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Cannot Boot from Harddisk


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#1 SuicideKing

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:33 PM

Hey there

I'm having a weird issue with booting up my computer and I'm hoping to find a solution that does not involve reinstalling windows completely. Might come to that, but first I'm looking for other issues.

To give some context:
A few months ago my primary harddisk started failing. I acquired a new harddisk, installed windows on it and it has been working fine.

When I boot up the computer, I can select between the old and the new windows installation and I've simply been using the new one. I've left the old harddisk plugged in as I had some data on it I wanted to salavage and then I just left it there. I've gotten the data of it and have had no reason to unplug it.

Recently, however, I wanted to unplug the old harddisk as there has been some issues with hangups and I had a suspicioun they were caused by windows (for some reason) reading from the old harddisk.

When I unplugged it I got a "Bootmgr is missing" error and could not boot up. Thus I need to have the old harddisk plugged in in order to boot up windows.

WHich is annoying, as I think the old harddisk is the cause of the performance issues I've been having.

Obviously the new harddisk has not been made bootable by installing windows on it. The old harddisk was plugged in when I installed windows, so that's likely the cause of it (for some reason...?).

Is there any way for me to fix this without unplugging the old harddisk and installing windows again? I'd rather not, as I've been using this windows for over a month and would rather not have to go through the whole thing again.

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#2 Andrew

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

The Windows installer will put its boot-up code (the bootmgr) on the primary hard drive regardless of the drive that Windows proper is installed on. You can repair this by booting your Windows 7 DVD and running the Startup Repair tool. See Microsoft's how-to article here. Make sure that the original disk is unplugged before attempting this repair.

Edited by Andrew, 17 January 2013 - 06:39 PM.


#3 SuicideKing

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:47 PM

Can this be done from a memory stick as well? I do not have a windows cd. I installed windows from a usb stick when I installed windows on this one, so I hope it's just a matter of recreating that usb stick and making it bootable and then run the repair program from that.

#4 Andrew

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

If the USB stick contains the standard-issue Windows installer, then it should work.

#5 SuicideKing

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

Alright, I've recreated the usb stick and am using it to boot up the computer.

Now I've run into an issue that the above toturial does not seem to cover.

When choosingto repair the system, I got to a dialog called "System Recovery Options" where I select "Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting windows."

Then I'm supposed to select an operating system to repair. THis is the problem - the windows version I have installed previously does not seem to exist there. It tells me that if my operating system is not listed, then I should load drivers... Which I do not have or at least do not know how to identify.

Any ideas on a next step?

Thanks for the help so far, I really appreciate it.

#6 Andrew

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

Try some of the manual repair commands from the Recovery Manager's command prompt: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

Edited by Andrew, 17 January 2013 - 07:35 PM.


#7 SuicideKing

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:14 PM

Alright, tried that and got an "element not found error".

I then found some hints on this: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproinstall/thread/7791044e-db7f-4144-a96c-945299811f58

And tried using diskpart to flag the windows partiion as active.

Diskpart can also be used to mark the partition as active from the Windows RE.
Diskpart
LIST DISK
SELECT DISK (followed by the number of the disk . most likely 0)
LIST PARTITION
SELECT PARTITION (followed by your partition number. most likely 0)
ACTIVE
EXIT
Windows startup recovery should now work.


And then ran bootrec /rebuildbcd and it told me "operation succesful"

And then I tried to boot the computer up, which fails.

There is progress though, now the startup recovery tools can find my partition and it can attempt to repair it...

And after a few tries it seems to work.

Plugged in my other other harddisk. This throws the "bootmgr is missing" error, but now I'm onto it. For some reason it thinks it should boot from this harddisk. I assume it's because of the order they're plugged in...?

Anyway, I get it to boot from the newly repaired windows installation and it works.

Thank you so much - was really not looking forward to reinstalling windows and having to personalize the whole thing all over again.

The computer does seem to run smoother now that the broken harddisk is out of the picture :P

Again, thanks. I could not have done this on my own.

#8 Andrew

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

Glad you got it sorted :thumbup2:




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