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Windows 7: Help QUICK with HDD swaping blunder (LONGWINDED)

05 Oct 2011   #1

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade
Help QUICK with HDD swaping blunder (LONGWINDED)

First, sorry for no spell check and second sorry for sucking at spelling in the first place

I've actually never written to/on a forum, or forumized a single thought, in my 25+ as a computer tech/IT/developer/etc.. because I'm actually rather impatient, and ironically this time I DO need some help and I'm hoping for an insanely fast response (make that ...CORRECT response! - I don't want any "howz dat 4 fast, ...earl" nonsense!)

I customed a W7(HoPr) full machine about 6mos ago for a VIP-type customer of mine with plenty of decent equip (specs are coming...) and it kept him happy as could be. He has used it almost every day or two since then, only shutdown for updates which req RST/SHDN and was completely up to date w/win updates, as well as AVG, etc., and loved his machine's speed - and although absly NO OC-ing was used it can be and is encouraged by a few of the manufacturers (which would the the warrenter's who often loses $$ when you zap your computer by OC-ing incorrectly! Odd I thought!)

So I was in a hurry 'tween jobs to drop in a 1TB WD SATAII(300) of which I happen to I had surplus of at the time and sold him the HDD @ cost setup auto backups etc. and would come back in a few to move his virtual memory to incl his new drive exclusively, "never made it that far!"


Quick specs from MY memory:

CPU AMD Phenom II X6 Black Ed. w/the 2 extra cores picked wide open, ~3.6GHz? and MB brand eludes me maybe a nice MSI model filled memory with 4 matched OCZ DDR3's pushing 8GB prime mem at ? Hz 900W Artic Pwr/Sply w/a sizable UPC by APC that fit the sys well, No ext cards YET not even a damn graphics card! well the onboard was fast and didnt slow the sys down with its own sizable batch of dedicated mem beautiful 10 bay++ case shiny black, with fluorescent blue fans (4 in all, very stelthy rotation and 2 layers of movement [oh and the fivth fan is 2 feet covering one side for any heat that does build up.
The most important is finally here - I originally installed C: the Serial drive into sata port one) [500GB] and a sony dvd burner w/Blueray [recycled, never used it] claimed E: (unprovoked by me..) as it's drive letter of choice. Her's one of the crucial moments I got sloppy! It was when I returned with the 1TB WD Backup Drive; "What, all out of Serial-ATA cords... I'll have too...wait theres only 2 onboard Sata's and then 2 IDE that can be switched by S/W not H/W Which there was cord(M/S-pair). I merely unplugged his unused DVD disc cords (power & data), and fired it up! I disreguarded the letters but rt-clicked "Computer" - and selected "Manage" from the context menu to open "drive manager". I saw the drive get 1st found then sized and shifted in position, it deemed it as unregistered space and was spot on size, it prompted me to make the space unallocated space first, I did, then formatted it with normal parms (forgot what I put in the drive letter). When I left it was working great! I even started and finsished a manual backup with him which was sucessful.

It was stuck in the endless loop of startups and attemptes at restore points to help by day 2-3. When I though one of the 2 HDD's may be going bad, I wanted to avoid any cross contamination (I prepped every tool I had and put extra ice in the freezer! (hah). I (correctly) Yanked-out his only viable backup (w/image) on the new drive to avoid a problem

On a working sys, everything checks out seperatlly just fine (cpu, mem, drive(s)) but I cannot get it to stop cyclicly looping through a 20 sec screen that says "sorry the Very Program That was toiled over endlessly to "KNOW WHAT TO DO TO GET YOU GOING AGAIN!" not like on prev winOS's trials and trib repair processes, it CAN'T figure out the minor delema, all it provides is useless lookup ref#'s and the "fact" that the issue is a corrupt file.....WELL DELETE IT AND REPLACE IT...I SEE THAT RAMDRIVE (X: drive) with every windows system file ever made! (slight exaggeration, I know!) Just uncompress them and take off that turnicating underscore char!

The thing is my understanding of the boot initiation (bootmgr/boot.s??) is very limited. But I don't know the specifics...or do I...hmm... but heres what I see and have logically thought through, agree or not: For instance, somehow the first (500GB)HDD plugged into SATA-port1 CHANGED to D: (I'm asuming it was offended by a bigger drive I added or else It somehow thought "it knew" or "I told it under my breath" that the new, albeit EMPTY SECOND (1TB)HDD plugged in to the old DVD port (which i believe at boot it comes first in rotation since it thought i still had the dvd) and make it my "System" drive Pushing it possibly somehow to "C:\" and pushing the first "C:\" to the next letter "D:\" ...(duh) and then i dont know what backing it up did to its "makeup, options, etc since I've VERY PRICELESS ATTORNY CLIENT INFO on it, and I get spooked after an incedent like this, okay! Anyway, Now that I plucked the 1TB second installed HDD from SATA-port2, it somehow, being the system drive, had files like bootmgr abd boot.sdl??? etc. (I THOUGH ON A SEPERATE UNSEED SUPERHIDDEN PARTITION LIKE THE MBR AND U_JRNL, BITMAP, etc.) but when I navagete to a cprompt from the startup option-ish menu I see drive X: (with all win7 files compressed (for ironic instance: commandprompt.ex_ ...and maybe... notepad.ex_ )endlessly... BUT the one NEVER MOVED OR UNPLUGGED or anything else, only win containing disc (ol' 500GB WD HDD1 - still plugged into SATA-port1 is the second of 3 letters that contain drives and it's...(D:\ Now..or still? i don't know remember i never looked. It appears viable and passes scandisk /f & CHKDSK, and I can see the hidden and sys files in place (only visible one is .rnd and is very small and saved in an un-"type"-readable format. but hybernateion file and virt mem file are intact. LASTLY, "C:\" which...well you remember the history, has what looks like NOTHING, until you pull a file list with attrib's like "s"-systemfiles and or "h"-hiddenfiles then all the bootmgr and boot.sdr and other...well boot related stuff. the files are unreadble with the tools provided in the cprompt enviroment (I think) at least at this paticular one. but by reading the bootmgr i think it was... I did notice a pattern to the offset ASCII to Char or whatever, where there were still two drives listed, each with some equally sized info following it. How do I retain/or rerwite this info onto the original (now D:\ HDD so it will boot, and I'm guessing make it "C:\" again!? Although it seemed to matter to my friends evil computer mind games!

(safe-mode can't work) - boot's wrong drive letter? or area of the drive? or something

(bootlogging can't figure out how to write to the right d: as it trys c: to utter failure)

(BIO's was reset) although it was never touched, no help CAUSE OF WHAT I JUST SAID!

(Restore points didnt help now they freeze for hours) - likely looking at/for......................."C:"


(If I hadn't sold my last w7 disk, like an idiot rookie repairman blunder - I'd go for that startup repair see if it remembers how to do its job, and also what windows PE sees as far as drive layout and win installs) - I know...I knowsplurge on the a bit short this week-ish

(oh it is w7-64-bit)

(and what's this about a 160GB drive limit for baking up?, or just the meaningless workaround for reading all addressess, and is that even an issue in 64-bit computing?) - kinda seperate [[[ I THINK!!! ]]]

Thanks for your copious free time, now I'm an investment....feed me!...right!

I appreciate it profusely


My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit

Welcome to the forums Mike!

I'm terribly sorry but this is one of those posts where one would say TL;DR - "too long; didn't read". Oh, I did read everything but it gave me a headache and I'm a bit confused to be honest. Somehow I gather that the core problem is that the system drive won't boot and/or is missing startup files and/or changed drive letters.

Can you give us a brief summary of what the issue is?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2011   #3

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade

i know im just pullin' my hair out here!
THANKS for the respond at least
its a drive letter issue I think

ORIGINALLY (No Problems)
C: ALL windows files [sys files and progs/files]
?: Boot files ( on the drive with C: or a hidden partition? i dunno)
  • While OFF I Disconnected SATA-II & SATA PWR plugs from DVD
  • I moved them to HDD2
  • worked fine...2 days later...
  • The startup loop started & I removed HDD2 left DVD alone to avoid further complicating the computers brain
NOW (Startup Repair Loop of Hell )
C: Just boot files (must be located physically on the next physical HDD named here below (D:/)
D: Looks like "ALL" windows files [sys files and progs/files]
(remember - HDD2 and DVD are still disconected)
any help
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit

OK, I understood it right then...Hmm, I haven't run into this scenario myself, but I believe one possible solution would be to change the disk ID of the internal drive (the one hosting C: and the system boot partition). This would force Windows on its next boot to invalidate all assigned drive letters and reassign them, giving itself the C: letter back.
(The other possibility would be to edit Windows' registry offline - but I used this method with an XP system before and don't know if 7 works the same way.)
The disk ID is part of the MBR and there are a few utilities to change it, one I know of is MBRWiz which comes as a freeware DOS tool. I'm sure there are others...but I think this will be the answer to your troubles.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

It would be a big help if you post a screenshot of your expanded disk management layout so that we can get a better understanding of what is going on.

Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2011   #6

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade

I like your idea!
Quick and helpful helps when I'm drained, which revert me to logic (or rather micro logic) and your cleverness saved me all kind of long senerios i was proposing. thanks for the tool recommendation too

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2011   #7

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade

if i could penetrate the barriorreffered to as windows boot screen, and subsequently the welcome screen, I would not be here waiting for a good idea like corazon's assuming it pans out without mortalities

I could draw the one by hand that was in my head from 3 days ago when i first set up the back up HDD2, but i doubt my attention to detail was sharp enough with such a seemingly simple task. if command prompt had a text version, id take a physical pic of the screen with my phone for ya, but other than like maybe diskpart it's too convoluted of a mess

and im sure it no longer resembels that mental 2 day old image - since it worked fined back then!

thanks for the idea anyway!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2011   #8

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade

Im still at it..............

the drive id worked but it was still looping thru startup repair, so I gave it a few rounds (3-4) to be sure it worked out any lost files or corruption, it come to concluded, finally that it could come to a conclusion. and that was a "root cause" of ci.dll being corrupt, so i click finish it should reboot to win, more rounds. so I tryed deleting, or rather (to err on the safe side) renaming ci.dll to "_ci.dll" or something, then copy a fresh copy (different file size - im hoping that was due to corruption) and that looped me more although it worked for much longer periods of time at the repair itself, and the file had changed to match the "corrupted" "_ci.dll" filesize. So I try removing them and letting it replace the files....same loop.... so im game for new ideas....

I need sleep, so for the love of god, man.....INSERT WISDOM HERE PLEASE!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2011   #9

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

After you have had your sleep, then please comply with
SeaVixen's request.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2011   #10

MS Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (Family Pack Lic.) Upgrade


Not the link(s).....just very short and simple 5 seconds of text to explain how I could do that

I hope there is a way cause i'd love to see the disk mgmt screen myself!!

thanks muchly
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Help QUICK with HDD swaping blunder (LONGWINDED)

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