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Windows 7: Win 7 doesn't boot with certain hdds after a Win 8 installation.

28 Feb 2015   #1
smax0r

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Win 7 doesn't boot with certain hdds after a Win 8 installation.

Hey guys!

First time post here.

This a crosspost of my question from a few other support forums. Sorry, I couldn't find a "spoiler" bb tag so the post is uncut. Please point me to a correct one for future posts.

Generally I try to resolve my computer issues on my with my trusty friend Google, however after a few days of multiple hour web searches I think I’ve finally reached my limit and decided to actually ask for help.

Please bear with me as here are the problem variables:

I have an old Core 2 Duo rig with four hard drives and one SSD on which a Windows 7 installation resides. The other disks are for storage. A few days ago I decided(a decision that was made because I was having these ridiculous dpc latency issues with Win 7, but that’s another story for another day) to take Windows 8 for a spin so I took an old 120 gig hard drive of mine and installed the system onto the said drive. Before doing so, however, I’ve disconnected my SSD(Win 7) and two of my storage hard drives so as not to screw up any files on them or erase them completely during the installation which has been known to happen to me during the XP days where the drive names were long and convoluted during the installation screen and it was difficult to tell them apart. So, basically, I have two storage drives that are connected to the computer and two that are offline. During the first startup Windows 8 tells me that it “Optimizes some things” to improve some other things etc. etc…

So in a few hours I finish playing with Win 8 and decide to boot Win 7. I completely disconnect the hard drive with Win 8, connect my Win 7 SSD and power up. After the POST Windows 7 does not boot-black screen and the hard drives are being accessed like mad-the LEDs on the front are blinking.

Basically, Windows 7 boots perfectly on my GF’s computer, it boots on my computer without all of my storage hard drives connected and it boots with the two storages hard drives that were disconnected during the short Windows 8 installation and operation session. When I boot with either of the hard drives that were connected while Win 8 was heading the show I get a black boot screen. In the latter configuration I’ve tried booting normally, running the startup repair(which is kinda redundant since everything boots perfectly, just without those two rogue hard drives), booting in safe mode and booting in 640x480 mode-all with the same result or, should I say, a lack thereof.

So my two questions to you, gentlemen, are: what has Windows 8 done to the two of my storage hard drives that stands in the way of Windows 7 booting and how do I revert what has been done?

I am not very well versed in the modern operating systems since I am a pathological clinger-oner and have been using an XP installation forever until last summer when it completely crashed and died on me. Some of my acquaintances suggest that Win 8 changes the computer’s connected HD types from MBR to GPT and that THAT might be an issue here (although why would it since I’ve read that Win 7 is perfectly capable of working with GPT hard drives?), but since technologically I am firmly stuck in the late nineties-early 2k years I wouldn’t know about such things.

Thank you in advance and I appreciate your help very much!

Max


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Feb 2015   #2
JohnPC

Triple Boot - Win 7 x64 Ultimate x2 + WinXP-mce x1
 
 

Hello,
I haven't messed with Win8 yet, but my latest install of Win7 was with uefi system on GPT drives. There's a good tutorial here on installing OS's on GPT. I think you should be able to boot into your chosen system by accessing the boot menu (F11?) at start-up. You may need to get into your BIOS/UEFI settings (Del key?) to tinker with Legacy boot options and/or boot preferences / hd sequences.

My challenge was that I wanted a triple boot system with one OS on GPT and 2 OSs on MBR (regular-old BIOS) on the same system. Most people discourge it because GPT drives are made unique (?) by the new uefi capable OSs....still don't fully understand that yet.

Anyhow, I got around it by doing what you described, disconnecting drives / reconnecting drives for installations. My main boot drive is a SSD GPT drive with Win7 (main.) Though the uefi boot menu (F11,) I was able to identify my spinner HDD with my other OS7 (emergency) & WinXP-mce partitions, both of which are on a MBR drive. I used EasyBCD to make a boot menu for these two while in Win7 (emergency) that allows me to access them once I hit F11 in the uefi boot menu.

I did manage to mess up my mbr boot.ini files when I mistakenly ran the Win7 repair utility, but I simply restored and repaired using Paragon HDM and things were back to normal.
Regards-
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #3
smax0r

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thank you, but that doesn't quite answer my question. It's probably because I forgot to mention one thing: once I've tinkered with Windows 8 I physically removed the hard drive(spare hard drive number 6, if you will) where it was installed from my system. As of now there is no dual boot situation happening at all.

I, basically, have returned to my previous setup with having a Win 7 SSD with 4 storage drives. And now Windows 7 completely refuses to boot with two of those drives(which I suspect Win 8 has tampered with) connected. If I unplug these two and leave the other two connected-the system boots swimmingly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Feb 2015   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I think your friends are right - it is a GPT problem. This can help:

How to Convert GPT to MBR or Convert MBR to GPT without Losing Data?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #5
smax0r

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I think your friends are right - it is a GPT problem. This can help:

How to Convert GPT to MBR or Convert MBR to GPT without Losing Data?
I will definitely have a look, but could you please tell me: what does Win 8 do to the other hard drives it sees on the computer? Does it convert them to GPT automatically?

These problematic hard drives that I'm talking about actually were formatted back when I used XP as my main operating system, so they must have been using a MBR. Then I've switched to Win 7, but that system left them as they were. And now, along comes Win 8 and just switches them to GPT for "speed up, optimization" purposes and what not. Is that correct?

I'm just really curious is all
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Why don't you check in Windows 8.1 disk management. Then you know what they are.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #7
smax0r

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Why don't you check in Windows 8.1 disk management. Then you know what they are.
Okay, I've used diskpart to view my hard drives and none of them are marked as GPT.

Also, startup repair could not detect any problems.

Still, Win 7 refuses to boot with those two drives hooked up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

This is strange. At least the disk where you installed 8.1 should be GPT. Please check again the way I explain in the picture.


Attached Thumbnails
Win 7 doesn't boot with certain hdds after a Win 8 installation.-2015-02-28_2139.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #9
smax0r

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
This is strange. At least the disk where you installed 8.1 should be GPT. Please check again the way I explain in the picture.
Look, the thing is I'm not using Windows 8 because, well, it crashed too. Whenever I try to boot from that hard drive it just tells me that NTLDR is missing. It's just out of the picture. I got this information by using the windows 7 system recovery diskpart utility. It says that neither one of my hard drives have the GPT flag when issuing a "list disk" command.

As a matter of fact, my problem can be described even more fully when taking THIS(On boot, horizontal blue lines. No startup.) thread into account. I have the exact same symptoms, however these colored lines don't appear when the two problematic hds are not connected.

I HAVE had the teal lines the guy is referring to, but after they display for a short time the logon screen came on and everything was fine. Now, during boot, these lines appear and then additional color lines appear(like a glitch in DOS) and finally the HDD indicator starts going crazy and that's basically it-this state goes on forever until you turn the computer off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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