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HD partitioning refused by laptop

By semmelbroesel ·
Hi,

I have an old Toshiba laptop. A while ago I replaced the 6GB drive with a 40GB drive, and whatever I tried using Windows 98 it froze after a while with the new drive, so I upgraded to XP, and it has been working great.
Only I only have 2GB for partition C:, so I can't upgrade XP to SP2.
Today I took out the drive, used Ghost to make a backup and then tried Partition Magic which told me I had invalid partitioning on it (I think error 105, marking the partition BAD).
So I tried a few things, e.g. using another PC to repartition the drive from within XP and copying the files over - that didn't work, probably because the boot sector was not copied (I am no novice with partitioning, but I don't have any detailed knowledge about it).
Anything I tried failed, so I figured I'd try putting my backup back to the laptop hard drive, but resizing the partitions in Ghost while copying.
That took 3 hours, but my laptop doesn't like the drive anymore. I tried Partition Magic on it now, same error. I tried other partitioning programs and found that two partitions overlap, so I deleted ALL partitions except the boot partition - still nothing.
I then used the XP CD to start Recovery Console and use FIXMBR, and now at least Partition Magic doesn't complain anymore, but the Laptop still won't start.
I started from a Bart PE CD (basically a small version of XP that can boot from CD), and the drive appears healthy and normal in Disk Management, and in NTFSPro from another boot CD I can access the files on it, so I have no clue why the Laptop refuses to boot from the drive.

What info do you need through which program in order to help me?

I am sure there are people out there who can write a partitioning table and boot record with a disk editor, so someone has got to be able to help me here ;-)

I'd hate to reinstall it (I'd have to restore a lot of registry entries, e.g. email client etc.), so any help or suggestion you have would be greatly appreciated!

cu, Richard

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to HD partitioning refused b ...

I think that you'll find that if you look in BIOS it is only seeing part of the drive. It is not an uncommon thing with the older HDD's and M'Boards that they could only recognise up to a certain size of drive. If it originally came with a 6 GB HDD then most likely you are limited to something around 10 GB capacity if that you'll have to look it up on the Toshiba Web Site as to what you can actually use in that NB and get away with.

Commonly a bigger HDD is seen as much smaller than what the unit can accept because it has a different CHS arrangement than what the BIOS is looking for. Maybe a Flash of the BIOS may improve things marginally but I think that you'll find that you're stuck with an upper limit of much less than the actual capacity of the drive.

Col

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by semmelbroesel In reply to

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by semmelbroesel In reply to HD partitioning refused b ...

I forgot to mention that the laptop has worked with the new drive for two years or so, so the BIOS shouldn't have trouble with it. I cannot access the BIOS - there's no way in. Actually, I should check if there's a boot disk I can download. I never needed it, and there's not much in there.
So the drive used to work, and all I did was copy the backup back to the original drive, changing the partition sizes on the fly.

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by reefurbb In reply to HD partitioning refused b ...

1. the other PC has a mobo that will properly recog your 40gb as is. DON'T use P.M. to mess with the 40gb hdd from this PC.
2. your 40gb is not new but you can download a hdd utilities floppy for it (usually). It will auto install after checking your BIOS by changing the CHS, with a "MBR overlay",also wiping all info.
3. you did well to have a backup.
4. laptops with a 2gb hdd limit are usually way too slow for XP, and it took a 6gb at some point, but still may have an 8gb limit normally. The 2gb sounds like a default FAT partition that some utilities make. So the 40gb install messed up.
5. You've messed enough that you should use the hdd floppy to "zero write" the hdd and start over.
6. Partition Magic best be installed on the Primary Partition of the Hdd messed with, But the hdd must be properly set up. PM will not put on a MBR overlay to allow recog of a larger drive.
7. at some point, messing with the MBR to write a partition table can make the Hdd unuseable.

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by knudson In reply to HD partitioning refused b ...

Had a similiar issue with an old Compaq, not that old but older. Used NTBackup to a USB Drive, reformated, reinstalled partitioning as desired (Why does NTBackup require XP to restore itself, did I miss something ??), then restored the backup.
Maybe the long way around, but after several tries with PM, and other toys, gave up.

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by Sardukkan In reply to HD partitioning refused b ...

When you installed the new drive originally did you have to use a disk / CD that came wit hthe new drive to fool the system into seeing all of the drive? BIOS see's the drive as a 40 gig? If it does disreguard the first part of this message. That said, your going though a ton of trouble to try the work around. You would be better off blowing it away and part. as one drive.
If you do that, please create and update regulary your rescue disk.

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by semmelbroesel In reply to HD partitioning refused b ...

I solved the problem with a weird fix, and I don't know if this will work for everyone, but it might...

I put the empty hard drive back into the laptop to partition it there using a start CD called BartPE which starts a nearly full Windows XP from CD.

Then I took the drive out and put it into another PC where I had the backup of that drive. I only copied all the files back into the partitions (using xxcopy /h/i/c/k/e/r/y/oNc:\copylog.txt to have all files restored the way they came and have a log file). Then I put it back into the laptop, started from XP setup into Recovery Console and used FIXMBR and FIXBOOT (or maybe just one of them, don't remember).
And that did it. I have a working Laptop and finally have SP2 on it, and everything works much nicer :-)

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