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XP boot problem... this is strange

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by JimmyN, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I have a DVD problem, but different from IndyGunFreak's in that I can't remove a DVD drive. XP won't boot if I remove one, or both, of the DVD drives plugged into the secondary IDE controller. This one really has me stumped.

    The setup:
    MSI Neo 4 Platinum motherboard
    AMD 64bit 3700+ CPU 2gigs RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ video adapter
    XP Pro SP3

    C: - IDE primary, OS and boot
    D: - IDE secondary, master, DVD SL burner
    E: - IDE secondary, slave, DVD DL burner
    F: - SATA Raid 0 - striped drive for games, game maps, CAD files
    G: - SATA Blu-Ray burner (UDF 2.5 drivers installed so XP can read the Blu-Ray disk format using Explorer).

    I have a DVD drive with problems (tray won't open, then it won't close, etc) in another PC so I thought I'd remove one of the DVD drives in this system and replace the failing one in the other PC. I really don't need three optical drives in this XP box anyway. That's when the problem appeared.

    If I remove either D: or E: XP will hang and won't finish booting. Normally I get the XP splash screen with the scrolling blue dots, then a black screen for a second with a cursor/hourglass in the center, then the XP screen comes back and it continues on. With either of the DVD drives removed it hangs at the black screen, forever. The SATA Blu-Ray drive has no effect, it can be connected or not connected and the system boots up fine.

    I spent about three hours yesterday trying every possible configuration of slave/master, using both jumpers and cable select, or even no drives at all on the secondary controller and it won't finish booting if I make any change to the current setup. I changed the BIOS so boot order is hard drive, USB, Floppy, with no CD to make sure it wasn't looking at the drives at boot time. But it will only boot with the SL drive as master (D), and the DL drive as slave (E) otherwise it hangs on the black screen. I can't remove either one, both, or even swap them as far as slave and master.

    I'm stuck, anybody have any ideas?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  2. corpseal


    Sep 18, 2005
    Put everything back like it was so that you can boot into XP (if will not boot into XP then, try booting in safe mode via holding down F8 key). Once in XP, go to device manager and remove the two ide dvd drives. Now shut the computer down and physically remove one of the ide dvd drives, or just disconnect the ide cable from that drive. Make sure the remaining ide dvd drive is properly jumpered for master or slave, and that you have the drive attached to the proper location on the ide cable (this may be where your problem lies- slave attaches to the middle, and master attaches to the end of the ide cable- follow this convention whether you have one or two drives attached to the cable).
    Now, boot up and XP should find your drives with no problem.

  3. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I was uninstalling them in device manager, then shutting down and unplugging the drive since that's the normal way to do it, and certainly should have worked. I even tried it with both drives uninstalled and the IDE cable unplugged from the motherboard. It would still hang while booting up, and it wouldn't boot in safe mode either.

    But after reading your post and thinking about it some more I thought I'd try it again today and went into device manager and uninstalled both, then shut it down and unplugged the IDE cable from the motherboard, just to make sure I had done what I thought I had done yesterday.

    It still wouldn't boot. So I plugged the drives back in and booted it up. This time I actually noticed that it didn't give me the 'found new hardware' message like it should but both drives were still listed in device manager. Interesting... I uninstalled them, got no message about new hardware on the next boot, yet they still show up in device manager.

    So I disabled them rather than uninstall and rebooted with the drives still connected and it booted up. Both drives were there but disabled, so I then uninstalled them and shut down again, unplugged the IDE cable from the MB and it actually booted up and the drives were gone. Yeah !!

    So I connected the DVD DL as master and booted it again, but this time I got the 'found new hardware' message I was expecting. Whatever the problem was it's OK now, and thinking back I was never getting the new hardware message when I was trying different configurations. Apparently it was not uninstalling the drives, and the lack of a hardware message on the next boot up should have been a clue they were still in the hardware database from before. Without them connected it wouldn't boot, so I couldn't check device manager to see if they were there, and with them connected it would boot and they would show up, but that was expected.

    Thanks for the help, you got me stirred up and back into device manager where I tried something different and finally solved the problem.
  4. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

    Oct 16, 2008
    Missouri, East of KC
    sounds like the messages where there is a non-bootable disk in the DVD payer, or a flash/sd card the the card reader slots (if any).
  5. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    If they are jumpered as master and slave try changing that to cable select.