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Windows 7: Windows is not installed on the drive from which it boots!?

29 Nov 2011   #11
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

If they allowed/supported puting boot files on any drive, think about how complex the drive/os selection would be at boot time.

I mean it may be handy for master ninja power users, but in reality it would be way overkill for the other 99.99999%

At least your /allowed/ to install OSes on other hard drives which does come in handy... It could easily be much worse...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2011   #12
cavuplo

Win7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

It sure allows to install the OS wherever you want (otherwise that would be ridiculous), but why doesn't it allow to choose where to install boot files, or at least specify "on the same drive as OS installation"?

I did not see dialog box letting me (the user) know where these crucial files were written to! I find this somewhat shady and not user-friendly at all. That's a lack of transparency, which I qualify as a problem or a poor design decision.

Am I wrong? Or did I misunderstood you there?
I have never had any problems with Linux installations for example, even with dual booting windows (not trying to demonstrate anything there).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #13
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Gah...

[Edit] Or maybe I misinterpreted your post? [/edit]
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2011   #14
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cavuplo View Post
It sure allows to install the OS wherever you want (otherwise that would be ridiculous), but why doesn't it allow to choose where to install boot files, or at least specify "on the same drive as OS installation"?

I did not see dialog box letting me (the user) know where these crucial files were written to! I find this somewhat shady and not user-friendly at all. That's a lack of transparency, which I qualify as a problem or a poor design decision.

Am I wrong? Or did I misunderstood you there?
I have never had any problems with Linux installations for example, even with dual booting windows (not trying to demonstrate anything there).
You are probably right. The way the installer acts is very confusing and the 100MB active partition is also something that a lot of people wrestle with. But that's the way it is.

Therefore it is best to install with only one hard disk connected and to a prefefined active primary partition. That way you can trick the installer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #15
gregrocker

 

Follow these steps to recover System Active boot files to Win7 partition on Disk1.

Boot into System Recovery Options, open a Command Line, use Diskpart to mark Win7 partition Active and H partition Inactive: Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)

Next power down to unplug Disk0 so it cannot interfere with repairs. Normally you would swap its cable to Disk1 so that Win7 partition is now on Disk0 but this may not be possible since one is IDE and the other SATA.

Now boot back into DVD or Repair CD to run Startup Repair up to 3 Separate Times with reboots to write the System boot files to the Active partition until it starts on its own.

You can also mark Active/Inactive with a picture of your HD using free Partition Wizard bootable CD, then click on HD to highlight it, from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR, Apply, reboot. This may preclude the need to run Repairs.

As long as no other partition gets marked Active, further repairs to Win7 should not derail the System boot files again. It's always best however to have Win7 on Disk0 which can be assured by unplugging all other HD's during install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2011   #16
cavuplo

Win7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Here is what I did (added this to my first post for future reference):
* I disconnected my IDE cable.
* Reboot then set my USB key as HDD to boot on
* Started windows 7 installation process which immediately found the error and started fixing it, then ask for reboot.
* Second reboot, then second repair which I had to select in the recovery environment menu this time. Error got fixed again.
* Reconnected my IDE HDD.
* Re-set my usual boot configuration in BIOS (first drive being my SATA holding C:/, second drive being my IDE holding H:/ )
* Works fine!

All in all I only did two startup repairs. Yesterday I accidentally marked C: partition as active, perhaps this why it works already (I'm almost sure it wasn't Active until I took the screenshot yesterday). By the way I have just set H: as inactive as explained here. (thank you gregrocker)

My problem is now gone. I could not find anything that would allow me to set Disk1 as Disk0, so it still is the same configuration as before, only now my boot files (bootmgr and all that) are now on C:/ on Disk1. See below. It still Disk1. Oh well.


Note: nevermind the multiboot drive, it's my USB key where the Win7 dvd is. Also H: is now Inactive.

Thanks for your help folks, it wasn't a big issue but I hope this thread will prove useful to other users in the future.


PS: bonus weirdness.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2011   #17
gregrocker

 

Be sure to mark H Inactive as listed in the steps I gave you. You can now do this using Diskpart from an Elevated Command Prompt.

This will help prevent Repair from rewriting System files to the first partition marked Active as it will do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows is not installed on the drive from which it boots!?




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