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Windows 7: BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing

25 Dec 2012   #31
incurablegeek

Win 7-64
 
 

One of my students (IQ - 176) who tested the Intel MMX technology way back when told me there were 3 ways to fix a computer:

1) Use Logic and Systems (my words of course )
2) If that fails, read the manual
3) And if both of those fail, try Magic and Witchcraft, meaning try off the wall thinking.

Well, I did just that. The main power cables I simply grabbed them and moved them up and down. Never disconnected or reconnected them, just jiggled them up and down. Well, the motherboard came to life and I got into the BIOS which had been restored to factory specs of #1201.

Still the BIOS looks crazy in its boot order and I think that might have something to do with that 100 MB Win 7 sets aside for its own settings, which must be corrupted. Can't set it to Optical, then SSD as one would expect.

I think that ASUS EZ Update might have been the culprit. I remember reading somewhere that it could be a problem and that the BIOS should be flashed/updated the old fashioned way. Which is what I did after the EZ Update screwed up Win 7. My guess anyway.

What would you do next, that is if you haven't written me off as a bottomless basket case?

--------------

Oh, and my student told me that when he was only 13. Same age he was working for INTEL debugging their MMX chip. He wrote Assembler programs to crash it and documented his results. Intel flew two technicians down to meet with him. Don't get me started talking about my students. I had some really scary smart ones. More about that if you wish.

Thanks for your friendship and kindness over the holidays. I do appreciate you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Dec 2012   #32
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Well, of course I haven't written you off and won't. I will be here to help as long as you would like, and I don't fall to sleep. And also, I am not a student of linguistics, and can barely spell it. I'm no youngster either. I wish. I would absolutely love to hear about your students, but probably not in this thread. We both may be booted off the site. But back to business.

First, These threads are very good. I am sure at some point in history, someone will have the same problem and will find this thread through a search. With any luck they may learn something that will work. My first inclination is there may be a short in your wiring. If jiggling the wire made the board power up, that would be my first inclination. I would fix that first. You will not know if that is the problem later on, if trouble arises.

What I would do is most likely not what I would tell you to do. I do not want to be responsible for bricking your motherboard. If it were mine, I would probably try and if it didn't work, chalk it up to experience and learn something in the process.

So, Since you have the old bios back (that is correct isn't it?) I would recommend the safest, but most time consuming, action. I would completely wipe the drive clean and do a clean install. If you want to pursue that course, I will give you instructions. I will also need to know if you are familar with the command prompt and diskpart. Either way, it will be simple.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2012   #33
incurablegeek

Win 7-64
 
 

Thanks for all.

I have enough shielded cables to swap the main power cable out. Right now that is not priority.

I know I need a reinstall. But I install to an SSD and not a traditional HDD.

I would therefore assume that I set the boot order to DVD, then SSD, with the other drives disabled and I would do all that after I flash the BIOS to the latest #1703. I really cannot believe I am asking questions about how to do an install, since I have to be pushing 1K of those by now. This BIOS problem, specifically the bizarre boot order choices, has destroyed my confidence - at least for the moment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Dec 2012   #34
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

That's great news. An SSD is fantastic. I own 6 of them and would never be without one (or 2 ). Your assumptions are correct. Disconnect all hard drives except the SSD. When you have finished the flash, do the disconnecting, change the boot order and I will tell you how I do it so that it will be properly aligned and you will not have the 100MB partition. Just, before you begin, make sure your SSD is connected to port 0 and your sata controller is in AHCI mode. And there is little for you to worry about. I'll try to make it as simple as possible. Is the SSD new or is there a previous OS installed on it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2012   #35
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Are we there yet? Or are we taking Christmas night off. I wouldn't blame you, sounds as though you need a rest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #36
ganjiry

Win7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

I think this is pretty relevant to this thread for anyone that comes across this thread in the future UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #37
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

When boot with a uEFI/BIOS firmware, Windows Boot Manager is first boot.

BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing-windows-8-downgrade-006-sb.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #38
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Hi guys. I've been lurking on this thread but I was unable to respond due to holiday madness.

Could you (OP) confirm for me the following timeline? I pieced this together from your posts but I want to be sure I understand this correctly. Please correct any errors in this timeline.
  • First, you installed a new, clean installation of W7 onto a blank SSD. (And, you aligned the SSD)
  • After the installation Windows started and ran normally.
  • Then you updated your BIOS using EZ Update from within Windows. The BIOS updated successfully.
  • After this update the system no longer started normally. You had to have the W7 installation disk in the optical drive to start Windows.
  • You then updated the BIOS again, this time using the USB method from within BIOS.
  • After this update you experienced an error: "Missing Boot Loader".
  • You then loaded the Optimized Defaults" in BIOS.
  • After this you discovered the Boot Order was scrambled, and you first noticed that the "Windows Boot Manager" was first in the boot list.
  • You then removed all the HDDs except for the SSD and the optical drive. This is when you first got the "Remove Disks...." error message and the system would not start.
  • You reconnected the other drives and the error message went away and Windows would start.


Q1: When you installed W7 fresh, did you have all other hard disk drives disconnected?


Q2: During the course of the problems after updating the BIOS, did the system always start and get to the point where it tries to start Windows (it completed the Boot routine)?


It would be very helpful if we could see your Disk Management window, expanded so we can see all the information on every drive in the top and bottom sections of the window.


It would also be important to know if what the file table format of all the drives is - MBR format or GPT format - particularly the SDD.
You can get that info with this procedure here:
Hard Drive - GPT or MBR



My gut guess is that this problem has something to do with scrambled Windows boot files located on multiple drives and complicated by a UEFI system environment. That "Remove Disks..." error occurs when Windows boot files are missing or corrupted (Error message when you start your computer with a non-system disk). The fact that it occurs when one of the other drives is disconnected is a key clue, I believe.
If I am correct then your UEFI (BIOS) is only remotely involved.

Lets see what things look like.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #39
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

TVeblen, welcome to the party. I did have those thoughts myself, But I didn't believe the bios update had anything to do with the start up problem. I assumed it was the installation. From what little I know about the UEFI boot, the install has to be done in UEFI mode and the only way to change it is a clean install.... either way. I'm glad we have an expert on UEFI here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #40
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Expert!! That's funny.

I'm thinking the same as you. But I suspect there is more going on then has been reported so far or that we understand. We need more information.

What I know:
In a pure UEFI system a GPT file table is required and an "EFI System Partition" (ESP) is created on the "primary" hard drive (usually 100MB and invisible to Windows) along with another (usually 100MB) "Windows System Reserved" partition (WSR) - (visible in Windows). The ESP contains the files needed by the UEFI to boot the machine. The WSR contains the files needed to boot Windows.

Here is what I don't know:
What happens if the ESP is installed on a different drive (other then the intended primary drive)?
What happens if the ESP and Windows System Reserved partitions are on different drives?
What happens if the ESP, Windows System Reserved partitions , and the OS files are on different drives?
What happens if you were to update the UEFI if any one of these conditions existed?

Just a working hypothesis. Given everything you have checked with him and the comparisons to your system settings it is the only thing that makes sense (to me).
We need more info from the OP me thinks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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