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Windows 7: Boot Disk Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter

26 Jun 2014   #1
HonorlessWeasel

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Boot Disk Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter

Ladies and Gentleman,

I will try to make this as detailed as possible. I have previously spent a few years working in IT support but never had such a hard problem to deal with which I was unable to fix. I'm no longer in IT Support, I do printing now.

It all started a few weeks ago when I was editing my brother's wedding photos, having just done a Windows Update. In the middle of the editing process my PC just turned itself off. No warning, just went off. At first I thought I had either a power or heat problem, though I had recently replaced my power supply.

This PC is a self-build a few years back and apart from a previous problem with a badly RAIDed drive (RAID not done by me, but by someone who thought they knew what they were doing, and obviously didn't) it has all worked well. I had cloned my first drive when it started to throw errors at me, the clone was successful and everything ran happily for another two years, until now.

After the sudden shut down, the next time I turned it on, it told me the boot device was inaccessible and gave me an error (0xc000000e - if I remember correctly). After a day or so worth of testing I was finally able to establish that the problem was my MFT and MFTMirror had become corrupted - an unrecoverable issue. At this point I made the decision to get the valuable files (the wedding photos and a few other things) off there and have saved them to another external drive - they are safe! I figured my best way out of this was to clone the original drive I had - the one with the RAID problem - onto a new, larger drive.

My new larger drive had a different sector size, but I eventually found a bit of software which would clone drives with different sector sizes and amend the partition size to reflect the actual size of the drive. When this new, 2TB drive, freshly cloned, is connected to a functional Windows PC I can see everything on it. I can access the files, there are no problems, it gives me no errors. When I plug this into my Motherboard I get the "BOOT DISK FAILURE INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER" message.

I have checked the basic things:
CMOS battery seems to be fine as it is retaining the correct date and time.
S.M.A.R.T. has been switched off.
The boot order is set to HDD first.
The HDD is recognised by the BIOS.

I ran testdisk and repaired the MBR having experienced this issue while I was a tech. This hasn't helped, I now just get a prompt "1234F:"

I have inserted the system disk/repair disk but upon trying to repair the disk it doesn't show a Windows partition, therefore I cannot continue.

Having reviewed everything I've done, I know some of it sounds a bit dumb and was probably a waste of my time but I had to try it in an attempt to retain some of the software on it which I no longer have the installation media for.

Does anyone think this might be repairable? If so, what are my next steps?

I intend to try pressing 1 at the "1234F:" prompt as some people have reported this as working because it should load from the 1st partition. After this, I'm at a loss as to what to do next. Now I am beginning to resign myself to having to reinstall Windows completely. I'm kinda cool with this now as I've had a couple of weeks to get used to it. I'm over losing the software now.

If I cannot fix this is anyone able to tell me whether I can recover the Windows license key from my old drive as I do not have the OEM details anymore (this was part of lots of stuff that was never given back to me during a divorce). This has cost me enough already in money and time.

Any help would be very much appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Jun 2014   #2
gregrocker

 

Is your old HD dead? What do its maker's HD Diagnostics say about it? It may only need a reinstall.

I assume you tried confirming the Partition Marked Active to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times . If so everything else that can be done is here for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start

I wouldn't even attempt such a cloning with different sector sizes.

Much better to do one perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 (same for retail) and then save it as an image so you never have to do another. Everything you need to get and keep a perfect install is in the blue link.

You can Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive to read your old Product key off the HD while it's slaved to Windows. There is an alternative method given later in that same thread.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2014   #3
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HonorlessWeasel View Post
......my PC just turned itself off. No warning, just went off. At first I thought I had either a power or heat problem, though I had recently replaced my power supply....
This here tells me your new power supply might be going bad, or was bad to begin with.

And given the other issues you mentioned, it might have started or has fried some things that would cause strange issues.

I would replace your power supply again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jun 2014   #4
Anshad Edavana

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:

My new larger drive had a different sector size, but I eventually found a bit of software which would clone drives with different sector sizes and amend the partition size to reflect the actual size of the drive.
Which is the software you used ?. Usually cloning from a "512 Native" disk to "512e" is less likely to create an issue. "512 Native" to "4k Native" will cause trouble but "4Kn" drives are still rare on the market. Almost all disks available today uses "512e". "Seagate" seems to recently released some large capacity 4 TB - 6 TB disks which uses 4Kn sectors.

Is the cloning software gave you warning about sector size mismatch ?.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Boot Disk Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter




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