Vista Broke 2 Of My Laptops!! Help!!!

:mad: Ok, this is too weird. I have a T60 that I put a stand alone version of Vista Enterprise on not knowing the problems i would have activating. I have an MSDN license and figured i'd be ok since i had a key. Anyway, within 2 weeks, it has expired, and will not activate, and will not let me boot into windows anymore. The only thing i can do is enter a new key. I want to reformat and put on Vista Ultimate or even XP for that matter. I tried booting to a CD, and it ignores any disk i put in. I force it to boot to CD, and it bypasses it after checking it. I try the same thing in my XP laptop and it catches the install. These are SATA drives btw. I have a SATA ultrabay drive so i put the T60 SATA drive into the ultrabay, and put that in another laptop so i can format it. I format it, and now it boots and gives me a blinking cursor even when i put the XP CD drive back in. It ignores it. Thought it was the laptop booting to the CD drive until the next situation occurred.

I have an HP DV8000T that has SATA drives as well. Am running Vista Ultimate RTM and can't use it in a development environment. Too many security stops and i dont have time to mess with it, and want to go back to XP Media Center 2005. This laptop has a dual boot to XP, so i have both on it. Rather than go to XP like i should have and delete all the program files for Vista after unloading the Vista bootmgr, i formatted the drive. I now have the EXACT same issue as above on my T60, so i know it's not the laptop, it's something with Vista. Does Vista somehow exist outside of the hard drives on your machine? How does it know Vista was on there? If i take a vista drive from another laptop thats working, these dead machines will boot fine. If i take an XP drive and boot, it dies. They will now ONLY accept drives that are booting to Vista. HP wants me to send this back, and i'm sure IBM would want the same, but i can't be without both of the machines. Is there a way to make these laptops back to factory settings? I've never seen a laptop KNOW which OS it needs. I used to swap hard drives all the time, all makes/models without issue.

Please help, i'm so over messing with this issue.



New Member
I format it, and now it boots and gives me a blinking cursor even when i put the XP CD drive back in. It ignores it. Thought it was the laptop booting to the CD drive until the next situation occurred
Here is my theory... Vista will edit your MBR (master boot record) which is different from the Volume Boot Record (bootloader), and even if you reformat this will not fix the problem.

The way Vista manipulates your master boot record is different than XP. It is looking for the Vista bootloader. Are you sure there is no MBR partition?

The only thing I can't explain is why you can't boot from CD. Go into your BIOS settings and set the CD drive as the first bootable device. When you put in the XP CD, choose recovery console, try running the commands fixboot and fixmbr

Try this on both machines. It is possible the first Vista machine locked you out if you used the SAME key for activation. MSDN should give you 10 keys, no?

I wish i could get to the fixboot option. Since it wont boot to the XP setup, i feel like i'm screwed. Everything is MSDN so i have plenty of licenses.




The guess about the MBR is most likely correct. Zero out the first 512 bytes of the physical disk to ensure that any old MBR data is gone, then perform your repartition/format/install/etc. The FDISK command has an /MBR flag that *ought* to do this, if memory serves. A bootable Knoppix CD could be a way to do this if you have no other tools; the command would be 'dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1'. The target device name may vary depending on what Knoppix sees during boot.

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