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Laptop won't boot HDD XP

win xp boot

Best Answer alastair70 , 20 November 2013 - 05:03 PM

Thanks for that you have given me plenty of reading to do. The laptop came with Vista which keep crashing so I went back to XP. It has been a great OS and I think after what you have said I'll stay with it instead of upgrading to Win 7. Everything seems to be running well now so I will say a final thankyou to you for all your patience and time you have spent helping me fix this problem. Have a great day

 

Alastair

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#1 alastair70

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 02:50 AM

Hi Guys, I'm looking for some help.

 

My trusty laptop (EI Systems 3102 bought new in 2007 with a 120GB Seagate HD) got switched off at the mains the other day and ever since won't boot. I know it's a problem with the hard disk as I upgraded the disk a few years ago and still have the original which i plugged in and it started up first time. The DVD drive is dead and has been for a while.

 

The disk in question is running Xp Pro SP3 and when removed and plugged in to a desktop, could be seen and files moved about so the disk is working so there is something wrong with the boot up.Whilst in my desktop, I ran a virus scan on it and noting was found, I also ran Seagate disk tools tests and they all came back as OK

 

After loads of reading I found out about PEbuilder and PE2usb. I built an image from my XP SP3 disk on my desktop PC then used PE2usb made a "supposerly" bootable usb drive. The most that happened was i got a single flash of a "_" in the top left hand corner of the screen.

 

I downloaded AVG Rescue disk for USB and when it loaded it said a linux file was missing (ldlinux.c32) and didn't load.

 

I have tried everything i can think of to try and get a USB disk booting even better would be one with my XP setup files on so that i can try and repair my installation.

 

Any help please


Edited by alastair70, 17 November 2013 - 03:02 AM.


#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

Pe2usb is a somehow "outdated" program.

The issue  you are having is likely to be one among a number of issues with either the way the USB stick is partitioned/formatted or with the way the BIOS of your laptop interprets it.

You may want to use a more recent tool to make the USB stick bootable.

Typically this tool here by Fuwi:

http://www.911cd.net...topic=21702&hl=

or the RMPREPUSB tool by Steve6375:

http://www.rmprepusb.com/

are what currently provide the most "compatible on most motherboards" bootable USB stick.

 

Also consider that some motherboards BIOS's, and particularly those of laptops may have "queer" limitations on the size of the USB stick they can boot from, so the smaller in size (like a 512 Mb or 1 Gb or 2 Gb) stick you can use for this, the more probabilities you have to NOT get into that further obstacle. 

 

Please also understand how there are two "stages" in booting a PE:

  1. BIOS->Real Mode
  2. Real Mode -> Protected Mode

with either of the mentioned tools you should be able to get over the issue that you are having, that belongs to stage #1, it is possible that you will need some other trick if you have issues in stage #2 (typically such an issue will produce a BSOD STOP ERROR, commonly a 0x0000007b, meaning that your PE build misses a needed SATA/AHCI driver).

Let's first solve however the first one, and let's see what will happen.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#3 alastair70

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:15 PM

Hi thanks for that. I downloaded Fuwi: and ran it on a 2GB stick. I selected stick instead of hard disk ( maybe wrongly) and it said it created the bootable disk. I put it in the laptop and it is currently saysing "No GRLDR". I haven't looked it up on google as yet I thought i would report back first. I hope you can help

Thanks

 

I'm trying again I've altered the config file to point to the BartPE folder and it is currently building the usb. I hope this works..I'll let you know

 

It is still the same "No GRLDR" then about 10 spaces and a flashing _


Edited by alastair70, 17 November 2013 - 04:31 PM.


#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:58 PM

NO. :(

Meaning you should not need to alter anything, the issue at the moment is to get the stupid thingy to get past the initial booting error, once we manage to get it to boot *something*, we'll see what happens with the BartPE.

 

The NO GRLDR seems however like the thingy is booting but - for whatever reasons - it cannot find the grldr file (even if it doesn't boot it is an actual progress :)).

 

Try directly with RMPREPUSB instead, maybe it is easier (forget - temporarily - abut the PE, we will get to it later ;)).

Just follow the video on the home page:

 

You should get to boot to the grub4dos.

 

:cheers:

Wonko

 



#5 alastair70

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:58 PM

some progress,

I can get it to boot when using FreeDos set to Fat16 and end up at a command prompt, however when set to Fat32 regardless of the options sugested it keeps saying "Loading FreeDos No Kernal   SYS



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:26 PM

Well, you shouldn't actually need/want to boot Freedos, you should manage to get it to boot to grub4dos, however (and it is perfectly possible, though "rare" nowadays :unsure:) this gives us the hint that for *whatever* reasons your computer (or the combination between your computer and your USB stick) "likes" FAT16.
From your current working FreeDOS environment can you load grub4dos?
You might need to download the currently "featured" version of grub4dos from here:
http://code.google.c.../downloads/list
http://code.google.c...-03.7z&can=2&q=
from the download extract just grub.exe and copy it to the root of the stick.
Once booted in it you should be able to run grub.exe and get to the grub4dos grub> prompt.
 
If you get to this, then we'll talk about having the PE boot. :)
Basically you need to copy to the root of the stick:
  • SETUPLDR.BIN
  • NTDETECT.COM
  • the whole \I386\ directory
  • the whole \programs\ directory
  • then rename the \I386\ to \minint\
See also here:
http://www.911cd.net...topic=23696&hl=
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23777
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=24066
 
Once you are at the grub> prompt, you enter the commands:
chainloader /setupldr.bin
[ENTER]
boot
[ENTER]
 
Post results.
 
:cheers:
Wonko

#7 alastair70

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 01:34 PM

Hello again. I retried and got grub4dos installed using the utlitily, I had to install it to both MBR and PRT for it to work.

 

I ran the commands you gave me and it came up with the following

 

INF file txtsetup.sif is corrupt or missing, status 1. Setup cannot continue

I will see if i can find another version of the above file whilst i await your reply.

 

Again thanks for the help 



#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 01:50 PM

It is possible that it is in a compressed form of TXTSETUP.SI_ on the CD/.iso in the \I386\ folder :dubbio:, try expanding it to txtsetup.sif (7-zip would do) in the \minint\ folder of the stick.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#9 alastair70

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 01:58 PM

It is the full version on  the CD. I have tried copying it again and it comes up with the same error??

 

Would it be any use sending it to you?


Edited by alastair70, 18 November 2013 - 01:59 PM.


#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 02:37 PM

It is the full version on  the CD. I have tried copying it again and it comes up with the same error??
 
Would it be any use sending it to you?

No, there is something strange, possibly a bad build of the BartPE?
I mean, did you actually verified that the PE is working (by testing it in a VM or burning it to a CD and testing if it boots on another machine)?

Another approach would be to "forget" (for the moment) about the PE, and the booting of it from the USB and check/repair the hard disk filesystem and boot status while having it connected to your "other" PC (BTW which OS is running your "other" PC?)

:cheers:
Wonko
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#11 alastair70

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

No I didn't test BartPE or burn it to a CD. I could do if required, however your other idea sounds like a better idea.

The desktop has the same XP Pro SP3 installation as the laptop. I ran Seagate tools on the laptop disk when i had out last time, and ran a full virus scan on it. 

How would i go about checking it when it is a slave drive?

 

Okay laptop drive installed in desktop computer as a (non booting drive) and can be accessed in windows explorer


Edited by alastair70, 18 November 2013 - 03:51 PM.


#12 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:15 PM

Okay laptop drive installed in desktop computer as a (non booting drive) and can be accessed in windows explorer

Good. :)

 

Basically we have to check 

  1. the MBR code (the data is OK since you can access the volume/filesystem)
  2. the PBR code (the data is OK since you can access the volume/filesystem)

 

the presence in the root of the volume/filesystem of files:

  1. NTLDR <- you can copy this file, if missing, from your desktop disk drive to the laptop's one
  2. NTDETECT.COM <- you can copy this file, if missing, from your desktop disk drive to the laptop's one
  3. BOOT.INI <- you can copy this file, if missing, from your desktop disk drive to the laptop's one

the contents of the BOOT.INI file.

 

 

You can use HDhacker:

http://dimio.altervi.../eng/index.html

  1. to make a copy of the first sector of the \\.\PhysicalDriven (on your desktop, the boot disk drive will be \\.\PhysicalDrive0, thus if you have only one disk normally the "added" disk drive from the laptop will be \\.\Physicaldrive1, if you have two disks in the desktop, the added one will be probably \\.\Physicaldrive2)
  2. to make a copy of the first 16 sectors of the \\.\LogicalDrive (the right one depends on the drive letter you see in explorer)

 

Then you compress the BOOT.INI file and the two files coming from the use of Hdhacker into a .zip file, and upload it to a file hosting service, such as zshare, then post a link to the file.

I'll have a look at those and check if there is something missing/wrong, and either correct them or tell you how to correct them.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#13 alastair70

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:23 PM

 

the presence in the root of the volume/filesystem of files:

  1. NTLDR <- you can copy this file, if missing, from your desktop disk drive to the laptop's one
  2. NTDETECT.COM <- you can copy this file, if missing, from your desktop disk drive to the laptop's one
  3. BOOT.INI <- you can copy this file, if missing, from your desktop disk drive to the laptop's one

 

All 3 files are on the laptop drive and are the same size as on the desktop. I will shutdown the desktop for a minute to disconnected the other disks i have in it so that there is only the desktop c drive and the laptop drive. What do you want me to do with HDhacker (which i have downloaded and will run shortly?

 

Here is the link to the zip file http://jmp.sh/b/OHWk5hT7Ib92hzDaYOAF


Edited by alastair70, 18 November 2013 - 04:52 PM.


#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:22 PM

What do you want me to do with HDhacker (which i have downloaded and will run shortly?

EXACTLY what I posted.

A copy of the MBR and a copy of the PBR.

 

 

The BOOT.INI in the files you posted is:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
[spybotsd]
timeout.old=30

i.e. points to a second partition.

 

The other two files are:

  1. BootSector_DriveF.dat the first (of the 16 asked) sector of a drive (extracted how exactly)?
  2. Logical Drive Boot Sector Laptop.txt an actual 16 sectors of a drive BUT gone through some "queer" copy/paste operation with some text editor, currently "gibberish".

The normal XP booting mechanism is:

BIOS->MBR->PBR of active (primary) partition, normally first partition->NTLDR->BOOT.INI->Windows choice->NTDETECT:COM->actual booting of the windows

i.e. it is a "chain" and if *anything* in this chain is broken the system won't boot.

Usually when one or the other elements of the chain is broken some error message is shown, do you remember if you had (when the boot failed) an error message (and if yes what it was)?

Was/is the disk partitioned into several partitions/volumes?

If yes what were/are these partitions?

 

Is there something I can expand on about the usage of HDhacker? (it should be pretty much simple to use as requested)

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#15 alastair70

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:43 PM

Hi, I'm a little confused. I launched HDHacker and selected F: as this is the letter of the laptop drive as seen in explorer next to where it says "Logical Drive Boot Sector". I Then pressed "read sector from Disk" & copied and pasted it to a txt file. Doing it again now it has produced a different version which is below.

 

 

.RNTFS    .............?...(@......€.€.˜J................)..............—...........3.Ž...|....Ž.......Ž.3.......S.h..hj..Š.$.....s....Š.f...@f...€.?..†....Af...f..f. ...A..UŠ.$...r..U.u....t......f`..f...f....f;. ..‚:..fj.fP.Sfh....€>....….....€>....„a..BŠ.$...‹...fX[.fXfX..-f3.f.....f....Š.f‹.f....6..†.Š.$.Š............‚..Œ.. .Ž.f.........…o...fa..................‹..<.t.............A disk read error occurred...NTLDR is missing...NTLDR is compressed...Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart................ƒ.....U.

 

First time i then clicked first sector and then set number of sectors to read to 16. I have redone it  using specifing sector 1 and numbers of sectors to read again as 16, i think this is where i went wrong, forgive my inexperience with this program.

 

I have uploaded the 2 files again for you http://jmp.sh/b/zspJ2cF41bKm8W45ELQK sorry forgot to add the MBR files http://jmp.sh/b/XVoY6xG6OpUvzaD2zTaK

 

 

 

do you remember if you had (when the boot failed) an error message (and if yes what it was)?

 

We had a powercut and it wouldn't restart, there where no messages, when i tried safe mode it just didn't move after the 4-5 line either

 

As far as being partitioned I thought it just has a single partition on it however when i ran disk management it showed A 200mb partition in front of the main partition. It says the first partition is a "GPT Partition" that is Healthy but doesn't have a drive letter assigned to it.

 

I hope this is making sense to you because although i have 20+ years of experience with pc's it isn't making much to me lol.


Edited by alastair70, 18 November 2013 - 06:51 PM.


#16 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 07:16 PM

NO, you are still somehow copying and pasting the .txt.
I need the hex files.
Run Hdhacker.
For the PBR:

  1. Select on the left "Logical Drive (Bootsector)"
  2. In the dropdown box select the drive letter corresponding to the volume that you have mounted (like F: ).
  3. In the "lower" dropdown box "Number of contiguous sectors to read" select 16.
  4. Click on "Read Sector from Disk" button
  5. Click on "Save Sector to file" Button it will suggest you a filename like BootSector_DriveF.dat
  6. Save the file somewhere.

For the MBR:

  1. Select on the left "PhysicalDrive (MBR)"
  2. In the dropdown box select the physicaldrive number (as said before most probably "1")
  3. In the "lower" dropdown box "Number of contiguous sectors to read" select 1.
  4. Click on "Read Sector from Disk" button
  5. Click on "Save Sector to file" Button it will suggest you a filename like MBR_HardDisk1.dat
  6. Save the file somewhere.
     

Now zip the two files together and upload them, DO NOT attempt opening them with a text editor or with *any* program, just compress them into a .zip archive.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#17 alastair70

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 07:24 PM

Sorry about the misunderstanding.  Here is the files, unopened, exactly as you posted

http://jmp.sh/b/CwrRsaD6442E93ePPuiG



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:39 AM

Sorry about the misunderstanding.  Here is the files, unopened, exactly as you posted

http://jmp.sh/b/CwrRsaD6442E93ePPuiG

No problem. :)

The "EE" (EE is the "protective ID for GPT partitions) entry is "strange" or "unusual", but it should not have any influence on the working of the PC, both the MBR and the PBR are OK, and the presence of that partition is also coherent with the 2 in multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS in the BOOT.INI.

 

At this point, what might have happened is that during the blackout the filesystem got (partially) corrupted.

 

Your next step should be to run CHKDSK on that volume.

Open a command prompt and run it in three stages:

  1. CHKDSK F: <- this will probably end telling you that repairs were needed but weren't performed because it was run in read only mode
  2. CHKDSK F: /F <- this will do (hopefully) most of the fixes
  3. CHKDSK F: /R <- this will do (hopefully) the remaining needed fixes (if any)

Then run again just CHKDSK, and it should end wiith no errors.

 

Then, put the disk back in the laptop, and, if it boots it's done, otherwise describe what happens (it should display an error message, either white on black if the issue is in the very first part of booting or white on blue, a BSOD if in the second part of the booting).

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#19 alastair70

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:00 PM

Good Afternoon. Chkdsk is checking free space on the 3rd pass. Upto now there have been no errors reported. I just thought i'd let you know, I would hate you to think I was ignoring you. I will report further once chkdsk F: /r has finished and then chkdsk F:

 

Is there a way of finding a log for chkdsk before i close the cmd prompt and reinstall the drive into the laptop?

 

Many thanks for your continued help

 

 

Update: No errors reported in any of the 4 scans with chkdsk. About to reinstall in laptop


Edited by alastair70, 19 November 2013 - 01:31 PM.


#20 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:38 PM

Good Afternoon. Chkdsk is checking free space on the 3rd pass. Upto now there have been no errors reported. I just thought i'd let you know, I would hate you to think I was ignoring you. I will report further once chkdsk F: /r has finished and then chkdsk F:
 
Is there a way of finding a log for chkdsk before i close the cmd prompt and reinstall the drive into the laptop?

No, by default chkdsk does not make a log, and outputs to the console.

You may want to redirect the output to a .txt file (obvioously NOT on drive F:\ ) running it like:
CHKDSK F: /F >C:\mychkdsk.log
(the only disadvantage is that you will see nothing on the screen until it is finished and the only way to check *somehow* what is happening is to open periodically with Notepad the .txt file).

You would otherwise need a "tee" utility, *like*:
http://code.google.com/p/wintee/
http://code.google.c...wintee/wiki/FAQ
 

Many thanks for your continued help

No prob. :)

Before I forget, before putting back the disk in the laptop, do change the BOOT.INI, adding to it a line, like:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\something="A perfectly unuseful entry"
[spybotsd]
timeout.old=30

this way you will be prompted during the boot (and we can thus be certain that up to BOOT.INI choices there are no issues), you can remove the line later.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#21 alastair70

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:46 PM

I put the disk in before your last post, however i will remove it and insert the line in the boot.ini

 

I have now tried to boot 3 times. The first time the HDD light flickered more than before and a flashing cursor appeared in the top left hand corner for 2-3 seconds. No error messages or BSOD.

Both the 2nd & 3rd time the HDD light only flickered twice and nothing appeared on the screen.

 

I will remove and change boot.ini now and report back shortly



#22 alastair70

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:19 PM

Ok Done chkdsk /F again log is below

 

The type of the file system is NTFS.

 
CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
0 percent completed.               
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 156083532 KB total disk space.
  46684884 KB in 134986 files.
     54864 KB in 19901 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    538012 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
 108805772 KB available on disk.

I've added the line to boot.ini, am about to reinstall disk in laptop. I'll report back shortly

 

What time are you about till today? I have to go out for a few hours, but will be back online about 18:00 GMT



#23 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:25 PM

It's queer, the disk/filesystems have nothing "wrong".

It is possible :dubbio: that the "EE" partition gets in the middle, but it would be "strange" that a blackout changes the partition ID of an entry in the MBR.

The "flashing" cursor top left is typical of an issue with the bootsector/geometry in the BPB, but your seems fine.

 

Can you check, by entering the laptop's BIOS that the disk is detected correctly? (and is first device in boot priority)

Are you positive that the disk (in the laptop) is spinning up?

 

Cannot say for sure if I will be near the PC in the late afternoon, but probably I will :).

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#24 alastair70

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:35 PM

okay slight progress.

The laptop now shows the screen that says:

"Please select operating system to start:

Mircosoft Win XP PRo

A Perfectly unuseful entry

Use the arrow keys to select ........."

then a count down from 30 seconds then the screen goes blank and nothing happens.

 

I selected the 2nd option that we entered into boot.ini and it came up with the following

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <windows root>\system32\hal.dll

Please re-install a copy of the above file"

 

I checked the bios, the disk is recognied and set to be the 1st boot device.

 

I am assumming that as it is reading the boot.ini then the disk is spinning up.

 

Is there a way to run the recovery console in the desktop PC with the laptop drive set to slave?

 

Is there anything i can set it doing whilst i go out?


Edited by alastair70, 19 November 2013 - 02:38 PM.


#25 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:37 PM

Yep, it is actually a great progress, we now know that up to BOOT.INI everything works as it should.

The result of choosing "A Perfectly unuseful entry" is expected (and as expected pretty much unuseful ;))

I expected to have a more "senceful" error message (when compared to "nothing") when the first option was chosen.

You should be able however (when choosing the first option) to boot into safe mode.

You can also try adding these lines to BOOT.INI:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Safe Mode" /safeboot:minimal

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Bootlog Mode" /sos /bootlog

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Bootlog Command Line"/safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog /noguiboot

 

maybe the bootlog ntbtlog.txt will provide some better hint on what the issue is.

 

Rather than running the recovery console in the desktop PC with the drive set to slave, we can try "installing" the Recovery Console to the drive set to slave, in such a way that it will be available when you use it on the laptop as boot device.

But there will possibly be some issues with SATA/AHCI (I presume) drivers for the disk itself. :unsure:

 

You can try doing the following (on the working PC with the "laptop disk set as slave":

  1. Open a command prompt
  2. CD /D F:\Windows\
  3. DIR /S >C:\MyFdrive.dir
  4. CD /D C:\Windows\
  5. DIR /S >C:\MyCdrive.dir

Compress the two files C:\MyFdrive.dir and C:\MyCDrive.dir into a zip archive, and upload, etc.

Maybe, since your desktop also runs XP SP3 it will be easy by comparing the files if there is some "key" system file missing (if a file "is there" but is corrupted it wouold be impossible however to find it).

 

 

:cheers:

Wonko






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