Booting always requires DVD?


M

Mojo

I had a few hard drives installed in my system when I upgraded to
Windows 7. For some reason when I boot up, I'm told that it can't find
the boot disk and stops. In order to get Windows to boot up, I have to
insert a Windows 7 64 bit repair disc in the dvd drive - the drive I
installed from, and then the computer boots up fine. I'm told that
this occurred because other drives were connected when I installed
Windows 7 - which is ludicrous. I chose the drive to install the
system on and it installed. What is it I can do to get the machine to
boot up without requiring a Windows 7 disc in the drive?
 
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P

Paul

Mojo said:
I had a few hard drives installed in my system when I upgraded to
Windows 7. For some reason when I boot up, I'm told that it can't find
the boot disk and stops. In order to get Windows to boot up, I have to
insert a Windows 7 64 bit repair disc in the dvd drive - the drive I
installed from, and then the computer boots up fine. I'm told that
this occurred because other drives were connected when I installed
Windows 7 - which is ludicrous. I chose the drive to install the
system on and it installed. What is it I can do to get the machine to
boot up without requiring a Windows 7 disc in the drive?
These are the resources available on your hard drives.

1) BIOS gets to pick some storage device for the boot device. This
might be a disk, different from the disk holding the actual OS
partition.

2) The MBR on each disk, has room to mark one primary partition
as the boot device.

3) Each partition has room for partition boot sectors. They'd
be installed during the OS installation. This is not the
troublesome part (except if you come up with a way of overwriting
those sectors, which isn't likely).

4) Once the OS starts to boot, it has a boot manager of some sort.
On Linux, it could be Grub (capable of booting Linux, or passing
control to some other Windows partition). Each Windows also has
its own boot manager. Or, you can purchase third party boot managers.
I have BootMagic on one of my older computers, and it selects
between booting Win98 and Fedora Linux.

BIOS ---> BootMagic ---> final OS boot

Now, when a new OS is installed on a computer, it can:

1) Overwrite the MBR. And it may choose to overwrite the
MBR on the *other* disk! I've lost the MBR on my WinXP
disk, when installing Linux. I had to put it back with
FIXMBR option of the recovery console.

2) The boot manager, during installation, may be loaded with
references to the other OSes. That is so the other OSes
can be offered as boot options.

3) The "last OS you installed", tries to manage everything,
and can mess up the setup used by the other OSes. This is
the reason for my suggestion to unplug disks, below.

4) To compound the sins of this scheme, if you unplug one
of the disks, suddenly the other disk(s) don't work right.
And that is an "inter-dependency", brought on by the greedy
manner of installer scripts. Linux is just as bad as Windows
in this regard.

Here is the policy I stick to, on my current desktop.

1) One OS per hard drive. Not more. If I want a third OS,
I install a third hard drive.

2) Unplug *all* disks, except the target of your installation
attempt. If Hard Drive A is getting my new copy of Windows 7,
I *unplug* Hard Drive B, Hard Drive C, and so on. And no,
the BIOS "disable disk" feature is not enough - I had a
Linux installer, "un-disable" the disk, and ruin the MBR!
Unplugging is the only sure way to prevent inter-dependencies.

3) My BIOS functions as the boot manager, rather than the
stinking OS boot managers.

4) I press F8 during BIOS POST, to bring up the "popup boot menu"
provided by the BIOS. I select Hard Drive A, B, or C
at that level. Each hard drive has an MBR, with the OS partition
marked as active. Each OS has a single entry in its boot manager,
and only one OS can be launched.

With that scheme, I can unplug disks independently. No other
OS is affected when I do that. And that is because, every OS
and its boot manager, only manages its own partition.

In your case, I recommend unplugging the other disks, only
have the Windows 7 disk in the computer. There are repair tools
on the Windows 7 maintenance DVD, for repairing any damage.
The equivalent of Fixboot and FixMBR are in there.

"How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment
to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows"

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

When I got my new laptop (a gift from someone), it has an option
to burn a maintenance DVD, using the built-in IMAPI2 disc burning
support in Windows 7. If you failed to make one of those, they
are available for BitTorrent download here. I didn't even know
Windows would burn a recovery DVD for you, until I saw it in a menu.

I used the 32 bit version of this one, before I got the new laptop.
This is the only file I've ever downloaded via BitTorrent. When I
got the laptop, it has a 64 bit install of Windows 7, so I had
to burn another one. Only in that case, the recovery disc was
prepared using files provided in the OS on the laptop.

http://neosmart.net/blog/2009/windows-7-system-repair-discs/

You can actually use the Windows 7 recovery DVD, to provide
a Recovery Console for working on your WinXP partition. So
in fact, that disc has more uses than just propping up your
copy of Windows 7. It's like having a "DOS floppy" handy :)

HTH,
Paul
 
R

R. C. White

?Hi, Mojo.

Which of your HDDs was set as the Boot Device at the time you installed
Win7? The Active Partition on THAT disk is where Win7 Setup would have
written (or updated) its few startup files, no matter where you told it to
"install" Win7.

If you later removed or disabled THAT disk, or reset the BIOS to boot from a
different HDD, then the startup instructions would be missing, even if all
the many gigabytes of operating system files are still safe in the \Windows
folder tree where they were installed.

Now, you must either (1) continue to boot from the DVD so that the system
can find the startup files there, or (2) restore the HDD that was the boot
device when you ran Setup, or (3) write the startup files to the HDD that
you intend to boot from. Option 3 is probably your best choice. To do
this, boot from the Win7 DVD and "repair" the startup files on THAT HDD.
(If your BIOS allows a "this-time-only" boot device option, then set the
BIOS to boot from your intended HDD, then boot once from the DVD to run
Setup's Repair utility.)

(In a multi-HDD system, it is quite possible to run Setup multiple times
with different BIOS settings to write the startup files onto more than one
disk. This can protect against failure of a single disk; when that happens,
just choose a different boot device in the BIOS and reboot.)

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-9/30/10)
Windows Live Mail Version 2011 (Build 15.4.3504.1109) in Win7 Ultimate x64
SP1 RC


"Mojo" wrote in message
I had a few hard drives installed in my system when I upgraded to
Windows 7. For some reason when I boot up, I'm told that it can't find
the boot disk and stops. In order to get Windows to boot up, I have to
insert a Windows 7 64 bit repair disc in the dvd drive - the drive I
installed from, and then the computer boots up fine. I'm told that
this occurred because other drives were connected when I installed
Windows 7 - which is ludicrous. I chose the drive to install the
system on and it installed. What is it I can do to get the machine to
boot up without requiring a Windows 7 disc in the drive?
 
M

Mojo

Here is the policy I stick to, on my current desktop.

1) One OS per hard drive. Not more. If I want a third OS,
I install a third hard drive.

2) Unplug *all* disks, except the target of your installation
attempt. If Hard Drive A is getting my new copy of Windows 7,
I *unplug* Hard Drive B, Hard Drive C, and so on. And no,
the BIOS "disable disk" feature is not enough - I had a
Linux installer, "un-disable" the disk, and ruin the MBR!
Unplugging is the only sure way to prevent inter-dependencies.

3) My BIOS functions as the boot manager, rather than the
stinking OS boot managers.

4) I press F8 during BIOS POST, to bring up the "popup boot menu"
provided by the BIOS. I select Hard Drive A, B, or C
at that level. Each hard drive has an MBR, with the OS partition
marked as active. Each OS has a single entry in its boot manager,
and only one OS can be launched.

With that scheme, I can unplug disks independently. No other
OS is affected when I do that. And that is because, every OS
and its boot manager, only manages its own partition.

In your case, I recommend unplugging the other disks, only
have the Windows 7 disk in the computer. There are repair tools
on the Windows 7 maintenance DVD, for repairing any damage.
The equivalent of Fixboot and FixMBR are in there.
Paul, RC -

Thank you for your extensive replies. Much appreciated. What is beyond
my understanding is how and why Windows, still with Windows 7, does
not properly install Windows on the ONE HD that it installs the
Windows folder and rest of its components. It's assinine and
incomprehensible.

So I did the only thing that I hoped I didn't have to do - pull out
the computer from it's perch, yank out a dozen cables, pull out all 5
other SATA cables (after determining which one was the startup disk)
and then used the Windows 7 repair disk to do what should have taken 2
minutes (and took an hour.)

I do appreciate the help. Microsoft is to blame for creating a really
good Windows 7 that is dumber than nails even at this late date (and
also reboots your computer automatically after updates, whether you
like it or not by putting a limit of 4 hours after it does its thing
and potentially corrupting your hard drive with unclosed apps that was
left unattended.) Hopefully they will get around to fixing this... but
at least my PC works now beautifully as it always has...
 
C

Char Jackson

I do appreciate the help. Microsoft is to blame for creating a really
good Windows 7 that is dumber than nails even at this late date (and
also reboots your computer automatically after updates, whether you
like it or not by putting a limit of 4 hours after it does its thing
and potentially corrupting your hard drive with unclosed apps that was
left unattended.) Hopefully they will get around to fixing this... but
at least my PC works now beautifully as it always has...
XP has a couple of easy ways to extend the reboot nag time,
enable/disable automatic reboot, etc. I assume 7 has the same things.

My XP system is set for no automatic reboot and only nag me every 24
hours rather than the default of every 10 minutes. It might be worth
seeing if the same things apply to Win 7.
 
R

R. C. White

?Hi, Mojo.
...how and why Windows, still with Windows 7, does not properly install
Windows on the ONE HD that it installs the Windows folder and rest of its
components.
Sorry, but that IS the proper handling, and has been for several versions of
Windows - at least since WinNT 4.0. But most users haven't bothered to read
and really understand the concepts of System Partition and Boot Volume. For
years I've been pointing users to KB314470 (
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314470/EN-US/ ) for the counterintuitive
definitions of those terms. Now it says that it "may not be relevant" to
Win7 - but it is, with some minor modifications. It refers Win7 users to
the Windows 7 Solution Center (
http://support.microsoft.com/ph/14019#tab0 ), where I cannot find a clear
explanation of those two critical terms. :^(

This is especially important in multiboot setups. As explained in KB314470,
"There is only one system volume. However, there is one boot volume for each
operating system in a multiboot system."
also reboots your computer automatically after updates, whether you like
it or not by putting a limit of 4 hours after it does its thing
I've never seen such behavior. I've set Windows Update in Win7 just like I
did in Vista and WinXP: Download the updates and ask me whether - and
when - to install each one. So I control the timing of the installation,
even for Important updates. (Also, I check the box to receive updates for
other Microsoft products (such as Office), too. This effectively converts
Windows Update to Microsoft Update, but it still is generally called WU, not
MU. Just check the option to "Change settings" on the WU page; the
automatic installation is "Recommended" - but not by me.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-9/30/10)
Windows Live Mail Version 2011 (Build 15.4.3504.1109) in Win7 Ultimate x64
SP1 RC


"Mojo" wrote in message
Here is the policy I stick to, on my current desktop.

1) One OS per hard drive. Not more. If I want a third OS,
I install a third hard drive.

2) Unplug *all* disks, except the target of your installation
attempt. If Hard Drive A is getting my new copy of Windows 7,
I *unplug* Hard Drive B, Hard Drive C, and so on. And no,
the BIOS "disable disk" feature is not enough - I had a
Linux installer, "un-disable" the disk, and ruin the MBR!
Unplugging is the only sure way to prevent inter-dependencies.

3) My BIOS functions as the boot manager, rather than the
stinking OS boot managers.

4) I press F8 during BIOS POST, to bring up the "popup boot menu"
provided by the BIOS. I select Hard Drive A, B, or C
at that level. Each hard drive has an MBR, with the OS partition
marked as active. Each OS has a single entry in its boot manager,
and only one OS can be launched.

With that scheme, I can unplug disks independently. No other
OS is affected when I do that. And that is because, every OS
and its boot manager, only manages its own partition.

In your case, I recommend unplugging the other disks, only
have the Windows 7 disk in the computer. There are repair tools
on the Windows 7 maintenance DVD, for repairing any damage.
The equivalent of Fixboot and FixMBR are in there.
Paul, RC -

Thank you for your extensive replies. Much appreciated. What is beyond
my understanding is how and why Windows, still with Windows 7, does
not properly install Windows on the ONE HD that it installs the
Windows folder and rest of its components. It's assinine and
incomprehensible.

So I did the only thing that I hoped I didn't have to do - pull out
the computer from it's perch, yank out a dozen cables, pull out all 5
other SATA cables (after determining which one was the startup disk)
and then used the Windows 7 repair disk to do what should have taken 2
minutes (and took an hour.)

I do appreciate the help. Microsoft is to blame for creating a really
good Windows 7 that is dumber than nails even at this late date (and
also reboots your computer automatically after updates, whether you
like it or not by putting a limit of 4 hours after it does its thing
and potentially corrupting your hard drive with unclosed apps that was
left unattended.) Hopefully they will get around to fixing this... but
at least my PC works now beautifully as it always has...
 
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