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Built a beast of a system but can't get into windows!

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 29, 2012 6:54:26 AM

Hi all I really hope someone can help as I am close to chucking this PC in the bin and wasting mega bucks buying one from a bit retailer..

I have built a system and I'm having a nightmare with hard drive configuration/boot options and now I just cant get to my windows destktop (it has previously been fine, indeed if I need to reinstall for the 8th time since this build I will lose quite a lot of work)

I have a gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 motherboard with 6 hard drives connected to the intel sata ports (the marvell ones have my DVD drives on them). I have my boot SSD with windows 7 on it on Port 1 (I am continually changing between port 1 and 0 but seem to have had more luck in the past on port 1 even though I dont believe this is recommended). I installed the intel raid drivers after installation at described in this thread:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/294955-14-blue-scre...

and by doing that was able to set up 4 WD Black hard drives as 2x RAID0 arrays which now work fine.

I then have a WD Velociraptor on the remaining Intel port (either 0 or 1 depending where the SSD is connected)

I have had no end of 'Boot disk not found' type errors. I have spent more time in the bios changing boot options than I have with my family over christmas... I am unsure of whether I should disable the non OS HDD's from the boot list or just move them below the SSD.

At the moment I have boot option 1 as one of my DVD drives, and boot option 2 as my SSD.

It hung on start up on the starting windows screen for about 20 mins so I force shut down and now when I restart and this is my current problem... I get told that windows did not start up correctly last time would I like to start windows normally or run startup repair. When I click EITHER of these options, it starts windows startup repair which as ever, fails to repair anything so I am basically stuck without being able to get into windows at the moment and I'm desperately trying to avoid installing windows for the 8th time after the amount of hassle I had to get the SATA drivers (the ones that were supplied on the mobo disc) to install. I should also say that on the startup repair screen when you have a box to select your OS or load drivers for your hard drives, I have no OS listed.

I will be regularly checking this thread ot supply any additional information you might need but I would REALLY appreciate any advice on this as I was planning on getting back to work today after a week of hell building this thing but it appears it doesnt want to let me...
December 29, 2012 7:10:09 AM

Increase the HDD timeout in your BIOS to 15 seconds and consider getting a replacement power supply.

a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2012 7:15:50 AM

Yea.... That other thread is wrong too.

Disconnect everything but your SSD and DVD.

Set the intel controller to RAID not AHCI. RAID supports all the AHCI commands, and this is the ONLY way you can have a RAID array on the same controller.

Reinstall windows, do all the updates and driver installs.

THEN reconnect your hard drives and create the RAID arrays. Everything should work fine.
Related resources
December 29, 2012 8:15:41 AM

thanks guys. unksol I have already created the raid though (the controller is now set to RAID) and the raid part seems to work ok, it's just the issue appears to be with the booting etc.

I will give the timeout a go but I'm worried I'll still be stuck in this startup repair loop..
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2012 8:55:44 AM

did you install windows with the controller set to raid mode?

if not then the windows driver is using achi mode, but the mobo is using raid mode. this can be fixed http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

December 29, 2012 10:00:10 AM

to be honest ive done so many installs now I struggle to remember.. I THINK I installed it in SATA mode and had to manually 'load drivers' during the install process. I used to get a blue screen of death with a similar message as on that microsoft link (although unsure as blue screen didnt stay on long enough) this has all been fixed though, the issue I have now is being in this startup repair loop :( 
December 29, 2012 11:06:16 AM

Im really concerned about having to reinstall windows again.. ive had SO many problems with this PC, constantly reinstalling windows for a 72 hour period. I'll also lose a few hours of work that is on one of the raid arrays. I take it if I disconnect the 4 raid drives and the velociraptor just leaving the SSD and DVD drive then when I reinstall and plug the other drives in the files will still be there? What about on the raid arrays? Will I need to delete and re-create those?

I will also put down in writing now my prediction that I'll hve issues with the master boot record by disconnecting the velociraptor drives as this was one of my many problems in installation 1 through to 7...

Whatever I do I need to do it today as I cant afford yet more down time..
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2012 11:15:31 AM

tikigod19 said:
Hi all I really hope someone can help as I am close to chucking this PC in the bin and wasting mega bucks buying one from a bit retailer..

I have built a system and I'm having a nightmare with hard drive configuration/boot options and now I just cant get to my windows destktop (it has previously been fine, indeed if I need to reinstall for the 8th time since this build I will lose quite a lot of work)

I have a gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 motherboard with 6 hard drives connected to the intel sata ports (the marvell ones have my DVD drives on them). I have my boot SSD with windows 7 on it on Port 1 (I am continually changing between port 1 and 0 but seem to have had more luck in the past on port 1 even though I dont believe this is recommended). I installed the intel raid drivers after installation at described in this thread:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/294955-14-blue-scre...

and by doing that was able to set up 4 WD Black hard drives as 2x RAID0 arrays which now work fine.

I then have a WD Velociraptor on the remaining Intel port (either 0 or 1 depending where the SSD is connected)

I have had no end of 'Boot disk not found' type errors. I have spent more time in the bios changing boot options than I have with my family over christmas... I am unsure of whether I should disable the non OS HDD's from the boot list or just move them below the SSD.

At the moment I have boot option 1 as one of my DVD drives, and boot option 2 as my SSD.

It hung on start up on the starting windows screen for about 20 mins so I force shut down and now when I restart and this is my current problem... I get told that windows did not start up correctly last time would I like to start windows normally or run startup repair. When I click EITHER of these options, it starts windows startup repair which as ever, fails to repair anything so I am basically stuck without being able to get into windows at the moment and I'm desperately trying to avoid installing windows for the 8th time after the amount of hassle I had to get the SATA drivers (the ones that were supplied on the mobo disc) to install. I should also say that on the startup repair screen when you have a box to select your OS or load drivers for your hard drives, I have no OS listed.

I will be regularly checking this thread ot supply any additional information you might need but I would REALLY appreciate any advice on this as I was planning on getting back to work today after a week of hell building this thing but it appears it doesnt want to let me...



These boot errors could be caused by a bad SSD, or an older SSD that has not had the firmware updated. Used to have the exact same issues with my Force 3 SSD until I updated the firmware, not a problem since.
December 29, 2012 11:19:14 AM

do you know how I update the firmware on the SSD?
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2012 11:32:51 AM

tikigod19 said:
do you know how I update the firmware on the SSD?


Go to the manufacturers website and then their support page. They will usually have a page dedicated for flashes, etc.

What is the make/model of your SSD and I'll see if I can locate something myself.
December 29, 2012 11:55:56 AM

it appears from the crucial site that I can't update the drive firmware until after I've installed windows so I'm going to bite the bullet and reinstall yet again.

I just want to make sure I don't do this incorrectly so would appreciate a prompt reply from anyone who knows if this is correct or not...

I have disconnected al drives except my DVD drives and my SSD.

There are still files on my velociraptor drive and also my 4 RAID drives. I expect I'll lose the stuff on the raid drives when I delete the raid and re-create them but hoping the velociraptor files will remain.

I will delete the partition on the SSD once I get it to show up in windows install (I'll need to insalll sata drivers from the motherboard disk in order to get it to show)

What I'm unsure about (as this is exactly the same process I followed last time so fear it wont fix anything) is whether the SATA drivers on the disc are out of date and if theyre not how I can get the most recent ones. Having said that on the below page when you select windows 7 64 bit there is only marvel related drivers and no intel ones so maybe they're not updated.

There is also a bios update but thats an exe so I assume to be applied after installation

http://uk.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4...



December 29, 2012 12:14:04 PM

ok here's a problem I had last time and I'm having again.. when I click load drivers to load the intel rapid storage raid drivers I navigate to the folder on the motherboard disc that the manual specifies, namely BootDrv\iRST\64Bit and I then have 4 options to choose from:

Intel (R) C600 Series Chipset SATA AHCI Controller (D:\BootDrv\iRST\64bit\iaAHCI.inf)

exactly as above with (x64) written at the end

Intel (R) C600 Series Chipset SATA RAID Controller (D:\BootDrv\iRST\64bit\iaStorA.inf)

and finlly exactly as above with (x64) at the end


When I choose the x64 RAID option (the last one) I'm told:

"To continue installation, use the Load Driver option to install 32-bit and signed 64-bit drivers. Instaling an unsigned 64-bit device driver is not supported and might result in an unusable Windows installation"

When I navigate to the 32 bit folder instead of the 64 bit folder and select:

Intel (R) C600 Series Chipset SATA RAID Controller (D:\BootDrv\iRST\32bit\iaStorA.inf (x64)

I am given the same message after a slightly extended wait when compared to last time, however I am then given my SSD to select for windows installation.

I think last time I installed the 32 bit driver in the 32bit folder instead of installing the 64 bit driver in the 32 bit folder (why do they make it so complicated) as I;m doing now.

To be honest I'm posting this more for my future reference in case anyone asks what I did at this stage as I'm desperate to avoid the same situation after this install number 8..
December 29, 2012 2:11:02 PM

an update on the SSD firmware and Motherboard bios.. you cant run the only bios file on the gigabyte site as its 32 bit and also the HDD update utility says its already up to date.

I'm up and running with just the SSD connected, going to connect other drives now and let the fun and games commence..

edit: oh my lord.. connected all other drives and they showed up instantly, even the RAID arrays are intact.

Now my question is should I continue as is or delete the raid arrays and create them again even though it means copying 2TB of data back onto them..

Or just wait to see how this handles?

Would like to hear peoples thoughts on that. Lets hope it stays working and booting up ok..
a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2012 2:24:49 PM

If it's running stable right now don't fix what ain't broke. If you start seeing hiccups let us know and we'll proceed further.
December 29, 2012 3:25:03 PM

I DO NOT BELIEVE IT

after spending 5 hours installing EVERYTHING again... back to square one. Insert boot disk type message. When I go into the bios the SSD is not listed, only the velociraptor drive.

It's going out the window right now.

EDIT: switched the velociraptor to one of the marvell ports and all seems ok, but how long for...
December 29, 2012 4:38:45 PM

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Just RMA the SSD, get another one and start over... Sorry
December 30, 2012 6:23:10 AM

Is that right after the bios update? You don't have to do a bios update unless the cpu you want to use is only supported by a later version... as hedwar2011 said, if it aint broke don't fix it!

Backtrack your installations, espescially the ones that require a restart and maybe list those here.
You can also contact Microsoft since this is most likely not a hardware problem but a software/driver problem.
January 1, 2013 8:03:09 AM

ok guys it's done it again a couple of times. Once after saying insert boot device I just force restarted and it loaded fine, however the most recent time it did not. The hard drive was not showing up in the bios so I booted from the windows cd, progressed as if I were going to install a fresh copy of windows and I clicked 'load drivers' to load the intel rapid storage technology SATA drivers as described in my post a few posts up. When I did this my hard drive showed but instead of installing I cancelled it all and restarted, the drive then showed up in the bios and it booted fine.

Based on this, do you think it is hardware of software related? I was about to RMA the drive but I dont want to do it unecessarily and I'm now starting to think the above means it might be down to SATA drivers/config on the motherboard, in which case all I can do is abandon the whole raid thing and use only the marvel ports for HDD's. It means losing my RAIDs and my SSD.. basically everything that makes my PC fast so would be a real shame to have to do this but I cant spent another fortnight trying to cure the problem and getting nowhere!
January 1, 2013 11:55:51 AM

I'd RMA the SSD and see if another one works.
January 2, 2013 11:51:03 AM

zdbc13 said:
I'd RMA the SSD and see if another one works.


new one on its way. Very impressed with overclockers.co.uk customer service. They also let me know that of the 1000+ of the 256gb Crucial M4's they have sold, 9 have come back where as most SSD's have figures about 5 times higher so Ive decided to go for another one of the same.

I'll post back my results next week.

Thanks to all for their help, lets hope this sorts it out...
January 2, 2013 12:28:05 PM

Yes, SSDs have proven to be very reliable and Crucial is a good brand. Good luck with your new one...
January 10, 2013 7:24:47 AM

well guys its been 3 days on the new SSD with no boot failures...

All that time and effort down to a dodgy SSD!

Thank god it's over... still have my velociraptor drive as the only drive on the marvell sockets but dont really want to mess around with it now!

Thanks to all for their help.

Just out of interest, in the end I used the IRST drivers from the mobo disc instead of from the link provided in this thread because the link in this thread had so many drivers to choose from and I couldnt find one with the same name as the one on the mobo disc so played it safe and used the disc version. However, we now know that this issue wasnt caused by drivers anyway, but crucial's m4 drive!

January 10, 2013 12:26:37 PM

Good job. I hate it when hardware is dodgy, at least you've got it fixed now. Enjoy....
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