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Windows 7: HP Envy 6 mSATA SSD only boots when HDD is physically removed

10 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
HP Envy 6 mSATA SSD only boots when HDD is physically removed


My HP Envy 6 originally came with a 500GB SATA II HDD plus a 32GB mSATA SSD configured as a cache drive in RAID-0 configuration.

I purchased a 240GB Crucial m4 mSATA SSD to replace the 32GB one that came with the machine. The plan is to use the larger SSD as a full Windows 7 x64 boot drive holding the OS and program files in a single large partition, and to use the 500GB HDD for data.

After some research I figured out how to "unbind" the two drives from their RAID-0 configuration, how to format and partition the SSD and align it with the ALIGN=1024 command in DISKPART. I have also managed to clean install Windows 7 to the SSD from a USB stick. So far so good.

Because HP use the Insyde H2O BIOS, which is crippled at the factory , I have no way to access any advanced BIOS parameters. I can not switch to AHCI mode as has been recommended elsewhere in these forums...... so I am stuck with the Intel SATA RAID drivers, although thankfully the two drives are no longer operating in RAID mode.

The HDD (DISK 0) which I intend to use purely for data is currently still holding my original OS, and is bootable. Upon startup, I now get a choice to boot either my original Windows installation from the HDD, or my new clean Windows install from the SSD (DISK 1). Both appear to work fine.

However, when I format the HDD and re-boot, the system does not see the SSD, and I get a "No Bootable Devices found" error and the system cannot boot. If I physically remove the HDD from the drive bay and re-boot, the system sees the mSATA drive and boots perfectly from it.

There is no way in BIOS to change the boot order of hard disks. It appears that the system will always look to the SATA II drive bay for a bootable disk and won't even bother checking the mSATA one if it can't find one there (unless the first bay is actually empty!).

So am I stuck with having to maintain two complete versions of Windows just to be able to have the ability of booting from SSD, or is there some kind of workaround? Maybe there is some kind of boot loader I could put on the HDD just to get it to automatically switch to booting Windows from the SSD at start-up? Or is there a simpler way which I am missing?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as my remaining hair is retreating fast

Many thanks,

My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Mar 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Hi Jamie see if this will help .


--------------REFORMAT GUIDE-----------------

1) Disassemble the laptop and remove the mSATA SSD.

2) Leave the laptop disassembled and boot it up. You will be greeted with an Intel Matrix RAID configuration screen. Delete the RAID setup on the 500GB HDD and unbind it from the SSD cache. Finish and turn off the laptop.

3) Plug the mSATA SSD back onto the mobo and boot up the computer again. You will be greeted by the same Intel Matrix RAID configuration screen. Now, delete the RAID setup on the mSATA SSD. Finish and turn off the laptop.

4) Boot up the laptop with a Windows OS installation disc inside a connected external USB DVD drive. Hit ESC and select boot priority. Boot from DVD Drive and follow steps to delete partitions and reformat the SSD and HDD drives.

Take a look at this link. Even though it talks about Windows 8 . Windows 7 should work as well
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Thanks for the info and link Vistaking.

The HP Envy 6 doesn't have Intel Matrix RAID. It uses the Intel RST (Rapid Storage Technology) instead, which doesn't offer any configuration options at boot time. I've managed to unbind both drives though, and they are operating independently of each other.

I think the problem lies with the BIOS, which also can't be configured without a very risky firmware hack I'm far too novice to attempt. Those Insyde BIOSes are rubbish. They don't have any advanced options whatsoever.

The BIOS is pre-configured to always look for a bootable drive in the SATA drive bay. It doesn't even attempt to look at the mSata drive bay (unless the first SATA drive is disconnected).

I think my only option to boot from mSATA SSD is going to involve installing some kind of boot loader onto the SATA HDD which loads and then switches over to the mSATA SSD...... if such a utility exists?

Another possibility might be to try formatting both drives to the newer GPT system..... maybe then the UEFI firmware might be able to ignore the HDD and boot straight from mSATA SSD. But I've heard that there are issues with using SSD's formatted with GPT.

It's really annoying that HP produced an otherwise lovely Ultrabook and then assumed that people would only want to use the mSATA bay for a small cache device in RAID mode. Or perhaps they just want to restrict customers so that we have to buy the 2013 models (when they are released).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 May 2013   #4

Win 7 Home x64
Hey I'm trying to do the same, same issue I got

Hey Guys, Have anyone tried this before with their Envy 4 Sleek book.Using Cache SDD for main OS and HDD as external drive.

I have an Envy 4 Sleek book. Original specs are Intel i5, 32 GB cache SSD & 500 GB HDD. I got rid of both of them and upgraded. Currently I replaced the 32 cache drive to a Samsung 256 GB mSata SSD to boot OS Win 7. It boots EXTREMELY fast (3 second boot with 16 GB RAM). Now that works seamlessly, but the issue I have now is that instead of the 500 GB HDD, when I try to use the 1TB HDD as a secondary drive or use it as backup drive it will boot up with the error "no bootable device found.' Now if I unplug the the HDD, it will boot up normal. I have already formatted it as NTFS, still no luck. Anyone tried this before?? Thanks in advance!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit & Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit


Can you show me a scrnshot of disk management inside the Computer Management

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit


Hi, sounds like you have encountered the same problem as me. My machine is slightly different (I have the Ultrabook 6) but the same configuration: Intel i5, 16GB RAM, 32GB mSATA cache SSD, 500GB SATA HDD.

I did eventually find a work-around though, and my machine has been working happily since my post in March.

I upgraded the mSATA SSD to a Crucial M4 240GB SSD. Swapped out the internal SATA 500GB HDD for a faster one (7200RPM). Installed windows 7 on the SSD while the HDD was disconnected. Machine booted perfectly from SSD.....

When I plugged the HDD back in, I couldn't boot from the SSD anymore. All I kept getting was "no bootable device found". Turns out that these HP Ultrabooks and Sleekbooks have their BIOS preconfigured to attempt to boot from the SATA drive bay (the HDD). If a bootable OS can't be found on the HDD, the machine hangs, instead of then trying to boot from the mSATA bay (the SSD).

The only workaround I could find was to use a little utility called BOOTICE to install a bootloader called "Plop bootloader" onto the SATA HDD. With this setup, when the machine is switched on, the BIOS finds the Plop bootloader on the HDD and loads it. Then, Plop bootloader will hand control of the boot sequence over to the standard windows 7 bootloader on the SSD, which then boots into Windows. It took a little while to figure out how to set up Plop- it needs to be told to boot from "Drive 1, Partition 1", but Plop can be configured at boot-time quite easily.

The tricky part is actually getting the bootloader onto the HDD. Because you can't boot your system while the HDD is attached (If HDD is installed, you can't boot from SSD to get into windows, run Bootice, and install Plop). The way around this is to either plug your HDD into another computer and install the bootloader onto the HDD from there, or stick your HDD in an external USB caddy, boot from your SSD, plug in the HDD via USB, run Bootice from the SSD to install the bootloader onto the HDD, then power down and install the HDD back into the Sleekbook's internal SATA bay.

This workaround DOES work, but it's a bit fiddly. It took me days of reading up and trial and error to figure it out, but it's working and has the added advantage of giving your system a fancy, highly-configurable bootloader at startup.

Hopefully that's helpful
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2013   #7

Windows 7 x64 Enterprise

Thanks heaps Jamie for putting up an extensive solution for ppl like me having Envy 6.

Been searching for the same exact solution for my prob. Though i did de-assemble the lappy and took both drives out and formatted. And Hitachi 500GB SATA drive was showing as Disk 0 whereas Samsung mSata SSD as Disk 1 and was stuck what to do next till i stumbled upon this site and your info helped me (.... in progress though)

I have done installing Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on mSata SSD and now will apply plop on normal Sata Drive and will update.

only query is on plop boot installation do i have to format the drive with NTFS or FAT32 or can make multiple partitions or just one extended drive of 500GB space.

Though will experiment on this too once finishing with the plop loader.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit


Glad the info helped! Hope you got your system up and running.

It doesn't matter whether either of your drives are formatted as FAT32 or NTFS, and you can partition them how you like. The Plop bootloader allows you to boot from any partition on any drive. If you haven't configured Plop to boot from a specific location, you can press "q" (quick boot) at start-up, once the plop boot screen comes up, and you will be presented with a list of boot locations. Just cursor to the drive & partition you want to boot from and press <Enter>.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2014   #9

Windows 7 home 64 bits
Same problem, need help to setup Plop bootloader...


I know that this post is a bit old, but I have almost exactly the same problem.
My original config is using ONLY a 128Gb mSATA drive, with the original HP system on it (with restore, etc...).
When Id iscoverd that there is a free bay inside, I decided to add a 500 Gb HDD for additional data storage.
Unfortunately, as many say, the terrible BIOS does not allow to select the boot drive in this case.

I first tried to install another instance of Windows 7 on the HDD in order to have a double-boot, just as you did, but it did not work.
Then I tried with Easybcd, which detected the two systems, but did not allow to boot on the mSATA (no bootable device...).
Then I found your thread.
I followed your solution, with Bootice and Plop. I worked fine, but only to the point where I can start Windows 7 on the mSATA with the "q" commande of Plop.
Until now, I have not been able to configure Plop to start a "profile" allowing to automatically boot on the mSATA.
=> Could you please describe the steps to setup Plop correctly in this case, as you finally have the exact same configuration as mine, even if we started from different original ones (HDD Vs mSATA).
Rem : there is another post, refering to yours, with detailed explanations : here
In the "edit" he describes how to setup Plop, but it does not work for me.
I have contacted Pepe999 but he has sold his PC...
Thanks for reading,

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HP Envy 6 mSATA SSD only boots when HDD is physically removed

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