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Windows 7: Windows 7 installation set external HDD as Active (and other problems)


26 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Windows 7 installation set external HDD as Active (and other problems)

So the first time I installed Windows 7 I left my 1TB eSATA external HDD (K: ) connected, even though it wasn't even being detected due to no drivers installed yet. AHCI was set in BIOS for both SATA and eSATA.

I installed Windows 7 to a 90GB C:\ partition of an internal 640GB HDD . After the installation was done I removed the disk and used my PC as normal. After the next reboot it kept saying no disk in CD/DVD drive and wouldn't boot past that. I made sure in BIOS that the Boot priority was the HDD in which I installed the OS, but still no go.

What happened:
I did have the Windows folder in drive C:\, but I noticed that the external HDD was now Active and inside it had the following hidden system files: Boot folder, bootmgr, BOOTSECT.BAK.

I disconnected the external HDD and reinstalled Windows 7 to C:\. Didn't have problems this time.

However I am getting erratic behavior in my external HDD that I didn't have with Vista. I'm unsure if what happened during Windows 7 installation is the reason for it, but normally 10 minutes after the ext HDD has been idle it goes to sleep (WD My Book). But since lately it has just started doing 2-3 second freezes in my PC after said time has passed, before shutting itself down. From then on onwards I'll keep having these freezes periodically and I can't soft-reboot or shutdown.

In Event Viewer several of these appear:
Code:
The driver for device  \Device\Scsi\JRAID detected a port timeout due to prolonged inactivity.  All associated busses were reset in an effort to clear the condition.
I decided to delete all the boot-related files from my ext HDD and used DISKPART to remove the "Active" flag. Didn't seem to help, however, so I'm wondering if it's a driver+Windows 7 incompatibility (which is strange considering I'm using the same driver that worked correctly in Vista).

I'm using specific JMicron drivers that made the HDD work as it should in Vista (waking up if I opened it after it was sleeping, instead of disconnecting itself), so why wouldn't it work in Windows 7 as well? Or is this some other problem related to the first Windows 7 installation? Might I add that it doesn't seem to happen all the time. Sometimes it does go to sleep and wakes up correctly in Windows 7, without doing freezes or giving JRAID events.

I've decided to boot into Windows 7 Repair/Recovery console and run a chkdsk. Strangely enough it now says C: is X: and K: (ext. HDD) is now C:? Why is the external HDD being read as C: in the Recovery console? I have a 2nd internal HDD and it's kept its original drive letter (E: ).

How did the Windows 7 installation even decide to set the external HDD as Active and create bootmgr files if I told it to install to a partition in the 640GB internal HDD??

Could it be a problem related to the MBR in external HDD or something?

Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Jun 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

You should never install the OS with an external drive attached. You're probably going to need to do this again, because windows put it's boot files on the external drive.
For future reference it's recommended that you not have any extra devices attached when installing. (keyboard and mouse only) I have even seen a number of guides that suggest pulling ram over 2 gigs.
You could repair the bootmgr for this but I'm guessing the log errors would continue even if you managed to repair the startup with startup repair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Do what again exactly?

I did reinstall Windows 7 with the external HDD unattached. Also removed the "Active" flag from it. That helped in being able to boot correctly, but have the strange JRAID timeout behavior sometimes when it's about to go to sleep.

Think I should reformat and install Vista instead, just to make sure the ext HDD problems aren't somehow being caused by Windows 7 incompatibilities?

Was also thinking of reformatting the ext. HDD, but I'm afraid I don't have enough space in other drives to make a backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


26 Jun 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Well now that it has the boot records on it, it's probably giving it issue being detected properly, the problem will probably extend to vista.
Also see here.
Removing Win7 Bootmgr
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

1) Copy & Paste the Boot files on the Ext Hdd to the OS drive.reboot.
2) remove Ext Hdd.
3) Boot up.
4) Do a startup repair.
Startup Repair
Note: You may need to do startup repair 3 to 4 times.
Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

But I no longer have bootmgr or related files in the ext HDD as I deleted them. Only the C:\ drive has them, as it should. Don't you mean I should fix the MBR of the ext HDD or something?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kusuri View Post
But I no longer have bootmgr or related files in the ext HDD as I deleted them. Only the C:\ drive has them, as it should. Don't you mean I should fix the MBR of the ext HDD or something?
Just go to Step 2.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #9

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Kusuri,

Was you previous install where the drive worked on a 32 bit system?

32 bit drivers won't work on a 64 bit system.

If you have installed 64 bit drivers and the 64 bit drivers are for Win 7 then the drivers should be ok, but I suspect that the driver itself is the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #10

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Both Vista I had and 7 are 64 bit.

Ok I'll try startup repair with ext HDD disconnected, but note I have no problems in the actual startup at the moment, just problems while using my PC with the ext HDD causing freezes when going to sleep and JRAID timout error events.

And will also try the MBR fix program, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 installation set external HDD as Active (and other problems)




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