Wndows XP Recovery

edited May 2012 in Science & Tech
My Windows XP installation is broke. After a few seconds of displaying the page with a bar containing the moving dots it reboots in an endless cycle.

I am going to try a restore using the instructions I found at:
http://icrontic.com/article/repair_windows_xp
There is a point in these instructions where it branches depending on whether the processor has Intel’s XD. Since I cannot start Windows XP I do not have a way for Windows XP to tell me if my processor has this. All I have is the Recovery Console. Is there a way I can determine if my processor has Intel's XD bit using only Recovery Console, or any of the Linux Live OS disks?

I have a RAID disk pair that mirror each other. These show up as two different disks in the Recovery Console. Should the above repair procedure be done on both of them?

The DISKPART command shows that, although these two disks have always been in a RAID configuration, one of them has more free space than the other. C: has 103236MB free and D: has 109119 MB free. Is this a sign that the disk mirroring is out of sync? If so what should be done about it?

Comments

  • D Drive was not working for awhile. I could see the error message when Windows XP booted. Throuble with booting began when BIOS would not start due to an "CMOS/GPNV Checksum Bad" error. I replaced the CMOS battery. D Drive started working again but Windows XP didn't, the endles reboot cycle described above began.

    I have iso images of both C and D drives on a CLON USB Drive as backups. They were created with CloneZilla.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    If they are showing up as separate drives to windows recovery console, something is not configured correctly on your RAID controller. RAID should be presented as one block device to Windows if it is actually setup to RAID1. However, I don't know that this is actually true given that you claim to have differing file sizes and different images of the disks involved. Until you get that resolved, you should not proceed (unless you have the ability to backup to external device (your "images"?) and then reinstall windows after configuring RAID correctly.
  • I believe the disks to be out of sync. What will happen when I get RAID working right? Will they automatically synchronize the files?

    The images of both drives have been backed up. I am tempted to use the iso file created for the C drive to overwrite the D drive.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    Well, you need to find out if the RAID can first be configured in the BIOS. Changing the BIOS battery borked/wiped your RAID setup probably. So, first thing is to fix that, then see what XP does, as far as booting after the RAID is re-setup.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    Well, that will depend on your config/documentation, but I would think you'd want c to setup as master, rebuild array based on that, then perform repair work.
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville with a "P"
    Well, you need to find out if the RAID can first be configured in the BIOS. Changing the BIOS battery borked/wiped your RAID setup probably. So, first thing is to fix that, then see what XP does, as far as booting after the RAID is re-setup.
    I beleive that is what happened to your RAID1 array. I would check to see if there is a "Repair" option in the RAID config and only proceed if you are certain you have the content backed up. Also, you should never have been able to see 'd' drive as it should have been blind in existence.

    For future reference I would recomend using an external backup disk instead of doing RAID1. It is so much safer and foolproof.
  • BIOS shows RAID to be disabled. The RAID configuration was erased when the CMOS battery ran down. I did not see a way to make C drive the master. I hope a way will appear when I enable RAID.
  • I set RAID to enable just to see what would happen and did not see a way in BIOS to set either drive to be the Master. They are shown only as:
    SATA Port - 0
    SATA Port - 1

    The changes were not confirmed so CMOS was not changed when I shut down.

    I also did not see in the BIOS how to select between RAID0 and RAID1. Is it possible this is done by mother board switches or jumpers?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    You're going to want to look at your mobo's manual for that information.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    SATA Port 0 in RAID list is equivalent of master, IIRC. SATA Port 1 given your listing will be the second physical drive in your RAID 1 setup.

    Physical SATA 0(if they are labelled SATA 0 and SATA 1) of two ports is master, so basically you have a need to consult manual or fine printed stuff by SATA ports on Mobo physically and see which drive is plugged into it. That drive will defaut to the SATA equivalent of master.

    One way to make sure you get that drive as master in the RAID configuration is to let it be only drive plugged in(and have it plugged into LOWEST numbered port for SATA on mobo) when reinstalling windows (yes, looks like you will be reinstalling windows, sorry, so back up any data you need first as the reinstall will wipe the drive probably).
  • I am going to use my ISO image of drive C to make drive D a mirror of it. Then it will not matter which one is the Master.

    I still need a way to determine if my processor has the NX bit. It is a Pentium 4, and I acquired it at about the time the NX bit was added to them. Please suggest ways I can do this. I am hoping there is a way Debian could do it if I booted it off a Debian Live disk.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited May 2012
    I still need a way to determine if my processor has the NX bit. It is a Pentium 4, and I acquired it at about the time the NX bit was added to them. Please suggest ways I can do this. I am hoping there is a way Debian could do it if I booted it off a Debian Live disk.
    cat /proc/cpuinfo | more

    Run from a terminal and it will dump all procinfo into the screen using spacebar to advance to the next "page". There should be a section which will have that information. If you cannot figure it out, post the output into pastebin or a .txt file and host it on mediafire with

    cat /proc/cpuinfo >> ~/Desktop/procinfo.txt
  • That is from a file on the hard drive. Since a Debian Live runs only from the CDROM drive this file would not be available to me running Debian Live.

    Only half of the hard drives are formatted. I had always intended to install Debian in the other currently unformated partition to make it a dual boot machine. I never got around to it. It appears I will have to do that now.

    I need to know which architecture to download Debian for. I have a Pentium 4. I thought this would be a 686 machine. But CloneZilla, with which I backed up the hard drives, would not run in its 686 version. It would run only in its 486 version. Should a Pentium 4 be able to run 686 code?
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    I would not use debian (huge download). Use Xubuntu (torrent file)

    Did you even try it? I'm not certain, but it might give you the correct information anyways.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    Early Pentium 4 processors were 586, IIRC. They could run 486 code well-- I KNOW that for sure. Even a Core Duo processor based chip (laptop chip, earlier one) had to run in Linux 486 mode (32 bit) and would not run in a couple different 686-minimum (native 64-bit) distros.

    Same laptop had to run Windows XP Pro 32 bit (not XP Pro 64 bit), and could only use 2 GB RAM. I really started learning Linux on an old laptop of that vintage

    LATER Pentiums were 686, based on multiples of numbers of cores on the chips. Each core was 32 bit, but the chip did multi-thread and multitask processing across cores internal to the chip.

    Pentium Core 2's were one example. They still exist and are sold today for OEM'd entry level computers, and extremely limited computerized stuff in appliances and communications boxes, etc.
  • It is huge, but I need a web development Debian testing server that is a close as possible to the Debian VPS server I manage. I am going to have to go the effort of installing a Linux OS so this may as well be the time to install Debian.

    How could that command give the correct information? Would that file exist on the live disk? If it did how could it be correct? There is no installation of the OS using a live disk. The OS is booted from the disk. Whatever files are on the disk cannot be changed to reflect the hardware that's running the OS.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    Live disk is loaded into memory and takes details from your computer ... but don't take my word for it. I typically loaded live disks entirely into memory for speed when using them.
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    Live disk is loaded into memory and takes details from your computer ... but don't take my word for it. I typically loaded live disks entirely into memory for speed when using them.
    A Debian, or any other distro, live disk exists in RAM-- as Tushon said. There are usually live disks for earlier-than-686 hardware and 686-and-up hardware. If one of the varieties does not run, try another. That will tell you how old your Pentium is, also, by the way. :)

  • Then would the file at /proc/cpuinfo actually be in RAM?
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL
    It builds a RAMdisk in RAM, yes. Whole file system is in RAM with a live disk, and remains so (gets put there every time you run the live disk) until you install onto HD. THEN, /proc/* gets written to HD. And gets loaded into RAM every time you boot. At least, that is how I understand it.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    Then would the file at /proc/cpuinfo actually be in RAM?
    That is my suggestion and it is pretty easy to figure out if it is going to work or not, hence my suggestion to try it with a smaller distro.
  • The link to my cpuinfo is:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?1f810spyqd5fu4s
    I was unable to identify in it anything to indicate it has the No Execute bit. But I am still not sure.

    CloneZilla, which I used to create my hard drive backups with, runs on a Debian Live disk. I was able to use that to create the above file.

    I decided to tell BIOS to enable RAID. The idea was to have RAID enable when I did restore from the CloneZilla created backup. When I attempted a system boot with RAID enabled a message at the start of boot up showed the disk at Port 1 had an error. Windows XP, which used to at least start to boot showing its logo and the moving balls for a few seconds before rebooting in the endless cycle, will not do that anymore. The system hangs without displaying anything but the cursor a few lines from the top of the screen. I disabled RAID in the BIOS and it did the same thing. It appears when I turned on RAID I took a step backward.

    I hoped that when the CMOS battery was replaced the disk error at Port 1 at boot up would go away. Now it appears I will have to take the computer to a shop and get that disk error fixed. Meanwhile I am going to try to get the Windows XP restored on the disk at Port 0 alone. Before I do that I need to be sure about the No Execute bit. Any help on that would be appreciated

    The road map now is to find out for sure if my CPU has the No Execute bit (I doubt it does).

    Do the instructions http://icrontic.com/article/repair_windows_xp with the disk in its current state.

    If the restore does not work, to restore the disk with the back up created by CloneZilla and try the restore once again.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    After AMD's decision to include this functionality in its AMD64 instruction set, Intel implemented a similar feature in x86 processors beginning with the Pentium 4 processors based on later iterations of the Prescott core.
    I'm wondering if you even had RAID turned on before. I'd say get everything set in BIOS the way you want (RAID1 on, etc) and then image fresh Windows (you'll have to use RAID driver) and then restore whatever info you want from the image, but not the whole thing.
  • RAID was turned on before. I purchased this computer new and specified it was to have RAID. The two disk drives always appeared as one in Windows XP.

    At this time it does not do any good to turn on RAID because there is an error message for one of the disks when RAID is on.
  • Windows XP is booting now. It is not enough to turn on RAID in BIOS, save settings and exit BIOS, and let it proceed to boot. After exiting BIOS it is necessary to cycle power before booting. Windows completed booting after I cycled power.
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