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Windows 7 looks nice but big headache

Last response: in Storage
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December 21, 2011 1:43:07 AM

Windows 7 is a big head ache. So basically I'm having a problem that I don't encounter when I use XP. So I have two hard drives. One from my laptop that owns an XP OS that I have used through out my college years and now that I have money an SSD that owns a Windows 7 OS. Both work great until I decide to switch them out from the PC so I can use the other one. This is only temporary, I intend to have some sort of boot manager program to help so I don't have to continuously switch hard drives upon each boot.

The issue is that the XP HDD works heavenly, it does not complain if I remove it from my PC and reattach it after another bootable disk was used. The issue arises only when the Windows 7 OS gets switched out from the PC with another bootable disk (not necessarily the XP HDD). I expect that if I shutdown windows 7 and turn off the computer, it shouldn't matter what I do to my PC as I should be allowed to do as I damn well please.

So I remove the Windows 7 SSD, put in another bootable disk do what I intended, then switch back to my SSD to boot up in Windows 7 SSD. But wait...there is an error, Windows 7 cannot start, I have two options either start "start up repair" or start windows normally. Of course start windows normally does not work I am forced to hand my windows 7 OS to the automagic recovery program which is a crap shoot. I've ran into this problem and whether if it works or not is not consistent for me. I'm happy when I get lucky but its not always the case.

The intention behind this post is that I want to understand why in the world Windows 7 wants to complain that its not the only hard drive being used by my PC and where as the XP does not complain, 7 does?

I think has something to do with the active partition of my Windows 7 hard drive, but why would that suddenly change? The hard drive and PC is shut off so it should not be aware of any changes to the active partition. Is there data stored somewhere that I'm not aware of?

Ultimately, I'd like to understand why this happens because its really been slowing me down and gaining a little knowledge of why its happening can go a long way for the future.

I appreciate anyone who can provide me support to regain my sanity.
a c 353 $ Windows 7
a c 103 G Storage
December 21, 2011 3:54:55 PM

Plugging them in the same port each time? If you had two drives when you installed Windows 7, did any files get put on the second drive?
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December 21, 2011 4:26:50 PM

Can you provide more background info on your SSD? I've done this literally dozens of times with standard hard drives running Windows 7 and not had an issue.
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a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
December 21, 2011 5:31:37 PM

Sounds like you might have a Bios conflict. Are the drives set up in the same mode (IDE / ACHI / SATA) or are they different? If different then that might be the problem Bios is looking for one mode and the drive is another...
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December 21, 2011 8:10:11 PM

hang-the-9:
No I did not have multiple hard drives connected. I make it a point to make sure that only one hard drive is connected during installation.

MadSweeny:
I have a Kingston SSDnow 128 GB

Traildriver:
Yes I change the BIOS configuration when necessary. But you have a good point, if I install in a specific BIOS configuration would I have to boot up in that mode as well? If so I should be more careful what my BIOS set up in while install.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 82 G Storage
December 21, 2011 9:10:04 PM

Can't you leave both drives installed? If so, does your PC display a boot menu at POST when you press F8 (or another function key) that allows you to select a boot device? You could use that when you need the second disk. I use that feature on a few PCs and it works fine.
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 114 G Storage
December 21, 2011 9:24:31 PM

Why are you taking them out ?

Leave both installed, create separate BIOS profiles for each....load the SSD profile and boot with those specific BIOS settings .... load the HD profile and load those specific settings. Again, I am not btalking about the bot order section of the BIOS, I am talking BIOS profiles.....on Asus Boards it's on the Tools tab and ya can have separate OC settings and just about everything else saved specifically.
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a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
December 21, 2011 9:24:34 PM

You will have to boot up in the BIOS mode that Win 7 was installed under. If it was installed under ACHI and the drive is then attached and booted under IDE mode then Win 7 will encounter driver issues when it attempts to boot.
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December 21, 2011 9:25:38 PM

Yeah, i don't understand why you don't just leave them in there like GhisiainG was saying and just choose which one to boot from at bios rather then go through the trouble of installing and reinstalling a drive over and over and over. Not to mention the wear you have to be creating on those connectors every time your plugging them in and taking them out.
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December 21, 2011 10:32:44 PM

Ghislain, JackNaylorPE and BlackSCI:
I appreciate the advice but as originally stated this is ONLY temporary. At the moment, I am in need of switching out drives. Like I said, the intent of this thread is to understand why this is happening because it seems odd to me why I keep getting some sort of error with my windows 7 partition when I switch it out and boot into another bootable device and then switch back to my windows 7. It just seems ODD!

Wamphryi: Thanks I will look into this.

Any other ideas? I just don't understand why Windows 7 is being such a pain, shouldn't be.
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December 21, 2011 10:37:47 PM

Well the whole idea of the way your dual booting is not close to the way microsoft was intending. Your bios may be having a issue switching between the operating systems simply because you have it on 2 different formats. i.e. ssd and mechanical.
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December 21, 2011 11:04:45 PM

I'm not trying to dual boot in this manner. I think u miss the part where I said I boot into another bootable disk (not necessarily the XP HD). The details of why I'm switching them out is unimportant at the moment. I just want to figure out why this is not working. If I can do it in XP why can't I do it in Windows 7? And it seems like other people have luck doing it this way...
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a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
December 21, 2011 11:28:29 PM

It wont be because one is an SSD and the other an HDD. It is far more likely to be the XP HDD is set to IDE mode and Win 7 was installed under ACHI on the SSD.
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December 22, 2011 12:01:20 AM

Ok so I got my windows 7 install disk and I decided to use diskpart to ensure that my windows 7 partition was active.

I set it active using Diskpart and when I restarted the msg I get is:

BootMgr is missing
press CTRL+ALT+DELETE

How would my boot manager all of a sudden go missing?
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Best solution

December 23, 2011 4:16:29 PM

LeanMan82 said:
Ok so I got my windows 7 install disk and I decided to use diskpart to ensure that my windows 7 partition was active.

I set it active using Diskpart and when I restarted the msg I get is:

BootMgr is missing
press CTRL+ALT+DELETE

How would my boot manager all of a sudden go missing?


SSD is more susceptible to file corruption from power loss than standard HDD's. If you accidentally unplugged the drive/your psu before it was completely shut down, its very likely some data has been corrupted. That is the only explination I can think of.

BIOS settings are typically moot these days with the exception of setting your SATA mode from Compatibility/AHCI mode.
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January 2, 2012 11:25:36 PM

Best answer selected by LeanMan82.
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