I attached two hard disks (Disk 1 and Disk 2) to an old computer system while installing Windows XP. Disk 1 is IDE and Disk 2 is SATA.

I wanted to install Windows XP on Disk 1. Disk 2 was meant for another newer computer but since it had some data that I wanted to copy to disk 1 after installation of windows therefore I kept it connected to the old computer before installing windows.

Even though I have installed windows on a partition on Disk 1, it has still made the first partition of Disk 2 as the system partition and placed boot.ini and other system files in the root directory of that partition on Disk 2.

Now when I detach Disk 2 from the older system, the computer wont boot even though the windows installation is there on Disk 1. The computer boots only when Disk 2 is also present.

So here is my question:

Is there a way I can copy boot information from Disk 2 to Disk 1 so that the computer can boot without Disk 2.

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


Copy the files ntldr, boot.ini and ntdetect.com (in root folder "\") from SCSI disk to IDE disk.

Edit file boot.ini on IDE disk to contain something like:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="XP" /FASTDETECT

(Assuming active partition on IDE disk is primary partition 1! See explanations for ARC Paths.)

Detach all disks except XP disk (IDE) you want to repair. Boot from XP installation CD/DVD and select R for recovery console.

  1. Use fixboot command in XP recovery console to write a XP boot sector to active partition:
  2. Write XP type MBR with: fixmbr

Now you should be able to boot XP from HDD.


Yes you can, but do you want to? If it's that soon, why not just reformat once more without the drive in there? Or simply do a "Repair" from the Windows disc?

If you are really stuck, you can try to put both partitions on one disc. To do this, I would grab a copy of EaseUS Partition manager. You should shrink the partition on the 2nd drive to about 100 MB or so, enough to hold all the files Windows dumped into it while giving it some breathing room.

Then shrink the partition on the regular Windows drive to give it enough room for the files. Copy the partition to the drive. If it puts the partition at the end of the disk, you may need to go back to move the files to the front.

Pro version gives you a bootable disc which may come in handy.

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