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Windows 7: can't initialize to MBR!

22 Aug 2010   #21
Alsenor

 
 

Update:
I tried to clean the XP installation CD first, but it still failed. Then I put on my analytical hat and tried another old XP installation CD, which did the same thing. Conclusion - its not the CD's fault! With regard to the read head of the CD drive, it reads all CDs fine otherwise. What next?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Aug 2010   #22
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Your optical drive may be bad which is less likely and the board sounds too new to be requiring a sata driver disk for XP. But that is another possibility if the XP installer wasn't seeing the drive.

The idea of first unplugging the present 7 drive was simply to maintain the present master boot record entries for 7 on it. The guide explains that when custom installing XP after 7 is on will make 7 unbootable at first requiring the use of the 7 dvd repair tools>startup repair to correct that.

Out of curiosity I have to ask this one. Are you using pre-SP1 XP cds by chance? Those would have problems without the first service pack like breaking the 137gb barrier for the drive depending on how large the new one is.

Another thing of course would be the driver disk. Out of curiosity I have to ask another one here as to the make, model, and most importantly the type of drive the new is?

For an ide or Sata drive(possible driver disk need for onboard sata/Raid controllers) XP should go right on without a hitch. If the new drive was an SSD however that might be a problem. As a last resort however if nothing works to get XP on the alternative would be the XP Mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #23
Alsenor

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
The idea of first unplugging the present 7 drive was simply to maintain the present master boot record entries for 7 on it. The guide explains that when custom installing XP after 7 is on will make 7 unbootable at first requiring the use of the 7 dvd repair tools>startup repair to correct that.
Are you suggesting I should do that next? Would I get the dual boot offered after reconnecting it?
Quote:
Out of curiosity I have to ask this one. Are you using pre-SP1 XP cds by chance? Those would have problems without the first service pack like breaking the 137gb barrier for the drive depending on how large the new one is.
The XP CD states it is XP Home SP2.
My new drive is a WD 500 GB.
Quote:
Another thing of course would be the driver disk. Out of curiosity I have to ask another one here as to the make, model, and most importantly the type of drive the new is?
I have to assume you are asking about the CD drive:
CD-ROM Drive
hp DVD A DH16AAL SCSI CdRom Device
Model Number hp DVD A DH16AAL
Drive Serial Number 3B9944001287
Quote:
For an ide or Sata drive(possible driver disk need for onboard sata/Raid controllers) XP should go right on without a hitch. If the new drive was an SSD however that might be a problem. As a last resort however if nothing works to get XP on the alternative would be the XP Mode.
I have the W7 Home Edition, which does not offer an XP mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Aug 2010   #24
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

For adding a new boot entry into the 7 boot loader the guide posted earlier covers all this. Unplugging the 7 drive does two things for you to make like a little easier. Note the boot order as far as hard drives will be changed by the unplugging and replug of the 7 later.

The first thing is seeing the 7 drive remain bootable for 7 as is without the need for the startup repair or use of the command prompt option while booted with the 7 dvd later. That will save you some repair steps after XP is installed and suddenly you find 7 won't start? due the XP installer replacing that 7 entries with those needed for XP.

You would need to copy the boot files over however doing that way and edit the boot.ini to point at the second drive. Once you go into the Windows Explorer menu bar>Tools>Folder options>View tab you would uncheck the "extensions for known file types" and "hidden protected systems files" item to have the boot files visible to copy over to the root of the 7 drive since XP would be isolated at first.

The advantage? Each drive can be booted independently of each other rather then counting solely on the present 7 host/boot drive if you later had to replace or decided to upgrade that.

The second item is seeing the new drive XP is going onto made bootable on it's own when the 7 drive isn't present. You can still add XP into the 7 boot loader easy enough however. The same method for a dual boot of Vista with XP applies to an XP/7 dual boot setup.

You could be having a problem of one type with the optical drive itself. One idea would be making a temp folder on the second drive and simply copy + pasting a large amount of files into the temp folder to watch how things go from a disk in the drive.

If copying a large amount of files is a problem while the optical drive maybe good the new cable you added in recently could be at fault. installing IDE in new tower.

As for the Home Premium not supporting the Virtual PC from running there the alternative for the XP Mode is the WM Lite Workstation for the XP Mode. Just of late I had been running an old Socket A build without any virtualization support being too old but still saw the XP Mode running with the alternate program.

VMLite Workstation/VMLite XP Mode v3.2.6 binaries (x86/amd64)

What was interesting about the first install of that there still saw the integrated components supported. That was still on the Ultimate while another tryout with the Home Premium is a thought since I am just finishing a new build that will run that edition. But the VM ware would still run on HP as well as Ultimate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #25
Alsenor

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
For adding a new boot entry into the 7 boot loader the guide posted earlier covers all this. Unplugging the 7 drive does two things for you to make like a little easier. Note the boot order as far as hard drives will be changed by the unplugging and replug of the 7 later.
So let me get this straight, to be sure of what to do tomorrow morning.
1. Unplug the data connector from drive 0 (W7).
2. Reboot with XP installation CD in CD drive.
3. Reconnect drive 0 with W7.
4. Pray.
5. reboot and add a new boot entry into the 7 boot loader
Question: when you say the boot order will be changed - it will boot into W7, so I can add the new boot entry into the 7 boot loader?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #26
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

If you install XP fresh without the 7 drive plugged in that will set up the drive as a stand alone install rather then placing the XP boot files on the 7 host drive and replace the 7 boot entries in the master boot record(mbr). For a short time the XP drive will be the default hard drive.

Once the XP installation is complete and you know that is running normal without problems you can then shutdown and replug the 7 drive back in. This will prevent any changes to the 7 boot information. But you will then need to go into the bios setup when powering up again to see that reset or insure it is set as the first hard drive in the list of drives to insure it is the default in order to boot into 7.

Basically that's a fast trip to see that done in there and then simply choose the "exit and save" option if pressing the F10 doesn't save any change right away. From there once back in 7 you can copy the needed XP boot files over to the root of C on the W7 host drive now made the default boot device if you follow me so far.

The next step as you will also see in the guide pointed to earlier is simply copying the XP boot files as shown in the attached image being the boot.ini file mentioned before and a few others being indicated in the screen below. NTLDR in lower case is required as well as the NTDETECT.COM, IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS files while the CONFIG.SYS is simply mixed in there and won't do anything.

Once those are copied over you will need to download and install the latest 2.0.2 version of EasyBCD available free at Download EasyBCD 2.0.2 - NeoSmart Technologies

Before you can add the new entry for XP however you first have to uncheck the "read only" box in the properties screen for the boot.ini file in order to be able to edit the copy you then have on the 7 drive. A fast edit when opened by a double click bringing up the NotePad window will allow you make a simple change to the "rddisk(0)partition 1" to "rdisk(1)partition 1) since XP is now on the second not first hard drive.

Once that change is seen to simply drop down the File menu and save as "all files" not txt for the NotePad default in order to see the change overwrite the copy of the file now present on the 7 drive. You don't want it saved in text file format but still see the .ini extension at the end.

The EasyBCD options are easy to follow as for adding the new entry in for XP. First however a quick trip into the 7 Disk Management to see what the drive letter is and even change it to another is seen to since that will be the drive letter selected when going to add the new boot entry into the 7 BCD store(boot loader info).

The things to remember of course if you are able to see a working install of XP going you first shutdown to replug the 7 back in and check to see which drive is set as default in the bios. If you install XP without unplugging the 7 drive 7 won't boot later since the XP installer would have replaced the 7 mbr entries requiring you boot up with the 7 dvd and use the startup repair or command prompt option to enter the "Fixmbr" and "Fixboot" commands until seeing the "boot sector successfully written" confirmation.

The unplug first step will see the XP drive made bootable while leaving the 7 drive plugged through all this would see the XP boot files placed on the 7 drive only plus the need for repairing the 7 boot problem you would see. The guide however is what to refer to there if you have any problems since that covers each step except for isolation of the 7 drive when XP is being installed.


Attached Images
can't initialize to MBR!-xp-boot-files.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #27
Alsenor

 
 

Ok, I will start the process and install XP (the computer gods willing!).
Then I will reconnect the 7 drive and try to follow your instructions to get those files in there. I suppose I can always disconnect the XP drive again if for some reason it doesn't boot to the 7 drive. Wish me luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2010   #28
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Well once XP is on hopefully as you were having problems with the installation part you wouldn't want to replug and then unplug the 7 drive once XP is running but set the 7 drive to be the default host/boot drive once again in order to be able to add the XP entry in. That has to be the default drive in order to work.

That's a quick browse in the bios setup there where once you find the "hard drive" item and highlight it you simply hit the enter button to bring up the list of drives screen. The plus and minus keys over on the NumPad are used to move a particular drive to the top of the list setting that as the default. From there you simply exist the bios with the save option.

For now take your time and go over each step as well as the guide. Method Two is what you want to read carefully. Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2010   #29
Alsenor

 
 

I unplugged the data connector of the 7 drive, and rebooted with the XP CD in the CD drive.
Sorry to tell you this, but the result is still the same error msg on blue screen.
I tried 3 different XP installation CDs to eliminate the possibility of a bad CD. They all went through the file loading process, but when they got to the "Starting Windows" point the same error screen came up and I had to cut the power to shut down.
To get access to this forum I connected the 7 drive again.
What now?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2010   #30
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Now with each disk did you see all setup files copied over and then the automatic restart? Remember you left the optical set as the first in the boot order rather then calling up the boot device menu for a one time session while leaving the hard drive set as first and default.

I'm trying to rule various possible causes for why you continue to see the same problem. As you have noted before you tried other disks ruling out the XP cd as one item.

Apparently one thing is off since the new drive is known to be good while the optical drive also appears to be copying all the setup files over without problem as well. Since the XP installer on each clearly has the drive present you are not in need of a driver disk for sata controllers apparently.Other then the optical drive being a little flaky and missing a file or two "something" not found yet seems to be preventing a working XP install there.

If you system came with the 6gb of memory as listed in the specifications a bad dimm would be a cause for the blue screens during each attempt. The last thought would be removing all but one dimm for a last attempt as well as running memtest on each dimm by itself to be able to rule any bad ram out entirely.

If you ran memtest as advised earlier in the thread but not long enough to repeat the series of stress you may not have run it long enough to reveal any faults. This would be one item to followup on just in case you need to replace one or two of them.

In the event the memory is found defect free your options for XP left would be the XP Mode run on the VM Lite Workstation or a custom install of XP on VHD running VIrtual Box and dedicating the new drive for storage and backup purposes. I did that here as well while trying out the XP Mode on the VM ware and on VBox there as well as other OSs and never ran into any installation problem except for 3.1, 95, 98SE made it once!

It used to be the chipsets not allowing XP's installer to see sata drives where a fluppy had to have sata controller drivers that would be a stumbling block for the most part. Apparently something new is preventing a normal install if nothing else is found bad or not set correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 can't initialize to MBR!




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