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Missing Boot Drive

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October 10, 2012 7:02:46 PM

Greetings,

I recently put together a new system and at first I was running the system with my old HDD that has XP installed. when I received my copy of Win7 64 I installed it on a new drive, all other drives were disconnected during this instal. The computer boots up fine in Win 7, the XP drive shows up in my computer and I can access all the files. however I am unable to boot from the old drive now, when I go into my bios and try to select the XP drive it is not listed as an option. the Win 7 drive is there, the CD/DVD and even the USB and Flash card reader show but now my XP drive.

I have already checked the possibility that its an AHCI/IDE problem and the MB specs clearly state that AHCI is only set to the SATA III ports. the XP drive is installed on the SATA II port. and no setting were changed in the bios when Win 7 was installed. Can you give me any ideas why the XP drive is not even showing as a boot option when the drive is still fully accessible once I boot into 7?

I Installed all the MB drivers and made sure they were up to date.

My specs:
Motherboard: ASUS M5A99X EVO 990X chipset.
CPU: AMDFX4100
RAM: Kingston HyperX blue 1600mhz DDR3
GPU: ASUS Gforce GTX 550 Ti
SSD: Vertex 4 128GB - WIN 7 64
HDD: Hitachi 250GB SATA II -Win XP
HDD: WD 500GB SATA II - Storage
HDD: WD 1TB SATA III - Backup
DVD/CD: Plextor PX-L890SA-26
Network: D-Link DWA-552


Thank you

Don

More about : missing boot drive

a c 180 V Motherboard
October 10, 2012 7:11:41 PM

I'm not sure what the bios options are on the AMD Asus boards but there could be several options for booting. The first option would be set to hard drives , the second option would be set to dvd drives and the third option would be set ot other as in usb or even floppy so those would be the three options that you would see in the boot sequence. You would have to change the third option to hard drives also so that another hard drive can be included in the boot sequence.
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October 10, 2012 7:35:35 PM

Have you checked the boot sector? a lot of people don't realize there is a small hidden file that tells the bios where the operating system is located. It can be edited using a simple free app called easybcd. the site also has a handy tutorial how to use the app. But essentially you can edit the boot image and make a dual boot system telling the bios where to find each OS and what order to load them if left alone to timeout. Setting the boot order in bios just tells the computer which drive contains the boot sector. Since the bios already is already setup to boot to the active drive thats not the problem.
You should have left the drive with the XP connected and when you installed the new OS it would have rewrote an newer boot sector allowing the dual boot you wanted to have.
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October 10, 2012 7:59:16 PM

MMXMonster said:
Have you checked the boot sector? a lot of people don't realize there is a small hidden file that tells the bios where the operating system is located. It can be edited using a simple free app called easybcd. the site also has a handy tutorial how to use the app. But essentially you can edit the boot image and make a dual boot system telling the bios where to find each OS and what order to load them if left alone to timeout. Setting the boot order in bios just tells the computer which drive contains the boot sector. Since the bios already is already setup to boot to the active drive thats not the problem.
You should have left the drive with the XP connected and when you installed the new OS it would have rewrote an newer boot sector allowing the dual boot you wanted to have.


yes I am kicking myself a little. I had considered that approach but others had suggested only having the win 7 drive connected during install in order to avoid complications. seeing as how I would only need to boot to XP occasionally I didnt think it would be an issue, I assumed I could just manually shuffle the boot order when the time came.

I am confused because nothing should have changed in the bios. win 7 was installed on a brand new drive, it is connected to a separate port on a separate SATA controller, and the Bios had no problem seeing and booting to the XP drive for over a week before I installed Win 7.

I am considering cloning the XP over to a USB external and seeing if I can boot from that. it would be a quick fix but I would really like to resolve the issue with my bios.
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a c 180 V Motherboard
October 10, 2012 8:06:52 PM

Did you look in the bios for the seperate boot options that I had posted?
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October 10, 2012 8:10:05 PM

DHFF said:

I am confused because nothing should have changed in the bios. win 7 was installed on a brand new drive, it is connected to a separate port on a separate SATA controller, and the Bios had no problem seeing and booting to the XP drive for over a week before I installed Win 7.


Nothing changed in your bios... you booted from the cd rom or dvd rom with the installation disk, but with no bootable disk in the drive the bios just went to the next drive in the list, which would be the sata drive.

I had XP on one drive, Win 7 on one and linux on another drive. but the boot sector was on the drive that the bios searched for first. If I set bios to look at the XP drive first it would give no option to boot any other OS other than the XP since I never edited the boot sector.
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October 10, 2012 8:21:29 PM

inzone said:
I'm not sure what the bios options are on the AMD Asus boards but there could be several options for booting. The first option would be set to hard drives , the second option would be set to dvd drives and the third option would be set ot other as in usb or even floppy so those would be the three options that you would see in the boot sequence. You would have to change the third option to hard drives also so that another hard drive can be included in the boot sequence.


I am not at home right now so I will give it another look when I get home. but I last looked at it last night and from what I remember the bios gives a graphical list of available boot devices, you can slide them around to change the order. I dont remember any option to alter how it boots other then that.
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October 10, 2012 8:28:01 PM

It sounds like your old HDD might be an IDE drive. Most motherboards that I've seen with IDE in recent years don't support native boot to IDE (you'd need to use "RAID" drivers, ie press F6 during install of XP to load extra drivers, then you'd have to run a repair install with those drivers to restore that drive to boot-ability).
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October 10, 2012 8:41:50 PM

mad1316 said:
It sounds like your old HDD might be an IDE drive. Most motherboards that I've seen with IDE in recent years don't support native boot to IDE (you'd need to use "RAID" drivers, ie press F6 during install of XP to load extra drivers, then you'd have to run a repair install with those drivers to restore that drive to boot-ability).



I dont believe that is the problem here. I double checked and the SATA II port I am using for the XP drive is set to IDE, the SATA III ports are set by default to ACHI.

regardless I would have no desire to re install XP, the only reason I am leaving it hooked up is because I have applications installed that I no longer have the Discs for so I am leaving that drive intact simply to access the programs.
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October 10, 2012 8:50:34 PM

Ok, good to know that the drive is a SATA drive. If the programs are the key, you should try running them from the drive directly. Some older programs can run directly from the folder without needing to be installed. For some applications, you might also be able to contact the software vendor for some options.

It is very odd that the XP drive isn't listed as bootable in your BIOS. Perhaps it is listed as bootable under external controller (for instance, if the SATA2 port you have the drive hooked into is running based on a JMicron controller, you'd set your BIOS to boot to that controller, not the drive). Also, depending on what your old system was, likely that XP wouldn't be able to boot anyway, as too many hardware changes make it freak out.
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October 11, 2012 3:40:07 AM

ok problem solved, I spent a little more time rooting around in the Bios and I found a sub menu that lets you change the devices on the boot list. I also found a quick boot menu that lets you pick items that are not on the boot list. that was actually perfect for me as it lets you select a drive and boot instantly from it, the next time you restart it defaults to the regular boot list.

Thank you everyone for your help. much appreciated.
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October 11, 2012 3:40:29 AM

Best answer selected by DHFF.
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