Quirky dual-boot situation
I have a question and a half concerning a dual boot situation that I have run into. I have an old Tyan 500 mHz Pentium 3 with 576 Mb RAM and two 40 Gb hard drives. The primary master contains Linux and GRUB. The secondary master contains Windows XP Pro, and has four partitions - C,D,E, & F. The C & D drives are FAT32 and the E & F drives are NTFS (this is a holdover from when the PC was triple boot with Win98 on C & D). XP is installed on drive E.
If I pull the power plug from the Linux drive, Windows boots and runs just fine. If I use a live CD for PCLOS 2009.1 or 2009.2, the Windows "D" drive is nowhere to be found but C,E, & F are right there. After installing PCLOS 2009.1, the same situation occurs and the bootloader can't find Windows.
If I use a live CD for Mint, Knoppix, or Ubuntu, all Windows drives are present and readable. But when attempting to install either Ubuntu 10 or Mint 8 I get an error message which indicates that either the CD has a problem (they work okay in other PCs), the laser in the drive is dirty (I cleaned it), or the hard drive has a problem (some distros install just fine). Mint 9 however installed without any problems, and the bootloader works flawlessly.
So, can anybody tell me if I might have an impending failure or if it's just a quirky old PC?