Help! have an inspiron 600m with windows XP pro. I have two hard drives for the system an 80gig and a 120gig which was ghosted (Norton)from the 80. I did the swap about 10 months ago and it went without a hitch. last week the new drive (120) decided it was going to start the behavior described in the subject. I can Boot from the old drive either in the main bay or the expansion bay. if I boot that way the new drive(120) is accessible completely from windows as a second drive. all data is available. backup is therefore not an issue. the system and new drive pass all diagnostics, both the <fn> power on, and the F12 full diagnostics, so the drive appears to be OK from a hardware perspective. should I try to repair the XP install on the 120? I inspected the boot.ini which appears to be OK. once the message posts the hard drive light is out and stays out. I have also run fixboot from the recovery console, but not fixmbr.
This error means there is a problem with one of the drive partitions. If you cloned the entire drive, rather than just the system partition, then this could be one of the non-system partitions (utility or restore). If you reinstalled XP from scratch and made sure to delete ALL partitions on the drive during the process, that will almost certainly fix this problem. If the problem is the system partition, then running the XP recovery console will fix it.
However, I suggest you perform a full test of the drive using the Dell diagnostics to rule out any hardware issues.
Please post back and let me know if you need more help.
The drive is a complete clone of the old drive except for being larger. I have run the full diagnostics and everything passed. I wnat to keep the drive as it is rather than re-install windows and all my apps, but if I have to I will.
in recovery console what would I need to run to fix the system partition? or at least where would I start? I have already run fixboot but NOT fixmbr. it looks like from other threads here I may not want to run fixmbr.
Try fixmbr. That's the most likely problem. If you need to, consult this for details.
Ok tried fixmbr. it told me my record was non-standard, but from other threads here I thought that was just because it's a dell. after fixmbr the machine never displays the "loading PBR..." it just displays the _ blinking cursor and stops there (MBR now useless?). still boots XP from old 80gig drive. new drive is still accessible through windows when booted on old C. so the NTFS partition seems to be still ok. in disk manager the partitions are still listed with the same info, so that seems to indicate that the partition table is still ok. is there anything else I can try short of re-ghosting the drive, or complete reinstall of XP?
You could try wiping the new drive and cloning just the system partition.
would that be the EISA Configuration?
The system partition should be NTFS. EISA is the recovery partition.