intermittent xp boot problem with dual boot


Problem with booting up in XP on dual OS computer.

I presently have a homemade system, Giga EP-45-UD3P motherboard, Q9550 processor,
4 gb high speed DDr2 ram, 9800gt video card. 600 watt power supply. Slightly over clocked at 3.5 ghz. Same problem even at native processor speed

1st hard drive is a 1 TB Samsung main hard drive partitioned into four parts;
three 80 GB partitions, last one the remainder. All partitions are primary.
First partition is XP. Second partition is Vista ultimate. Third partition is for future operating system, presently used as storage. Fourth partition is storage only.
All operating systems are 32-bit.
All drives are set up with a 5 GB swap file in its own partition, and a 5 GB swap file on the first partition of the second hard drive.
System was set up loading XP first, followed by Vista in second partition. Clean installs, no crashes during set-ups

Second hard drive is 250 GB, first partition 10 GB used as swap, 3 80 GB partitions used for storage 1, 2, and 3. balance one large partition where I keep my drive images. ( 5 partitions )

Third hard drive is 500 GB. Used for movie storage and backups of second hard drive 80 GB storage partitions. Is 1 large partition

Two CD/DVD burners.

All drives and CD burner are SATA, using AHCI, on integrated Intel controller

Primary drive is device one, two hard drives are device three and four,
two CD drives are devices five and six

Have removable hard drive tray for hard drive one. Not really a tray, is actually an insert device.
I have had no problems with this device, does not lose connections as removable hard drive trays used to do after a few months.

Also, have a hard drive bay attached to the gigabyte controller, which I can use to transfer or play movies

Also all were set up using SATA/AHCI ..

I also have image backups of my original install for both operating systems, one a week later with most programs installed, and one that I makeup and update approximately every two weeks for both operating systems. ( C. and D. partitions ) all backups were made using easeUS todo backup, then verified with the same program

I also have a 750 GB drive partitioned pretty much as the 1st hard drive, Western Digital black.
Am using C drive with Windows 7 ultimate, 64-bit, the other partitions are storage.

System had been running smooth for at least 3 months. Now I have a problem.

With all three hard drives connected, when I boot up in XP 90% of the time I get a blue screen as it starts to load XP.
If I remove the second two hard drives, it always boots up. As it blue screens and crashes before loading, I do not get any mini dumps that I can look at. Once loaded with 1 hard drive, system runs smoothly in XP.

I don't have this problem with Vista ( can have all 3 drives in) or with Windows 7. ( removed HD 1, Replaced with 750 gb drive with Win 7)
Both Vista & Win7 boot up consistently with all 3 hard drives and run smoothly. Did not have this problem for three months, Xp worked correctly for the first three months.

Restored last two images to both C. and D. partitions, makes no difference. Still operates the same way. This is even after I go into XP and eliminate the second swap file on the second hard drive.

Loaded XP image with two other hard drives removed, so I could boot up in XP without crashing or blue screen.
Made a copy of XP image to fourth partition of the first hard drive and verified it with ease US prior to reloading image

Tried using latest bcd beta build, loaded but crashed after deleting windows xp os entry while trying to rebuild. Reloaded version 1.7.2, worked o.k.

I have assorted images of my drives & can access drives by "mounting" ease image, if
that helps...

HELP !!!!!!

I'm no expert, but I do have a basic knowledge of computers and am not afraid to try something new. Also, I have images I can always go back to..

Open to suggestions...... thanks.........
Last edited:
Despite your lengthy post you failed to tell us what the error message is that you are getting. If you cant see that hit F8 as you try to boot XP and disable automatic restarting. Are you able to get into safe mode? Despite your out the ordinary setup if XP was working before and you havent changed your hardware setup at all than its likely a recent application or driver install gone bad.
When you remove/replace a HDD, which is obviously an easy thing to do with your set-up, the BIOS boot sequence will change.
Also each OS (unless you've manually set everything in Disk Management) will detect the HDDs in a different sequence if they don't go back exactly where they were originally, and in consequence will assign disk letters differently, causing clashes with registry entries, and unpredictable failures.
Check that everything is being detected in the same relative position as when everything was running OK.

as per your recommendation, I booted up in xp with "do not automatically restart" in safe mode. Found an offending start up program, trying to load pqv2i.exe..It was an old version of Powerquest Drive Image.

By uninstalling the program, every thing is back to normal..
I don't know why it started acting up now, as the program was installed 2 months ago to allow me to extract data from stored image files. Perhaps a program addition took it off manual start & put it in Auto-start mode ?

I uninstalled the program & all is good. I have an older computer with xp only I can use to extract that data later.

By the way, I only have 2 removable hd slots...1 for device 1, port 1, on intell controller, which is used for wanted OS

Other on 1st port of gigabyte controller which I use for "hot swaps"..Much faster than usb 2 hd enclosure

Thanks for your help, it is a good tip. I learned in this process about booting in safe mode with no auto restart...

Sincerely, dhsvcs


Thanks again...
Last edited: