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SSD doesn't boot Windows (Only Experts)

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March 3, 2012 7:04:56 PM

I have 3 SATA2 HDD drives and one SSD drive (Crucial M4 i got it one day ago) with windows installed on it, today i removed one of the HDD drives and when i restart my computer prompts

"Reboot and Select proper Boot device ..."

i thought this was bios fault who messed up the order since there was one less HDD, so i set again the bios, selected the SSD as primary boot device and still got the "Reboot and Select proper Boot device ..." thing , i even disconnected all of my drives except my SSD and stills "Reboot and Select proper Boot device ..." WTF !!!

After pulling my hair out i found that if i put back the HDD drive that i removed and i set EXACTLY THE SAME cable management as with i installed windows the SSD boots perfectly.

So now what ? i don't want to go the retard way reinstalling windows having connected only my SSD, i spend more then 10 hours configuring everything ! there must a way to fix this, i am sure there must be a file maybe an MBR to change

Please help !! Thanks :) 
a c 317 G Storage
March 3, 2012 7:06:50 PM

Your SRP (system reserved partition) is on the HDD you removed. Just move it to the SSD -- create a System Repair Disk and create a 100mb empty partition on the SSD. Boot with just the SSD and insert the repair disk.
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a c 114 G Storage
March 3, 2012 7:13:20 PM

Did you install Windows on the SSD with all other storage data cables disconnected ? Sounds like your boot files and reserve partition are still on the HD
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March 3, 2012 7:17:25 PM

RealBeast said:
Your SRP (system reserved partition) is on the HDD you removed. Just move it to the SSD -- create a System Repair Disk and create a 100mb empty partition on the SSD. Boot with just the SSD and insert the repair disk.


This was the first thing i thought, but is completely impossible, since i have PGP WDE (whole disk encryption) on all my HDD windows couldn't be able to write a single bit into those disk.

Thanks anyway.
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March 3, 2012 7:21:27 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Did you install Windows on the SSD with all other storage data cables disconnected ? Sounds like your boot files and reserve partition are still on the HD


i installed windows with all my drives connected, but windows install couldn't write them since i have PGP WDE on all my drives, something is messed up with the SSD i did a couple of searches and lots of people are having same problems, there are hundred of threads like "i can't boot with my SSD unless i have my optical drive connected" and similar :S
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a c 289 G Storage
March 3, 2012 8:33:54 PM

Why "experts only?" The odds are that this is a common problem. If you install Win7 to a new SSD with other drives, as Realbeast and JackNaylorPE wrote, it writes the boot partition to another drive. If there was already another bootable drive on the system, it just overwrote that drive's boot information. Encryption or not.

I'll give about 98% odds that this is your problem. At least give it a try. Remove all the other drives, boot from your Win7 DVD, and do a Repair Install. It will make the SSD bootable, although it will not be able to create the rescue partition. Were I in your shoes, I would do a complete reinstall (with all the other drives disconnected), but I'm strange that way. Reinstalls make me happy. Not doing them, but the nice, clean, snappy system that I end up with.

Oh - is it Windows 7? Other versions will behave similarly, but they do not create the 100 MB partition that was described. Please give this procedure a try, since it is the fix to the most likely issue.

PGP WDE doesn't prevent anything from writing to your disks. The act of writing might louse up your PGP volume, but no matter how encrypted your drive is the install process could write to it. It doesn't have to read, just write.
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March 3, 2012 10:06:25 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Why "experts only?" The odds are that this is a common problem. If you install Win7 to a new SSD with other drives, as Realbeast and JackNaylorPE wrote, it writes the boot partition to another drive. If there was already another bootable drive on the system, it just overwrote that drive's boot information. Encryption or not.

I'll give about 98% odds that this is your problem. At least give it a try. Remove all the other drives, boot from your Win7 DVD, and do a Repair Install. It will make the SSD bootable, although it will not be able to create the rescue partition. Were I in your shoes, I would do a complete reinstall (with all the other drives disconnected), but I'm strange that way. Reinstalls make me happy. Not doing them, but the nice, clean, snappy system that I end up with.

Oh - is it Windows 7? Other versions will behave similarly, but they do not create the 100 MB partition that was described. Please give this procedure a try, since it is the fix to the most likely issue.

PGP WDE doesn't prevent anything from writing to your disks. The act of writing might louse up your PGP volume, but no matter how encrypted your drive is the install process could write to it. It doesn't have to read, just write.


Thanks for your reply !! but with PGP WDE there is NO WAY a program could write to a disk, hope not to sound rude but you know what encryption is ?

For example if you forgot the passphrase there is no way you can read or write to the disk (there is no format, no space) only option is reformat the HDD losing all your data of course.

So NO, windows couldn't write anything to those encrypted disks, the problem isn't there, you can see here lots of threads with this same exact problem, some of them install windows then remove a cd-rom drive and gets the "Reboot and Select proper Boot device ...", there is something very wrong i don't know where, thats why i put "experts only" to avoid typical answers.
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a b G Storage
March 3, 2012 10:41:24 PM

The problem is exactly as it has been explained. You cannot, cannot, cannot install Windows onto a another drive in a system if a bootable working copy of Windows is on another drive, you will have exactly the problem you are having. The reason it happens so often is because a lot of people are buying SSDs and reinstalling Windows just like you just did, and creating the exact same mess. Disconnect your other drives, reinstall Windows to the SSD, then reconnect your other drives, and everything will be fine. This is Windows install basics 101, its a common issue with an easy fix, does not really require an "expert".
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a c 317 G Storage
March 3, 2012 10:46:08 PM

Sure, BUT PGP WDE works by altering the bootloader to protect the PBE -- so most likely you need to repair the bootloader.

Try just using your Windows install disk to do a system recovery, select startup repair and type in bootrec /fixboot, which should write a new boot sector onto the system partition -- which you seem certain is on the SSD (although I would suggest checking that first by actually looking to see if the SRP is on the SSD).
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