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Reinstalling windows

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by JDCB, May 15, 2007.

  1. JDCB

    JDCB Well-Known Member

    Completely not to do with photographing things, except until I can fix the d@*n computer I can't enjoy the pictures I've taken on my new D200.... Perhaps there's a kind but knowledgeable IT wiz out there?

    Windows XP Home Edition on a 40 Gb disk, upgraded to SP2 from a very early version of the software. Later addition was a 160 GB disk as a slave, split using Partition Magic into 40+120. All data backed up onto the partitioned drive plus onto CD.

    Primary hard drive fails (and the inbuilt diagnostics confirm this). No problem - buy cheap new 40 GB drive, install, reload Windows XP from the original disk...

    Except "Cannot boot from CD ROM - Code 5. Cannot find NTLDR". Google that message to discover that this sometimes happens, there may be a corrupt MBR (????), and that it's a real bu**er to fix. BIOS settings seem OK, with the ATAPI CD-ROM configured as the first boot device.

    I'm now officially lost! Anyone got any ideas that I can try?


    Oh - and the next computer is very definitely going to be a Mac. I'm completely fed up with 15 years of fighting Mr Gates' finest software! This is the last time.

  2. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    And who pray is Apple's biggest share holder?

    I have upgraded this computer, a four year old Samsung, twice, once to a 60GB hard drive and then to an 80GB hard drive. This has required reloading Windows twice. Simply I fitted the new hard disk and then loaded the operating software from the recovery CD. Are you using a recovery disk or a full XP disk? Either way you should be able to get up and running without problems. You say you have a "cheap" hard drive, was it new or second hand? If the latter I recommend a brand new drive, as big as the computer will accept, and then try again.
  3. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Try cleaning the disk or even changing the CD ROM/DVD drive because I've found that sometimes a drive can have difficulty reading a certain disk and it throws up all sorts of gobbeldygook messages at you when all you need is a different drive or a good clean of the disk.

  4. JDCB

    JDCB Well-Known Member

    I have indeed fallen victim to Apple's advertising!

    The new drive is brand new - a Samsung from PC World. The XP disk is the one supplied by Dell with the original machine.

    Oh, and for all who may have thought Cheeky sod using the AP forum as a free resource to fix his computer problem (on re-reading my post that impression could easily be taken) I'm really only trying to confirm if there is something easy/obvious I may have overlooked. If it's more serious it'll have to go to the repair shop and I'll pay a proper fee to get hopefully a proper job done.

  5. JDCB

    JDCB Well-Known Member

    Some small progress (I think). Following BigWill's suggestions, I swapped the 2 CD drives around . Result is now a message saying "Insert proper boot media and reboot"... Tried several times. As I had always assumed that the Windows XP original disk is proper boot media, again I'm stuck.

    Round of Bushmill's to BigWill for getting us this far - I'll buy you a (virtual) bottle if we can get over this one!

  6. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member


    The CD is for the original version of XP and not service pack 2. Would that cause the problem?
  7. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Mine isn't SP2 either and it wasn't a problem.

    I am surprised that you can't boot from the Dell disk. You could contact them and see whether they can help.
  8. JDCB

    JDCB Well-Known Member

    Thought about that, but as (I think) the whole machine is just a naked PC with no previous memory of what OS it used to have installed on the failed HD, I'm not sure how this could be.

    Hmmmmm :D

  9. Moos3h

    Moos3h Well-Known Member

    I think the problem MAY be that the Dell reinstall disk is attempting to redbuild it's image from the wrong drive name - if you've added another disk to the computer, this is quite likely if the programming was sloppy.

    I would take the second hard drive (the larger one) out of the loop and return the machine to 'stock'.

    Then boot from the CD and hopefully it should do the biz for you.

    If this doesn't work then there could be a fault with the recovery media, but let us know how you get on.

  10. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath

    The problem sounds like it could be to do with you using partition magic on your drive.The recovery disc is expecting to find a single drive of 160gb.I had problems when I tried partition magic once then I discovered how to dual boot my system.

    Major manufacturers of computers do a batch of systems all in one go,They do one master disc then make multiple copies with the o/s on plus all drivers for many combinations of pc.

    Personally I would buy a full version of xp pro with sp2 and start from there, when you come to install your drivers for sound/video etc then point the pc to that disc.

    Hope this helps.
  11. Mojo_66

    Mojo_66 Well-Known Member

    Could it be because it's a recovery disk and not the full version of XP?
  12. Mick_Johnson

    Mick_Johnson Well-Known Member

    I believe some recovery discs will only restore the pc from the hidden data that's on your original drive and so will not boot to do a new install on a new drive.

    You could try someone else's XP disc to see if it will boot.

    If you have the serial number (sticker) on the case or laptop you can use any other XP installation cd and use your number. It will also tell you what version, Home or Pro although you already know that. You would then have to ring MS to activate it within 30 days.

    As James has said, remove your backup drive and then try again. Also if you have 2 cd/dvd roms try them both, obvious I know but you never know.
  13. R3tr0Fr34k

    R3tr0Fr34k Well-Known Member

    The Dell CD's tend to be the full version of XP. They just check the Bios to make sure it's a Dell. Changing the drives shouldn't cause an issue. As others have said, disconnect the second drive. Also make sure the restore CD isn't scratched. If it is, copy it onto a fresh CD if you've access to a burner. Or bin the whole thing and use it as an excuse to buy a Mac ;)
  14. R3tr0Fr34k

    R3tr0Fr34k Well-Known Member

    He's been called many things, but stupid isn't one of them ;)

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