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I am working with a machine that had its motherboard die. The machine is running Windows 2000 for legacy software. After the motherboard died I used disk2vhd to perform a physical to virtual transfer. The drive data seemed to copy over to the vhd file well. However, whenever i try to boot I get a message saying Inaccessible Boot Device

So far I have tried several things to fix it.

  • fixMBR
  • fixBoot
  • chkdsk
  • windows 2000 automated repair

Also, I have attempted to open the registry of the vhd without any success. There is another fix that i have seen suggested that requires editing the registry. Is it possible to open a Windows 2000 hive in another OS or another copy of Windows 2000?

One other thing to note is that the error appears in all of Virtual PC 2007, Hyper-V and VMWare Player.

Does anyone know how to get past this?

  • Could be your windows installation doesnt have the required drivers for the VM software's virtual IDE interface. There are several motherboafd chipsets which provice IDE ports, so when you initally installed Windows 2000 it would havd installed the one matching your original motherboard. Try changing the simulated IDE device presented to your virtual guest in the VM settings if possible. – Ryan Griggs Jun 2 '14 at 1:51
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    Here's an article about vm ide drivers technodrone.blogspot.com/2010/03/… – Ryan Griggs Jun 2 '14 at 1:56
  • Your answer was pretty much what ended up working. I had to edit various registry keys, and add new entries for new drivers. – foochow Jun 3 '14 at 17:28
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So after trying several more items, I decided toying with the registry was the last resort. The issue here is that almost every post or tutorial suggested that i use the original machine, which in this case was not an option.

So i opened the default hive from the Windows 2000 machine on my Windows 8 machine. After this, I followed a tutorial that mentioned to merge many keys into the registry under the CurrentControlSet subkey. However, again, not possible, so i merged them into ControlSet001. I also had to create most of them manually.

However, once this painful process was finished, the VM booted as expected. Link to tutorial

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You can open hives under most copies of winnt. I have edited 3.51 and 4/- hives under 2000. You might need to run some fix on the registry to enable 48BLBA, or use vista's boot(*) program to create an xp style boot block (rather than a vista one).

  • Yes, I have been able to find info on opening foreign hives in the registry tool. – foochow Jun 3 '14 at 15:38
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In my experience, the most reliable recovery method for Windows 2K-XP is to install another copy next to it. There is a good chance that the existing copies also become bootable. If not, at least you get a boot.ini entry that is bootable and can use it for reference.

Since your disk is already virtual, it should be easy to manipulate it, add one more Gb and install WindowsXP again (in the new empty space, creating a new partition).

In the boot.ini you will see how Windows sees your disk from the virtual machine. You can adjust the boot.ini entries, hypervisor's virtual disk properties (IDE channel) and your old registry so that they all three agree.

The registy hives can be opened with regedit -> File -> Load Hive -> select the file, e.g. C:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM (select HKEY_USERS to load hives).

  • Im not sure that the boot.ini file is the issue. The only difference in files is one has the Windows directory as WINDOWS and the other WINNT – foochow Jun 3 '14 at 14:05

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