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Windows 7: BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing

24 Dec 2012   #1

Win 7-64
 
 
BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing

I am for sure gonna get kicked out of this forum for being so annoying. I hope not, because some of the smartest people I have found are in this great forum.

Anyway, I did something I know was newbie-stupid wrong. I tried the ASUS EZ Update from within Win 7 to update my ASUS Crosshair V Formula BIOS to the newest version which is #1701. I know ASUS touts this as The Way. From my experience, though, it is not - it really screwed things up. I will never do this again, I can assure you!

*****
System: ASUS Crosshair V Formula with AMD 6-core and 16 GB of DDR-3 RAM; 128 GB SSD, many WDD HDD's.
*****

So I did things the "right way" - flashed the bios to #1703 with a USB stick. Been there, done that before several times, so no problem.

After doing so, however, and I choose to blame the EZ Update for this problem, I couldn't boot with my Boot Settings as CD/DVD ROM (#1) ---> SSD (#2).

That should be normal boot order. I mean Duh! on that one. But it would not boot, so I naturally thought the Win 7 Boot Loader was corrupted (still might be, dunno).

Anyway, I tried the obvious, ie set the BIOS to optimal defaults (oh and yes, the BIOS had updated properly to #1703). Took a look at the boot order and it was the biggest mess imaginable. Order was scrambled with the SSD way down the list and a bunch of HDD's higher in priority on the boot order list. DVD was way down in the order too. "Windows Boot Manager" was #1

Now here's the kicker: The system will no longer boot unless "Windows Boot Manager" is selected as #1 in the BIOS boot order. Excuse my ignorance but what the heck is Windows Boot Manager. Isn't that the Boot Loader in the MBR on the SSD? And now with "optimized defaults" in the BIOS the SSD is no longer the boot item of choice. In fact, the boot order is a list of all my HDD's (many) and my single SSD - in totally meaningless scrambled order.

Does this problem make any sense to anyone? I have never seen this before. All that I can conclude is that it is a BIOS problem but then Win 7 64 bit Ultimate may be corrupted.

Additional info: Before I set the BIOS (after updating to 1703) to Optimized Defaults, the system would not boot to Win 7 UNLESS the setup disk was in the optical drive. Now ain't that a kick in the buttsky!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Did everything work correctly before you flashed the BIOS ?

It is quite possible that Windows 7 is corrupted in some way or other. I've only ever flashed my BIOS a couple of times, and each time I've done it outside the OS. The main problem with doing it in Windows is that Windows relies on some of the information provided by the BIOS in order to function, and updating the BIOS causes this information to momentarily disappear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #3

Win 7-64
 
 

Quote:
Did everything work correctly before you flashed the BIOS ?
Yes sir, it did. In fact, it's a new install of Win 7 64 bit.

Everything worked perfectly until I used the EZ update within Win 7. After the EZ update resulted in the failure of the OS to boot without the installation disk in the optical drive, I did a proper hardware BIOS update with the USB thumb drive.

Then came the missing boot loader problem. To fix that I just loaded the optimal BIOS defaults, which in turn resulted in the scrambled boot device order and the (for me strangely new) Windows Boot Manager as the 1st and only device that would bring me up to Win 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

When you say new install, do you mean it's a new install that you did after flashing the BIOS ? It could be that the new BIOS code has some bugs in it, and you might need to revert back to the older version if that is the case. Older versions should be available on the motherboard manufacturer's website.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #5

Win 7-64
 
 

No, I flashed the BIOS (updated to latest #1703) after the new install.

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. -Support- Drivers and Download Crosshair V Formula
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

The Asus easy flash is supposed to work well. I did do it once. just to see, and it worked OK. It reads the bios update into ram and reboots the computer, then actually does the bios flash during POST. But, to your problem, would you please post a screenshot of your expanded disk management. Also, does your bios have a setting called compatibility? if so how is it set. I have an Asus Maximus V. I will post a screenshot here of the compatibility setting, as I recall it's called CSM.

BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing-boot.jpg


EDIT: The reason I ask those questions, Although I have one, I am unfamiliar with USFI mode. But, from what I am reading from your previous posts, it appears you have installed in UEFI mode. When you do that you must select 'Windows Boot Manager' as first boot device to boot. The UEFI adds that as a new entry into the boot order. It is a setting in BIOS. It cannot be changed without a complete reinstall of Windows. It is not really anything wrong, it is simply how it works and many people like having it that way as it provides some advantages. If it works OK for you, there is really no reason I am aware of to change it. Perhaps next time you do a clean install, you can change the CSM setting in BIOS and do it, 'the old fashioned way' like I do, if you would prefer that. Someone who has more knowledge of UEFI may be able to give you more information on it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #7

Win 7-64
 
 

Here's what I'm gonna try - and it's rather obvious.

I'm going to disconnect all of my traditional HDD's and leave only the SSD and the optical connected. If it doesn't boot, I'll know more. Possibly the software flash of the BIOS messed up the OS or, God forbid, damaged my SSD.

Thanks for your time, Be back at ya soon,

Dennis

*********************
OK, I just disconnected all the traditional HDD's.

After doing so, when I booted up, I received this error message:

Remove Disks or Other Media
Press any key to restart


Well, I just hit "Enter" and my rig booted up into Windows perfectly. So where in the world did this hiccup come from?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Sorry, but I cannot answer. But, what happens when you select your SSD in bios boot menu and restart the computer? From the description you gave previously, it sounds as though you installed in UEFI mode. That is the way it is described in the little I have read.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #9

Win 7-64
 
 

Please understand that I know less than nothing about UEFI mode. Don't know how to switch back to a traditional BIOS from UEFI.

Some more info: Bootup takes forever, cycling through the ASUS ROG splash screen two, maybe three times. Same for all the hardware screens - 2-3 times they cycle through. Never had that before.

Only this new kid on the block "Windows Boot Manager" works if and only if it is set to primary boot device, with the rest of the boot order being chaos.

Do you think that maybe this new ASUS BIOS is buggy (#1703)?

Note: I do not see the SSD as one of the devices: I only see the HDD's, the USB and the opticals (I believe). No SSD showing.

This is the strangest darn thing I have ever encountered. Better to flash with an older BIOS version maybe? (please see attached) This is what scares me: Support new CPUs.

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. -Support- Drivers and Download Crosshair V Formula


Attached Thumbnails
BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing-bios-problem.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

I can't answer your questions. I am not familiar with your bios. You have an Asus AMD board and I have an Asus Intel board. But, look in BIOS under boot options and see if you have an option for UEFI, Legacy, Legacy only or Compatibility or maybe uefi-legacy options. If you like, you should be able to put a USB drive in and on any page press a key (F12) on mine, and it will put a picture on the USB drive of exactly the page you are looking at. Just like I showed you my boot options page in post #6. You may have to change it from .BPM to .JPEG or .PNG to upload it, but that is simple. I read my manual, but it is not right, probably changed by new bios updates. To change from a UEFI boot, you will have to completely do a new clean install. And, all of this is assuming I am correct in what I think.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BIOS Update - Boot Loader Missing




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