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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    When my computer boots I get an error message that flashes for just a second: "Can't find hard drive". Then it boots seemingly ok, just kinda slowly. Could this be related to how I've formatted my C: drive (Drive 0) which just has my OS (Windows XP Pro) and program files? Data files are on a separate drive. My C drive has only one partition -- NTFS. I've noticed that other drives always have a small FAT partition. Do I need to add a FAT partition -- and if so what should go on it?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    It might be nothing, just a timing or seek issue in the BIOS or, it might mean a drive that is starting to fail in at least one or more critical sectors, meaning that it can still be read but its taking longer for the drive to respond than normal when polled. Extended boot time can also indicate a slowly failing drive, especially if the part of the boot time that is extended is before the desktop starts to load.

    Ususally the advice in such a case when it still works is to be sure there is a image of the system and regular backups are made and then just let it ride, see if it stays the same or, if it progressively gets worse, consider replacing the drive or being prepared to replace it if it fails completely.

    The absence of a FAT partition does not affect anything, nor does the location of data, or if it was an issue, you would be getting a different type of error, not a can't find hard drive error during boot.

  4. #3
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Check your BIOS settings, it may still be looking for a drive that is no longer connected.

  5. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honu View Post
    When my computer boots I get an error message that flashes for just a second: "Can't find hard drive". Then it boots seemingly ok, just kinda slowly. Could this be related to how I've formatted my C: drive (Drive 0) which just has my OS (Windows XP Pro) and program files? Data files are on a separate drive. My C drive has only one partition -- NTFS. I've noticed that other drives always have a small FAT partition. Do I need to add a FAT partition -- and if so what should go on it?

    Thanks
    Whether it's FAT or NTFS should make no difference.
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  6. #5
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    There is definitely no need to add any partitions, as mentioned above.

    Sometimes, depending on the motherboard, one can use external SATA drives. There usually is a setting for this in BIOS, if possible, and if this setting is enabled but no eSATA drive is connected at start there can be a short message about "no hard disk is detected" often in combination with some short information about the adapter on the motherboard. But I don't think this is the case, but that depends on the exact message.

    Could you post the contents of your boot.ini file?

    • Open System in Control Panel (or press winkey+Pause/Break; or right-click My Computer and select Properties; or run sysdm.cpl).
    • On the Advanced tab, in the Startup and Recovery section, click the Settings button.
    • In the Startup and Recovery dialogue box, in the System startup section, click the Edit button. This should open the file in Notepad.
    • Just copy the content and close the file without doing any changes or saving the file. (Since this file is very important when starting the OS, we don't want change anything.)


    Since early, it could be related to hardware or BIOS settings, but it could be good to check the boot.ini, since we don't have the exact message and timing.

  7. #6
    4 Star Lounger
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    I suspect that Honu's PC is looking for a recovery partition that doesn't exist any more.

    Are there any "Press your key of choice*to recover" style messages flashing past also?

    John (Unreconstructed Jacobite)

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