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Windows 7: Cant boot/install Win7 to SSD after BIOS update - Need Advice!

26 May 2014   #1

Win7 64
Cant boot/install Win7 to SSD after BIOS update - Need Advice!

Hello All,

Several days ago I installed several updates that were identified by the MSI Live update for my machine. One of these updates for the BIOS which I stupidly included (yes I understand now that was a dumb mistake).

After rebooting, I was presented to "please insert boot disk and press any key" so I figured some settings were set incorrectly in the BIOS. After playing around there for awhile and checking the boot order and SATA settings among other things, everything looked fine but I still could not boot to my SSD with Win7. The drive is listed in BIOS but I cannot boot to it. I also manually reset the BIOS configuration by jumping CMOS battery and that did not help either.

After giving up on the BIOS I put in a Ubuntu disk and ran Disk/Memory diagnostics both which returned no issues. At this point I began to suspect an issue with the MBR on the disk so I followed these directions on Tom's Hardware:

How to Fix Windows 7 When It Fails to Boot

Somehow between then and now I think I have managed to put myself in a worse state. The instructions work up to bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd. At this step I see that 1 Windows installation is detected on Drive D, however when prompted to add to the boot list, I enter Y and then get "the requested system device cannot be found". I deleted the bcd file but now I cant get Windows to generate a new one because of this issue.

Startup repair also fails, and the problem signature includes "StartupRepairOffline" and "NoOSInstalled". So now it seems Windows is completely failing to recognize/use anything on the drive. I have system backups saved on my external HDD, but I cant even restore those because it says the target drive is invalid. I cant get any installations to display in the system recovery dialogue.

At this point I am completely stumped and out of my comfort zone. I'm not sure how to fix the issue, and I have no way to repair windows or restore a backup. Any other suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. I just want to get the PC back up and running one way or another!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP


The update likely changed the BIOS setting for SATA controller. Preferred is AHCI but it might have been different before BIOS update reset to defaults.

Check also that the HD is set to boot first and that it is detected in BIOS setup and from your boot disk.

If these fail, browse into the HD with your Linux disk to copy out any data externally, then I could set to AHCI to Clean Install Windows 7 .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2014   #3

Win7 64

The SATA setting is one of the things I checked in BIOS. It is currently set as AHCI which should be correct for my hardware. I did not have a RAID setup and I doubt it was ever set to IDE.

Assuming I can get a fresh install of Windows on the SSD, should I expect any trouble restoring to a backup point saved on my external HDD? I really want to avoid starting over completely with the OS if possible.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 May 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP


If you have a Backup Image saved externally then this is exactly the type of situation it is saved for.

First I would try rebooting in IDE mode just to be sure. Sometimes RAID is also the generic SATA setting. No harm in trying to boot either. The correct setting would be required for the image as well.

If neither will start it, then confirm that the 100mb System Reserved ( preferred if you have it) or C is Partition Marked Active then run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times which automates all potential fixes run enough time to completely rebuild or rewrite the boot files and MBR. Startup Repair will not repair Win7 if it's intended boot partition is not still marked Active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2014   #5

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines

Hi SilverSN95 and welcome to seven forums.
What has happened is the bios update has reset the hard drive order in your machine. Looks like you have 2 internals and an external 1.5TB drive? The boot drive should be the SSD? If so carefully remove the sata cable to the 320 gb drive and unplug the external drive. Ensure the SSD boot drive is plugged into the first SATA port (sometimes 0 or 1) . Go into your bios and under boot order hard drives make sure you can see SSD at the top of the list. Then save that configuration and run start up repair. Once the repair is completed, may take a time or two reconnect the other drive. That should be it as long as there is no further damage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cant boot/install Win7 to SSD after BIOS update - Need Advice!

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