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Computer won't boot to windows 8!

Last response: in Windows 8
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December 24, 2013 10:07:05 PM

Alright, I have a long story, but here it goes. I recently built my first computer. I have an optical drive, a kingston ssd, and a wd 1tb hdd. My OS(windows 8.1)is on my SSD. I've had it up and running with windows for a week, and so far its been great. Earlier today I was using it to browse the internet, when I decided to shut it down and take a nap. Around 3-4 hours later, I decided to boot it up again, but when I tried I kept getting the message to please select a valid boot device. It was very strange seeing as how it had been working just fine not long before. I repeatedly checked the connections of my sata cables, and everything seems to check out. I also went into the bios and tried to troubleshoot there with other information I could glean from the internet, to no avail. I tried constantly to set the boot order right, to boot override to the ssd, etc, but I keep getting the same message and my computer refuses to boot. I then started tinkering around with my windows 8 system builder dvd. I've gone through as much troubleshooting as I could and tried to refresh my pc, auto repair it, and even restore it. I've gone through some command prompts as well such as CHKDSK and it says that a few things are wrong. However, it won't let me use the /f command to fix any issues I may have. Ive also tried using other command prompts recommended by microsofts website to allow the computer to reset itself or refresh itself, but simply nothing works. I need help badly. I've been researching threads for hours and trying things but nothing seems to work. I'm pretty new to the pc community and don't understand a lot, and a lot of the stuff I'm seeing is very complicated. Anyway, like I said I could really use some help as the figuring out the issue, whether its my SSD, which still shows up in the bios and is hopefully not dead, or windows not being able to repair or whatever the issue may be. Any advice would be appreciated and would really make my Christmas. Thanks for reading, and please help!

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a b * Windows 8
December 24, 2013 10:32:42 PM

As long as the BIOS is still detecting the SSD, it's not dead. If you have another system available, connect the SSD to it and see if you can see the drive. If you can, back up all of the data you need from that drive, just in case. If you have a backup of your data already, try going through the install process for Windows again and see if you run into any problems.

From your description above (proper sentence and paragraph structure is greatly appreciated on the forum by the way), you've done just about everything you can from a software perspective to get the drive booting again. Unfortunately, a fresh install might be the only option left.

Edit: Make sure that you disconnect the 1TB HDD you also have installed when running a new Windows install, so that the boot loader does not get placed on the secondary drive. This has happened, and most people don't realize it if it does happen. If the boot loader is placed on a drive other than the one Windows is being installed to, and that other drive dies, or is removed from the computer, you will not be able to boot your Windows install.
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December 24, 2013 11:57:08 PM

The_Prophecy,
Thank you so much for your answer. The only file I'm worried about at all is my Steam file for Skyrim, which I'm fairly sure is saved through the cloud if i'm not mistaken. Anyway, I've tried doing what you said but run into some hiccups (really isn't my day). After I click install now and put in my product key I get two options. The upgrade option gives me a compatibility error and says I need to start windows normally and then insert the disk which isn't an option. The advanced custom mode lets me chose but I have 4 of different options and yet all of them say that I cannot install windows there. What do I do from there?

I'm afraid I may have gotten myself in a situation that's worse because I clicked to format the partitions to try to make them available but it didn't help anything. Much of this is going over my head and I don't want to make any serious mistakes. Anyway, I still need advice and help, and hopefully I can get this whole situation resolved.
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December 25, 2013 12:21:37 AM

Never mind, I actually decided to clear everything off and it seems to be working fine. Thanks for the help. One final thing- is there anything I can do to prevent something like this from happening again, or any way I can know what happened, b/c this whole ordeal has been absolutely horrible. Anyways, thanks again for the help.
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a b * Windows 8
December 25, 2013 12:58:05 AM

Unfortunately no, there's no way to really prevent it from happening. What you can do however, is set the system up so that when a reinstall is needed, you have easy access to all of your data.

When the new install is up and running, go to the Start Screen and type File History. In the new window, check the bottom left corner for a link to System Image Backup. Set up a recurring System Image backup to your 1TB hard drive.

If the SSD fails again, all of your data will be safe. You can either restore the resulting .vhdx image file back to the SSD from the Windows Recovery Environment (the tools to restore system images are also available from the Windows 8.1 install disk you bought) to get yourself back to the exact state of the system when the image was taken. Failing that, you can install a fresh copy of Windows 8.1, and then mount the .vhdx file via the Disk Management tool, and have access to all of the data from the image. The .vhdx will appear as another drive in the File Explorer (This PC) window, and you can copy everything back. It won't save application installs if you do the fresh Windows install and just restore data, but it's better than losing everything, or having to take additional measures after the fact to preserve whatever you need.
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