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Windows 7: Installation SSD

03 Jun 2012   #31
Kylezo

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Ok, ran startup repair 6 times on HDD...no joy. What the hell is going on, if I can boot into the SSD when the HDD is plugged in, or either one with DVDs, but none of them by themselves? If I can boot into the SSD with the HDD there HAS to be a way to fix it...and I'm not clean installing...it will take me longer to reinstall all my applications than all the time I'd save in 10 years using an SSD. There's got to be something I can do if the HDD will allow me to boot the SSD...right? I'm not sure what to do next. I guess I'll find an image DiXML image from the other day and put that back on the HDD...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jun 2012   #32
Kylezo

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

My image restore from the DiXML backup failed spectacularly, and I have no idea why. It took a very long time because the image was stored on a separate partition on the same drive, but when I tried to boot up it froze on the GUI "windows" animation boot screen, and restarted. I ran a startup repair on it with a result of "windows cannot repair this problem automatically" and when I got back into my OS using the copy on the SSD, I noticed that WinRE had actually removed the letter assigned to the HDD OS partition. I'm not really sure what to do next - that backup image appears to be extremely unreliable and it really shouldn't be. I'm going to move it to an external drive, as I imagine the problem could be related to the image being on the same physical disk (I'm quite sure that's why the restore took so long in any case).

Until I can get the restore sorted out, Paragon is out of the question. What's really odd is that, even totally hosed, the HDD still allows the SSD to boot if I don't have a boot CD in the drive. The bottom line here is that something between the boot prompt from the DVD/CD and the actual OS booting up is where the problem is. I know it's got to be the MBR or boot files or something, but rebuilding the MBR didn't work. Unfortunately, Paragon doesn't store images anywhere, so the only clean image I have is somehow corrupted, and since it's not working on the HDD I'm loathe to try it on the SSD. My only other option is to wipe the SSD from shift + F10 diskpart in WinRE, put in a recovery boot environment disk like Bart PE or something, and restore the DiXML image to the SSD after wiping it. But if the image didn't work on the HDD, why should it work on the SSD? The boot files are all stored in the image as well, yes? So how is it not working...?

I've got an Acronis image as well, so I'll try to put that on the old HDD OS partition next. Gee, I've only been working on this for...about 12 hours now. It's so simple, a child could do it...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #33
Kylezo

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

The Acronis image proved workable..but now I'm just kind of back to where I was. I can boot from the HDD using a bootable CD/DVD (still have no idea why/how this works) but when I boot up without it, I get the same boot media error. If I insert a bootable CD/DVD when I have the error prompt, it takes me to a failed to start error screen: winload.exe application is missing or corrupt (0xc000000e). Gonna use startup repair for the 900th time, I'm positive it will start doing something someday...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jun 2012   #34
gregrocker

 

Did you wipe the SSD first with Diskpart to overwrite the boot sector code? This is an unusual enough issue I'd also contact tech support for the SSD (included for first year) to see if the issue is known to them, and to have them help confirm the chip's integrity so you're set for RMA if necessary.

You can always give another partition including OS a letter in Disk Mgmt so it can be seen in Explorer: Drive Letter - Add, Change, or Remove in Windows 7 - Windows 7 Forums

Your concern about reinstalling a 30gb OS installation makes me wonder if this OS or image isn't corrupt if it's been hoarded too long. Win7 is extremely easy to reinstall when necessary to overcome apparent corruption such as this. It takes 20 minutes then after less than an hour's Updates (including needed drivers) you can pace Program reinstalls over time as needed to watch how they affect performance better. You also have the support here of the recognized top experts in the field on Reinstalls.

In your case even doing a quick reinstall to only the wiped SSD would at least tell you if that will allow it to boot independently. If not I'd RMA it - if so you can build out the install over time as shown in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #35
Kylezo

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Well, you've been grand, and indeed I most likely will just drop all hope of cloning and imaging, as it's not working and I've got some seriously fudged boot sectors not apparently. Mostly, at this point, I just want to solve the problem for curiosities' sake. I've gotta know how the drives can boot each other, but neither can boot alone without a CD...I love a good mystery. Beyond that...I'll probably just clean install. I've got a reference image so I know exactly where/what to do if I start fresh...I just really don't want to re tweak all the little things that aren't obvious in the file structure: all the little customizations here and there.

One thing I haven't tried is booting onto the HDD, and restoring the older images to the SSD (wiping first). I'll give that a shot next. Booting into the HDD should be simple enough if I unplug the SSD and plug it back in once I'm running in the OS.

edit: I wanted to add, after the Acronis image, I have 2 OS's to choose from - 2 Windows installs. WinRE represents them as my 80GB partition, and an [Unknown] 0GB partition. I don't know what to think about that...it certainly isn't showing up in any partition utility I've got.

Oh, and to answer your concern, it's not a very old installation - couple of months - the corruption is very clearly from this foray into cloning and repairing. That's what caused all this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #36
Kylezo

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Well, restored DiXML image to the SSD after wiping...got a "boot device is inaccessible" error, and in PW boot environment, I fixed MBR > no change. So I 'set partition as windows boot partition' > cannot find Windows directory. Explore the volume > everything looks totally normal, like a regular windows OS partition file structure.

WinRE Startup Repair: 1st go went fine, it restarted to "finish". I ran it again > Windows cannot repair this computer automatically. Problem Signature 05: ExternalMedia / Problem Signature 07: MissingOsLoader... So I ran bootrec.exe /fixmbr and /fixboot on it. I also ran /scanos and /rebuildbcd but it found 0 Windows installations. When I restarted, it got to the GUI boot screen, and then froze and restarted. So I went back into WinRE and re-ran startup repair > found and fixed 'unspecified changes to system configuration'. I'm now looking at a "Windows 7 Home Premium (Recovered)" installation and running startup repair a few more times.

It's fine if boot sectors are corrupted, or whatever. What puzzles me is, why aren't my images working even after cleaning with diskpart? And if this is a hardware problem, I'm sorry, but it's quite far fetched to think that both the new drive and the old one failed at the same exact time. I swear something else is going on here...it's just beyond my level of knowledge

Anyways, after running startup repair a few more times, the boot sequence continues to fail on the boot GUI animation screen. Plugged back in the HDD and, while I still have 2 Windows installations on this disk somehow, one of them erroring out, the other still boots. So I'll wipe the SSD again and try the Acronis image on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #37
Kylezo

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Acronis image > /scanos = 0 installs found > startup repair = cannot repair automatically / boot prompt shows 2 windows installs > first one = winload.exe missing or corrupt > second one boots fine WITH CD/DVD help. So, somehow both my images are not working even though I created them before I had any issues. Which makes zero sense. Now I'm gonna boot onto the HDD, wipe the SSD, and clean install on there (ugh). Just to see if it's even POSSIBLE anymore for me to boot my computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #38
Kylezo

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

There's no point in RMAing this drive if the same problem is also affecting the HDD. Obviously, the problem is independent of the hardware.

I clean installed from the DVD onto the wiped SSD (cleaned with diskpart). Booted into Windows fine. I removed the DVD and restarted - Bam - boot media error.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #39
Kylezo

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Well.

I feel like an idiot, but I think I figured the problem out: AHCI turned on in BIOS for that SSD. I think my images were made before I installed AHCI drivers or something. As a last ditch, I turned IDE on and removed the DVD - booted normally. Now there is hope for me to get the images working on the SSD. I'm gonna go read up on PROPERLY configuing AHCI now.

Let this be a lesson to you, internet - be a bit more careful and meticulous when making major system changes. BIOS settings are quite independent of OS disk images.... >.>

Had I turned on a verbose boot mode, I'm quite sure I would have seen the freeze and restart on the GUI boot screen happen during a storage driver loading. In any case, I'm quite sure I've earned a few new grey hairs and I'm not proud. Gonna try to get this sorted out once and for all now...

The strange thing is, I'm quite sure I made the switch to AHCI correctly - made my registry changes, rebooted, changed BIOS settings, and installed drivers automatically. I think the problem came in when I started restoring images that didn't have AHCI drivers in them. At least, in IDE mode, I can get up and running before switching up to AHCI.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2012   #40
gregrocker

 

Glad you got it figured out. Here's how to change to AHCI once you're running in IDE:

Change IDE to AHCI in BIOS - Much better performance - Windows 7 Forums
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