XP install says no file system on drive, but files are still visible

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Toolman Tim, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. Toolman Tim

    Toolman Tim Guest

    | I've just had a very strange problem after installing a webcam driver.
    | Upon completion the driver required a reboot, so off it all went. When
    | the machine came back up XP appeared to be booting OK, but then stopped
    | and went in to a boot loop. Upon closer inspection it seems there is a
    | blue screen with an error message appearing, but it flashes up way too
    | fast for me to read before it starts to reboot again and I'm not sure
    | how to turn the auto-reboot off in order to read it. BIOS somewhere,
    maybe?
    |
    | Anyway, I tried booting to safe mode with no joy, then decided to
    | reinstall XP. XP install disc gets to the 'choose your drive to install
    | to' page and it lists my C drive but with no file system listed. Other
    | drives in the machine all show as NTFS. Odd, and not a little worrying.
    | Is the drive trashed, I wonder?
    |
    | I spend a few minutes switching drives and jumpers around and eventually
    | get XP up and running on a whole new drive. My old drive is now slaved
    | as F: and, lo and behold, XP can see it fine and has identified it as
    | having an NTFS file system with all the files are still there and in
    | working order. A disc scan shows no errors on the disc.
    |
    | Odd. So I switch everything back and try to boot from the old drive
    | again. No luck. Try XP install again and once more the install routine
    | says there is no file system on that drive.
    |
    | I switch again, thinking I can just get the install app to re-install XP
    | on to the drive when it shows up as F:.
    |
    | Still no good. Even when slaved, the XP install disc cannot find a file
    | system and insists that if I want XP on that drive it will need to be
    | completely reformatted. Which, considering it's a 100Gb drive with only
    | 2% space left, I'm not really that keen to do.
    |
    | I'm now completely stumped. Can anybody offer any suggestions as to what
    | to try next?
    |
    You say you were unable to get it to boot in safe mode - did you get the
    boot menu? One of the options there is "Last known good configuration". You
    might try that.

    And when you try to run the XP install from the CD, you have other options -
    a repair install and a recovery console. I don't remember if system file
    scan runs in a recovery console...probably not, but in case I'm wrong, that
    would be "SFC /SCANNOW". The repair install could possibly recognise your
    existing OS install.

    Oh - and if you have only 2% space left on your drive, you are asking for
    problems (in my opinion). I never let mine get closer than 5% - and I prefer
    10%. It gives your operating system room to move files around if needed.
     
    Toolman Tim, Dec 19, 2004
    #1
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  2. Toolman Tim

    Toolman Tim Guest

    |
    | || I've just had a very strange problem after installing a webcam driver.
    || Upon completion the driver required a reboot, so off it all went. When
    || the machine came back up XP appeared to be booting OK, but then stopped
    || and went in to a boot loop. Upon closer inspection it seems there is a
    || blue screen with an error message appearing, but it flashes up way too
    || fast for me to read before it starts to reboot again and I'm not sure
    || how to turn the auto-reboot off in order to read it. BIOS somewhere,
    | maybe?
    |<snipped>

    I forgot to mention that the "restart after error" is part of XP and is one
    of the first things to turn off when you get running again. Right-click "My
    Computer" select "Properties", click on the "Advanced" tab and look for
    "Startup and recovery" - click on settings there. Find "Automatically
    restart" and turn that off.
     
    Toolman Tim, Dec 19, 2004
    #2
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  3. Toolman Tim

    Bruce Hagen Guest

    <snip>


    And you also forgot to tell him not to cross-post unless
    absolutely necessary, and to fix his clock so he isn't posting 24
    hours in the future. <G>

    B.
     
    Bruce Hagen, Dec 19, 2004
    #3
  4. Ah, you mean it's not Monday yet? Sorry, my bad.

    Lee.
     
    [email protected], Dec 19, 2004
    #4
  5. Toolman Tim

    Billy Guest

    Sometimes, especially when the drive has been setup with an overlay or
    third party partitioner, XP will not recognize a valid partition.
    Usually a Chkdsk /R ran from the Recovery Console will correct this.
     
    Billy, Dec 19, 2004
    #5
  6. Toolman Tim

    doS Guest

    Seat your time correctly.

     
    doS, Dec 19, 2004
    #6
  7. Toolman Tim

    Toolman Tim Guest

    | Toolman Tim wrote:
    |
    | > | I'm now completely stumped. Can anybody offer any suggestions as to
    what
    | > | to try next?
    | > |
    | > You say you were unable to get it to boot in safe mode - did you get the
    | > boot menu? One of the options there is "Last known good configuration".
    You
    | > might try that.
    | >
    | Yes, tried that already. No good either. Booting with an old DOS disc
    | also shows no file system on the drive, if that helps.

    DOS can't read NTFS. That would have nothing to do with the condition of the
    hard drive.

    | > And when you try to run the XP install from the CD, you have other
    options -
    | > a repair install and a recovery console. I don't remember if system file
    | > scan runs in a recovery console...probably not, but in case I'm wrong,
    that
    | > would be "SFC /SCANNOW". The repair install could possibly recognise
    your
    | > existing OS install.
    | >
    | I don't have a recovery disc so a repair install option is no good.

    The recovery console is part of the XP install disc, not a recovery disc set
    from a manufacturer.

    | What I'd really like to know is why XP can see my drive and yet the
    | install disc can't...

    Yeah - that is weird. Does it show any partitions at all?
     
    Toolman Tim, Dec 19, 2004
    #7
  8. Toolman Tim

    Kelly Guest

    Kelly, Dec 19, 2004
    #8
  9. Toolman Tim

    WinGuy Guest

    Hi, Lee. Using Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer!) click on Tools |
    Folder Options | View and make sure that "Show hidden files and folders" is
    selected, that "Hide extensions for known file types" is not selected, and
    that "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" is not selected.
    Boot to the new HDD you said (in a later post than is quoted here) that you
    created, so you can see the problem drive as a slave drive. Rename the
    boot.ini file on that problem slave drive, and copy the boot.ini file from
    the root of your new drive that works over to the root of the old problem
    drive. Then see if the problem drive will now boot, at least into Safe Mode.
    If so, do a repair (uh, upgrade) reinstall of XP onto the problem drive but
    make sure you use the same exact CD that was used to originally install to
    XP onto the problem HDD, else you might get locked out immediately following
    the "repair" install. Not just any XP CD will work, it has to be the one
    that was used to do the very 1st original XP install onto that problem HDD
    (piracy protection issue).

    If you can boot the XP CD and enter the Recovery Console, and while in that
    RC you can see the problem HDD when it is the *boot* drive, then ONLY if you
    are still having boot problems after trying the above then try this from the
    command prompt in RC:
    -----
    Boot to Recovery Console from CD. It's assumed here that the CD drive is
    drive d:
    Be at root of Drive C.
    Type these (answer y to over-write if asked)
    copy d:\i386\ntldr
    copy d:\i386\ntdetect.com
     
    WinGuy, Dec 19, 2004
    #9
  10. Thanks. Is there any way to do this without actually being in that XP
    install? Can I change a setting on that drive when it's slaved from my
    new install somehow?

    Lee.
     
    [email protected], Dec 20, 2004
    #10
  11. I've just had a very strange problem after installing a webcam driver.
    Upon completion the driver required a reboot, so off it all went. When
    the machine came back up XP appeared to be booting OK, but then stopped
    and went in to a boot loop. Upon closer inspection it seems there is a
    blue screen with an error message appearing, but it flashes up way too
    fast for me to read before it starts to reboot again and I'm not sure
    how to turn the auto-reboot off in order to read it. BIOS somewhere, maybe?

    Anyway, I tried booting to safe mode with no joy, then decided to
    reinstall XP. XP install disc gets to the 'choose your drive to install
    to' page and it lists my C drive but with no file system listed. Other
    drives in the machine all show as NTFS. Odd, and not a little worrying.
    Is the drive trashed, I wonder?

    I spend a few minutes switching drives and jumpers around and eventually
    get XP up and running on a whole new drive. My old drive is now slaved
    as F: and, lo and behold, XP can see it fine and has identified it as
    having an NTFS file system with all the files are still there and in
    working order. A disc scan shows no errors on the disc.

    Odd. So I switch everything back and try to boot from the old drive
    again. No luck. Try XP install again and once more the install routine
    says there is no file system on that drive.

    I switch again, thinking I can just get the install app to re-install XP
    on to the drive when it shows up as F:.

    Still no good. Even when slaved, the XP install disc cannot find a file
    system and insists that if I want XP on that drive it will need to be
    completely reformatted. Which, considering it's a 100Gb drive with only
    2% space left, I'm not really that keen to do.

    I'm now completely stumped. Can anybody offer any suggestions as to what
    to try next?

    Thanks,

    Lee.
     
    [email protected], Dec 20, 2004
    #11
  12. Toolman Tim

    Toolman Tim Guest

    | Toolman Tim wrote:
    | > | > |
    | > | | > || I've just had a very strange problem after installing a webcam
    driver.
    | > || Upon completion the driver required a reboot, so off it all went.
    When
    | > || the machine came back up XP appeared to be booting OK, but then
    stopped
    | > || and went in to a boot loop. Upon closer inspection it seems there is
    a
    | > || blue screen with an error message appearing, but it flashes up way
    too
    | > || fast for me to read before it starts to reboot again and I'm not sure
    | > || how to turn the auto-reboot off in order to read it. BIOS somewhere,
    | > | maybe?
    | > |<snipped>
    | >
    | > I forgot to mention that the "restart after error" is part of XP and is
    one
    | > of the first things to turn off when you get running again. Right-click
    "My
    | > Computer" select "Properties", click on the "Advanced" tab and look for
    | > "Startup and recovery" - click on settings there. Find "Automatically
    | > restart" and turn that off.
    | >
    | >
    | Thanks. Is there any way to do this without actually being in that XP
    | install? Can I change a setting on that drive when it's slaved from my
    | new install somehow?
    |
    Wow - tough question...I'd usually say no, but someone may have better
    information on editing an XP registry off of the non-booting drive. Plus
    there's the issue of locating which reg key needs to be altered...
     
    Toolman Tim, Dec 20, 2004
    #12
  13. Toolman Tim

    Toolman Tim Guest

    |
    | || Toolman Tim wrote:
    || > || > |
    || > | || > || I've just had a very strange problem after installing a webcam
    | driver.
    || > || Upon completion the driver required a reboot, so off it all went.
    | When
    || > || the machine came back up XP appeared to be booting OK, but then
    | stopped
    || > || and went in to a boot loop. Upon closer inspection it seems there is
    | a
    || > || blue screen with an error message appearing, but it flashes up way
    | too
    || > || fast for me to read before it starts to reboot again and I'm not
    sure
    || > || how to turn the auto-reboot off in order to read it. BIOS somewhere,
    || > | maybe?
    || > |<snipped>
    || >
    || > I forgot to mention that the "restart after error" is part of XP and is
    | one
    || > of the first things to turn off when you get running again. Right-click
    | "My
    || > Computer" select "Properties", click on the "Advanced" tab and look for
    || > "Startup and recovery" - click on settings there. Find "Automatically
    || > restart" and turn that off.
    || >
    || >
    || Thanks. Is there any way to do this without actually being in that XP
    || install? Can I change a setting on that drive when it's slaved from my
    || new install somehow?
    ||
    | Wow - tough question...I'd usually say no, but someone may have better
    | information on editing an XP registry off of the non-booting drive. Plus
    | there's the issue of locating which reg key needs to be altered...
    |
    Okay - I *think* this is the registry key that needs to be changed to stop
    the auto restart on error:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl]
    "AutoReboot"=dword:00000001

    Change the value of dword to 0 (dword:00000000)

    But of course, if someone can't help you get to the registry on the F:
    drive, it won't help much <g>
     
    Toolman Tim, Dec 20, 2004
    #13
  14. Thanks for the helpful suggestions, Winguy, much appreciated. I checked
    the boot.ini on both installs and they're identical. I've also looked
    for files that changed at the time of the driver install but I can't
    find anything suspicious other than _delis32.ini. I've renamed that and
    tried to reboot, but still no luck.

    I've also updated the BIOS of the motherboard with no effect.

    Booting in to safe mode tells me that everything loads fine up to
    agp440.sys. Is there a log file written on bootup that I can look at to
    see what it fails to load?

    Lee.
     
    [email protected], Dec 20, 2004
    #14
  15. Yes, tried that already. No good either. Booting with an old DOS disc
    also shows no file system on the drive, if that helps.
    I don't have a recovery disc so a repair install option is no good.

    What I'd really like to know is why XP can see my drive and yet the
    install disc can't...

    Lee.
     
    [email protected], Dec 20, 2004
    #15
  16. Re cross-posting: I'm desperate, so the more people the better IMO. I've
    removed it for replies, however.
    Re clock times: It's 02:08 where I live and my PC says it's 02:08.
    What's the problem?

    Lee.
     
    [email protected], Dec 20, 2004
    #16
  17. Toolman Tim

    WinGuy Guest

    ....
    Ok. I've seen virus remove the path to windows folder from boot.ini,
    although the system usually just complains and finds the windows folder
    anyway and boots.
    Rename it back, just in case. I'm not sure, but I think it's part of Install
    Shield.
    Aah, I think that's to do with your graphics card in the brown AGP
    motherboard slot. In the menu that you can get to Safe Mode, do you have an
    option to force VGA mode? That's only 640x480 16 colors. If that works but
    the normal 800x600 Safe Mode will not boot then you might have a bad
    graphics card driver or a physically bad card. Try reseating the card (first
    be sure the AC Power cord is physically disconencted), if it's not built
    onto the motherboard chipset.

    Look for "ntbtlog.txt" in your windows or winnt folder. Might want to clear
    it of old content before doing the boot attempt. Not all things that it says
    it did not load are a problem. Usually, the culprit will be the last line or
    maybe no more than one of the last 3 lines identifying a driver that is
    causing a problem when the system won't boot.

    Winguy
     
    WinGuy, Dec 20, 2004
    #17
  18. Graphics are on board, so no AGP card.
    Something you said earlier got me thinking last night. The machine is
    a work machine and came with XP Pro already loaded. The XP install
    disc I was using is not the same one that was originally installed. I
    wonder if this might be the reason for it not showing up when I try to
    repair it? Would the install disc refuse to acknowledge the existing
    install if the discs were different? It's unlikely our support guys
    will be able to tell which was the original. May even have been an OEM
    install.

    I'll check the ntblog later today, but to be honest I'm at the stage
    now where I'm thinking I'll have to re-install a new drive and slave
    this old one permanently :(

    Lee.
    --
    Founder, DVD Debate
    http://www.dvddebate.com
    lee at dvddebate dot com

    If you told a joke and someone died laughing, could you be found guilty of a mans laughter?
     
    [email protected], Dec 20, 2004
    #18
  19. Toolman Tim

    doS Guest

    refomat the old drive and reinstall xp.

     
    doS, Dec 20, 2004
    #19
  20. You never got the menu where you could choose Safe Mode? BTW, I'd have
    tried Last Known Good Configuration before Safe Mode or reformatting.
    It's how you can usually get back to where you were before installing new
    drivers.
    Not the entire drive but it sounds like the partition table is corrupt.
    You can recover it in-place with some products like DiskPatch from
    http://diydatarecovery.nl. I think Acronis RecoveryExpert will do
    in-place recoveries too. No doubt there are other products as well.
     
    Michael Cecil, Dec 20, 2004
    #20
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