boot issue windows 10

January 20, 2020 at 07:13:10
Specs: Windows 10, 8GB
I installed Windows 10 on my computer running Windows 7 before (as an install, not upgrade).

Booted the machine with an USB key,
I cleaned all the unnecessary small partitions (I had some for overprovisioning and such),
formatted all disks (3 in total)

Installed Windows 10 without any problem.
Whole of the time, the USB key stayed inserted during numerous bounces; no problem. It just states "Press a key to boot from USB", which I just skipped.

Then I removed the USB key, and still all was OK.

Then ... I decided to change my boot order in my BIOS, and since then I cannot boot anymore.
Logically, one disk is my boot disk now, the other 2 are just empty data disks now.

I'm not too concerned which one is actually my boot disk, since I am going to reconfig this machine anyway. It just needs to run Windows now.

What happens when I try to boot from any of the 3 disks:

The disk on "P0": it has a black screen, cursor blinking in top left, until forever
CTRL-ALT-DEL does not work

The disk in "P1" (which is the deviant disk on size): it also has a cursor blinking in the top left, for ever and ever,
but you can CTRL-ALT-DEL this one

The disk in "P2" : This one states:
"Reboot and select proper boot device
or insert boot media in selected boot device"


The BIOS is an AMIBIOS ASUS P9X79 ACPI REVISION 1103


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#1
January 20, 2020 at 13:26:16
When installing an operating system, no other drives should be connected.

After deleting all the partitions, you should have an Unallocted drive.


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#2
January 21, 2020 at 02:58:05
I know that is a workaround, but I don't want to disconnect drives. Instead, I want to use the BIOS and the boot procedure for what it was made: select a proper boot device.

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#3
January 21, 2020 at 09:06:47
Got it, and disconnecting drives wouldn't solve anything.

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#4
January 21, 2020 at 15:49:32
"The BIOS is an AMIBIOS ASUS P9X79 ACPI REVISION 1103"

Your board is 8-9 years old & the BIOS is outdated. There have been 17 updates since version 1103; the latest being 4701 (or possibly 4801 Beta). One of the updates (v2002) is "for Windows 8 full-functionality" & a later update (v2104) "improves compatibility with Windows 8". What I'm getting at is the BIOS should have been updated to the latest & greatest before attempting to install Win10.
https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboard...

"disconnecting drives wouldn't solve anything"

Maybe, maybe not. Best practice would have been to physically disconnect the 2ndary HDDs before installing Windows. Is starting from scratch an option?

My recommendation:
- update to the latest BIOS
- disconnect the 2ndary HDDs leaving only the primary HDD connected
- boot off the USB key & delete ALL existing partitions from the primary HDD so there's nothing but unallocated space
- create ONE new partition using all the available space, then continue with the installation (you can re-partition the HDD after the fact with Easeus Partition Master or similar).
https://www.easeus.com/partition-ma...
- after Win10 is fully updated & confirmed to be fully functional, reconnect the 2ndary HDDs


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#5
January 21, 2020 at 21:15:52
This is what I have found over the years:
Windows installers have always had this flaw: Even when you point to one disk in particular to install Windows on the Boot partition is not always installed on the same drive. In fact, if there is any other drive installed other than the source DVD or Flash Drive, Windows installer will almost always place the boot sector where it 'feels like it at that moment' and not in any particular place that you will expect it to. This means that if you remove any other drive or change the boot order, or even reformat one of the other disks then the system will not boot without a reinstall (or sometimes a start up repair works with XP or 7 but not most others). This problem was present with Windows 95 and is present with Windows 10. This is why the advice is to always disconnect all other drives before installing Windows. Once installed, you can reconnect the other drives and all will work logically. This is not logical but a proven fact and an apparent flaw that MS either has not recognized or does not care to fix.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
January 25, 2020 at 06:12:46
OK, I was thinking you meant to disconnect the other disks, only in order to be sure to have the correct disk being used as boot.

But, you are mentioning a bug of which I suspected this to me occurring as well, which is the fact that Windows indeed seems to put parts of boot-stuff (I'm not an expert there) onto OTHER disks, while you are saying to boot from a given disk.

I once formatted a non-system disk (a non C: disk) and found the system non-bootable anymore. I was re-installing anyway, so it didn't matter much, but that is indeed weird.

In this case, it MAY be this in addition: the boot order of my BIOS (UEFI actually) may have a bug, be it that it dynamically changes the boot order, if it detects the USB key to be physically removed. Removinf the key is done somewhere after the Windows re-install, and it is then only that problems started. I did bounce Windows several times before removing the key - not actually using the key - and that was no problem.

At this moment, I have the key removed, and I redefind the boot order once more, and that seems to do the trick. All is working perfectly, without changing anything.

Now, I must add I change just one thing: my 2 other disks, which are empty data disks, had GPT tables, and I converted them to MBR tables. Basically because my boot drive also is an MBR now. ( They were ALL GPT before my Windows 10 install. But I think this is not related, because in the middle of doing this, the issue was still there. Only later (and now) it was fixed.


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#7
January 25, 2020 at 06:21:22
> "The BIOS is an AMIBIOS ASUS P9X79 ACPI REVISION 1103"
>
> Your board is 8-9 years old & the BIOS is outdated. There have been 17 updates since version 1103; the
> latest being 4701 (or possibly 4801 Beta). One of the updates (v2002) is "for Windows 8 full-functionality"
> & a later update (v2104) "improves compatibility with Windows 8". What I'm getting at is the BIOS
> should have been updated to the latest & greatest before attempting to install Win10.
> https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboard...
>

I consider myself experienced in many things related IT, but just as I don't advice anybody else for a BIOS update, I don't do that myself based on the fact that it it fails, I have major problems. I am pretty sure it isn't a walk in the part, I had a look on the Asus website, and it was the usual mess to try and find the correct software for my board. as you know, the board has several tens of variations, and you MUST use the correct one. I just don't want to take that gamble. Especially when I read the "beta" I just discontinue. I know Asus, I know I cannot rely on the fact that it is easy, like for example a 100% guarantee that it only installs the correct software. if you read that on the Asus site, let me know. I just read the oppsite : you must assure the correct software to be given. Can't they build in checks ? It seems not. Well, than I don't bother.

edit: Downloaded the last update, which is a Zip file. Now, that contains a "CAP" file ... never ever seen before, and nothing else. You see, that is the kind of "support" you get : here is a file of an unknown extension. Bye.

message edited by Looge


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#8
January 25, 2020 at 06:23:38
> Maybe, maybe not. Best practice would have been to physically disconnect the 2ndary
> HDDs before installing Windows. Is starting from scratch an option?

From scratch is actually the method I use, but I'm not going to disconnect (and connect) all of my other drives, every time just because the BIOS or Windows has a bug.


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#9
January 25, 2020 at 17:20:57
I appears that as long as you are booting to MBR and not GPT then you should be OK without the BIOS update. To boot to the GPT partition is probably part of the BIOS update.

Bios updates can be done safely but there is always a risk. The key is to minimize the risk to its lowest possible level. For desktop machines plugging it into a UPS (battery back up like APC's and similar) is really helpful. For laptops making sure that the battery is fully charged and plugged in also is enough. Making sure all power cords, etc. are routed so that they cannot be accidentally unplugged (kicked out) is also important. Making sure that otherwise the machine is mechanically working well and stable is important. I recommend the Flash method of updating the BIOS through booting to a flash drive prepared for the purpose. I have done this a number of times including on brand new boards without issue but it is not done lightly but is is done when it is necessary for newer hardware or other compatibility issues.

In the future it is best to always install Windows with only the single drive plugged in as previously noted because it eliminated all kinds of issues.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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