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Windows 7: 3 Sequential Boot Crashes, now have Windows installed on 3 HDDs

11 Nov 2014   #11
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks, Shimshom- not being an "IT professional" but just a moderately computer-literate gamer, I have a couple of questions:

I won't worry about "what is 'slipstreaming'" since, apparently, I can just forget "slipstreaming the updates into [something or other]" and just update Windows normally.

Your response says to boot to windows using "my installation media..." Is that the OEM Windows 7 disk or the iso-containing bootable DvD I just created using the clean install guide? Either could be called "installation media" I think, and I have no idea which of them you mean.

Also, I read somewhere that there are particular requirements for Intel Smart Response to use a SSD as HDD cache, but I'm not sure how those requirements impact your advice here... I remember that the SATA controller(s) have to be configured a certain way, and once you install Windows it's too late to change if you don't get it right before installing Windows. I think it has to do with RAID configuration, but not sure if it applies if I do NOT want to run my 2 HDDs in any actual RAID mode due to the risk of exactly what happened to me: one glitch and you lose everything. I prefer to run my 2TB drive SSD-cached, and just use my 1TB drive as a backup disk. Any clues on how to configure all that while at the same time fixing the non-booting problem, partitions, etc.?

Thanks again for your help. It's almost 7:00 AM here so I suspect you may have retired for the night, Down Under. Cheers!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2014   #12
gregrocker

 

As stated Win7 was installed to the SSD yet the System boot files are on the System Reserved partition, as signified by the System label showing which is booting the OS and Active flag pointing to intended boot partition.

If you're going to change the mobo it cannot be expected that Win7 will boot with that major of a hardware change unless you first Adjust Win7 to boot on new hardware with Paragon Adaptive Restore CD. You may still be able to boot it if you're satisfied with that install by following the steps in the blue link with all other HD's unplugged, by pulling their data cable from the drive.

Otherwise from the present temporary SSD install I'd move any data not already backed up to the 1tb, power down to unplug all but the 2tb, then Clean Install Windows 7 deleting all partitions during install using the Drive Options in Steps 7/8 to Delete, create New and format - or just click Next to let the installer do it for you after deleting all partitions.

After install you can delete the SSD partition in Disk Mgmt to create and format new partition for your cache file. I have not heard of this method to create a cache but this may help: How to Set Up Intel Smart Response SSD Caching Technology | PCWorld

Once you have all of your files copied onto the 2tb I would wipe the 1tb of all code using Diskpart Clean Command to assure old boot code never interferes, then repartition in Disk Mgmt for your storage needs including a backup image so you don't need to reinstall again.

At all times be sure that the 2tb remains set as first HD to boot in BIOS setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2014   #13
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks for all the help. I was able to successfully re-install Windows on my 2TB drive, then reconnect and clean my SSD. Unfortunately, despite following the steps one by one as given in the linked Clean Install tutorial, the 2TB drive still has a 100MB System Reserved partition, and there does not seem to be anything possible that I can do to enable Intel Smart Response technology- I have spent 9 hours now online, reading, researching Intel Rapid Storage and Intel Smart Response, to no avail. It worked great until the system crashed, now I can't make it work at all, including deleting the SSD partition, formatting it, deleting it again... every website seems to have a different strategy, and Intel pretends nothing could ever go wrong so they don't address the issues at all.

Here's another screenie of my Disk Management window in case anyone has any ideas.
3 Sequential Boot Crashes, now have Windows installed on 3 HDDs-diskmanagementscreen.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Nov 2014   #14
Shimshom

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You made a right royal mess of it all but not to worry since you have your data backed up no harm done just more experience gained. So here is an idea that should make your life simpler and still have fast computer just buy another SSD maybe 128 or 256GB if you can then install Windows on it using AHCI or RAID mode and again only have this drive connected while installing make sure it's optimized and then connect the other SSD, format it as ntfs and use it for the Pagefile and to move user folders into it such as Music Pictures etc. Then connect your 2TB format it and use it as the storage drive. It always surprises people how much faster the SSD drives are and it seems a lot less of mucking around and hours of searching for no result (At least so far) and I'm sure you have better things to do than spend days and weeks chasing it unless of course it's what you like doing. Otherwise wait for a more qualified person here to suggest other ways to fix it if your Windows installation is otherwise OK. Oh the 100MB partition is supposed to be there so leave it alone
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2014   #15
gregrocker

 

It would be expected that the installer would issue the 100mb System Reserved partition as explained in Clean Install Windows 7 which is perfectly normal and not at all undesirable.

The SSD is not formatted in the screenshot. Did you try the steps in ▶ How to Set Up Intel Smart Response SSD Caching Technology | PCWorld to RAID the SSD with the HD?

If nothing else works you can either move the paging file to the SSD to test performance that way: Virtual Memory Paging File - Change - Vista Forums

or install the OS and primary programs to the SSD, move the User folders to the HDD User Folders - Change Default Location

Then if you still need to conserve space set the paging file to 2gb only, install lesser-used programs to the HD. 60gb is rather small for an OS drive, but we've helped users install to the 32gb SSD chip on an MSATA drive before so we know it is doable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2014   #16
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Yes, I followed the PC World setup steps. The SSD was formatted for my first few tries, then I cleaned it and deleted the partition for my final attempt. I do not want to install the OS on the SSD, that's where I was earlier. I want the SSD to use Intel RST/SRT and cache my HDD as it did before the crash. My SATA controller is set to RAID in BIOS. Other than that, I don't know how to "RAID the SSD with the HDD." Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2014   #17
gregrocker

 

That is detailed in the PCWorld tutorial. A RAID is how SRT caches to the SSD. Otherwise you can move the paging file there manually to test how that works.

Did you follow every step? At what step does it fail?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2014   #18
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Did you follow every step? At what step does it fail?
I followed every step meticulously, up to the point where it is no longer possible to follow it because the RST control "Accelerate" does not appear. In its place is a control labeled "Performance" and pressing that brings up only a power-conservation option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2014   #19
gregrocker

 

It says that you may need to reinstall the OS to meet RST requirements.

It seems that you've replaced almost everything else so why not the SSD with a larger one so you can enjoy the fastest performance instead of RST which isn't that great by all reports?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2014   #20
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Interesting development: I decided to remove the 100 MB System Reserved partition on the 1TB HDD. As soon as I did, it instantly changed to a raid disk all on its own! So now I have that drive and the SSD both RAID disks. Of course, it's the wrong HDD. But now it seems clear that what is preventing the 2TB drive from being a RAID drive is the System Reserved partition. Anybody know how I can merge that partition into the main partition without losing my data on that drive? Will Partition Magic or some similar utility do that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 3 Sequential Boot Crashes, now have Windows installed on 3 HDDs




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