Weird booting problem (windows XP)

GazCaff

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I built a rig for a friend last year and he told me this week that the system had stopped booting. So I went to have a look and found fault which I find hard to explain.

When I switch the system on, it gets through the POST screens and then halts with the "non stystem disk retry/fail/abort?" (or whatever it says).

I tried all sorts from re-setting the bios, running chkdsk, fixmbr, fix boot to no avail.

Then on one particular re-start with the Windows XP (SP2) CD in the drive I let it start-up without going into the CD and Windows booted (and operated fine). However, when I tried to re-start again without the Windows CD in the drive, the boot failed again.

Basically the computer is only booting into Windows if the Windows CD is in the CD drive. It's got me puzzled, any ideas?
 

masqueraid

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Is it using a SATA drive? I had this with a box I built for my son, needed to reinstall the Motherboard and (latest) SATA drivers to fix it.
 

LastMinute

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I think the problem can only be in the Master Boot Record of the hard disk, because that's the only bit that is bypassed when you boot via the CD.

I can't explain why fixmbr wouldn't have fixed that, though. Is there an option in the BIOS for "hard disk boot sector virus protection" (or similar)? If so, was it turned on when you ran fixmbr? That might cause it to fail silently.
 
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GazCaff

GazCaff

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It is a SATA drive, but it had run fine for about 3 months up to this point. It's an ASUS Nforce 4 board (I forget the model name) and surprisingly doesn't need drivers for the SATA interface (I noticed this when installing windows). I'll try what you suggest though, the motherboard drivers might need updating by now anyway.
 
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GazCaff

GazCaff

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LastMinute said:
I think the problem can only be in the Master Boot Record of the hard disk, because that's the only bit that is bypassed when you boot via the CD.

I can't explain why fixmbr wouldn't have fixed that, though. Is there an option in the BIOS for "hard disk boot sector virus protection" (or similar)? If so, was it turned on when you ran fixmbr? That might cause it to fail silently.
Good idea, I'll have a look next time I'm round there.
 

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