NTLDR error with multi-boot setup

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by pestoking, Dec 2, 2008.

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  1. pestoking

    pestoking Registered Member

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    I have installed WinXP on separate hard drives. I am manually plugging in only one of the 2 drives at a time so there is only one physical boot drive (C:) installed. (I should note that each drive has its own SATA connection to the mobo, since I plan on using DD to hide one of the drives and select a boot drive from the mobo boot sequence, thus avoiding having to physically plug/unplug drives.)

    I also have another drive (D:) in the system for data. I am getting the NTLDR boot error when I connect either one of the two boot drives with D: connected. However, if I disconnect the D: drive, either C: boots just fine. Then if I power down and reconnect D: after C: has successfully booted by itself, all is well. But when I switch to the other boot C: drive, same problem happens and I have to go through the steps to make it all work. (If I select the boot drive manually during the motherboard boot sequence, I can get things to work...but I have to do this on every boot.)

    When both C: & D: are connected and I boot from the DD CD, it is showing my data drive as C: and C: as D:, which is wrong and probably the source of the NTLDR boot error problem.

    D: is not a boot drive, no OS installed. But it is partitioned as Primary, Active. Could this be the reason why I am getting this drive letter confusion? Could the fix be to remove the partition and reformat as Logical?
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    pestoking,

    Do you have the OS HD plugged into SATA Port 0? And the data HD into SATA Port 1,2 or 3?
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It's possible the booting drive (or boot order) in the BIOS is being changed every time you change drives. That happens on one of my computers (it has a mixture of IDE and SATA, though).
     
  4. pestoking

    pestoking Registered Member

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    On the mobo, the one OS boot drive (#1) was plugged into SATA 0. SATA 2 is for the other OS boot drive (#2) (not connected).

    When all are connected, according to BIOS, Boot Drive #1 is "Channel 0 Master" and Boot Drive #2 is "Channel 0 Slave" (remember, only one drive was connected at a time). Data Drive is "Channel 1 Master". I also have another Data Drive, which is showing up as "Channel 1 Slave"

    I have more details, see my reply to MudCrab.


     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  5. pestoking

    pestoking Registered Member

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    That's exactly what's happening. Even though I have only one boot drive physically connected, if any of the data drives are also connected the boot order is messed up UNLESS I force the issue during the system startup and select a drive to boot from, then there's no drive letter confusion.

    I have moved forward connecting all drives (2 with WinXP and 2 data drives). I then boot to the DD CD and hide one of the two OS boot drives. Then, I reboot into BIOS and tell the system to boot from the non-hidden drive. To use the other boot drive, I do the same routine again (hiding/unhiding using DD & tweaking BIOS boot order). All works just fine this way, no hiccups. It's a two-step process to switch between my two XP boot disks, but since I don't switch every 5 minutes I can live with this.

     
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