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Inaccessible Boot Device

Old 12-26-01, 06:00 PM
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Inaccessible Boot Device

Hmmm...

On my children's computer, a 600mhz with 256megs ram. The screen shows

Quantum Fireball
D1 Not Found
D2 Not Found
D3 Not Found



But then it looks like it is loading W2K just fine, but it takes longer...and then hangs up.

And then I get a blue screen that says:

*** STOP (numerous numbers) INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE

Tells me to chkdsk, check for viruses, post on DVDtalk...

Any ideas?
Old 12-26-01, 07:13 PM
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This computer with this drive used to run, didn't it? You didn't just install Win2K, right? Did you check the cable?

Have you done anything different or added hardware or loaded software or changed any drivers just before this problem occurred?
Old 12-26-01, 07:17 PM
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Been running for years. Been running with W2K for a long time. I have not added any hardware or drivers. I will check the cable now.
Old 12-26-01, 07:22 PM
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Internal cables all look fine. Everything looks as it should.

When booting, it loads the W2K screen and I saw it loading drivers off the HD, so it seems like the HD is connected okay. I think.
Old 12-26-01, 07:26 PM
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Sucks. I don't know if you got a bad spot or some data corruption or a virus. Checking is a pain if you can't bring it up.

You could take the drive out of that computer and stick it in another to do virus and disk scans. Short of that it could mean using your repair disk. I'm sure you have it saved away for just this occurrence.
Old 12-26-01, 07:31 PM
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Press F8 before w2k is about to boot. Try to boot to last successful bootup. Also, see if you can boot into Safe mode. Open the Event Viewer and check the System log... maybe you will find which driver is not loading that's the causing the blue screen. Disable that driver.
Old 12-26-01, 07:33 PM
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Zuffy, I did all that. No change, I can;t get into safe mode either.
Old 12-26-01, 07:48 PM
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well, you only have 2 options left depending on how recent your ERD / repair folder is.

1) Boot from the w2k CD and goto the recovery console. goto the \\winnt\repair or \\winnt\repair\regback folder. Check the date of the file system Hopefully, the file is pretty recent.

This will rename your original system file:
ren c:\winnt\system32\config\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system.old

This will use a system file from a last ERD you ran:
copy c:\winnt\repair\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system
or if the system file is in the \\winnt\repair\regback folder:
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system


2) reinstall w2k (suck)
Old 12-27-01, 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by zuffy
well, you only have 2 options left depending on how recent your ERD / repair folder is.

1) Boot from the w2k CD and goto the recovery console. goto the \\winnt\repair or \\winnt\repair\regback folder. Check the date of the file system Hopefully, the file is pretty recent.

This will rename your original system file:
ren c:\winnt\system32\config\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system.old

This will use a system file from a last ERD you ran:
copy c:\winnt\repair\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system
or if the system file is in the \\winnt\repair\regback folder:
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system


2) reinstall w2k (suck)
Looks like I have only one option. Following the above instructions, I get to the screen saying I can type exit and return to Windows, and all I see is a Dos prompt with a C designation. But I can't access any directories on the C drive or do anything.
Old 12-27-01, 03:37 PM
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I'd still stick the drive on a second machine and take a look at it.

You may eventually need to do a low-level test on the drive using software supplied by the manufacturer.
Old 12-27-01, 07:03 PM
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Originally posted by randyc


Looks like I have only one option. Following the above instructions, I get to the screen saying I can type exit and return to Windows, and all I see is a Dos prompt with a C designation. But I can't access any directories on the C drive or do anything.
Make sure you put 1 to select the Winnt, then it will prompt you for the adminstrator password. Once the password is validated, it should default you to c:\winnt.

To goto the repair folder, type cd repair
To go back 1 level type cd ..

Hope that help.

Last edited by zuffy; 12-27-01 at 07:09 PM.
Old 01-02-02, 02:14 PM
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Heh..

Still working this problem. Since this computer/drive had a lot of my 2001 accounting data on it, and I can't find the backups, this has moved way up in priority.

The drive does not work in either of two computers. One said data error.

I tried loading the Recovery Console again after booting from the W2K CD and again it dumps me to the c prompt.

I can change directory to the D drive though and then things are normal on the D drive, but if I do a Dir C:

I get "An error occurred during directory enumeration"

Am I screwed then?
Old 01-02-02, 02:39 PM
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Is the drive formatted NTFS? You did try it on another computer with Win2K as the OS, right? And you just added the bad drive as another drive, not attempting to boot off it or get an OS from it?
Old 01-02-02, 02:55 PM
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try to run a chkdsk from the recovery console for drive C or a chkdsk if you're connecting the the drive on another w2k machine.
Old 01-02-02, 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by X
Is the drive formatted NTFS? You did try it on another computer with Win2K as the OS, right? And you just added the bad drive as another drive, not attempting to boot off it or get an OS from it?
Randy, if the answer to these is 'yes' then you most likely have a bad hard drive on your hands.

Bad to what extent is the question.

Since you have some critical tax data on here email me (again only if you tried the above as X stated and it failed) and I may have some software that can help you.

You will need a working machine with win2k and enough free hard drive space on it's hard drive to hold all the data from the assumed bad hard drive in order for it work properly.
Old 01-02-02, 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by X
Is the drive formatted NTFS? You did try it on another computer with Win2K as the OS, right? And you just added the bad drive as another drive, not attempting to boot off it or get an OS from it?
Well.. maybe I did do all those things. But I also ended up trying to run it as a separate device, slave drive, on a W2K machine, and it gave me a disc error message.

I tried putting it on as a master on another IDE card, and everything worked fine. It was recognized and configured by W2k, but I can't access it. Disc is not readable.

It is sounding to me like the disc is trashed unfortunately. I will try a couple of other things. ackkk
Old 01-03-02, 01:01 PM
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I have been getting the same message on my Quantum. Only since installing Win XP. I have not tried any of the metioned fixes. I just reboot and it works fine. I assume I have a bad spot on the drive. I too have valuable data on that drive so I should look into it further. Maybe this is a maxtor issue?
Old 01-03-02, 06:38 PM
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Odd how sometimes something like this is like opening a can of worms. And one thing led to another and more problems appeared.

Starting with a file I received that could possibly look at the drive. But I needed the drive installed on a working machine. Well, two of my machines on the network are SCSI and I don't know what hassle it would be to try to hook up this IDE drive.

So I find an old P200 machine with IDE. Okay, but it's Windows 98 and FAT, so that does not work. So I install a clean W2K on it and NTFS, but it still does not recognize the drive. Much changing of drives, cables, jumpers..and another install, and we have a W2k that sees the drive as a drive, but reports it as unreadable.

Okay cool. Now I have this program that can look at drives, but it's on my main machine. My main machine has a 32X CD-R, but I have never used it to write CD-Rs. Why? Because the machine with the dead drive had a nice writer that worked and it was just as easy to use it since everything was networked, why hassle with my computer. And the real reason, which I had very unfortunately forgotten.

Almost 6 months ago I tried to install EZ CD Creator on my system and it created huge problems. Very bad stuff.

Well, I needed to burn this file to CD and I had this box of EZ CD Creator on my shelf so I installed it. Bzzzzt. Dead computer. Now I have 3 crippled computers. Remove it after much work. Get my computer to reboot.

I then downloaded a demo of Nero. Worked PERFECTLY. What an awesome program compared that other POS.

Next problem. The dead drive is 20gigs. The only working drive in that old P200 system is 4 gigs. I could not make a mirror of the data on the existing drive. Crap. But the program from OnSafe worked most excellent and pointed out how hosed that drive was. A lot of bizarre blank directories and over 1000 files that were not in any directory anymore, many damaged or with messed up file names.

I was able to find the accounting data files though and move them to the good drive.

Okay, now I have 4meg accounting files on my P200 and I have to transfer them. I can't find any backup program on that computer to split the file up to fit on a floppy, and that computer does not have a CD-R.

I am now looking for my driver disc for my flash-adapter smartcard floppy disc thing. That will work.

It's been many hours of work.

Thanks all for your help. My other options were to spend $2k for a disc rebuild (did that 2 years ago...I don't learn easily I guess), or hire an accounting clerk for a couple weeks to recreate the data.
Old 01-03-02, 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by randyc
Starting with a file I received that could possibly look at the drive. But I needed the drive installed on a working machine. Well, two of my machines on the network are SCSI and I don't know what hassle it would be to try to hook up this IDE drive.
Nasty. You've had a lot of computer hassles lately.

You could have easily enabled the IDE port on a SCSI machine. Chances are you already had one enabled for your CD-ROM. You just would have had to make sure your machine was told to boot from SCSI before IDE. Remember that for next time.
Old 01-03-02, 09:40 PM
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Randy

Next time just Fed Ex me your fricken drive.

I will not charge you anywhere near $2000 (divide by 10 and subract another 50 or 75) and that would only be if I actually got some data I view hard drive recovery as a personal challenge, each case is a bit different.

Glad the "onsafe" program (I know you meant Ontrack ) was able to help. But you still had many options left, you were just a little too agrivated to see them.

Don't feel bad about it, I still find myself having days like that, it just happens.

ahhh DOS was such a wonderful OS


Let's talk about this old P200 that you have laying around.

Is there any reason you can not stick a couple 100G drives, a promise RAID controller, and a NIC in this thing?

There is a cool software called Datakeeper made by Powerquest (demo available on request ) that can monitor any drive, directory, or file for changes being made and when detected it can make copies to any mapped drive (with little overhead).

Here is the backup plan for the busy and unconcerned.

Setup a 100G RAID 1 mirror in the P200, through it on your network as a server (really just win2k pro, but treat it like a server) map a drive to it from your other computers, setup Datakeeper to monitor all your data and copy data to the P200 via ethernet connection (100MB I hope). This way, you set it and forget it, if anything ever fails you have the most RECENT backup possible and it costs mush less than a $2K recovery fee. Think of it as insurance.

Or you can do it the old way and get a tape drive, a good one with software will run you more that what I suggest and will not provide as recent a copy of data. It will also require you to keep track of tapes, uhgg.

If you wanted to spend a little $$ you could get a NAS device

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.asp?EDC=323479

same idea as above with the drives in the P200, but this would use a hardware device instead of your p200.
Old 01-05-02, 08:41 PM
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Update:

I decide it is time to get my system up to snuff and try to make it more bulletproof. With 4KRG's advice, here is what I want to do:

Put all 4 computers on the network (W2K network through a LinkSys router/hub). They will all talk to the cable modem and the printers.

Dual P933. My main system.
P933. Accounting and daughter's system.
P600. My son's system.
P200. Old system gathering dust.

The P600 was the one that had the hard disc crash. It is unkown why this occurred.

The P933 was the one with Windows 2000 Server installed on it. I wanted to put W2K on it so all the computer were running the same OS. The P200 had W98.

I bought a RAID controller and two 120gig harddrives. My plan is to convert the P200 to a RAID back up system and have it sit dumbly in the corner doing only backups.

I managed to install a soundcard and 30X CD-writer on the P933 so it is now more than a server. Worked fine. Reformatted the harddrives and loaded W2K from the CD-ROM. Worked great. It's back on the network and on the internet.

I then tried to get the P600 running. This one is not so easy. Everytime I boot off the W2K CD, it hangs up. Sometimes it gets far enough into copying over the W2K files and then says it will now load Windows... but it just hangs. I don't know if this is related to the controller or harddisk.

It uses a Promise Ultra66 controller hooked to two IDE drives. I tried using different drives to no help. I tried pulling out the Ultra66 and using the second IDE connector on the MB. No help. I used the Ultra66 drivers from the Promise website. Nope.

I am wondering if there is something else wrong with the P600 system, which is what caused my hard disk crash?

So I moved to seeing if I could get those drives loaded on the P200 machine. But wait, it uses W98. No problem, just boot off the W2K CD and load it. But there is no option in this old Gateway's machine for booting off the CD. Just hard drive or floppy.

Okay, so I then create a W2K bootable floppy drive, or all 4 drives.
Now I am stuck (and frustrated, I have been working this all day). The install says that the file CDROM.SYS is corrupted and to reboot. I replaved the file from one on the CD just to make sure, and it still reports that the file is corrupted. Not sure what to do next...
Old 01-05-02, 09:12 PM
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Hmm..

Removed the Ultra66 from the P200 and replaced with a couple of harddrives. Works and it's on the network now for the time being.

Considering the idea of using the new RAID controller in the P600 instead and using that for the RAID system, since it has a newer bios and supports booting by CD.
Old 01-05-02, 09:24 PM
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Randy

There are a couple of things you can do.

the promise RAID controller is not part of the win2k driver set (I don't think it is anyway) you need the driver disk for the promise card before you even start. When win2k first starts to install you must press the F6 key to add the hard drive driver (should say in text on the bottom of the screen) That may be one problem you are having.

Now the P200
You can boot to windows 98, put in the win2k cd and perform the upgrade. This is not a true "upgrade" since win2k is a different animal. That is one easy way around your boot problem.

Another way would involve ghost software, not sure if you are up for something new or not

The P600 sounds like it has issues. Those symtoms could be many things, but the first thing I try is to remove all hardware from the machine except for the minimum (video, hard drive, ram, processor, motherboard) take everything else out for the install, you can add it in later.


and hmmm maybe it is best to work at one issue at a time, which one do you want to focus on?

4K
Old 01-10-02, 02:04 AM
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Update again.

Tried to load the new Promise Raid controller on the P200, but it requires me to load W2K and I can't. The P200 can not boot from CD and the floppy install always ends with "Corrupted CDROM.SYS file" so I gave up.

As mentioned, I could leave a bootable hard drive in there with W2K loaded on it. So I tried that first. I have two drives in there on the MB IDE connector.

The system would not recognize both the new 120gig drives. Just one. And yes, I did the F6 and loaded the supplied Promise driver.

I decided to try to load the drives on the P600. But the same problem. It would only recognize one drive. The setup at boot said it could not create a RAID since there were no discs, but it does see one disc.

I could load W2K on the one disc and it worked great. all the space is there. But just one disc, the one connected to the Promise IDE1 connector.

I swapped drives and exactly the same thing. It recognizes drives connected to IDE1 but nothing connected to IDE2. Ack...

I guess I will call into Promise Friday. Tomorrow I am at the Los Angeles Auto Show all day.
Old 01-10-02, 04:09 AM
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I seem to recall there being issues with installing Win2K on a RAID set with the FastTrak. Apparently, it's possible, but it requires a lengthy workaround.

In any event, the FastTraks rely on the host processor (ie your P200) to handle RAID operations. Basically, it offers no performance advantage over Win2K's built-in software RAID. The only thing it allows you to do is to boot to a striped or mirrored set. There are intelligent IDE RAID controllers from Adaptec and 3Ware, usually using one of the i960 chips.

If all you're looking for is redundant storage for online backups, just use Win2K's software RAID. Install Win2K on a single drive attached to the motherboard's IDE controller. Then, after you get the 2 new WD drives working on the Ultra66, set them up to be a mirrored set in Win2K. Be sure to make a drive configuration floppy and don't lose it.

Last edited by belboz; 01-10-02 at 04:12 AM.

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