Windows booting randomness

07-10-2005, 02:34 AM
This is a bit of a story, but im gona say it any way (sorry in advance
for slang terms / bad spelling)

I alredy had 3 Partions on my Harddrive, 2 X 39.2GB (one NTFS, the
other Raiser for Linux) and one 1GB partion for SWAP (linux VRAM). I
wanted to try out a diffrent operating system on my computer since i
had been using Dule booting windows xp SP1 and SuSE 9.2 for some time,
but the FreeBSD instaler couldnt see any of my partions on the HD i
wanted to install them on, i resolved this problem as the Bootmanager
i was using confusing the FreeBSD bootmanager into thinking there are
no Partions. So i loaded Seatools to rewrite the MBR so that windows
booted every time and i had to use the windows boot manager to switch
between Windows and what ever other OS was installer on paertion 1
(partions 0 is swap, partion 2 is windows)

So, after rewriting the MBR i got a lovley "Error booting OS" error,
so i gussed The MBR is broken, unfortunatly the FreeBSD instaler still
couldnt see any of the partions *sigh* so, to fix this and get my
computer back in to a working state, i put the SuSE instaler DVD in
the drive and reinstalled SuSE including the bootmanger which would
alow me to boot Windows.

Now this is where things get interresting, upon loading windows it
booted ok, untill you saw the logon screen and saw that the themes
service was not running. I thought "Thatís od", lo and behold *types
in password and user name* windows just dosnt do any thing when you
press the login button. From seeing this and then trying to access my
computer remotly over the network it surgested to me that non (not
even the absalute esential) services where running, my conclusin is
that aafter totaly destroying and rebulding the MBR, windows went like
this in itís mind (BTW, my boot drive has always been H ever installed
windows because the windows instaler desided to set it as that)
"Hmmm... My root drive is H, that isnt normal, perhaps i should set
it to C... But iv been succesfuly booting using H for several
months... better set it to C" if you didnt understand what was been
said there basicly what happened was for what ever reason wupon
rebooting and ddetecting some sort of change (i made absalutly no
hardware changes in the course of this) it desised to do a "head
count" of avalable HDís and this time (privously when the windows
instaler did a "head count" of HDís it desided to set root as H)
when counting the HDís it desided to set the root drive as C, now,
windows still boots becasue windows itís self dosnt use drive letters
it uses some thing like drive(0)partion(3) theres more, but i forget,
but the services dont run becasue there looking for the programs in
(you guessed it) H, but of course, they dont exsist there any more,
becasue windows change the drive letter to C. I think you get the jist
of my problem.

Now i have come up with the potential solutions:
(i canot reinstall windows, it would not be very prety)

1. I have learnt that to change the root hd letter you must do as
showen here;EN-US;Q223188 how
ever not been able to edit the registry in recovary console this is
some what difficult, i have a 256MH USB flash drive that is fully
supported in recovary console, so i can transfer relitivly large
files. If any one knows of a program that can edit the registary with
out having to run that instaltion of windows that is having the
registary edit, that would be grate help.

2. Use a hardlink, this is alother posible solotuion, how ever
requiers been able to run a program called fsutil in recovary console
,since you carnt do that itís some what difficult. but basicly it
would involve making a folder on the new drive H: that pointed windows
to the windows folder on C:

3. This one seems to be the most dangerus and so it is to be
considered a last resort, make a back up of the windows registry on
the computer i am using now, and then use recovary console to
transpose the broken registary on to this computer, since this
computer has always had itís root as C then it might work, make the
registart change nessasery, and put it back on my computer, but thats
a last resort, it seems likly that doing that will casue many BSODís

Dose any one know if it is posible or not to set drive letters in
win.ini or boot.ini or a nice plan text file thats easy to edit in a
text editor.

Can any one surgest any other posible fixes.

Can any one surgest any tools that could be used for editing the
registry wiht out having to transpose it on to another instalation of


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Windows booting randomness