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Windows 7: Win7 won't boot after install w/o DVD using 2 HDD's


28 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Win7 won't boot after install w/o DVD using 2 HDD's

So, I have an interesting problem with installing Win 7 from XP. I'm doing a full install over the old XP drive.

I have an unusual hardware configuration. I have 2 HDD's, one is SATA, and the other is on a legacy IDE. The SATA drive is a WD Raptor which I use for the OS and the IDE is a slower, larger drive I use for storing data. Additionally, the IDE drive is the Slave on the IDE chain. In XP, this worked great, because the system would boot to the SATA drive and I could use both drives.

When I went to install 7, both drives appear in the list, but their letter names were reversed: the OS drive was listed as "D" and the data drive was listed as "C". I didn't think much of it until later. I installed on "D" which was the SATA drive. After install, I noticed that my IDE drive wasn't listed in file explorer. So I opened the Disk Manager and found that both drives were listed, but only the install disk was active. However, the IDE drive was Disk 0, and the SATA drive was Disk 1 and labeled "C:". I activated the IDE drive and it became "E:" (the DVD-ROM was already "D:"). I attempted to reboot and got an error "BOOTMGR is missing". If I put in the Win 7 install DVD it will boot to the SATA drive.

I read some of the other threads here and attempted fixes using "bootrec.exe" to no avail. I finally decided to reinstall again on the SATA drive. Again, 7 listed the SATA drive as Disk 1/"C:", and the IDE drive as Disk 0/(no letter). This time, I didn't activate the IDE drive and tried to reboot. New message "No system disk...". Put in the Win 7 DVD and it boots to the SATA drive.

My current theory is that Windows 7 is getting confused about the drive ordering when creating the boot sector on the drives. I ran out of time last night, but I thought I would unplug the IDE drive and do a fresh install on the SATA drive, then plug in the IDE drive after things were booting normally.

I did check the BIOS settings, and the SATA drive is listed first in the boot order.

ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe
AMD 4200+ CPU
OCZ 4GB RAM
(IDE) Hitachi 320GB
(SATA) WD Raptor 120GB
nVidia 7600GT

Can someone offer some advice on how to solve this so I don't need the Win 7 DVD in all the time?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 Oct 2009   #2

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Try setting the IDE drive to be the boot drive in bios. You may boot right into 7. If not, run a startup repair.

Startup Repair

You want method two of booting to System Recovery Options screen.

If those options fail - "I ran out of time last night, but I thought I would unplug the IDE drive and do a fresh install on the SATA drive, then plug in the IDE drive after things were booting normally." - guaranteed success.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7
 
 

@torrentg - I forgot to mention that I had already tried the Startup Repair with the install disk and it changed nothing. In fact, it reported no problems.

It sounds like I'll have to try plan B: installing on the SATA drive with the IDE drive unplugged. Thanks for the quick reply!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


28 Oct 2009   #4

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Cool. But did you try to boot to the IDE drive already?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #5

Windows 7
 
 

No, I haven't. My computer is at home, and I'm sadly still at work. I'll give that a shot first since it involves the least amount of work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #6

Windows 7
 
 

OK, I changed the BIOS setting to use the IDE drive first. My system booted right into Windows 7.

My worry is that this means that the master boot record (?) is on the IDE drive and that if I ever decide to remove it, I won't be able to boot my system any more. Should I just go ahead with plan B and reinstall with the IDE drive disconnected and the "correct" boot order in the BIOS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 7
 
 

I tested my theory by disconnecting the IDE drive. It wouldn't boot any more ("No system disk..."). I decided to go ahead and reinstall to the SATA drive solo. The installer gave it a new system partition in the process. Installed and booted fine. I shut down, reconnected the IDE drive and then booted again. No problems booting and I can see the other drive. Strangely enough, the disk order is still backwards, but the SATA drive is listed as Disk 1 / "C:" and has the System partition. The IDE is Disk 0 / "E:". At least the right drive has the MBR now.

Consider this one solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #8

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dan Bailiff View Post
OK, I changed the BIOS setting to use the IDE drive first. My system booted right into Windows 7.
I knew it would. We could have easily moved the boot files to the SATA drive without further effort. In any case, very glad this is resolved for you!

Wanna know something curious? In certain circumstances, Windows installs the boot files to a usb stick. lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win7 won't boot after install w/o DVD using 2 HDD's




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