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Windows 7: Windows 7 not starting at all

4 Weeks Ago   #101
MrZork

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1 (Version 6.1.7601)
 
 

Well, I think issue where I was getting dumped to BIOS and then having to hit Save and Exit from BIOS to get Windows to boot is resolved. I am not 100% sure what fixed it.

However, the issue where I cannot connect my external hard drive to the system without Windows getting munged and I have to disconnect the drive and run Repair Install again persists. I almost get the impression that Windows 7 is trying to boot from the external drive. That drive (as far as I know) has never been bootable and has no /boot or /efi folders in its root. It's just an external Western Digital 4 TB MyBook drive that I use for making backups and such.

After I connect the external drive while Windows is up and running, all seems well. I can get to files on that drive and there are no errors or problems with Windows that I can see. But, if I restart, Windows seems to start in repair mode, where it's loading with the progress bar across the bottom. Then it goes to the "Windows failed to start" screen, the one with the options to run Repair Install (recommended) or to start Windows normally. That repair install just pops back to the "Windows failed to start" screen. Starting Windows normally takes me back to BIOS.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Weeks Ago   #102
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yes, from your description, it sounds like bios is looking at the external drive as a potential boot device.

What does bios show it as? Leave the external plugged in, retstart, press whatever key takes you into bios settings.. Have a look what is listed as boot devices, or boot order.

I assume your external drive is usb connected. It is possible bios is looking for usb connected hard drive early in the boot order.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #103
MrZork

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1 (Version 6.1.7601)
 
 

That's the odd thing (or one among them): It's not listed as a drive in the BIOS at all, as far as I can tell. Below are pics of the boot section of the BIOS. I see the Boot Manager on the Samsung Drive, C: on the Samsung Drive, and the optical drive.

Windows 7 not starting at all-bios-boot-menu-1.jpg
Windows 7 not starting at all-bios-boot-menu-2.jpg
The second image is the relevant one, I think. I included the first to show that I have USB BIOS support enabled.


[EDIT]


And, yes, the external drive is connected via USB (3.0).


BTW, I didn't have any USB sticks plugged in when these shots were taken. But, if I had, they would show up in that list.


Also, that external drive is set up in Windows for quick disconnect. So, it doesn't have an "Eject" option when Windows is running.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Weeks Ago   #104
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

I am out of ideas, then.

Quote:
BTW, I didn't have any USB sticks plugged in when these shots were taken. But, if I had, they would show up in that list.
Likely they are treated as removable drives, but your external mybook is treated as a fixed drive. I don't know why that would cause this issue

Under usb support it says Full Initialization. What are the other options?

I assume you checked the dropdowns for the boot option #1, #2,#3 and the mybook is nowhere to be seen?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #105
MrZork

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1 (Version 6.1.7601)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Likely they are treated as removable drives, but your external mybook is treated as a fixed drive. I don't know why that would cause this issue
That has been my impression. The external drive shows up next to the C: drive in Windows Explorer. It is not down near any USB sticks I plug in, the optical drive, or the MicroSD card drives.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Under usb support it says Full Initialization. What are the other options?
The three options are Disabled, Partial Initialization, and Full Initialization.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
I assume you checked the dropdowns for the boot option #1, #2,#3 and the mybook is nowhere to be seen?
I did and it is not. The three drives shown are the only three available. That is also true if I hit F8 during bootup to get to the boot selection menu.




BTW, this used to work fine. I have had that external drive connected continuously for months and there has been no trouble until now. FWIW, I ran chkdsk on it and no problems showed up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #106
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 



Any reports of same issue from other owners of that motherboard?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #107
MrZork

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1 (Version 6.1.7601)
 
 

I am seeing some search results of people being unable to boot Windows with an external drive connected. I am going to peruse some of these and I will report back if it looks like they are dealing with the same issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #108
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Aha - the plot thickens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #109
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Set:
Fast boot = Disabled
Redirection support = Disabled
Boot option 1 = Windows boot manager (Samsung 960)
Boot option 2 & 3 = disabled.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #110
MrZork

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1 (Version 6.1.7601)
 
 

Megahertz07, I tried that and I am getting the same results. Just by disabling Fast Boot, redirection support options go away. I set only the Windows Boot Manager on the 960 as the only boot option, setting the others to disabled. But, the system still seems to be trying to boot from a partial install of Windows somewhere when the external drive is attached before booting.

I know it seems odd, but is it possible that my Windows Boot Manager has gotten a bad entry in it, where it thinks there may be something bootable on the external drive and tries to boot from it when it is attached at boot time? Is there a way to check what the Boot Manager entries are and if they are legit?

SIW2, there are lots of people with a problem similar to mine, it seems. I haven't pinned down any commonality in terms of hardware. It happens with Seagate and WD external drives. People have mentioned ASUS motherboards and HP machines (which I do not think use ASUS MBs). Etc.

One thing that is different is that most people report that they get "not a bootable drive" or "insert bootable media" etc. errors. They don't get a partial Windows boot, then the report that Windows has failed to boot. That's what makes me wonder if my Boot Manager has an entry that is pointing to some other (broken) installation somewhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 not starting at all




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