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Changing Boot Drive

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Posts: 18,540
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Changing Boot Drive

Hi
I am experiencing some problems which I suspect is due to a faulty boot HDD. Whenever I boot up my PC just before the main Window logo appears with the moving blue ribbon a HHD clicks, then agaion just before the blue login screen. I get the occasional click during use. But What I have noticed is a slowing down of the system plus I keep losing forum & other login settings and not just for PN. I have had similar issues before which turned out to be a failing HDD.
Anyway, I decided to clone to Boot drive and reset the Boot priority to boot from this clone with a view to removing the original drive and testing it on a nother drive as well as see if the clicking persists withit it connected.
My MB is a Gigabyte M61P-S3.
At present the boot drive is SATA and the clone is PATA which shjows up on the list of available drives in BIOS. I have changed the Boot priority to the PATA but when I disconnect the SATA the PC just hangs at the 'Checking DMI Pool stage'. If I reconnect the SATA the system continues to boot from that and not the PATA - I tested this by saving a file to My Documents and it is found on the SATA and not PATA drive.
Any advice as to how I can hange the boot drive?
Cheers

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
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Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Changing Boot Drive

How did you clone the drive? You can clone it by coping the partition onto the new drive or by using a drive copy like acronis. Did it copy without errors?
If you copy the partition the boot sector will not be there.
One of the problems is windows is expecting to boot from a SATA drive and has the drivers ready for that but now its an IDE drive with different boot up drivers.
You may need to fix the new drive. remove the old drive so only the new drive is presant
Boot with the XP installation CD.
When prompted, press R to repair a Windows XP installation.
If repairing a host with multiple operating systems, select the appropriate one (XP) from the menu. If you have only one operating system, enter 1 to select it.
Enter the administrator password if prompted.
To fix the MBR, use the following command:
fixmbr

This assumes that your installation is on the C:\ drive. You will be presented with several scary warning lines the reading of which will make you want to say no. Microsoft is exceptionally vague regarding the conditions under which fixmbr can cause problems although they are clear about the consequences (losing all data on the hard drive), so use this at your own risk.
Type y and ENTER to fix the MBR. 
Reboot and see if its fixed it if not it good be the boot records boot from the cd again and at the recovery consul type
To repair a damaged Boot Sector at the command prompt type FIXBOOT and press Enter. Then answer "Y"
Failing all that you may have to boot from the cd and do a repair (Note you need a cd the same as your currant version so if you have SP3 you need to slipstream SP3 onto your cd or it will put it back to the SP on the cd which maybe SP1.
You are safe as you have the original on the old drive.
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Changing Boot Drive

Thanks for your suggestions, samuria. I had cloned the Boot drive using Paragon Drive Copy and was under the impression that I wouldn't need to make any further changes except the Boot Priority.
As I said before, having changed the priority to the new drive and found it booted OK I assumed it was still booting from the original drive as anything I saved to My Docs appeared on that drive (C) and not the cloned drive (F).
Anyway, I decided the reformat the cloned drive as an easy way of deleting the cloned Windows, etc. and found I couldn't as I was getting messages telling me files were in use.
BTW I had just updated VLC Player from 0.8.6d to 0.8.6i. But on resetting the BIOS Boot priority to C and rebooting I have found that I am back with VLC Player 0.8.6d. This leads me to believe that it was being booted from the clone after all.
Before changing Boot priorityI  changed the clone's (F drive) name from 'System' to 'copy System'. After the reboot 'copy System' was showing as Drive C not F! All this leads me to believe that I got confused because, perhaps, when you change boot priority it seems that new boot drive gets assigned as C drive automatically and not stay as F or whetever it was before hand.
So, now I have changed priority again the C that became F is now C again and F that became C is F again Cheesy
The reason I did the clone in the first place was to see if the clicking I experience at boot-up was from the boot drive. But even when booting from the clone I still got the clicking. I think I now know it to be my G drive as it has failed a Seagate test Sad
P.S. Maybe this hot weather is affecting me! Roll eyes

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
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Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Changing Boot Drive

The boot drive is normally drive C: even if was another letter before then the next drive first partition is d: then it goes through partitions and extended partitions.
Some of these defaults can be changed by software like System commander. If a drive has failed how old is it as a lot of drives now have 2-5 years guarantee  on them
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Changing Boot Drive

Quote from: samuria
The boot drive is normally drive C: even if was another letter before then the next drive first partition is d: then it goes through partitions and extended partitions.

Not sure if you're suggesting that I am wrong in my previous post about the drive letter being changed from F to C for Booting?
The drive(s) is/are underwarranty. I think I have had around 6 or 7 fail over the last 18 months or so. The first two were a mix of age and overheating. All drives now have their own fans and I have a much larger case for them all so heat isn't an issue.
What I do know is that I took out 1 drive that appeared to be failing only to find out later that it was, in fact, the ATA 133 IDE card failing throwing up spurious error.
Now I get three click sounds as the PC boots (one just before the Windows logo, one just after and one just before the login screen). Occasionally I hear a click during general use and the PC appears to stutter but that sometimes happens when I am accessing drives other than the Boot one - often drive G:.
Another thing, though, that makes me feel it may be the boot drive is that I keep losing the Login/Passwords for various sites. I never delete cookies but a failing disc did produce this before. Then again, I have just upgraded Spy-Bot S & S to 1.6 and am wondering if that is doing something?
Not sure, at present, the best way forward to secure which is the failing drive. With 7 to play around with I don't want to be constantly unplugging, etc.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Rikaitch
Grafter
Posts: 212
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: Changing Boot Drive

I'd download the drive testing software of the hard drive manufacturers. This will tell you if any of them are faulty. I have included a list of the websites for each of the manufacturer's test
Hitachi
Fujitsu
Seagate/Maxtor
Samsung
Western Digital
Hope this helps.
Moderator
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Posts: 18,540
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Changing Boot Drive

Thanks for the reply.
I did find out what drive was failing as it failed while attempting a backup see my thread Hard Disc Failure + Error Performing Inpage Operationl
I did, in fact, run the above Maxtor test and nothing showed up initially then it kept failing to start the test. That's when I decided to back that disc up. I had already back up other discs and swapped data around but Sod's Law states that the final disc is the one that will fail.
Strange thing is that the SMART data never showed any signs of trouble at anytime.
The failed 300GB disc is still under guarantee but I have yet to send it off as there is around 50GB of irreplaceable data I don't want to lose  Sad

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still