Invalid BOOT.INI file, NTDETECT failed

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by pumpkins001, Aug 3, 2009.

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  1. pumpkins001

    pumpkins001 Registered Member

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    Hi. Had a search through this forum and tried a few things but so far no good.

    System info: Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop with IDE only. Originally had 60GB HDD. A few years ago I successfully used True Image to upgrade my original drive to a 120GB IDE drive via USB. Maintained same partition layout, which was:

    Hidden Dell recovery partition
    c:\ - Windows XP Professional
    e:\ - Page File Partition (3GB)

    I have now tried to use True Image 2009 to upgrade again to a new 320GB IDE drive via USB. Cloning process seems to work fine. Once complete, I take out the 120GB drive and put in the 320GB drive. It boots up fine, and all looks good. Only different thing is that it detects the hard drive as a new piece of hardware through the XP bubble in the bottom right hand corner, and states that the new hardware is installed and ready to use. Can use the internet, page file partition is there etc. Used it for half a day fine. But then I do a restart... error!

    Invalid BOOT.INI file
    Booting from C:\windows\
    NTDETECT failed

    and the system continually reboots with the same error breifly flashing onto the screen.

    Process so far:
    1. Switch back to the 120GB drive - all works fine, including reboot and a day of use.
    2. Put 320GB drive in, run XP recovery console, run chkdsk /r on c:\ and e:\ and all is ok. run bootcfg /rebuild, finds windows install on C:\ and rebuilds with /fastdetect.
    3. Try to boot with 320GB drive and same invalid boot.ini / NTDETECT failed error and continuous rebooting.
    4. Switched back to the 120GB drive and went through the clone process again (in case it didn't work properly).
    5. Switched to the newly cloned 320GB and it boots up as per the first time, and then fails again when I reboot a few hours later.

    Any suggestions / help? I'm quickly running out of ideas here. This is what I'm thinking next:
    1. I will be looking for a BIOS update next, although the fact that the 320GB booted the first time kinda tells me that it won't be the BIOS.
    2. Is there a possibility that the driver that gets installed when I first booted the 320GB somehow stuffs up the drive? Maybe after I clone but before I reboot I try and get a newer driver for it.
    3. Try the fixboot and fixmbr recovery console commands?

    Thanks for any comments or suggestions you can give me.
     
  2. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    get a "boot corrector" (free paragon rescue kit 9.0 express), use that to boot up the computer and verify that your boot.ini file is correct. I would verify that first.
    all your symptoms point to a mismatch of where the startup files are. Whether the boot.ini is referencing the wrong partititon or some other problem. These are easy to fix problems.
     
  3. pumpkins001

    pumpkins001 Registered Member

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    After some more research, I may have found the problem.

    The 137GB limit in some older Dell machines. Due to the 48LBA issue. Meaning that the BIOS can't correctly recognise drives larger than 137GB and may corrupt or similar when files go past the 137GB portion of the drive.

    If anyone has any workarounds for this issue, please let me know.

    Cheers.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I have a Dell 8600 and it indeed has the 137 GB (127 GiB) barrier. The safe workaround is to only use the first 127 GiB of the HD. Not particularly satisfactory when you already have a 120 GB HD.
     
  5. pumpkins001

    pumpkins001 Registered Member

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    I've read that you can make multiple partitions of less than 137GB, making sure that the boot partition is first, and it should work. Anyone done this before?

    I'd be looking at the XP OS boot being a replica of my existing 120GB drive's OS partition, then having a couple of roughly 100GB partitions to make up the 320GB.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    The BIOS will only recognize the first 127 GiB. Windows can create partitions beyond this barrier but they are unstable and prone to data loss.
     
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