Primary Master Hard Disk Error

May 4, 2011 at 05:37:53
Specs: Windows 7, I7/12G
I cloned my boot drive to a new hard drive and added additional memory. Now when booting my Window 7 pc I get the message of "Primary Master Hard Disk Error" that is followed with Press F1 to resume. After I do this the pc will boot. I've ruled out a physical hard drive error and now I'm at a dead end. Could this be something in the BIOS settings? Is there something missing within the Windows boot record - although I don't think this is the problem since the machine ultimately does boot.

I'm open to any/all suggestions to keep from pulling my hair out trying to figure this out.


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#1
May 4, 2011 at 07:55:47
What program did you use to clone? What type of drives in play? SATA or IDE or both?

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#2
May 4, 2011 at 08:19:44
drop in the windows restore cd and try a repair.

i hate computers!
but cant help myself....


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#3
May 4, 2011 at 09:12:22
Thanks for the responses.

They are both SATA drives. I used Acronis to do the clone.


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#4
May 4, 2011 at 11:45:11
Did you remove the original drive and put the newly cloned drive in its place concerning the mainboard connection?

After hitting f1 did you save the bios config?

BTW the F1 error has nothing to do with the installed OS so I would not recommend a repair of the OS at this time.

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#5
May 4, 2011 at 11:50:34
No need to remove any hard drives but you do need to change the boot settings.

Boot into the BIOS screens and change the first hard drive to boot to from the original to the newly cloned drive. Save when exiting.


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#6
May 4, 2011 at 12:29:50
Boot settings were changed and saved to boot to the new drive. I didn't think it had anything to do with the OS as the system will still boot after some time - and sometimes multiple on/off cycles. I have confirmed that it is booting from the new drive. Could this be some other type of hardware error and the message I'm getting is erroneous?

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#7
May 4, 2011 at 12:57:17
How did you confirm you were booting from the new drive? There should be a setting besides the normal boot order to choose which hard drive to boot from.

On my system hitting F11 brings up the menu during POST. There is also a setting in the BIOS for that purpose.

Once you are in Windows go to Disk Management and see if the boot partitions on both drives are marked as active.


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#8
May 4, 2011 at 13:07:49
First I check the boot order in the BIOS during POST. Then once I get booted check Disk Management. The old drive is not active and not assigned a drive letter.

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#9
May 4, 2011 at 13:43:01
Then I suggest you disconnect the old drive temporarily and do as princecorum suggested above. Then reconnect the drive. Go into the BIOS and verify the new drive is still the first hard drive in the boot order. Then go to disk management and mark the boot partition as active and assign a drive letter. You can then use both drives.

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#10
May 4, 2011 at 18:36:41
Review the facts:
primary drive cloned to secondary drive = has mbr and has correct registry entires IF SET AS the PRIMARY DRIVE
All it takes to make it primary is SWAP the sata cable positions on the mainboard or set it as first boot device in the bios.
Simple fix.
Next issue is we are not having an issue with the cloned OS. IT BOOTs

So why would anyone suggest doing a repair of a OS when the error message is a BIOS not OS error?

Please I would love to know how this conclusion has been reached.

Firefly states he is booting the cloned drive.

Question now is once the bios settings have been saved do you get the F1 again.

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#11
May 4, 2011 at 19:07:43
I think the boot files are still looking for the original hard drive. Performing the repair will fix that. Windows 7 repair works differently than previous versions. It look for only what is wrong. I hope I am not sending Firefly down the wrong path.


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#12
May 4, 2011 at 19:12:03
Tried the recovery disk, it did find errors and fixed them. Unfortunately it didn't fix the problem. Also tried resetting the BIOS, no luck. Any other suggestions? I do appreciate the help!

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#13
May 4, 2011 at 19:20:38
Is the cloned drive the primary booting drive according to the bios?
Did you disconnect the former drive as suggested by OtheHill?
In the bios is only the now primary drive listed? Other drive slots in the bios listed as not installed?

Doesn't look like you sent FireFly down the wrong path OtheHill if there were errors found. Got to wonder about that clone software though I have never had an issue with acronis.

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#14
May 4, 2011 at 19:21:11
OK, I wasn't aware you were using recovery disks. They do not work the same way as full version DVDs of Windows 7.

When you get the prompt to hit F1 do you get any options there or does F1 cause the computer to boot?

Post all the information listed in Disk Manager for the new hard drive. Are there multiple partitions showing there for that drive?

Post the brand and model of your computer.


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#15
May 4, 2011 at 19:43:23
System is a Dell XPS Studio I7-920, 2.66, 8MB Bloomfield, 12 GB memory - the two drives are both Western Digital - one blue and one black. I've never had a problem using Acronis in the past either.

The only version of Window 7 that I have is the upgrade version that's why I used the recovery disk. Will the upgrade disk work to boot from?

I have disconnected the second drive to ensure that I am booting from the cloned drive. The only other drives showing are the CD/DVD drives.

Partitions in the new drive:
FAT - 55 MB - Healthy (Primary Partition)
Recovery - 14GB - original system was shipped with Vista - Healthy (Primary Partition)
OS (C) - Healthy (System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)

Pressing F1 after the dump will typically start windows. There have been a couple occasions where it didn't.

Could this be somekind of hardware problem?


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#16
May 4, 2011 at 20:05:45
I am thinking that cloning caused the partitions that were originally hidden to show. That may be causing the problem.

The only kind of hardware problem I can think of is this. I have seen some motherboards that have SATA ports that do not support a bootable device. I can't say if that is your problem or not. Manual may shed some light, or just swap the two hard drive cables and see if it matters.


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#17
May 4, 2011 at 21:41:21
if your certain the clone is good now, and that the boot drive is set correctly then you have other errors on the mobo, first thing is to find and switch off show f1 on errors/all errors/etc etc, that is in the bios, and set to no errors, that should boot straight away if the drive and drive setup are ok, then you can remove all peripherals and set the f1 error to show, that should give you an indication of what the error is by flashing lights on the mobo or by beeps, if you get no flashing lights and no error beeps, set the bios to default, to remove any changes, OC etc etc, if it still shows errors set back to ignore all errors and be happy
ps Acronis has multiple issues with win 7 and i for one do not recommend it, even after years of successful usage.
i hate computers!
but cant help myself....


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#18
May 5, 2011 at 04:14:12
Thanks for the help - I'll give it a try tonight and let you know how it turns out. What do you recommend for cloning a drive?

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#19
May 5, 2011 at 07:10:35
Western Digital offers free software you can download that includes cloning if yours was not supplied with CD (OEM version).
Just a shot in the dark, but try the original SATA signal cable to eliminate a possible bad cable.

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


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