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Reboot and select proper boot device message

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December 23, 2013 7:39:39 PM

Recently I noticed my main hard drive failing and decided to put a fresh installation of Widows 7 onto one of my other drives since, eventually, it was going to go out on me. I put the fresh installation on, moved everything I needed over, and formatted the bad drive. After a few days my computer acted up and crashed on me unexpectedly. Every time I started up the computer would get to the first Windows loading screen and then simply crash. I figured it must have something to do with the bad drive, removed it, and then started to get a message on start-up to 'Reboot and select proper boot device or Insert Boot Media and press any key".

The hard drive containing my operating system was still connected and hadn't shown, before this, any signs of corruption or failure. I'd even tested it along side my other failing drive with Seagate Tools just to be certain and it passed each time!

I inserted my USB loaded Windows 7 drive (I used a USB loader to basically make it a 'boot drive') and it didn't recognize it as such. I figured that, perhaps, the drive priority was wrong and went and changed it around so that the OS containing drive was first. Still no luck. I decided to remove the drive and attach it to a spare computer and try and install a fresh Windows 7 on it and, after doing so, found that it would STILL not recognize it as a boot device despite it working on the other computer!

After repeated attempts and failure to boot from the USB drive I went ahead and burned a DVD with the installation on it and set the priority to boot from the disc drive. I attempted, repeatedly, to boot from this installation disc with multiple errors and failures that were a result of various missing system files (listed as something like "/windows/system/[filename]"), kernels, or even drivers. Pressing enter yielded the option to try and boot something like "Windows Setup [ECM Enabled]" or something along those lines but, even if it managed to get to another Windows loading screen, would blue-screen and say I was having a hardware or driver issue.

I'm really at my wit's end on this one and I'm looking for ANY ideas on what to do. So far I've tried burning two different installation DVDs with no effect on the main machine other than errors and blue screens. I'm thinking of reinstalling the OS again using the extra computer, but then I'm pretty sure I"ll be back to the same error message. Any ideas? Questions about my system? Please respond and thanks!

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December 23, 2013 7:51:56 PM
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did you hook the new drive to the proper stata port on the board? your primary boot driveshould be in stata port0 or 1 [depending on you boards manual refer to it ] also is the drive set up for ide or ahci? it has to be one or the outher depending [a drive set up for ide will not boot on ahci or the outher way around] that can be changed in the bios if needed to be.
a c 327 G Storage
December 23, 2013 8:33:51 PM

You did a fresh install if Win 7 to a different HDD in your system. I would be that, when you did this, you left other HDD's in the machine still connected and operating - like, your old drive that was failing.

I suspect you have been caught by a Windows safety feature! When Win 7 is installed, it looks around the system for any extra HDD's. If it finds one, it places a semi-hidden Partition on that second HDD and stores there some backups of key system files. The idea is that, in future if your C: drive is corrupted, at boot time it will detect this and find the backups on the second HDD. It will restore good copies of them to the C: drive and complete the boot, saving you a lot of worry.

The problem this causes,however, is this: EVERY time Windows boots, it looks for that second drive and its backup files. If it can't find them it will not boot! I suspect the backups are on the old drive that failed, so now your system can't find them.

How to fix? Disconnect all HDD's in your system except the C: drive. Put your Windows Install CD in the optical drive and boot from it, but do NOT run a normal Install procedure. Look for a Repair Install or something like that. It will find that the key backups are missing AND that there is no second HDD to use, so it will place them on the only HDD available - your C: drive. After the process is finished and your machine can boot successfully from your only HDD, you can shut down and reconnect the other drives.

This process slightly reduces the effectiveness of the safety feature design. Now the backups are on the same HDD as the main OS, so if your C: drive fails or is corrupted, the backups may not be of any use. But it will solve your current problem.
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December 23, 2013 8:43:51 PM

junkeymonkey said:
did you hook the new drive to the proper stata port on the board? your primary boot driveshould be in stata port0 or 1 [depending on you boards manual refer to it ] also is the drive set up for ide or ahci? it has to be one or the outher depending [a drive set up for ide will not boot on ahci or the outher way around] that can be changed in the bios if needed to be.


This was it and...man I feel like an ass for not realizing it. Thanks much!
a c 327 G Storage
December 23, 2013 10:30:45 PM

You got it working! Hooray for you and junkeymonkey!
!