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Windows 7: Windows 7 Ultimate x64 won't boot without DVD in drive


22 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 won't boot without DVD in drive

I recently did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate x64
(OEM version) on a new hard disk. Installation seemed
to go normally, no obvious errors. Activation seemed to
go normally, no obvious errors.
My hardware is all brand new, and greatly exceeds the
requirements for installing this OS. HD is a Seagate
Barracuda SATA, 1 terrabyte.
The problem is that now the OS won't boot without the
installation media (DVD) in the optical drive. I find this
unacceptable.
I have read many, many posts about this problem, and
tried many, many, many proposed solutions:
- change boot sequence in BIOS (this shouldn't matter,
but I tried it anyway, and it doesn't help)
- boot from DVD and use "repair" command on installation
screen (tried numerous times to no avail)
- boot from DVD and use "command prompt" command
on installation screen, then type various things:
- chkdsk /r
- bootsect command
- various bcd commands
- various diskpart commands
- boot from gparted CD-ROM, set disk to active/bootable.
Nothing seems to help,
The OS works perfectly once it has booted.
I am confident that this is not a HD problem.
My instinct tells me that it has to do with something that
is supposed to be in the boot sector that's not, or that is
in the boot sector that's not supposed to be, or some
formatting problem or some cache.
Is there a way to clone the partition to a disk that boots
normally? I'm really hoping not to start all over again.
Does anyone have any ideas about how to solve this?
Thanks in advance,
Tom


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 May 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Hi Tom -

Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Mgmt drive map with listings so we can look it over and advise you better.

This often happens because the installer fails to mark the install partition or its 100mb System Reserved partition Active when causes the boot loader to rely on the disk to boot the OS. So that's the first thing we look for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Here is a screenshot of the maximized
Disk Management window. It shows a
second drive, which is identical, but
it is not (or at least should not be)
relevant to this problem. It is totally
blank and I connected after I had
this problem. I got it because I was
toying with the idea of setting up
RAID 0 (for speed) or 1 (for security)
or just starting over.
Thanks in advance for any tips.
Tom


Attached Thumbnails
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 won't boot without DVD in drive-thomasheddenwindows7diskmgmtdrivemap.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


22 May 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Check for newer BIOS update, particularly for larger 1tb+ HD's.

Unplug all other HD"s and peripherals.

Check in BIOS that HD is set first to boot, then trigger the Windows 7 DVD or Repair Disk using the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key at boot to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Windows 7 starts on its own.

If this fails shrink the Windows 7 partiiton to a few hundred GB to try repairs again. Have you had a self-booting Windows 7 HD of this size using this hardware before?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I haven't had a chance to try all the things that you are suggesting,
but I will tomorrow morning. (East coast here. Yawn.)
> Have you had a self-booting Windows 7 HD of this size using this
> hardware before?
Not the same MoBo. But my kids' computer has an Asus Mobo that
is similar but not quite as bleeding edge, and it has a HD of the
same size (1 TB) running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I the usual
difficulties with drivers, etc., at first, but never this problem.
However, for my kids' computer I used a different version of Windows 7.
I built my kids' system using a retail box of Windows 7 Ultimate
(also x64). For my own computer I used an OEM version. I am
pretty sure that the OEM copy is genuine.
I first installed this copy of Windows 7 OEM (the one I'm having
a problem with) as a virtual machine on a 64-bit Linux computer,
and I had the same problem of needing to have the DVD in the
optical drive in order for it to boot. But it always whined at me
to put in the DVD, and I interpreted this as a problem with the
virtual machine manager. I was very dissatisfied with the whole
virtual machine experience: no sound, problems with keyboard
shortcuts (preempted by main OS), etc., so I decided to get a
whole new computer to run Windows 7 instead of running it as
a VM. Now, I don't get any error messages: the screen goes
black and the cursor blinks on the left edge, about 1-2 lines
down from the top.
I'll try your other suggestions tomorrow morning.
Thanks for your replies.
Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Seems you are unsure you have a Geniune copy of Windows 7. Did you pay a lot less than retail as this is a strong clue?

To test this download the official Windows 7 installer ISO with SP1 for your licensed version to install a known-good copy of the OS to activate with the Product Key you bought.

Same as here: Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

If it fails activation or flags non-Geniune buy another key to install. Buy.com has Home Premium Family 3 pack Upgrade for $125 right now. You'll need to have qualifying XP or Vista for each machine or a retail copy of either on hand though it doesn't need to be installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

> Seems you are unsure you have a Geniune copy of Windows 7.
> Did you pay a lot less than retail as this is a strong clue?
I really don't think that that is the problem.
Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

It could explain why it requires the disk to boot. It may have been tampered with.

If the steps I gave you don't install the boot manager then try the official installer.

You have a Product Key, correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

> It could explain why it requires the disk to boot. It may have been tampered with.
> If the steps I gave you don't install the boot manager then try the official installer.
> You have a Product Key, correct?
Of course. I have the COA, the whole nine yards. Everything went fine during
installation and activation. I am fairly certain that the copy is genuine. I can't say
100%, just as I can't be 100% sure that a $100 bill is genuine, because I'm not
an expert. But I don't think that that is the problem.
I'll try the things you suggested tomorrow morning.
Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I got it working!

I flashed the BIOS as you suggested, shut down, and rebooted
without the DVD in the drive, and now it boots normally from
the HD. I did not bother unplugging the other HD or any peripherals.

For the record, here are the details of my configuration:
Motherboard: ASUS M5A88-V EVO
former BIOS version: 0801 9/20/2011
replaced by: 1202 3/30/2012

The only other thing that I did was to run Setup when the
computer was booting, to check the CMOS settings which
(I believe) are cleared when the BIOS is flashed, and I
disabled Quick Boot. I wonder whether that might have had
something to do with it. Perhaps some changes had been
made in the HW that the system was not become aware of,
and it didn't find what it was expecting.

In any case, it works now, and I consider the matter solved.
It appears to have been something like a firmware problem.

Thanks for your help, gregrocker! Enjoy the weather down
there. Our family was down there for April vacation.

Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 won't boot without DVD in drive




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