My computer works

It’s great when things go according to plan. A few months back, I messed up my computer when playing with the partitions with PartitionMagic (never use it!) Now I have a different open source package that works much better. Anyway, my computer was messed up, so I reinstalled Windows on a second hard drive. From then on, I boot from my D: drive. Now, I want to move everything from my old drives to the new one, and format the old drive so it’s fresh and clean, no paritioning errors or anything. But to make sure my computer doesn’t have any dependencies, I want to disable the drive first to make sure I don’t need it and that I have all the data want. It’s my Master drive, though, and my BIOS will only boot from C:. Windows and other software also assumes C: drive bootup, even if not directly. Your boot manager can be on C: while you actually boot from D: or some other drive.

So I opened up my case, took out the Master drive, switched the Slave to Master, and closed it up.

NTLDR is missing.

So I grab a Windows XP Home SP2 disc, use the Recovery Console, enter my Administrator password (weird, since my computer actually logs on automatically), and do a few things:

copy d:\i386\ntldr c:
copy d:\i386\ c:\
bootcfg /rebuild

At this point, bootcfg failed to find any Windows installs, and it looked like we were dead. I ignored it, though, and ran fixboot. Then I restated.

w00t. My computer works.

The only snag? Windows Product Activation wants to take over again, I only have 3 days to do it, and Microsoft says I’ve activated this copy too many times. Darn Microsoft. They make a fine OS, but have to load it up with time-wasting junk like this. Oh well– I’ll call them later. In a couple days, if all is well, I’ll put my other hard drive back in and wipe it clean. I’m thinking about splitting it into 2-3 paritions:

1) Important: data that I want to back up often. Documents that I’m working on now.
2) Videos: huge DV video files from my camcorder or other video sources, for editing or cleaning up.
3) Downloads: copies of installation files, utilities, graphics and media that I want to save in case the online versions go away, get lost, start costing money, etc.

One Response to “My computer works”

  1. Andrew says:

    Similar situation, different result. Still no boot.ini, but Windows gets to login screen. I log in, but am logged straight out again. Cool, huh.

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