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A Bit of a Conundrum


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#1 Crazy49er

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:52 AM

[Seeing as how this involves 2 different Hard drives I chose to post it in the internal section, even though it also involves 4 different OS and an external drive.]

So I have 2 hard drives, I originally installed a SATA 160gb drive on this Desktop. The first OS to be installed was XP Pro Retail that I had laying around.
Next I purchased an OEM copy of Vista 32bit and installed that over the XP Pro. To my knowledge this was perfectly fine all that it left was a Windows.old file on the drive.

As time went by the 160gb drive filled up and since the newer, better OS Windows 7 had been released I purchased Windows 7 OEM 64 bit and a new 500gb SATA drive and placed both into the machine installing the W7 onto the new drive for a completely clean install.

Up till this point I've had both hard drives in the machine and I left it as such when I boot I can select either the Vista 32bit on the 160gb drive, or the Win 7 64bit on the 500gb drive. Having moved all my files over and exceedingly happy with the new performance, you can probably guess at which one I use more.


Recently I've been looking into Ubuntu 10.10 and I wanted to give Linux a whirl. And so I downloaded the Ubuntu 64bit copy to the Windows 7 drive and created a USB boot drive with the directions provided on the Ubuntu site. I had planned on cleaning off Windows Vista / whatever was left, if anything of XP off of the 160gb drive and using that as a Linux playground.

(Now is where it gets a bit odd)

I have plugged the USB ubuntu drive in and boot the PC, however the PC completely ignores the drive and wants to go straight to the option to boot from either the 2 hard drives. Thinking it was an issue with having 2 drives in at once and wanting to make sure I didn't screw something up. I then unplugged the Windows 7 drive from both power and SATA and once again tried a reboot. Still no luck.

I decided to test the USB's functionality and when I access the application the drive works and Ubuntu 10.10 shows a small window asking me if I want to run a Demo / then Install, Install in Windows, or view online documentation. If I select the Demo/Install it tells me I need to reboot and boot via the USB. If I choose to install in Windows I'm simply left with a small sliver of hard drive space for the Ubuntu install and whatever issues Vista had previously to slow it down like a dead elephant.

I then tried it manually by rebooting this time, holding down the F12 key which I'm assuming should be the default for boot menu but this desktop seems to want to ignore that too. And being a bit of an oddity, it still shows both windows options on the boot manager screen. At this point I am rattling around a few ideas in my head as to what it could be and if it may have to do with either or both boot.ini files for the computer.

I figured I'd plug back in the Windows 7 drive, and access that very useful Computer Management utility and use the Disk Management tool and I figured I'd just simply Format the D: drive (windows vista) well.... no go on that one as well I get back and error "Windows cannot format the system partition on this drive". So I look it up online and someone says its a simple fix of selecting the C: drive (windows 7) and right clicking > making active. Well I did that and sadly.... it still bounces back the same error when I try to format the D: drive.


The whole object at this point is just to have 2 drives, Same desktop. C: drive Windows 7 64bit and D: drive Ubuntu 10.10 ... ideas?

Speccy Info


Many Thanks in Advance,
Crazy49er

Edited by Crazy49er, 23 March 2011 - 11:07 AM.


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 11:45 AM

Now have you verified that your BIOS supports booting from external removal devices such as a USB Stick?

#3 Crazy49er

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 12:10 PM

Thats a good question, I've booted from one automatically in the past using Memtest86 to test the Ram on the PC... I assumed it would work. I had reformatted the same flash drive and used the drive burning software from the Ubuntu site to load the program onto the USB drive.

my current BIOS is:

Brand:
Phoenix Technologies, LTD
Version:
ASUS M2N-SLI DELUXE ACPI BIOS Revision 0404
Date:
08/21/2006


That is when I got the motherboard +/- a couple months and built the desktop so it seems I do need a Bios update, however I'm still puzzled as to why it would boot from one drive software and not another using the same USB stick. I have a laptop from 2003 that I'm working on restoring and I know that one is too old to boot from USB, it doesn't allow it. But I had assumed a motherboard from 2006 should be more than able to USB boot even at the basic BIOS settings.

I now have another question, I've done Bios upgrades before, obviously I've just neglected mine, but would it be safer to step up and grab the BIOS updates in sequence like 2007 / 2008 / 20... so on? or is there no need and I should just grab the most recent one and that one will be all inclusive of all the changes? I had planned on doing it anyway at some point, the most recent one v 5001 allows for AM2+/AM3 quad core chips to be inserted into the motherboard for a big performance boost.

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 12:24 PM

Unless the instructions say otherwise you can grab the latest one.

#5 Crazy49er

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:07 PM

Going to attempt to update the BIO from 0404 to 1701, We'll see how this goes with the ASUS bios flash program.

#6 Crazy49er

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:06 PM

Just for an update.... I'm posting on a laptop, ASUS BIOS flash has bricked my computer. Apparently the 1701 bios update and several others are listed as valid updates but there are a growing number of posters that are writing with the same results. "Blue Screen of Death - BIOS is not fully ACPI compliant"

UGH.. fudge you too ASUS!

#7 Crazy49er

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 12:03 AM

FIXED! Computer isn't a brick anymore... lets just say I went through 4 different BIOS before it worked again. But I did figure out that I am able to boot from USB, otherwise the flashing from USB wouldn't have worked. I feel like I need an alcoholic beverage after that 3 hour bout.

#8 Crazy49er

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 12:46 PM

Anyway, I tried to disconnect the old hard drive and it seems the Vista drive currently has the BootMGR file for the computer. It doesn't see the file on the Windows 7 drive so I'm assuming the old drive remains the primary for the PC. Is there any way to move it without re installation of Windows 7?

#9 cryptodan

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 05:56 PM

You will have to reinstall Windows 7.

#10 hamluis

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:56 AM

You might consider trying something like EasyBCD...to add the Win 7 install to the bootloader.

http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1

Louis

#11 Crazy49er

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for the tip, EasyBCD worked well for changing the boot options and I was able to reformat the Vista drive, and boot to Windows 7 as the main drive.

#12 hamluis

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 10:00 AM

Nice work, glad you resolved it...happy computing :).

Louis




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