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12746Re: [fhctech] Issues with loading FHC DVD XP OS

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  • Bill Henderson
    Feb 25, 2009
      Occam's Razor states that the simplest solution is usually the best.  So, I wonder if FDISK-ing the problem drive and starting over might not have been the easiest solution? 
      If your GX280 is like my home unit, you won't have a floppy bay for DOS bootup and Fdisking.  But you already mentioned owning/using Ultimate Boot CD (ubcd33-full.iso), you should have a means of booting into a DOS operating system where FDISK can be used.  Remember that the OS partition must be "active" and it would be a good to run FDISK /MBR if the basic Fdisk doesn't work.  I prefer Freedos' Fdisk.exe or Gdisk.exe (Ghost) because you can set up scripts (batch files) to run them the way you want. 
      So long as the Church insists on floppy drives in their PCs, booting from a floppy will be available as well as easy access to FDISK . But, someday that will change.  Every FHC techie should have a bootable CD (or thumb drive) plus a partitioning tool, a password finder, a hardware inventory tool (e.g. Aida32), IBPTime 1.5, CCleaner, etc.  The list can get extensive and is off the subject.  Besides a lot of these are on the UBCD.  If your harddisk problem was much deeper, you are looking at low-level formatting; not recommended for the average techie unless you have a tool that automates the process for you.
      I brought all this up because it seems you went through a lot of trouble to restore function to that drive.  Not Occam's Razor material. Once Fdisk restores a basic drive. the install CD/DVD's should have worked fine.  The "active" partition is an option Fdisk offers when the drive is being segmented into more than one partition.  For one partition, it is automatically made active (see either A or Active for the bootable partition when viewing settings in Fdisk).
      Upon reviewing your email again and the UBCD disk, I notice two things that probably shouldn't have been done.  First, it appears you may have used some of UBCD's advanced MBR manipulation tools and second, it sounds as if you used its boot manager tools. Boot Manager tools are used when you want to install two different operating systems on the same PC (like Windows and Linux) then select which to run at startup.  The Boot Manager runs right after the BIOS check and asks which system you want to startup, running the rest of the startup process once you made your selection. 
      The most frequent Master Boot Record operation used, is to reset the boot sector using Fdisk /MBR and that is after performing normal Fdisk without success.  Normally performing Fdisk and ensuring the partition is active (Fdisk option 2) is all that is needed.  The advanced MBR tools on UBCD are pretty sophisicated and can foul things up in the wrong hands (almost everything is recoverable, but the grief level can be high).
      Since it sounds as though you got the system working again, so most of this is for other techies who are unsure what to do in a similar situation.  No question, that occasionally Occam's Razor isn't sharp enough, but he generally keeps it pretty sharp.
      Bill Henderson,  Santa Clara FHC

      --- On Wed, 2/4/09, paulbb1 <abeebe@...> wrote:
      From: paulbb1 <abeebe@...>
      Subject: [fhctech] Issues with loading FHC DVD XP OS
      To: fhctech@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 12:07 PM

      A FHC provided Dell GX280 crashed and would not boot. Using the FHC
      DVD, I have followed the instructions to reload a number of times with
      no success. Now I am getting the messages:
      CDBOOT: Couldn't find BOOTMGR
      Missing operating system

      I have loaded my copy of XP running the System Recovery system and ran
      FIXMBR and then FIXBOOT. Rebooted and then deleted the partiion then
      recreating it and then reformating the HD. Then completed the loading
      this machine using the serial number on the case. Loaded fine and
      check the disk properties using Win Explorer, around 74MB. XP normal
      OS disk works!

      Took the FHC DVD and rebooted the computer using the DVD. Went into
      the Utilities and deleted the partitions, waited and then rebooted.
      Loaded the FHC files. It went into 'wpeinit' and then rebooted. It
      didn't take the time it should of.

      It came up with 'Missing Operating System'. My last try ended up with
      what is in the first paragraph.

      I am wondering if I put a boot manager on the computer by mistake
      using the 'Ultimate Boot Disk'. Using it I set the MBR to 0 and then
      created a standard MBR using the utilities on the UBD. All this before
      loading XP from my CD. Could I still have a boot manager that is
      causing the system to fail? I thought reseting the MBR would remove
      any that was there. Checking the Internet that is what it says to do.

      The first paragraph is where I am at right now.

      Talked to and sent email's to FHC support but all I got was a link to
      the FHC XP DVD loading instructions that came with the DVD.

      Arlan Beebe
      Stk Tech Spec
      Ann Arbor Stake, MI

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