Drive issues

Just moved my boot drive using norton ghost. Now booting, even in safe mode, I can get as far as the windows prompt then it just freezes.

If i hookup the old drive, I can see the new drive, everything is fine. If I try and format it (thinking of just installing xp new) it won’t allow it because it says it is a boot device… argh.

Any ideas?


boot.ini needs to point to the new drive?

Okay… what does that mean? How do i fix it?


are you using xp? you can’t move a boot drive transparently/seamlessly as you can with win9x. you have to edit the boot.ini system file on the boot drive so that it points to the proper boot drive using ARC naming conventions.

i’m really rusty with this myself, preferring to start a new hd and install windows (i have it down to an art now in under 30min) myself so someone else can back me up or provide more info.

windows looks for it when it boots up and it contains pointers on which drive to use–it’s what’s responsible for the boot menu when you press f8 at startup. if you’ve moved to another drive on another controller (sata/ide etc) and if it’s changed etc. you also have to use a drive tool to make the partition active.

how are your hd setup and how did it change when you ghosted it to a new hd?
are they all sata or ide? what is master/slave etc? what partition of what drive is the new boot drive’s windows partition?

If you decide to reinstall from scratch, don’t format the drive within windows. Just boot off your XP CD, and when you get to the part where you pick your install drive, just delete any exiting partitions on the new drive at that point.

Don’t reinstall from scratch. A bootcfg/fixmbr operation would probably solve this issue, but it’s a little complicated.

Do a repair install. Since the data from your old Windows installation is there, the repair install process will fix any issues with the boot loader with minimal intervention on your part.

Sorry, like I said, I’m rusty and it was 2am. I like that clean purging feeling myself.

Thanks. Ended up doing a fresh install. I had been moving around that same install for years now and just reinstalling on top of it. So what the hell, will clean out the gunk.

Learned something new. If windows tells you, you have used the same key too many times, just register, it gives you a few more times I guess.

Something related. I did not know OEM versions of XP are not supposed to be transferable (I bought them online from whatever Google returned). However, I just told the nice Indian lady I upgraded my motherboard and took windows off the old pc. Never had a problem.

So new drive in, if it is just those two drives, I can get it to boot to the right drive. But once I have all four connected, it wants to boot to the old drive, no matter what i do with the bios.

Any ideas?

How would i make the old drive not bootable in xp?


Never mind, played with what drives were plugged into what sata cables and that fixed it.