People who know me, know that I don't like hardware! I was working on a client's computer (older Dell 8200) yesterday that wouldn't boot up. I went ahead and put in a different hard drive. But every time I would boot it up, it would display the "Primary Hard Drive 1 Not Found". I would go into BIOS, and it would show the drive. And if I pressed F1 from the error, the computer would go ahead and boot up.
I messed around with the BIOS settings enought, that ultimately it was not booting at all, but coming up with a "Strike f1 to retry boot, f2 to enter system utility". After some stumbling around, I found the following recommendation for resetting the BIOS and getting past such problematic warnings and errors:
When the F1 or F2 screen come up, make sure that:
1) CAPS LOCK LIGHT IS ON
2) NUMBERS LOCK LIGHT IS ON
3) SCROLL LOCK LIGHT IS ON
ALL 3 LIGHTS ON KEYBOARD MUST BE ON...
Then you press:
1) (ALT TAB) E
2) (ALT TAB) F
3) (ALT TAB) B
The computer will restart on its own and reconfigure the IDE settings.
As many know, Windows XP MCE by default does not allow you to join it to a domain. Variations of the infamous "Banana Hack" are available to allow MCE systems to join a domain. I posted about my experience here. What the banana hack does is to change the 'IsLegacyMCE' register key from '0' to '1'.
With XP SP3 set to release in a few days, I tried installing the XP SP3 RC2 to my babana-hacked XP MCE computer. The result was that after installing SP3, my computer went into a constant reboot loop. I was able to boot into Safe Mode, and uninstall SP3, and then the computer booted up normally.
Before uninstalling SP3, I did check the 'IsLegacyMCE' registery setting, and it was still set to '1' - which means that installing SP3 does not overwrite that reg key. However, something else in SP3 is certainly stomping over the ability to let MCE join a domain.
So, at this point, XP SP3 is out for my MCE computers.