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I recently replaced a faulty hard drive with two hard drives that I then raided (1) together and installed Windows XP on about a week ago. Since then, I have always received this error:

Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.

Could not read from selected boot disk. Check boot path & disk hardware.

Please check Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals.

Things I have tried in Recovery Console:

  • FIXMBR does nothing.
  • FIXBOOT says it created a new boot sector but does not fix anything.
  • I can add new bootloader configs with BOOTCFG, but I can't remove configurations. How do I remove the old config to see if that's what's causing it?
  • The boot configuration that my Windows XP installation creates has parameters /noexecute=optin and /fastdetect. I cannot erase this configuration with BOOTCFG, I can only create new configurations.

I know that these hard disks work 100%. Is there a way of booting into Linux and trying to create a boot sector or fix the master table record that way since FIXBOOT and FIXMBR seem to do nothing? I could also use fdisk to remake the partition if needed. If I have to, I'll boot up a Live CD and change Boot.ini myself, but I don't know if even that would work.

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1) How do you go to the recovery console and try to fix? E.g. do you have active RAID drivers loaded at that time? 2) How did you RAID them together? HW RAID, software RAID, Fake RAID ? – Hennes Mar 8 '13 at 14:06
What sort of RAID was it exactly? – Ramhound Mar 8 '13 at 14:15
@Hennes 1) I used my Windows XP installation disk to get to the recovery console. From what the output below says, several RAID drivers loaded. 2) Using Intel Matrix Storage Manager built into the motherboard. – NobleUplift Mar 8 '13 at 15:02
Was the I.M.S.M. driver in the list of 'several' ? – Hennes Mar 8 '13 at 16:01
That it was not! It's interesting that Windows XP is older than Intel Matrix RAID. Things are progressing along smoothly and if I am successful I will post a detailed answer. – NobleUplift Mar 9 '13 at 19:40
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is what I did to fix my issue:

  • I downloaded the Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers and put them on a floppy disk (I know, it's amazing I had one of those, right?).
  • I made sure the floppy disk was in the drive before Windows setup started otherwise Windows wouldn't find it (or at least it didn't for me, but maybe that's because...). I also use a USB floppy disk reader so my BIOS was set to recognize that already.
  • I loosely followed the instructions here, with the following variations:
    • Pressed F6 when Windows Setup starts.
    • Selected the driver from the list provided by the floppy disk (for me, I choose Desktop).
    • If Windows says it already has the driver, press ENTER and use the default Windows driver. If you tell it to load the driver from the the floppy disk it will blue screen, however:
    • Windows will proceed to copy the driver from the floppy even though you told it not to (or at least it did for me).
  • After Windows restarts it should stop giving the hardware configuration error and finish setup in 33 minutes.
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XP driver installs are about the only thing floppy disks are good for these days ;p – Journeyman Geek Mar 10 '13 at 11:58

I would try booting from vista or 7 DVD and run that automatic boot repair wizard. Maybe it is nonsense, but it helped me a lot of times...

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He is using XP. IMO don't think a Vista DVD would help. Both their bootloaders are different. – pratnala Mar 10 '13 at 13:18
I am pretty sure it is capable of fixing XP OS too. Not sure now if it switches ntldr to BCD... maybe it does – Vitas Mar 10 '13 at 14:19

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