choices for booting up (HD/CD/Netwrok etc)but there is no default selection. The screen turns black after that with a cursor(-) flashing at the top left and nothing else happens. To boot the laptop I either have to select the HDD boot option manually as soon as the Toshiba screen appears (using direction keys)or go into F8 mode where it gives options to Start windows normally.
The issue started appering when my McAfee antivirus detected a trojan in C:/Windows/Fonts folder which it could neither repair nor delete. I tried many other malware removers/antivirus but failed. The problem of automatically not booting started then. The system had to be taken to F8 mode to start (and it failed in safe mode giving blue screen saying either hard drive is falty or virus present, the checkdisk option not reporting any errors).
I had to then install and use Windows recovery console to delet the viruses. After the files were deletd even then the issue of safe mode not working and automatic boot not happening existed. I tried to boot the system with XP CD suspecting registry corruption but did not help.I then went in for a system restore from my product recovery CD(before which I create a hard-disk partition). Now after recovery , system seems fine , it boots in safe mode too but still requires to press F8 or manual selection of HD booting at the splash screen to start. I checked BIOS setting and there HD is the first in order of booting preferance.
Please help suggeste why is the laptop not botting the windows automatically from HD and what can be done to do so. Thanks in advance for the help.