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Windows 7: Windows stops booting in UEFI mode after adding another hard drive


17 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Windows stops booting in UEFI mode after adding another hard drive

This week, I encountered the following strange problem for which I haven't found a final solution so far, though I have found some bandaids. But having a complete solution -or at least a reason why this problem occurs- would be great:


I have a working installation of Windows 7 Professional x64 in UEFI mode. The main disk, SSD #1, contains the following partitions (using GPT): ESP, MSR, system, data. An additional disk, HD #2, with a single data partition (using MBR) is also attached to the system. With this setup, everything works fine.
Now, after adding another disk, HD #3, to the system -my old system disk (bootable, using MBR, one active primary partition and an extend partition with three logical disks)- Windows will no longer boots completely: The boot process begins, the Windows logo is shown. Then, a message is shown in text mode "Windows is loading files" with a loading bar. After a while the boot process stops and I am dropped into the EFI shell. After removing the offending HD #3, Windows boots normally again.

I tried removing HD #2 and only attaching HD #3 together with SSD #1, but this yielded the same problem. Using SSD #1 by itself works fine though. Booting from a Linux live-cd works without problems. All disks and partitions are found and can be mounted. There, I erased the disk signature from the offending HD #3 and now Windows was able to boot and also found all disks and partitions correctly. But after a reboot the same problem reappeared.

My current assumption is that after removing the disk signature, Windows no longer regards HD #3 during the boot process and only setups the disk after booting has finished. But as soon as it has a disk signature again, Windows includes HD #3 in the boot process and probably the partition ordering gets mixed up compared to what Windows expects.

So my question is, why does this boot problem occur and how can I fix it permanently (and will it happen for any new disk I attach to my system)?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

17 Aug 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Has HD#3 any active partitions?
What happens if you boot with HD#3 attached only?
How did you erase the disk signature? As far as I know you can only update it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Mark active partition on HD#3 as inactive and boot again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Aug 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaktussoft View Post
Has HD#3 any active partitions?
What happens if you boot with HD#3 attached only?
How did you erase the disk signature? As far as I know you can only update it
It has active partition ... I didn't read well ;-)
disk signature can't be a problem. Only a problem if you cloned from or to HD#3
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks for the advice. I will set the active partition to inactive and try again when I am back at home.

When I said that I erased the disk signature, I meant that I overwrote it with zeroes (using dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1 count=4 seek=440 conv=notrund). This prompts Windows to assign a new signature upon booting.

Booting with only HD #3 attached works (when I switch back to BIOS mode).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by shiin View Post
Thanks for the advice. I will set the active partition to inactive and try again when I am back at home.

When I said that I erased the disk signature, I meant that I overwrote it with zeroes (using dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1 count=4 seek=440 conv=notrund). This prompts Windows to assign a new signature upon booting.

Booting with only HD #3 attached works (when I switch back to BIOS mode).
Although I would reset disk signature in Windows 7 pe, the command looks fine. Is HD#3 really sdb? If you change HD#3 disk signature... its bcd menu is invalid and points to the old disksignature so it can't boot or boots to wrong drive. Even if you fix that (by doing startup repair)... the Windows 7 OS boots but can't find C because registry still points to old signature. Editing the MountedDevices Registry Key

It's not a disk signature problem I think
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #7

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Do you show a Windows Boot Manager, or a UEFI version of the UEFI install drive in the bios? If you set that first in boot order and save, it should just boot to the UEFI. To boot to a MBR install, it has to boot to the drive itself.

You might also try disabling that drive in the boot order list. And beyond that, some bioses can be set to boot only to UEFI....which is how mine is set up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

@Kaktussoft:
Removing the active flag from the boot partition of HD#3 didn't work. But in the EFI shell I saw that the second partition of SSD#1 (i.e. the MSR partition) was listed as blk8, meaning after all other partitions of all other hard drives. Maybe this is causes the problem?

@Saltgrass:
The correct boot loader is run (the one of Windows 7 residing in the ESP partition). But during the inital booting procedure, Windows has problems with the additionally attached drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #9

Windows 7 x64
 
 

How about attaching a snipping tool picture of your disk management graphical presentation using the paperclip. Expand it to see at least some of the info on the partitions.

Any chance the additional Hard Drive is having problems and causing out of the normal behavior?

How are you even seeing the MSR partition? It is not visible in Disk Management. The EFI (100mb) is visible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I did some additional tests with an empty hard disk instead of HD#3:
As soon as there is an extended partition on the disk, Windows was no longer able to boot correctly. Two primary partitions works fine, but one primary partition and one extended partition containing one logical disk didn't.

@Saltgrass:
The MSR partition can be seen using diskpart in a command prompt; in the EFI shell of the mainboard or when booting a linux DVD and using the appropriate commands or tools (e.g. gparted).

Using the additional hard disk on its own works fine. By attaching it to another PC that does not UEFI, I can boot without problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows stops booting in UEFI mode after adding another hard drive




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