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missing MBR in second, non-partioned win7 installatation?


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#1 freegilligan

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 09:08 AM

hi, i recently bought and installed a new internal harddrive. using my old drive and its win7 installation i downloaded my digital copy of win7 and its installer and used that installer to do a fresh win7 install on the new drive. once that was done my old drive still had boot priority but during boot i was given the option to boot to either OS, depending on the drive. that all works fine as-is: i can boot to my new install, which is where i'm posting this from, and i can boot to my old install with no problems. the only problem comes in when i change boot priority in the bios.

 

when the old drive isn't the boot drive, or when it's disconnected altogether, the bios can't detect an OS on the new drive. how would this happen? is the new install's MBR partitioned into the old drive? i've looked into running win7's repair tool and bootrec.exe, since i have a spare burn of my digital win7 lying around (that i only avoided using for the original install because my dvd drive is old and flaky), but haven't done it. what are my options? i'd format and reinstall but i'm worried of it happening a second time and i spent yesterday installing and setting up firefox and steam and enough stuff that i'd like to avoid that if possible. i'll do it if i have to, of course, but i'd really appreciate some advice.

 

and sorry about the typo in the title


Edited by freegilligan, 12 January 2014 - 09:20 AM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 09:32 AM

Use the startup repair tool. You may have to run this 3 times before it finds and repairs everything.

#3 freegilligan

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 11:09 AM

just the startup repair tool? i did that earlier and it came up clean - it didn't find a problem or do anything, just told me to check no usb drives were plugged in as a last ditch suggestion



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 12:16 PM

I would then use bootrec:

 

https://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

 

  • bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
  • c:
  • cd boot
  • attrib bcd -s -h -r
  • ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
  • bootrec /RebuildBcd


#5 freegilligan

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 02:28 PM

that went smoothly but with no change. during the rebuild it scanned for and found each drive and each OS - first the new one, then the old - and asked if i wanted to make a boot for each. should i have declined on the old one? didn't seem like it would've made a difference considering it seemed like it was just going to make separate boots for each on their respective drives, but hell if i know how that process really works. do i have other options? should i just call it a loss and reinstall, this time using the burn/disc i have?

Edited by freegilligan, 12 January 2014 - 02:33 PM.


#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:38 PM

I would remove the old drive or unplug the cables from it and run the bootrec again on the one drive.  Try to get the new one running first.


Edited by JohnC_21, 12 January 2014 - 03:39 PM.


#7 freegilligan

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 04:37 PM

without the old drive the windows repair tool can't even detect an OS to repair. i went into the command prompt anyway and tried to run the whole backup, delete, rebuild process. that wasn't possible, but i was able to run /RebuildBcd on its own and it scanned for and did find the new OS on the new drive. however, when i chose to add it to the boot list this time, it errored out with "element not found"


Edited by freegilligan, 12 January 2014 - 04:38 PM.


#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 04:55 PM

I am wondering if the 100mb system partition is on the old drive and nothing on the new drive. You could check this out by downloading the bootable version of Partition Wizard. Burn the iso file and boot. Then check your drives for the 100MB system partition. If that is the case I would not know how to fix the issue other than doing the install again without the old drive connected. Maybe do a bootrec /fixboot and bootrec /mbr on the new drive but that may cause both drives to not boot.

 

http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html



#9 freegilligan

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:12 PM

probably the case. my dvdrw's not reliable enough to do the burn for partion wizard so i finally decided to reinstall. dvd drive also started acting up, so i was forced into the same digital install as last time, again from the old drive, and it left me with the very same problem. i expected that, but i wanted to confirm it. and while installing from disc will probably end up being the solution, i'm out of that option for the moment. is there any special reason that installing from another drive would tie the system partition to it? is there any way to avoid that the way i'm doing it?



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:23 PM

You have the digital install. This is an iso file, correct. You can install the iso to a flash drive (edit:using a utility) and install from that so you do not need to install from the 40GB drive. Yea, I think Windows gets confused installing an OS to another drive from a drive with the OS.

 

Edit: The software you can use is Unetbootin if you have the iso.


Edited by JohnC_21, 12 January 2014 - 07:28 PM.


#11 freegilligan

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:36 PM

a flash drive would be ideal, and i realize they're dirt cheap (much like dvd-rws these days), but i don't have any lying around bigger than 2gb that aren't sandisk mp3 players. guess i'll have to wait til i can get a hold of one


Edited by freegilligan, 12 January 2014 - 07:37 PM.


#12 freegilligan

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:39 PM

...or actually maybe i do. i'll let you know how it goes so you we can close this thread if necessary



#13 freegilligan

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:47 PM

ran into a few complications or i would've updated sooner, but ultimately i salvaged a 15 year old compaq dvd drive from an old family computer and got this all sorted. thanks for the help along the way.

#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:08 PM

Thank you for the update.






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