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

11 Nov 2014   #1
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
3 Sequential Boot Crashes, now have Windows installed on 3 HDDs

I had a perfect-running CyberpowerPC-built PC, with a Gigabyte Z77 mobo, one 1TB HDD and 1 60GB SSD using Intel Smart Response to cache, plus an MSI GTX 570. It was fast and perfect.

After 2 years, my PC suddenly began displaying intermittent graphics glitches while gaming. I checked my Nvidia drivers and found that they were 2 versions out of date, despite having Windows Update set on automatic. I d/l the latest driver package, but got an unrecoverable crash in mid-install: the machine refused to boot, and neither the W7 OEM disc nor the Recovery Disk that I had made could repair it.

Checking CMOS, I discovered that the BIOS was not detecting my GTX 570 OR my SSD! I removed the GTX 570 since it had apparently failed and tried to boot using on-board graphics, but that also failed. I now began to suspect the motherboard, since memory tests ruled out any problem with my RAM DIMMs. After fruitless and pointless online discussions with CyberpowerPC and Gigabyte, I gave up and ordered a new HDD, this time opting for a giant 2TB drive. After installing it and installing Windows on it, I was able to finally boot the machine. My old 1TB WD HDD was now installed as a backup drive, and I was able to copy all of my old programs, data, games, etc. from it to my new 2TB drive. I reinstalled the GTX 570, but with it installed, neither it nor the internal graphics would work despite my setting BIOS options appropriately for each. So I removed the GTX 570 and was able to use internal graphics.

Now convinced I had a GFX card failure, I got a new GTX 970 and installed it, but had the same issue: no display from either the card nor the internal graphics with the card installed. So I removed it and went back to internal graphics.

Since basically the only common denominators still left in the machine were the motherboard and the SSD, I decided, in desperation, to replace them too. Since the Gigabyte mobo is no longer in stock anywhere, I got an ASRock Z77 board and installed it, along with a 64GB SSD which I hoped to put back as cache for my HDDs. After several BSOD-on-boot crashes, which rescue disks and the Windows disk were unable to repair, I was eventually able to install a NEW Windows-64 onto the SSD! So now, although I can boot from the SSD, I now have 3 installations of Windows, and the only one that actually works is on my SSD, thus preventing me from using it as a cache for my main HDD. I haven't bothered installing the GTX 970 yet. One issue at a time, please...

In addition to all this, I have a 100MB drive D: named "System Reserved" which does not correspond to any physical drive AFAIK. I never had that before tonight when the only way to boot was to install Windows on my SSD.

So now, none of my programs, games, etc. work because they are all on drive E: (my 2TB former boot drive c) and they are supposed to be on drive C:. I need to find some way to straighten this mess out without losing all my data. Also, as info, I have never overclocked anything on this machine- everything is bone-stock.

Does anyone have any advice as to how I can fix this so I have ONE bootable installation of Windows, on my 2TB HDD, and use my SSD as intended, i.e. as a cache to speed up my normal HDDs, instead of as my new system drive with no room for anything else?

Thanks in advance!

Disk Management Screenie:
3 Sequential Boot Crashes, now have Windows installed on 3 HDDs-diskmgtscreenie.png




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2014   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2014   #3
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Board will not allow me to delete a post, so this meaningless post is the result.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2014   #4
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Save image to a USB thumb drive, then transfer to other computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2014   #5
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Save image to a USB thumb drive, then transfer to other computer.
Thanks. Got sharing to finally work- new install of Windows defaulted to password-protected sharing.

Disk management screamshot posted in OP above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2014   #6
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

OK. When you did the installation, it looks like you never removed the other disks. Correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2014   #7
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
OK. When you did the installation, it looks like you never removed the other disks. Correct?
Yes- I did not even have access to the other disks until I had re- re- re-installed Windows. The only drive that would allow me to install Windows on it was the SSD, so, gasping for air, I took that option.

I do NOT want to reformat the two HDDs for fear of losing pretty much my entire life. However, I don't know of any other way to re-install Windows on my 2TB drive, since it "thinks" it already has Windows on it and nothing will repair whatever is wrong with it.

EDIT: Upon re-reading your post, I realize that I don't know what you mean by "remove the other disks...." Physically disconnect them from the motherboard? Disable them in BIOS? Somehow delete the System partition from them? The answer is, I didn't do ANY of those things- I desperately NEED them because all my data, games, letters, videos, blah blah blah lives on them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2014   #8
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Yes, I meant physically disconnect them. Your SSD seems to be DISK1, but the boot manager appears to be in the 100MB System Reserved partition on DISK0. This happens when 2 or more disks are physically connected during installation.

I think you need a bit more experience than I can offer with this, so I'll find someone that can help. In the meantime, copy out all the data you want to keep to an external USB drive, in case a reinstall is required.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2014   #9
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
copy out all the data you want to keep to an external USB drive, in case a reinstall is required.
Great minds think alike. That backup has been running for the past hour.

And yes, that is my SSD showing as Disk 1. The 2TB drive that is supposed to be my boot drive is Drive 0. According to my research, that's the correct way to connect them to function as I want them to function, i.e. the 2TB as main HDD, and the SSD as cache only using Intel Smart Response.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2014   #10
Shimshom

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Once you finish your backup and it's all tucked away I would shut the computer down open the case and disconnect the SSD and 1TB drives (Physically disconnect the cables from either the MB side or the drive side which ever is easier), put the 2TB drive into SATA port 0 also disconnect any peripherals apart from the KB and mouse boot back into your BIOS and set your CD/DVD drive as 1st boot device or USB if Win 7 is on a USB stick. Reboot the computer with your installation media and install windows as per this guide
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
Follow it closely as it's one of THE best guides online to install Windows 7. Once that's done and you have all the updates and drivers installed and everything is working properly shut the computer down and connect the SSD drive but here comes a tricky part since you have Windows already installed on the SSD you will need to format it before loading the newly installed operating system as otherwise you might have a problem booting up correctly so use this guide to enter Diskpart
DISKPART : At PC Startup
And this guide to delete the volume then use the link in No.8 to create a new one (Go to option 2)
Partition or Volume - Create New
when it's all done restart the computer and boot back into your bios and set it as you wish with the 2TB HD as 1st boot device. Once into Windows you can than use the SSD as you intended not forgetting this guide to optimize it all
Optimize Windows 7
If you wish to also connect the 1TB drive unless it also has Windows on it you could just connect it and format it from within Windows in either Disk Management or Diskpart from an elevated command prompt. When that's all done start installing any peripherals such as printer etc. This is what I would have done and it worked for me in the past but many here are better suited to advise you and hope one of the gurus here has a look at this post to comment if there are any mistakes or silly suggestions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 3 Sequential Boot Crashes, now have Windows installed on 3 HDDs




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