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(Problem Solved) Short fuse...how easily can I restore?

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Hey guys, got a short fuse on this one.


I have a Dell XPS m170 laptop with a EIDE interface for the internal HD.


The BIOS has a 137GB limitation (didn't know this at the time).


WinXP SP2 however does not.


I used imaging software to copy from my internal HD (120GB) to the new HD (250GB) (no problem...I've used this before to upgrade...works perfectly).


Install the new HD. Everything works perfectly (as I expect). I start filling the drive with other stuff I have and eventually shut down after a total of about 170GB.


Try to boot the drive today...won't boot.


I yank the drive out and put it in the HD caddy. Everything looks intact...I run diagnostics and there appears to be no fragments, or bad sectors.


Now here's the question. I can fix the 137GB limitation software-wise...that's not the issue.


My question...assuming I pull everything off the new HD, reformat it with software to step around the 137GB limitation, and reinstall it...what's needed to do? Can I simply make it 'bootable'? Reinstall a basic version of the OS and then just copy all the stuff I pulled off it back onto it and be good to go?


Or am I totally screwed?



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I've not had to deal with a BIOS limit on a drive in awhile. I'm not sure what will or won't work in this case. I guess it really depends how that software to "work around" the limit works.

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Yah I have tried that.

if you know were the registry is and can copy that.

I find that the files are easily copied but the drivers can be copied but they do not get registered or installed.

that was one nice thing about 98se you could copy it over and have the drivers too

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Hey guys,


Just posted this to let you know why I was more or less offline for 2 days.


It's been a nightmare trying to get the new drive to work. Finally realized that the 137GB BIOS limitation couldn't be overcome.


I've been juggling 3 internal drives, 1 HD caddy, 2 external drives and 2 laptops to fix everything.


The good news...I didn't lose anything! The boot error was simply what I thought it was...WinXP can write to more than 137GB, but the BIOS couldn't. So as soon as I installed all my new games, then shutdown, the BIOS couldn't boot it.


And being that I didn't have 170GB free on any other drive I had...I had to split and juggle to copy all the data off the 250GB drive, then reformat the 250 GB with 2x 120+GB partitions, then install WinXP on the boot partition, THEN copy all the data back to the drive.


Worked great...with only 8 hours til show for my FedEx trip! Still have to fix some minor broken shortcuts...but all the essentials work. Even things like Office, Steam, Windows, MSFS were unaffected.


However, had a sweaty moment when 3ds Max reverted to unregistered mode and initially wouldn't re-register....


I'll probably find more errors...but from what I can tell, I'm back!


Saturday, I'm finding a Best Buy and buying a 250GB external HD as a backup...damnit!



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