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Windows 7: BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing

26 Dec 2012   #41
incurablegeek

Win 7-64
 
 

Quote:
When you installed Windows 7 fresh, did you have all other hard disconnected?
I do that as a rule, ie connect only the SSD and 1 optical drive - and disconnect all HDD's. The operative expression here is "as a rule". I'll betcha that I hurried last time and neglected to do so, result being the 100 MB MS Boot Partition is scattered all over. Will do a reinstall - the right way - and let you know.

@essenbe
Quote:
Are we there yet? Or are we taking Christmas night off.
I really love it when somebody pushes me. Usually it's the other way around. Truth is, after having been up for three nights in a row till 3:00 am, I did crash. essenbe, you are indeed incredible - even more tenacious than I am. Thank you so much for giving so much of your time to my ongoing problems.

In the past few days I have developed a real, and well-founded, fear of failure. What to do next, so I don't end up reinstalling the rest of my remaining life?

Btw, there are some powerfully smart and scarily knowledgeable people in this forum and I thank you for tolerating me. I do think I can be useful in a way though. I seem to come across lots of problems that really end up being good teaching experiences for others.

1)
Quote:
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.
That's actually a relevant question - at least in my case. Why? Well, I have about 20 TB of HDD backup (all my work for the NSA, you know ). Anyway, I ran out of partition letters (26), so I needed to convert some of my drives (3 TB) to GPT so I could read them and then use "Folders". Answer: Only the 3 TB drive is GPT, no other choice, but my SSD is not tampered with since it's architecture in no way resembles a HDD - I did quite a study of SSD's a while back, my conclusion being just to let the darn things alone, since mine are all Gen 2 and above)

2) @TVeblen
Quote:
When you installed W7 fresh, did you have all other hard disk drives disconnected
As I mentioned, I think I dropped the ball there. Good point!

3) @ganjiri and theog UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with Converting a BIOS is way above my pay grade. Never done it. Actually never knew it was possible. But I can follow instructions. Should I do that?

4) @theog I looked at your attachment and must say that I have not seen a BIOS that elementary since about 1991. Am I missing something?

For what it's worth, I know what normal boot order looks like. I just don't understand the nonsense that I am now seeing. By the way, the ASUS Crosshair V motherboard BIOS I have reverted back to factory defaults, #1203 I think - rather ancient anyway. And still scrambled boot order (so I think the Boot Loader is partially installed on one or more of the HDD's and not on the SSD where it should be)

5) Should I disconnect all drives except the USB flash and then update the BIOS to #1703 (latest) and then connect the SSD and optical to reinstall Win 7 - or ....


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
26 Dec 2012   #42
essenbe

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

As far as updating, it should not matter as long as you have set optimized defaults first.

@TVeblen, I may be wrong, but I have read that the only way to install to UEFI is to install on a raw drive. It was my intention to not do that and format the partition primary before the install. Am I wrong? With this new technology, there seems there should be 1 place to go that explains it in detail rather than having to pick it up a piece at a time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #43
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

You should check to see if the SSD is GPT. Definitely.

You should post the Disk Management info so we can see what is going on.

You should hold off on any BIOS changes at least until you have determined if the problem is in the drive/partition structure first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Dec 2012   #44
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

The ASUS Crosshair V motherboard BIOS has a uEFI/BIOS firmware.
Windows Boot Manager is add to GPT mode HD Drive or SSD.

Can you post a screen shot of Disk management?

Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #45
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
@TVeblen, I may be wrong, but I have read that the only way to install to UEFI is to install on a raw drive. It was my intention to not do that and format the partition primary before the install. Am I wrong? With this new technology, there seems there should be 1 place to go that explains it in detail rather than having to pick it up a piece at a time.
Yeah, it is frustrating as all get out. It is like the system is some trade secret and they don't want you to know! I've been compiling info on this in advance of a new build for months and I do not feel I've got it all clear in my head yet.

The things I am clear on is that UEFI is a BIOS. As a matter of fact we should not even use the acronym B.I.O.S. when referring to a UEFI system. But that would just confuse a lot of people so we keep doing it anyway.

So you are correct that to install Windows on a UEFI system you should do it by installing to a raw drive. This will allow the Windows installer to access the EFI files within Windows (C:\Windows\Boot\EFI ) to create the necessary partition structure to operate in a pure EFI or UEFI environment.

There may be a way to prepare or convert a disk to use in an UEFI environment but I have not researched that.

These two articles here have been very helpful for me in understanding this new system:
Understanding Disk Partitions
Windows and GPT FAQ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #46
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVebiem
There may be a way to prepare or convert a disk to use in an UEFI environment but I have not researched that.
From diskpart

list disk
select disk ?
clean
convert gpt or convert GPT


BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing-windows-8-downgrade-011-sb.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #47
incurablegeek

Win 7-64
 
 

I'm beginning to feel like the centipede who, when asked what legs he moved first and in what order, could no longer walk naturally, then rolled over in the ditch and died.

So I don't know why I need to think so much to do a reinstall. For example, all this talk about UEFI. When I restore to factory defaults, my Crosshair BIOS is what it is. When I update it to the latest #1703, it also is what it is. (geez, I hate cliches but that's the only way I know how to say it. Basically, why should I screw up the natural order of things?)

What I do know is:

1) Disconnect all drives except the SSD and the Opticals - Now Done

2) Set the BIOS boot order to CD #1 and SSD #2


What I don't know is should I flash the BIOS before doing an install?

If I should, would I not also disconnect the SSD to reduce the number of variables - and just use the USB thumb drive to flash the BIOS from?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #48
essenbe

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

I would try before if I was going to do it. maybe try it like it is, but first format the partition, then install.
When you boot the installer, at the first page do not select your language, hold down Shift and press F10, it will bring up a command prompt. Type these commands and press enter after each one. If you have only 1 disk attached you should show only 1 disk numbered 0 (number zero)
Diskpart (wait for the window to reply diskpart)
List disk
Select disk 0
clean
create partition primary align=1024
format fs=ntfs quick
active
exit exit
You will be right back where you were. I did an example. I used disk 1, but you will only have 1 disk and it will be 0.
this is what it should look like. all the text other than the commands I gave is what the window will reply, just give it a couple of seconds. If you make a mistake it will tell you. then continue with set up and install.

BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing-clean-align-format-ssd.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #49
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

I agree with Essenbe regarding a reinstall.

If you want to flash the BIOS (to get it to the most recent version I would presume?) then there is no reason why you can't do it with no drives attached. It's a "can't hurt, might help" situation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Dec 2012   #50
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

For uEFI partitioning.

Diskpart

BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing-uefi-010-1.png

As seen in Disk management

BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing-uefi-011-1.png

Windows 7 installer.

BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing-windows-8-downgrade-012-sb.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing




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