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Old 10-02-2008, 03:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why do laptops suck so much!

I have a friends laptop thats got some major issues, here's the story.

He needed hdd space so he tried removing his recovery partition, all the data was erased but the partition was still there so he formated it and still couldnt find a way to get the partition gone so he kind gave up.

Then when he rebooted the laptop he got this error:
Code:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:\
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.
So he used his xp cd and installed another copy of xp on the computer and it let him boot to that but he couldnt access his files from the first install of xp. He later told me that a few times before any of this happened it would boot up and say that the boot.ini could not be found but would start up anyway.

So i'm thinking that the file he needs was on the recovery partition -_- .

So far I tried booting from an xp re installation cd and entering the recovery console but I got an error saying it couldnt find any hard drives installed o_O then I booted into the second install of windows and changed the boot.ini to look in the first partition of the drive and rebooted.

I guess that was a dumb idea cause now I'm back at the original error message and unable to get into the second install of windows.

Now I'm completely out of ideas, is there any way to get this thing booting from the original install of windows without erasing his data?

Thanks for taking the time to read and thanks in advance for any help at all.
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

No, the boot.ini file was not on the recovery partition - while there probably is one on there, when he deleted that partition's data it shouldn't have messed with the current partitions boot. I think that this was an ongoing problem and that the boot files became corrupt, and that it just has manifested itself at the same time (or around) you deleted the other partition.

I would first try to do a repair installation of XP on his original partition. That SHOULD repair all of the windows specific files within the OS.

Honestly since it sounds like he wants to have one large hard drive in the first place I would suggest buying a USB/IDE/SATA converter cable for like 15 bucks and connnecting the hard drive to another computer. Pull off all needed information, then reformat the drive and start from scratch. While you may be able to repair the instillation by just repairing the original files, i'm sure you'll run into more problems down the road. Safe bet would be to try the easy fix of repairing windows, if you can't do that backup the data and reformat the ENTIRE drive.

The logic was flawed because you can't delete one partition in hopes of it 'adding' to the current one. While he would be able to use that extra 5 or 8 gig recovery partition as storage or installing programs on that partition, he wouldn't ever be able to 'add' the two partitions together without reformating both partitions.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexluethar View Post
The logic was flawed because you can't delete one partition in hopes of it 'adding' to the current one. While he would be able to use that extra 5 or 8 gig recovery partition as storage or installing programs on that partition, he wouldn't ever be able to 'add' the two partitions together without reformating both partitions.
You actually can add data from one partition to another.

PartitionMagic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Partition Software - Partition Hard Drive | Norton PartitionMagic
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

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Originally Posted by aspire.comptech View Post
Yes you can add 1 partition to another. But not without consequences such as above. The boot.ini file has become corrupted now cause it still sees the PC as having 2 partitions instead of 1 now. So now the boot.ini is wrong and the PC wont boot.

This has nothing to do with Laptops. This is not even a design flaw with Windows. This was a user mistake. Sorry but you should have done some research to see what the consequences would be to do such things. I could have pointed to you to several threads where i gave the exact process on what needed to be done.

You have to go into that PC with the Recovery Console and fix the boot.ini. It sees there being 2 partitions and THAT is why it wont boot. The boot.ini was configured for a different setup. You changed that setup. It is not Windows fault you didnt change the boot files to show the change in partitions.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

thanks for the info, we've decided to back up his vids/pics/music/etc. then format and reinstall the os. Now the disc that came with his laptop is a Gateway Windows XP Media Center Operating System Disc so is there any thing I need to save before I format the drive so that it will set up windows correctly, like a product number or something?
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

Nope, if you are totally reinstalling the OS and formatting both partitions into one - there is nothing you HAVE to save, just user data.

You will need to delete both partitions, then you will have one big unallocated space. Then format that space using NTFS. Then install windows.
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

What would be the best way to go about formatting the drive? Can I do it through the bios?
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Old 10-04-2008, 02:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

No. Just do it with the XP CD.

Installing Windows XP - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

Well the install disc that came with the computer did not help to get the partition merged so we just installed windows and transferred his stuff back onto it and so far everything looks good so thanks for all the help everyone

Oh yea, is there anything he can do with the little 8 gig partition he has like maybe make it hidden or use it somehow to increase the system performance? Anything?
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do laptops suck so much!

Use GParted, Acronis Disk Director or something other than Windows to merge that partition.

Just make sure that if he does merge it that he corrects the bootloader. Cause it will not boot after it gets merged.
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