Thanks in advance to anyone who may be able to help out with this issue. Sorry it's so long.
I have a Gateway desktop PC with 2 HDD's installed. The Master is a 200GB running WinXP Media Ctr. Edition, the Slave is a 20GB running WinXP Pro. Until just recently, both installations were working fine, but I partitioned the 200GB drive and created a new partition on it (120GB). It seemed like all went well until I tried to reboot just after the resizing operation of the WinXP MCE partion and I got an error message that the hal.dll file was missing. I did some quick research online and found that my boot.ini file may have been corrupted. I ran Windows recovery console and fixed the boot.ini issue. Now, when I try to boot to WinXP MCE, Windows will get to the desktop and I see the information bubble in the lower RH corner appear over the adding new hardware icon and it seems as if windows is trying to reinstall drivers, then the system just freezes. I have tried numerous things to correct this, but I suspect the WinXP MCE installation is too screwed up to fix due to it being unstable in the first place for various reasons and the fact that I tried to repartition the drive. I may just do a complete system restore on this drive using the Gateway Recovery Manager, but that is a project for another time.
In the mean time, I can boot to the Slave drive (the Windows Boot Loader gives me 2 choices: 1:Windows XP Professional or 2:Windows XP Media Center Edition) and WinXP Pro runs without a hitch if I select it here.
What I'd like to do for now is just remove the 200GB drive and setup the 20GB drive as the Master. So I gave it a try by disconnecting the 200GB drive power and IDE connectors and moved the IDE connector to the 20GB drive. Both drive jumpers are set to "Cable Select" and the cable is clearly marked which connector is which. If I try to boot in this configuration, I get the error message:
Reboot and select proper boot device
or insert boot media in selected boot device
Press any key when ready
I have tried setting the BIOS to boot to the proper drive. No dice. I know Windows works on the 20GB drive.
I think I have to either run the BOOTCFG utility or run FIXMBR with the 20GB drive connected as the ONLY drive and as the Master, but I can't afford to screw this one up as I rely on this PC on a daily basis.
If I reconnect the 200GB drive as Master and the 20GB drive as Slave, WinXP Pro (on the 20GB drive) starts and runs perfect.
What should I do?