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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For Christmas I received a new Western Digital 320GB SATA2 HDD and an OEM copy of Windows XP Pro (I had been using a pirated copy of my friend's before). So I left my files like my music and movies on my old 120GB ATA 100 while I installed WinXP Pro on the new SATA2 drive. It was a pain since I didn't have a floppy drive in my machine for the SATA drivers during installation so I had to borrow a drive from another computer in the house. But anyway, after everything was installed and copied to the new drive, to my dismay I couldn't reformat the old 120GB drive. I came to find out that somehow the System Partition got stuck onto the old drive while the Boot Partition was created on my new drive. Now I cannot boot without the 120GB plugged in (tried unplugging the drive and booting and it said the it was Unable to boot from disk or something). I eventually deleted the partition on the old drive in setup and then canceled setup, and I still couldn't boot. So I reinstalled winXP on the old drive and now it boots fine. Of course what I have to do is reinstall XP with the drive unplugged, but do I have to completely redo everything, or can I somehow reinstall without starting from scratch? I've tried using the setup disk in windows with the drive unplugged (I know it isn't safe to unplug drives with the computer running but I had run out of ideas), but it said that it couldn't reinstall windows because there was no valid System Partition (which is on the other drive.

Could I possibly create a System Partition on my new drive with a program like PartitionMagic that would keep me from needing that second drive plugged in? Or must I start over from scratch?
Any other insights or suggestions would be helpful as well. Thanks in advance.
 

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Try booting from the XP CD with the old drive disconnected. Choose "R" for "Repair" and get into the Recovery Console. Does it allow you to log onto the XP installation on that drive?

If it does, then try fixboot and fixmbr (get help on those by typing the command followed by /?).
 

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If you still can't boot after trying those, try to boot with one of the following. Or you might even try these before using the RC. It will give us information if nothing else.

"Try booting from one of the media below. They contain a generic boot.ini that defaults to the first partition of the first drive and the "Windows" folder. But there are options for any of 3 partitions on the first 2 hard drives and "Winnt" folders if that is where your system is installed.

Download XP Sysboot media here:
Bootable Sysboot Floppy
Bootable Sysboot CD Image

If you do not have a burner that will burn ISO images, or if you don't know how, then use this Standalone CD/DVD/ISO Burner to create a bootable CD from the image above."

You might check your BIOS settings, too, if you haven't done that. Some SATA's are detected as "removable" media and you may be able to set it as your primary boot medium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tried doing the Repair thing in Setup, but after I got the driver for the SATA drive selected from a floppy, Setup hung at "Setup is starting Windows" (screen before the one with the Repair option). It did this all three times that I tried it. So I am trying another of your suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also, it wouldn't boot from that boot disk. It just gave me the NT Loader screen that said "Windows XP 1 CPU 1024 MB" or something similar. Now my PC won't boot to anything but safe mode.
 
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