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Windows 7 Help Needed

Tags:
  • SSD
  • Computers
  • Windows 7
Last response: in Windows 7
September 4, 2012 1:25:46 PM

Hello,

I received an unmountable boot volume error when starting up my computer last night and came to the conclusion that my 120gb ssd which contained the windows installation has failed.

My question is this. I still have my 1tb hardrive however, if I buy another harddrive or another ssd, will my computer work normally if I install windows with my recovery disk on the new hdd or ssd?

Also, is it as simple as placing the new drive in and then installing a copy of windows on it or do I have to do some other steps prior to that?

Thanks in advance for your help, greatly appreciated!

More about : windows needed

September 4, 2012 1:57:11 PM

Hello,

A quick question: What tests did you run to determine that your current SSD is bad? I know that the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME BSOD is typically a bad hard drive, but this can also be caused by a misconfigured BIOS. Has there been any changes to your BIOS that you are aware of that preceded this error?

As far as reinstalling Windows, it is typically very straight forward - that is of course when things go as planned ;) 

What type of Windows operating system to you have (retail or is it a manufacturer's disc)? Either way you should be able to install the new operating system on the blank hard drive without doing too much. A few recommendations:

1) Unplug all other hard drives from the system before installation
2) Go into your BIOS and set your optical drive as the 1st bootable device (if you have a shortcut to a boot menu during your POST screen, just use that instead)
3) Boot to your applicable disc
4) Format the drive with NTFS, partition the drive as you see fit, and then follow the prompts
5) Once windows is installed you will need to update your drivers and Windows - if you have internet connectivity to start, you can run Windows update and it will get some of your system drivers for you. I would recommend getting the updated drivers for your video/audio/motherboard separately from the manufacturer(s). If you do not have internet connectivity, your PC likely came with another recovery disc that has drivers on it, you can then install the ethernet driver.

Hopefully that's of some help!
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September 4, 2012 2:39:23 PM

Thanks for the responce.

As for the cd, I bought the computer from Cyberpower about five months ago and it came with Cyberpower PC Windows 7 home premium sp1 recovery cd. Good to hear that it's pretty straight forward when it comes to installing on a new harddrive :) 

I should mention that I would most likely be purchasing a new hdd instead of another ssd as it would be cheaper to do so. Will that be a problem considering the windows was installed on the ssd which I will be replacing with a new hdd?

Also, I started the computer with just the HDD in and it came up with boot mgr missing. Is this because windows is not installed on the drive as it was on the ssd?

Thanks in advance!
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September 4, 2012 3:30:51 PM

newguy2012 said:
Thanks for the responce.

As for the cd, I bought the computer from Cyberpower about five months ago and it came with Cyberpower PC Windows 7 home premium sp1 recovery cd. Good to hear that it's pretty straight forward when it comes to installing on a new harddrive :) 

I should mention that I would most likely be purchasing a new hdd instead of another ssd as it would be cheaper to do so. Will that be a problem considering the windows was installed on the ssd which I will be replacing with a new hdd?

Also, I started the computer with just the HDD in and it came up with boot mgr missing. Is this because windows is not installed on the drive as it was on the ssd?

Thanks in advance!


I hear of more people having issues with installation on SSDs than I do on HDDs any more, so really I think you would actualy be reducing your risk for installation issues by going with a HDD - though SSDs boot much faster.

As far as the bootmgr error, that's correct, it doesn't see a boot sector on that hard drive (which is something that is done automatically by the Windows 7 installation).

Good luck, let me know if there are other questions!
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September 4, 2012 3:41:50 PM

Thanks again for your responce.

Do I have to do anything with the BIOS in terms of telling what partition to use or anything like that? Or would I just need to remove the SSD and replace it with the HDD followed by installing windows?

Also last night and prior to coming to these forums I did come accross an article on how to boot partitons and making one active through cmd which I tried in hopes of resolving the issue umountable boot volume issue. This morning I was questioning my attempt with those prompts as I probably shouldn't have been doing that as I am not familiar with BIOS and such. I then selected restore defualt bios on the f8 setup menu in hopes that it would bring it back to the defaults.

Should everything be ok when I place the new hdd and install windows?
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September 4, 2012 4:28:38 PM

newguy2012 said:
Thanks again for your responce.

Do I have to do anything with the BIOS in terms of telling what partition to use or anything like that? Or would I just need to remove the SSD and replace it with the HDD followed by installing windows?

Also last night and prior to coming to these forums I did come accross an article on how to boot partitons and making one active through cmd which I tried in hopes of resolving the issue umountable boot volume issue. This morning I was questioning my attempt with those prompts as I probably shouldn't have been doing that as I am not familiar with BIOS and such. I then selected restore defualt bios on the f8 setup menu in hopes that it would bring it back to the defaults.

Should everything be ok when I place the new hdd and install windows?


You shouldn't have to do anything with the BIOS in order to create a partion, that is all handled while installing windows. You would simply remove the old SSD and install the new HDD. If the BIOS recognizes the HDD, Windows setup should as well. If you use a large HDD, some people like to split it in half (primary windows partition and an extended partition for data, this can help if your Windows partition becomes corrupt so the data on the partition is safe, note: that doesn't matter if the whole drive is physically failing though) - just make sure your primary partition is pretty large, I wouldn't feel comfortable with anything less than 250-300gb if you are installing programs on the same partition as your OS (this can vary of course if you are installing a lot of large games/programs. If you want to keep it simple though, you can create just one partition and store everything on it.

As far as setting a partition to active, when Windows creates your primary partition it automatically sets that partition as active. There is something called the Master Boot Record that is created on the 1st sector of the hard drive that tells your BIOS that the particular partion is active and is the primary booting partition. You should only need to change that if you have multiple operating systems and you have to manually change it in order for it to boot.

Resetting your BIOS was probably the good thing to do so I Imagine you're probably in good shape, here is a decent walkthrough on how to perform a "clean" install of Windows 7, not every portion will be applicable to you, but there is a lot of good information here:

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/operatingsystems/ss/windo...
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September 4, 2012 4:42:52 PM

Good to hear.

I'm just about to go out to the store to pick up the new HDD. I'll take a look at the article when I get back.

Two quick questions. I already have a 1tb Seagate hdd, and will pick up another 1tb hdd to go along with it. Does it matter what brand and also, do I have to format the drive before I tell it to install windows?

Do I have to tell my computer that windows is no long installed on the SSD within the BIOS or will that information not be needed as I will be replacing the SSD with the new HDD. I do not want two OS on my computer so I figured I would ask this question as well.

Thanks!
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September 4, 2012 5:01:40 PM

newguy2012 said:
Good to hear.

I'm just about to go out to the store to pick up the new HDD. I'll take a look at the article when I get back.

Two quick questions. I already have a 1tb Seagate hdd, and will pick up another 1tb hdd to go along with it. Does it matter what brand and also, do I have to format the drive before I tell it to install windows?

Do I have to tell my computer that windows is no long installed on the SSD within the BIOS or will that information not be needed as I will be replacing the SSD with the new HDD. I do not want two OS on my computer so I figured I would ask this question as well.

Thanks!


Brand should not matter at all, as long as it is the same interface it should be good. I'm fairly positive you are using SATA so it shouldn't be too hard to find one that works. With that being said, I would look at your computer's motherbaord specs to see what version of SATA you are using (i.e., SATA I, II, or III) that way you can make sure you get the most out of your drive. I believe all SATA drives are backwards-compatible, but if you have SATA III for example supported by your motherboard, it would be best to get a SATA III drive than a SATA II drive since it will transfer at a faster rate.

You will format the drive while performing the Windows installation, it is super easy. Since the drive will be blank there will basicly be one option that will say "format" and from there it will ask you for the size of the partion. If you want to go the easiest route, just leave whatever number is there by default and let it format/create the partition, it shouldn't take too long. If you want two partitions there are plenty of guides out there to show exactly how to do it, it isn't hard at all, but if you are not too familiar with it a guide won't hurt.

You will not have to tell the BIOS anything about the operating system, that's all handled automatically. Since the SSD will be removed, so will all information related to that operating system, the BIOS doesn't retain that (going back to the Master Boot Record which lies on the HDD after OS installation).

Hope that helps.

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September 4, 2012 6:43:01 PM

Awesome, looking forward to getting my pc up and running agian.

Just got back from the store and I'm about to replace with the new HDD and install windows 7.

Wish me luck :) 

Will post an update soon...
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September 4, 2012 8:03:05 PM

Good news everyone!

Had great sucess with installing the HDD and installing a fresh copy of Windows. :) 

I do have another question though, I also placed my other HDD that was with the original SDD. It does not detect that drive however. I open up My Computer and it only shows the new c: with 950gb. The other HDD used to be my I:.

How can I resolve this?


Thanks in advance!
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September 4, 2012 9:38:08 PM

Bump? :) 
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September 4, 2012 10:53:45 PM



I am still trying to get my PC to recognize the other hard drive.

I went into Disk Management and it shows the new c: drive but then there is what appears to be the other hard drive shown as well. Problem is, there is no letter assigned under volume, its just blank. It's status is Active (Healthy, Recovery partition).

I'm not sure where to go from here and would greatly appreciate any insight on what to do next.


Thank you.
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September 4, 2012 10:57:34 PM

newguy2012 said:
Good news everyone!

Had great sucess with installing the HDD and installing a fresh copy of Windows. :) 

I do have another question though, I also placed my other HDD that was with the original SDD. It does not detect that drive however. I open up My Computer and it only shows the new c: with 950gb. The other HDD used to be my I:.

How can I resolve this?


Thanks in advance!


1) Does it detect in the BIOS? If not I've seen where some of the SATA ports are actually shut off by default.

2) Was the hard drive blank?

3) Did you put the drive in after installation or was it plugged in during installation?

4) If you go to hard disk management is it detected there? (Right-click Computer > Manage > Hard Disk Management) If so, what does it say the file system is?
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September 4, 2012 10:59:38 PM

newguy2012 said:
I am still trying to get my PC to recognize the other hard drive.

I went into Disk Management and it shows the new c: drive but then there is what appears to be the other hard drive shown as well. Problem is, there is no letter assigned under volume, its just blank. It's status is Active (Healthy, Recovery partition).

I'm not sure where to go from here and would greatly appreciate any insight on what to do next.


Thank you.


Does it show that your file system is RAW? Was the drive blank before? It sounds like the disk needs to be initialized and then formatted within windows so it can assign it a drive letter.
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September 4, 2012 11:11:01 PM

nullifier said:
Does it show that your file system is RAW? Was the drive blank before? It sounds like the disk needs to be initialized and then formatted within windows so it can assign it a drive letter.



I am not sure how to tell if my file system is RAW... The drive had some games installed on it prior to last night when the PC stopped working.

If you could tell me how to initialize the drive and format it, that would be awesome!
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September 4, 2012 11:21:30 PM

newguy2012 said:
I am not sure how to tell if my file system is RAW... The drive had some games installed on it prior to last night when the PC stopped working.

If you could tell me how to initialize the drive and format it, that would be awesome!


Under Disk Management it should show you the file system under the "File System" field when you are looking at the overview of disks. Your primary disk will be NTFS so it would be good to double check to see what it says your other disk is before formatting it.

If it says "RAW" then for whatever reason the file system has been lost and the disk will need a new partition created after the disk initialized.

To initialize new disks
In Disk Management, right-click the disk you want to initialize, and then click Initialize Disk.

In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select the disk(s) to initialize. Then select the master boot record (MBR) style of partition.

If that isn't good enough info when I get back home I can take give better instructions, also if you still have problems, a screen shot of the main disk management screen would be helpful.

See ya!
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September 4, 2012 11:45:35 PM

[/cpp]
nullifier said:
Under Disk Management it should show you the file system under the "File System" field when you are looking at the overview of disks. Your primary disk will be NTFS so it would be good to double check to see what it says your other disk is before formatting it.

If it says "RAW" then for whatever reason the file system has been lost and the disk will need a new partition created after the disk initialized.

To initialize new disks
In Disk Management, right-click the disk you want to initialize, and then click Initialize Disk.

In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select the disk(s) to initialize. Then select the master boot record (MBR) style of partition.

If that isn't good enough info when I get back home I can take give better instructions, also if you still have problems, a screen shot of the main disk management screen would be helpful.

See ya!


Hmm...

I went to Disk Management and looked at the file system field. My primary is marked NTFS as you stated however, the one above it (the one in question, my other hdd) is blank for both its volume and file system. Nothing in either spot. When I right click my C:, I get a few options however, when I right click my other hdd the only option I get is "help".


Looking forward to what you think when you get back home. :) 

Thanks in advance.

P.S.
Here is that screen cap you would like to take a look at.

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/2475/78018292.png (For some reason, I could not get it to post on the forum....)
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September 5, 2012 12:58:44 AM

I wanted to mention you bought the computer from Cyberpower about 5 months ago, the SSD should still be under warranty.
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September 5, 2012 2:20:18 AM

bkoop said:
I wanted to mention you bought the computer from Cyberpower about 5 months ago, the SSD should still be under warranty.



Thanks for the info, I'll take a look into that.

Still looking for some help with the information I gave in my previous posting.

Thanks in advance!
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September 5, 2012 12:10:32 PM

newguy2012 said:


Hmm...

I went to Disk Management and looked at the file system field. My primary is marked NTFS as you stated however, the one above it (the one in question, my other hdd) is blank for both its volume and file system. Nothing in either spot. When I right click my C:, I get a few options however, when I right click my other hdd the only option I get is "help".


Looking forward to what you think when you get back home. :) 

Thanks in advance.

P.S.
Here is that screen cap you would like to take a look at.

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/2475/78018292.png (For some reason, I could not get it to post on the forum....)
[/cpp]


Morning everyone,

Any idea's on how to fix this?
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September 6, 2012 12:24:29 AM

Hey man sorry it has taken me so long, work and honey-dos.

Anyways does it only give you the "help" prompt even when you right-click by Disk 1 in the area directly to the right (the area with the blue stripe)?

If we can't get this to work in Windows we may need to explore our options in recovery mode! Sorry for not recommending the RMA, I spaced on the 5 month time frame so bkoop is absolutely right.
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September 6, 2012 11:41:13 AM

nullifier said:
Hey man sorry it has taken me so long, work and honey-dos.

Anyways does it only give you the "help" prompt even when you right-click by Disk 1 in the area directly to the right (the area with the blue stripe)?

If we can't get this to work in Windows we may need to explore our options in recovery mode! Sorry for not recommending the RMA, I spaced on the 5 month time frame so bkoop is absolutely right.



Hello, no problem, glad to hear from you again.

Yes, when I clicked the area with the blue stripe it gave me a "help" prompt and that's it :( 

Where do I go from here?

Thanks.
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September 6, 2012 12:56:43 PM

That's very strange I've never ran into a disk that I could re-initialize or format if the drive was detected as being online - unfortunately the Internet isn't bringing up many good answers as well.

Do you have another computer you can hook the drive up to? It may be worth a try to see how it reacts in another system (even if it is a different OS). Not having a drive letter certainly complicates things, but by moving it to another computer it will help us to determine if the problem lies with some sort of configuration on the system (least likely) or with the hard disk's partition tables and file system being very corrupt (most likely).

Sorry I don't have more/better advice, this particular problem is new to me as well (that is only showing the help context menu). I'll keep trying to think of other solutions for you.
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