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BIOS boot menu empty - SSD and CD/DVD inaccessible

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December 2, 2012 9:45:23 PM

I recently purchased a new SSD (SanDisk Extreme 240GB) along with an ASUS laptop (N56VJ-DH71 model). The laptop came with Window 8 installed on a 1TB 5200rpm drive. The reason I'm posting here is because I believe I've gotten myself into a mess trying to do the install/upgrade on my own.

I've followed a ton of online tutorials, Youtube videos, and read countless tips/advice/procedures on these forums -- only to come up empty handed (and now my original Win8 installation won't boot). Here are the problems that I've encountered:

Laptop detects both SATA ports for the SSD and CD/DVD optical drive under SATA config menu, but the boot device options menu is empty -- literally, nothing shows up here. When I boot from the original HDD I see a Windows Boot Loader in BIOS (still no CD/DVD option) and this drive actually begins to boot only to end up in a non-recoverable state within Win8 recovery mode. (FYI: the laptop worked fine before I began the SSD upgrade).

When I try booting with SSD attached, the machine goes directly to BIOS, and there is no moving forward because the BIOS boot menu gives me zero options for booting (therefor I have been unable to attempt installing a new OS via DVD onto the SSD). I upgraded/flashed my BIOS, as well as the SSD firmware, only to see no changes in behavior. Yes, I have SATA in AHCI mode, and have tried all different configurations with it in IDE mode.

After failing with the above-mentioned route, I decided to find out if the SSD was dead or had a bad controller. I did this by installing Win7 to the drive on my desktop. This worked flawlessly, which is making me think it is the laptop hardware/firmware/BIOS that is the issue. When I inserted the drive with the Win7 installation into my laptop, it booted to BIOS as if the drive hadn't been touched.

I have used AOMEI's Partition Assistant Pro to try all sorts of workarounds, mostly copying partitions to the SSD from original HDD. I used diskpar.exe to try formatting and realigning the SSD to 2048, to no avail. CloneZilla Live was brought in to try cloning my original disk sector-for-sector, but obviously I couldn't because 1TB down to 240GB is impossible. Instead I opted for cloning only the partitions, which executed fine with the exception the SSD still wouldn't boot in my laptop. The SSD is accessible in Windows Disk Manager, and the partitions I cloned over are read-and-writeable.

So, as you can see, I have a problem on my hands. I've put 30+ hours into it, but have decided I'm at the end of my rope as far as my skills are concerned. I just began pondering if it's a locked bootloader issue within the Win8 system, or if it could be a MBR/GPT issue, even UEFI/EFI related. I don't want to permanently screw my new toys up, so I'm stopping while I still have functioning hardware. I have a clean copy of Win7Ult, but my laptop didn't come with any backup disks (and I stupidly did not make any Win8 recovery disks when I had the chance). In the end it doesn't matter if I have 7 or 8 installed -- whatever I can get working is fine by me.

Seeking any input you can give.

Thanks for reading!
December 2, 2012 10:16:16 PM

Did you infact check what standard of Sata interface the laptop supports. 2.0 or 3.0.
Is the SSD drive a 3.0 device and the Sata interface is 2.0. If the case your in a bit of a pickle, as the SSD will never work if it is not backwards comparability to Sata 2.0
December 2, 2012 10:25:09 PM

I installed Win7 via an ASUS P5K motherboard, which only supports SATA II, so I can deduce that the drive is reverse compatible with a SATA II interface (even though I'm pretty sure the laptop is SATA III anyways).
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December 6, 2012 4:15:43 PM

I am having the exact same issue. I bought an ASUS N56DP-DH11 notebook and a Samsung 840 Series SSD (model MZ-7TD120). I cannot tell if the mobo is sata 2 or 3 though. Anyone have any ideas?
December 6, 2012 4:20:43 PM

Also, prior to running any updates, my laptop would not recognize any external HDD's connected via usb. It will however let me see usb flash drives and read/write from them. As for the externals, I've verified they work with 3 other computers. I was able to install win 7 on another asus (older one a customer brought in) and so the Samsung SSD works. I transplanted that drive to the new asus and it still was not recognized in the bios. I am considering sending it in for a mobo replacement under a warranty repair. Any ideas before I do this would be helpful
January 6, 2013 12:27:42 PM

citizencia said:
Also, prior to running any updates, my laptop would not recognize any external HDD's connected via usb. It will however let me see usb flash drives and read/write from them. As for the externals, I've verified they work with 3 other computers. I was able to install win 7 on another asus (older one a customer brought in) and so the Samsung SSD works. I transplanted that drive to the new asus and it still was not recognized in the bios. I am considering sending it in for a mobo replacement under a warranty repair. Any ideas before I do this would be helpful


I have the same problem, and the same laptop! :pfff:  Anyone with the solution? :o 

Thanks.
May 10, 2013 6:24:45 PM

How to Resolve ‘Windows cannot be installed to this disk, The selected disk is of the GPT partition style’ problem

100 person working methods follow 1 and 2 which is comfort to ur laptop

"windows cannot be installed to disk 0
partition 2. (show details)", when i click show details i get the
message, "windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk is
of the GPT partition style."

its the error that you can maybe see when you try to install new windows on your computer

be aware that whatever is in your hard drive will be gone forever, including partitions and operating system.

now i show you 2 method to resolve your problem :

Method #1:

1. Boot up to installation DVD/CD.

2. Click install but don't follow through.

3. Press SHIFT-F10 to bring up console.

4. Type "diskpart"

5. Once inside diskpart type:

-> list disk (find the one you want to convert)

-> select disk 0 (select the one you want from the list)

-> convert mbr (should take a second or two)

-> quit

6. Continue with install

Method #2:

1. Boot up to installation DVD/CD.

2. Click install but don't follow through.

3. Press SHIFT-F10 to bring up console.

4. Type "diskpart"

5. Once inside diskpart type:

-> list disk (find the one you want to convert)

-> select disk 0 (select the one you want from the list)

-> clean (wait an hour or so until its done)

-> quit

6. Continue with install

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