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Windows 7 will not boot without the install DVD

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 6, 2011 7:02:28 PM

Hey.

I'm having a strange problem. My computer boots fine when I have the Windows 7 install DVD in the drive, and it doesn't use the disc at all as far as I can tell - it says "Boot from CD:" then "Press any key to boot from CD/DVD.....". I do not press any key, then Windows boots just fine. If I do not have the DVD in the drive at startup, however, it gives me "Boot from CD:" then "DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER". If I do that, it boots fine like before. I tried advice from google results such as running the Startup Repair tool on the DVD 3 times (they said to do it 3 times...). It did not detect any problems, and didn't do anything. I also updated my BIOS, and the problem persists.

I think I have all the boot order stuff correct, but here are pictures just in case:

http://i.imgur.com/H1gQI.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/E26gF.jpg

Also, here is a screenshot of my drives (ignore that uninitialized one, new drive that I haven't formatted yet):

http://i.imgur.com/nscOw.png

On the above image, disk 3 (C:)  is the SSD which I have Windows 7 installed on. Does this problem have something to do with Disk 1, is that System Reserved part supposed to be there? All the disks except 3 do not have any OS installed on them.

Lastly, here is my setup:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

EVGA 131-GT-E767-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 SLI 3
Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601960
SAPPHIRE 100311-2SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

Thanks. Hopefully there is a way I can solve this without having to reformat...
a b $ Windows 7
October 6, 2011 7:23:21 PM

Did you switch to AHCI mode after you installed Windows? If you switch the drive [back] to IDE mode, does it boot properly? You may need to make sure your AHCI drivers are loaded correctly.

Edit: Sorry if I missed an obvious setting; I cannot view the pics at work but I'll see it when I get home in about 3 hours.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 6, 2011 7:40:18 PM

Let me guess, you installed windows on the SSD with the other HDDs attached.
The recommended method is to DISCONECT all other HDDs and only have the SSD connected until after windows is installed on the SSD.

If you download and run AS SSD (Don't run the bench marks), I'll bet that your partition is NOT aligned either,, also a no no for a SSD.
Yes the SSD should have that litle 100 mb system partition on it, Normally created during win 7 install.

You could try to delete the system partition that is on Disk one, That may solve the booting problem, but will not solve the partition alignment problem.

Recommendation (not what you want to hear):
Disconnect all other HDDs.
.. First back up any data you have created on the SSD (ie copy your favorite's folder, My document folder, and your emails) to one of the HDDs. You can copy back after completion.
.. Might (not required) swap sata ports for your SSD and the HDD shown as Drive 0)
.. As Jtt286 indicated, verify that The Bios is set to ahci
.. Reinstall windows, But select Custom instal so that you can delete all partitions on the SSD, then select the now unpartitioned SSD to instal to. Windows will NOW create the system partition on the SSD.
.. When done, reconnect the HDDs - all the data should still be on the HDDs

@ jtt283 - Pics do not show sata mode. The 3rd pic shows the System reserve partition on a HDD followed by a primary partition. His SSD shows NO 100 mb system reserve partition, but a healthy primary/boot partition.

My guess is it is trying to boot to Drive 1, but finds no OS and finally finds a OS on drive 3

MAYBE someone else knows how to correct without a win 7 re-install.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 6, 2011 9:57:07 PM

Looking at the second pic, sometimes a SSD will show up as a removable. If yours doesn't, that's referencing USB devices, and I'd advise removing it if only to speed up your boot time. If you need to boot off a USB stick in an emergency, you can always add it back.
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