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Windows XP SP2 will not boot after installing new SATA hard drive

I have a computer running Windows XP SP2. I recently put a brand new SATA hard drive into the computer. The system booted up fine, initially when the drive was not formatted. After formatting the drive into two partitions, the drive worked fine. However, when the system was restarted after formatting, after the windows logo with the moving bar is seen, the screen goes black, and then nothing happens. I have tried just waiting, for up to half an hour, but no change was observed. Safe mode doesn't work either. If the new hard drive is removed, the problem disappears. The operating system is also installed on a SATA drive. When the drive is placed into an external enclosure, it works perfectly and the system boots normally.

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  • gellerschwar Dec 27, 2008

    I thought that was the case, but then why would it not get confused until after the drive is formatted?

  • gellerschwar Dec 28, 2008

    I moved the two drives to the first two sata plugs on the mother board and it worked. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Your system thinks the "second" drive has precedence over the first ( your boot drive ) try switching the SATA cables between the two drives. There also might be a BIOS setting under Boot Order, sometimes you have to drill down to get to it for a particular drive.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008

  • PegBox60965
    PegBox60965 Dec 28, 2008

    Before a drive is formatted it cannot successfully be read - the hardware returns an error code. At the boot code level, there is no error recovery on the initial read. If it can't be read it's as good as not there. Only after you format the drive can the boot code successfully complete the initial read. Only to find out that there is no boot block on disk. A subtle difference, but hugely significant.

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