XP Pro installation CD doesn't recognize one terabyte hard drive

#1
Quite some time ago the XP Pro installation on one of the partitions on the hard drive (1 TB) on my main work machine stopped working. I posted to this forum and got good information on how to deal with the BCD repair issues using EasyBCD which I've used for multi-booting on this machine for about 2 1/2 years (see “XP partition no longer boots,” December 5, 2010).

I finally have a bit of time to look at this issue in detail. I created Windows XP installation CD from the original CD but with SP3 slipstreamed into it. The problem is that both this installation CD in the original CD hang at the “checking system configuration” notice immediately after booting to the CD. I presume this is something to do with the size of the hard drive. In any case, I can't do a repair to the Windows XP installation if I can't get the installation CD to recognize anything.

Can anyone help me?

Addendum:

PS—the size of the XP partition is 195 GB with 160 GB free (36.2 GB total file sizes). This installation was working, however, with this partition configuration.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hey,

Do you have any BIOS updates available? Make sure in the BIOS LBA support (if there) is enabled.
 
#3
Can’t repair XP installation

I updated to most recent BIOS—no change—installation CD still hangs in config. inspection.

No explicit LBA-enable on this BIOS (Intel DQ965GF… with CoreDuo processor). ATA/ODE mode set to Native. Other option is "legacy."
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
See, I would say it has something to do with the HD size except you already had Windows installed once before — did you do that yourself?

I'm thinking it might be an MBR-related issue; Windows Vista/7 setup will also hang at the first steps if something in the MBR is whack. If you can access the Recovery Console from the CD (by pressing 'R' instead of electing to (re)install), try executing "fixmbr" and "fixboot" from there and see if that lets you get further along in the setup.
 
#5
See, I would say it has something to do with the HD size except you already had Windows installed once before — did you do that yourself?

Yes, about two years ago. I migrated the systems, however, from a 500 GB to a 1 TB drive when another drive in the machine failed. I did this using an Acronis image. I guess the really salient point is that XP worked fine from the new drive for quite some time after the migration.


I'm thinking it might be an MBR-related issue; Windows Vista/7 setup will also hang at the first steps if something in the MBR is whack. If you can access the Recovery Console from the CD (by pressing 'R' instead of electing to (re)install), try executing "fixmbr" and "fixboot" from there and see if that lets you get further along in the setup.
The only problem is that I can't past the initial configuration check, so I can't get to the Recovery Console option.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
OK, burn yourself a copy of an Ubuntu live CD (or any other Linux), and run this from the command line (assuming you only have one HD):

Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=446 count=1
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
OK, I *could* give you commands to try and find out which is which, etc. but honestly the safest and easiest thing to do is disconnect the second (non-1TB) HD, boot the live CD, and run what I posted above.

Oh, and keep the other disk disconnected when installing XP.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
 
#11
No luck!

Unfortunately this did not work out very well. After I ran the dd command from terminal in the most recent Ubuntu CD not only did the XP installation still hang at the inspecting configuration stage, I had to do a complete restore of the whole hard disk from last night's incremental Acronis image—restoring the MBR was not enough!
So I am still without a solution to this problem and open to any further suggestions.

Addendum:

Is it possible that a Vista update could somehow have changed my HD to GPT from MBR????
No--Disk Manager/Properties shows MBR.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
No, that's not possible... GPT and MBR are completely different, there is no real "conversion" option.