View Full Version : XP does not boot from hard disk

10-22-2007, 02:16 PM
Absolutely weird.

I have bought a new HDD (ATA), with jumper on Master. I did installed XP Professional SP2 (genuine licensed) once, this morning, everything was OK. After installing XP, I have booted from HDD without problems and even I did some small disaplay changes (resolution, colors, things like that), but I have installed nothing else). I've closed the OS, closed the PC and went out for about 1 hour. When coming back the system refused to boot again from HDD.

As I had nothing else installed on HDD except the XP, I decided to boot from CD, format again the partition and reinstall the XP. Surprise: The HDD is visible (BIOS sees it), is to be formated, XP files are copied on the C: partition as normal, no errors, but when first time the installing program needs to re-boot, it can not re-boot from HDD, and keeps booting from CD again and again...:eek:

Any ideas?

10-22-2007, 04:20 PM
My first guess would be that you did not reset the boot order after installation, and left the XP cd in the drive, causing it to boot from CD.

10-22-2007, 04:29 PM
My first guess would be that you did not reset the boot order after installation, and left the XP cd in the drive, causing it to boot from CD.
Thanks for replay. No, I need not reset the order. Usually if You ahve a bootable CD and a OS installed on HDD, the sequence goes normally to a point on which you are to choose, whithin 5 seconds or so, and press a key if you want to boot from CD, otherwise the boot is automatically done from HDD. I do not reach that point. The system says There is nothing to be boot from HDD, so that I must boot from CD, I have no choice...

I suspect it is a HDD problem. For a reason or another it gained bad sectors or so...

10-23-2007, 05:51 AM
I would still recommend checking the boot order, as well as the devices in the BIOS. Other than that, the only thing I can think of (aside from a hardware failure, IE bad drive, which I have had before) is that a cable might be loose. I would check all of your cables, make sure they're firmly seated. ;)

11-05-2007, 01:54 PM
Hi, I've a P-IV with Inter MB, and trying to do an XP installation on it.
Setup copies files to HD, but does not boot from the HD again on restarting.
BIOS options are all ok - in order with HD, CD-ROM etc.
The HD is master, and CD-Rom is Primary Slave.
It keeps booting from CD ROM everytime. Even with just HD as the only drive, it does not boot from it saying need boot media etc. as if cannot detect HD, though BIOS shows okay.
Any ideas ?

How do I get across this problem ??
PS: Tried installing Ubuntu but got the same problem. Also, the HD is properly formatted - FAT32 and ext3.

11-05-2007, 03:08 PM
My computer needs HD drivers to be installed if the drives are not IDE.

I had to download a driver from the makers (on to a floppy) and then press F6 early in the XP instal to tell XP that it needed to give me space to insert the floppy during XP instal. Otherwise it could not find the drives.

Maybe your new drive needs a driver.

NOTE, The instal program had no problem finding the drive, but it could not find it on reboot.
Perhaps your HD driver got corrupted.


Also, I thought that XP needed the NTFS filing system.


11-05-2007, 03:57 PM
Well thnx for reply but thing is -
XP does not NEED NTFS. I've always had FAT32 with XP cause i had to mount my drives in Linux neways.
Had to format my HD and here is where the problem started.
Ad for the HD needing drivers, i dont think so, I have a Seagate Barracuda 80 gigs HD ( admittedly a coupla years old ) but its still working pretty ok. I checked :(
Never needed any drivers before to install. Also the the BIOS always detected the drives, it just culd not boot from it.
I'm at a loss here.


11-05-2007, 08:23 PM
XP does not NEED NTFS. I've always had FAT32 with XP

It's just one of those things that I had always accepted. I stand corrected.

I too had a recent experience which I mentioned above. Due to a program which would not let me delete it, and which was reportedly dangerous. I had to re-format my HD which is a SATA type.
I have formatted and re-installed from Vista Business at least three times without undue trouble. This last time, although it had no problem finding the disk during installation, but could find NONE of the disks on reboot.
As I said above, I had to download a SATA driver and reinstal everything to get going.
Yet! this was at least the third time that I had done this without any problems. If you look above, you will see my previous post about this.

It is all very odd.

I just don't know what to suggest.


11-05-2007, 08:29 PM
I got all this from Google.:eek:


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11-06-2007, 02:12 PM
well i've been googling before posting here ....
neways what happened was that my HD just died, and my other sata HD is working just fine. So i guess i'll never know what the problem was :(

really freaky :O

11-06-2007, 07:57 PM
well i've been googling before posting here ....
neways what happened was that my HD just died, and my other sata HD is working just fine. So i guess i'll never know what the problem was :(

really freaky :O

Check with the manufacturer, they have diagnostic software and FAQs and solutions for their hardware, also low level format software (free) to restore the HDD to factory conditions. It automactly fixes or bypasses bad sectors. This technique I have used when I get a bad virus that my antivirus can't correct. It also clears up registry problems. You must use the manufactures own software as others do not correct problems effectively. The software is downloadable free from the HDD manufacture.
hope this helps

11-06-2007, 08:02 PM
forgot to give address - Seagate support
hope this helps

11-06-2007, 09:43 PM
forgot to give address - Seagate support
hope this helps
What if my HDD is made by another manufacturer? :rolleyes: And it is... Anyway, I decided to solve that on weekend, on using first some DOS fix commands.

11-08-2007, 12:05 PM
If your hard drive will not boot Windows XP, it has to be one of two things.

Either the MBR is invalid, which makes the drive "unbootable".

Or the boot.ini file is incorrect, which makes Windows "unbootable".

You can correct both of these in one go. Boot from your Windows CD and start the Recovery Console. Use the following commands in order.

Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini
DEL C:\Boot.ini
BootCfg /Rebuild

If you are not going to use NTFS, you may want to use a Windows 98 startup disk and run fdisk /mbr in place of the fixmbr command above.

If you still have trouble booting, check out the Boot Errors section of Nilpo's Ultimate Windows Troubleshooting and Security Guide (http://guide.nilpo.com/startup).

11-08-2007, 12:31 PM
Thanks, Nilpo, I'll do that.

11-08-2007, 12:34 PM
Thanks, Nilpo, I'll do that.No problem. Let us know how you make out.

12-07-2007, 09:42 AM
Did that work for you, Kor?

12-07-2007, 09:57 AM
Believe it or not, I had no time to try. I have bought, meanwhile, a brand new strong notebook, so that I have worked these days on my new toy, so far... Maybe this weekend I'll try all the methods I've learned... :-)

Thanks for the interest...

12-07-2007, 10:09 AM
Sounds good. I'm interested to see how things work out for you.

05-20-2012, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the great information, Nilpo. I had the exact same problem, but none of the steps you offered resolved it. If I don't have a WinXP CD in the drive, I cannot boot the system. I still get "Operating System Not Found", even after running checkdsk /p, fixboot, fixmbr, and bootcfg /rebuild from the Windows XP Recovery console. I've even made sure the partition was marked "active".

So I came up with another plan. Why not install Ubuntu side-by-side with windows (the standard installer CD supports this), and let GRUB handle the MBR?

I'll let you know how it goes.

Sorry for posting on an old thread, but this was still relevant for me, even today.

05-20-2012, 07:39 PM
Well, that was an abject failure. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 32-bit and GRUB installed side-by-side with Windows, but I still get "Operating System Not Found" if I boot from the HDD. I have to boot from a CD (Windows or Linux), and then select "Boot from Hard Drive" or "Boot from first hard drive" in the menu of the CD.

I'm baffled (and open to suggestions). Does this mean the boot sector of my HDD is trashed?

05-20-2012, 07:46 PM
Hello Chriv,

It sounds as though your HDD might be bad. Try running your drive manufacturer's diagnostic software or something like Sprinrite to check your drive for hardware failures. If the drive checks out, then you likely have a corrupt filesystem. Have you tried connecting this drive to another working system to see if you are able to read the contents of the drive?

05-20-2012, 10:20 PM
I was thinking the same thing, but only about the boot sector of the hard drive. I just booted from a SeaTools CD (the drive diagnostic from Seagate, the drive manufacturer), ran a short DST, and then zero'd out Track 1.

I'm hoping that fixes it. I'll keep you posted.

05-20-2012, 11:07 PM
Well, that didn't do it.

After zeroing out all of Track 1, the Ubuntu Installation CD saw the disk as a brand-new, unformatted HDD. I created a new partition table, setup all of my partitions, and let the CD install and format them, as well as install GRUB and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

I rebooted without the CD, and got "Operating System Not Found". That was frustrating!

I'll take your suggestion, take the HDD out, and put it in an identical netbook, and see if it boots that one.

05-20-2012, 11:23 PM
Well, it's not the HDD. It's something BIOS/CMOS related on the netbook. I swapped HDDs with an identical netbook, and the same netbook still won't boot from a known good HDD. However, the other netbook booted flawlessly with the freshly installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

So it is a hardware problem, just not the HDD.

I'll try flashing the CMOS with the newest version, and see if that helps.

05-20-2012, 11:45 PM
It could be a controller or chipset. It's time for an RMA if it's under warranty.

05-21-2012, 12:00 AM
Well, flashing the BIOS is a challenge. I'm having to build a boot CD (http://www.nu2.nu/bootcd), as I cannot boot from a USB stick on this netbook either. At least it's consistent.

05-21-2012, 01:32 AM
It was the BIOS. I had to build a full Bart's PE CD, and then use the Windows version of the flash utility from Acer for my netbook, but after I flashed the BIOS, the system booted from the HDD! I'm thankful that the faultly BIOS would still boot from CD when it would not boot from USB stick or HDD.

What a PITA!

Thanks for the suggestion about swapping drives. I might not have thought of the BIOS without that suggestion!

06-01-2012, 08:03 AM
May be this is the thread where I could find my solution. Actually my all of the DDs are getting occupied with files and folders and as they are too important, I thought to have one more DD for myself. So as I started for the partitioning process through BIOS, and after completing the work I restarted the computer, the OS doesn't shows up. Any advise or suggestions as to what would have happened ?