BIOS update caused major nightmare: now need help w/EasyBCD before both drives wiped:

#1
I will try and be as succinct, formulaic, and precise as possible. Here goes:

I have a pc that I've been dual-booting for 2 months now. The first HD was XP, in SATA 1; I then added another HD, SATA 2, and then installed Win 7 64 Ultimate on it. Dual booting was all fine. Inside 7, I would play games via Steam; in one week, my 7 HD BSOD'd four times. After posting the minidumps online, the crashes were due to "video driver", and "hardware". I backed up all my data from my XP drive (only drive w/data) to an external drive; then I switched back to 7, un/re-installed my video driver, and lastly, did the most dreadful thing of all: updated the BIOS. I have an AMD proc, and Asus mobo, so used the AutoUpdate utility from ASUS, and flashed/updated my BIOS to the latest. My 7 HD took it w/out even flinching, fixed the outstanding errors it had, (yellow flag in Device Manager), and my game ran perfect; so I shut down, went to bed. The next morning I needed to get into my XP drive for some data, and it would not let me in; gave me the "cannot launch, do you want Safe Mode, SM w/Networking, Start Windows normally", etc. screen. I tried every one, and within seconds, it would BSOD and restart.

So then I tried to fix my XP drive, by doing the following:
--Putting in my XP disc, going to Repair, and went to Command line. Here it gave me two options: 1. C:WINDOWS, and 2. D:Windows. I chose C:, assuming it to be my XP HD. At the prompt, I typed: FIXBOOT, and rebooted. That caused another error, and from that point, I could not get into either drive. I even tried Repair of XP onto the XP HD by "Repair reinstalling", and that didn't work, either.

I then discovered that it was only when I put in the Win 7 disc into my DVD drive, and started up this way, that I could then finally get back to the dual-boot, "Which OS do you want, Previous version of Windows, or Windows 7" screen, and I could launch Win 7 normally. I then put all the data from XP onto my 7 HD, and then again backed that all up.

For reference point, here is how I have my BIOS:
--XP drive is SATA 1; 7 drive is SATA 2
--BIOS set to look at CD/DVD drive first, then HD second.
--Win 7 (SATA 2) is set as the first HD, then the XP HD is set as the second.

So that is where I am at. If I now reboot, and try to launch w/out the 7 DVD in my disc drive, I get a single black screen with the following message:

"Disk boot failure, insert disc and press enter."

And I cannot enter either OS. It is only if I put in the 7 DVD, and reboot, that I can then see the "Hit any key to launch from CD or DVD..." screen, and/or hit no key, when then finally took me into the dual-boot choice screen, at which time I can launch 7 normally. The reason for this, the 7 DVD has its own MBR on it, which is why this works.

So I now have tried the following:
--Launched from Win 7 DVD, went into 7 Repair, chose "Fix start up problems"; it did so, but did not work. Received the "Disk boot failure" line again.
--Launched into 7 from the DVD again, Installed EasyBCD, told it to "Recreate/repair boot files", restarted; "Disk boot failure" line again.
--Launched into 7 from the DVD again, went to the Edit Boot Menu button, and deleted the XP line; then went to the Bootloader Setup button, chose the "Install the Windows Vista/7 bootloader" radio button, and hit the "Write MBR" button; rebooted, received the same "Disk boot failure" line again.
--Shut off entire computer and unplugged, unhooked my 7 HD, rebooted, adjusted BIOS, tried to launch into just XP; did not work.
--Shut off entire computer/unplugged again, put back my 7 HD, unhooked the XP HD, started and adjusted the BIOS HD settings, tried to launch; received the "Disk boot failure" line.
--Leaving just my Win 7 HD connected (still no XP HD), rebooted using the Win 7 DVD, launched into the "hit any key" to get to the Win 7 menu, chose "Repair" to try and use the "Repair Startup" option, but a VERY IMPORTANT THING happened: the Win 7 Repair dialog screen (where you choose a HD and OS to repair) was BLANK. Repeat, it showed NO HD or OS to use Repair on. Keep in mind that my XP HD was still currently unplugged. I tried this AGAIN by shutting down and moving my 7 HD to the SATA 1 port; same thing happened; there was NO drive to choose from.
--Shut down again, reconnected both drives as they were originally (XP to SATA 1, 7 to SATA 2), adjusted the BIOS to the original way it was set up (which was actually to have SATA 2 launch first, then SATA 1), then rebooted from the 7 DVD, went into 7 Setup/Repair, and then the dialog box DID show my Windows 7 HD to choose from! I chose it, and once again tried the "Startup Repair" on it; said it made some adjustments; hit restart, took out the DVD (to try and launch "normally"), and again, the same error message: "Disk boot failure, insert disc and press enter."

So. That is everything I've tried, in that order, and that is where I am at. I am actually writing all of this from my 7 HD, because currently, the only way I can get in is if I keep my Win 7 DVD in the disc drive, and use the disc's MBR to launch directly into 7 (because I deleted the XP choice using EasyBCD, remember). So to me, it is painfully clear that still, somehow and someway, if we take the DVD out of the equation, Win 7 is still somehow attached and enthralled to my XP HD, and cannot boot w/out it plugged in or in use; but it can't boot even WITH it plugged in anyway, because my BIOS update has borked it.

Before I do the last step, which is to completely nuke the crap out of both drives - what else can I do with EasyBCD? What other steps can I take? What am I missing?

Please, I implore you, help me. And I apologize for the crazy length of this post, but I tried to be as helpful as possible by providing the background of what led to this, and the steps I've taken in trying to repair. It should also be noted that I'm really not that skilled or advanced; I've just done a lot of calling friends and web research; so please be very specific and detailed in a response. :smile: Thank you VERY much in advance. I love EasyBCD, but I am wondering if there is anything else I can do before I have to nuke, and try to reinstall an image using Acronis Home (which I've never done before, and pray to God it works).

best, Dave.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Please post a Disk Management screenshot and EasyBCD "view settings" data as described in the sticky thread.
 
#3
Please post a Disk Management screenshot and EasyBCD "view settings" data as described in the sticky thread.
Terry,

I do apologize for my oversight - very sorry. Anyway, per the request, I have attached three files: a shot of my Disk Management; the View Settings from EasyBCD "overview"; and the same shot, but "detailed". As you can see, during my use of EasyBCD on my own, I've already "deleted" the XP choice for bootup using the Edit Boot Menu button.

Also, it should be noted, that reading from a different post, and during all my reading and research, I can now tell you exactly what I did that I'm 99% certain caused this problem:

After my initial BIOS update (and then discovery that I could no longer boot into XP) I tried to fix the problem myself, by putting in the XP disc. Once I booted from the disc, and went into the XP Setup/Repair, I chose Repair. It then brought me to the black and white screen, where it had the (now infamous, if I'm correct) two options:

Which operating system do you want to repair?
1. C:WINDOWS
2. D:Windows

That is exactly what it looked like. Well, I chose # 1, assuming that it was my XP HD, because I and my friends thought that only XP could exist on "C". Well, according to another poster from another forum, I was told that Windows 7 always asserts itself as "C". But I chose #1, and at the command line, typed: FIXBOOT.

So - and this is the important thing here - it appears that I directly told the XP disc to "fixboot" directly onto the Windows 7 HD. Would you agree with this?

From that point on, I simply cannot boot into the Windows 7 HD. If I try to boot into it on its own, with XP HD unplugged, it just says "disk boot error"; if I try to boot into it alone, with XP HD unplugged, using the Win 7 DVD, it simply brings up the Install screen, and if I choose the Repair option, it doesn't show any drive listed in the dialog box. It is only when the XP HD is plugged in as well, and then I boot up using the Win 7 DVD (because it has its own MBR on the disc, I was informed), that I can then boot up successfully into Win 7. (And now I understand why, after reading your FAQ page, and looking over my Disk Management - it's because the boot files are still on my XP HD.)

So, my questions are simple:

1) Is there any way that I can fix this? Meaning, any way that I can use EasyBCD to somehow undo the damage I did when I pointed my XP disc to my Win 7 HD and typed the word FIXBOOT? And move my bootfiles over to the 7 HD, instead of the XP HD? Assuming there is a fix, I imagine it will ultimately bring me back to the black and white dual-boot screen, where I would see "Earlier version of Windows/Windows 7 options" (or simply go directly into 7, considering my current setup from EasyBCD.) and,

2) Say I do get this fixed - my XP HD is still borked due to my BIOS update. Since I have all the data from it, and I simply cannot get back into it, I would like to wipe it out, and use it as an extra storage HD for media within my 7 environment. However (you can see where this is going), how do I do that, if my boot files reside on it? Essentially (because I love 7 so much, and to heck with XP), how do I go from this dual-boot scenario, into a single boot, single OS scenario - using my Win 7? Or is that simply not possible w/out a true wipe of both drives, and starting from scratch?

Your patience with me, and assistance, is greatly appreciated. Thank you! :smile:
 

Attachments

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
You should be able to fix it easy enough.
Install EasyBCD 2.0 on Windows 7 (get into it via the DVD). You can get 2.0 here: EasyBCD 2.0 Beta Builds - The NeoSmart Forums

You can recover the BCD from there (Reset BCD feature) and add a working XP entry to the menu.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
And put your W7 before XP in the BIOS boot sequence.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Hmmm... or choose the "change boot drive" feature and stick the bootloader on the XP drive instead if it's first in the BIOS.

Many options. Don't worry, your OS and your data are both safe. :smile:
 
#7
That is exactly what it looked like. Well, I chose # 1, assuming that it was my XP HD, because I and my friends thought that only XP could exist on "C". Well, according to another poster from another forum, I was told that Windows 7 always asserts itself as "C". But I chose #1, and at the command line, typed: FIXBOOT.
The poster was wrong. Windows 7 doesn't always assert itself as C, if the installer can see another Windows system on the computer. But yes, it does appear that in your case, it fixbooted the wrong HDD (i.e. the W7 one).
Note that drive letters as seen from a booted and running system aren't always the same as seen by the Windows installer if you boot from the DVD. The drive letters are also usually different in different OSes on the same computer.
So - and this is the important thing here - it appears that I directly told the XP disc to "fixboot" directly onto the Windows 7 HD. Would you agree with this?
Yeah, I agree with that.
From that point on, I simply cannot boot into the Windows 7 HD. If I try to boot into it on its own, with XP HD unplugged, it just says "disk boot error";
Working off the above suggestion, i.e. that you used "fixboot" on the W7 HDD, and replaced the W7 PBR with an Xp version which looks for ntldr, I'd say you will need to reinstate W7's PBR into the partition's bootsector before it can boot again. Normally, Startup Repair from the W7 DVD will fix this.
if I try to boot into it alone, with XP HD unplugged, using the Win 7 DVD, it simply brings up the Install screen, and if I choose the Repair option, it doesn't show any drive listed in the dialog box.
Try hitting Next anyway, even though no OSes are displayed to repair.
I think the W7 DVD program detects Vista/7 systems on your computer based on the Vista/7 boot code in a partition's boot sector. Hence why it doesn't see anything, since you replaced that with an XP version instead.
It is only when the XP HD is plugged in as well, and then I boot up using the Win 7 DVD (because it has its own MBR on the disc, I was informed), that I can then boot up successfully into Win 7. (And now I understand why, after reading your FAQ page, and looking over my Disk Management - it's because the boot files are still on my XP HD.)
Yeah, obviously some W7 boot files are on the XP HDD if W7 is booting with the XP HDD connected and first in the boot sequence of the BIOS. It sounds like you need to use the "Change Boot Drive" feature in EasyBCD to fix everything.
 
#8
You should be able to fix it easy enough.
Install EasyBCD 2.0 on Windows 7 (get into it via the DVD). You can get 2.0 here: EasyBCD 2.0 Beta Builds - The NeoSmart Forums

You can recover the BCD from there (Reset BCD feature) and add a working XP entry to the menu.
You should know that I already have this downloaded and installed (and it's the latest beta as well), and that I just went in and tried this - reset it, and then added back in both Win 7, and XP, and then rebooted.

My computer definitely did NOT like that one bit; it only brought up the black and white "Windows couldn't boot, something must've changed" screen. Not good. So I then hard rebooted, put in my 7 DVD, hit spacebar and launched the disk, and when I tried to click Repair (which didn't show any drive in the white dialog box, again), instead of bringing up the normal options, it simply said "Windows has detected a problem w/your install; do you want to automatically fix repairs and restart?" In a word - oh hell yes. So I had it do that, and now I thankfully write this to you again on my 7 drive, booting again from the DVD.

So that certainly didn't work. (And yes, I made sure that the 7 HDD was listed first in the BIOS).

I'm open to other suggestions...

Addendum:

And put your W7 before XP in the BIOS boot sequence.
Is the "Change boot drive" a viable option at this point? If so, what does it exactly do? And what do I need to do to ensure I "change boot drive" properly, using EasyBCD?
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Select "Change Boot Drive" and choose "Drive D:" as the new destination.
Once that's done, go to "Add Entries" and add a Windows XP and a Windows 7 entry.

IF that doesn't work:

Select "Change Boot Drive" and choose "Drive C:" as the new destination.
Once that's done, go to "Add Entries" and add a *Windows 7 entry only.*
Enter the BIOS and swap the order of drive 0 and drive 1 (or physically do so with the cables)
Boot back into 7, use EasyBCD to add a Windows XP entry now.
Reboot and test.
 
#10
Select "Change Boot Drive" and choose "Drive D:" as the new destination.
Once that's done, go to "Add Entries" and add a Windows XP and a Windows 7 entry.

IF that doesn't work:

Select "Change Boot Drive" and choose "Drive C:" as the new destination.
Once that's done, go to "Add Entries" and add a *Windows 7 entry only.*
Enter the BIOS and swap the order of drive 0 and drive 1 (or physically do so with the cables)
Boot back into 7, use EasyBCD to add a Windows XP entry now.
Reboot and test.
Ok, please see my attachment. What should I do here? Also, please keep in mind, that I am very new to all of this, including using EasyBCD - I don't really know or understand much of the buttons and options in your software.

That said, to me, it still appears as though my 7 HDD is listed as "C" (and I'm writing all of this to you in my 7, still booting from the DVD, obviously), but it shows the boot drive as "D", according to my screenshot I attached. So that must mean that I'm still somehow dual booting, yes?

Currently, if I try to boot my PC right now w/out using the Win 7 DVD, I get this error message: "BOOTMGR is missing (press ctrl + alt + del to restart)". So, I still can't boot normally. And, I'm almost 100% certain that my origional BIOS update destroyed my XP drive booting up anyway. So, what I'm looking for here are the next steps I should try, to get my 7 HDD able to boot up w/out my XP drive in - is that even possible? Do I need to go to "Change boot drive" and point it towards C? That seems dangerous, considering my C (7 HDD) doesn't seem to have the necessary files?

Please help, and I really, truly thank you for your time and patience. (Also, yes, I have my Win 7 HDD listed as First in the BIOS HDD order).
 

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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
Change boot drive will create the files you need for you. Just go ahead and select "C:" from that list, and it'll take care of the rest.
 
#12
FIXED! (with an "oddity")

Change boot drive will create the files you need for you. Just go ahead and select "C:" from that list, and it'll take care of the rest.
Ok, an *UPDATE*!!!

It's fixed! At least, all signs point to it! :smile: I actually did something different, without using EasyBCD. Here's what I did:

What I did was, using the CMD and right-clicking to Run as Administrator, I then typed "diskpart", then "lis vol", the "sel vol d" (which was my XP HDD), then "inact", then "exi"; all this made my XP HDD inactive. Then I actually SHUT DOWN my PC, opened it, unhooked the XP HDD, and THEN rebooted. Needless to say, the Win 7 DVD found several errors, and I had to reboot twice more, each time using the Win 7 Startup Repair.

However, after the third time of clicking on "Startup Repair", if found no errors, so, I rebooted again (still with no XP HDD physically hooked up, only the 7 HDD), took out the DVD, and it booted just fine into Windows 7! Hell's freakin' yeah!

The only funny thing/oddity about it is, even though I currently only have one OS running, and only one physical HDD hooked up, at boot up time, after the BIOS flash page, it still brings me to the black and white "Windows Boot Manager" screen, and it still asks me to "choose which OS I want to startup", but it only lists Windows 7 Ultimate, because that's all I have. So I still have to hit "enter" at that point, and THEN it brings me into 7 launch.

Isn't that strange? Is there anything I should do about that? Or just simply leave it alone, considering that 7 now finally boots all by itself, and the struggles I've gone through? I've attached a current picture of my 7 partition, and the current View Settings of EasyBCD, for your FYI. What do you think?
 

Attachments

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#13
Try using the "Skip boot menu" option in EasyBCD.
 
#14
Ok, an *UPDATE*!!!

It's fixed! At least, all signs point to it! :smile: I actually did something different, without using EasyBCD. Here's what I did:

What I did was, using the CMD and right-clicking to Run as Administrator, I then typed "diskpart", then "lis vol", the "sel vol d" (which was my XP HDD), then "inact", then "exi"; all this made my XP HDD inactive. Then I actually SHUT DOWN my PC, opened it, unhooked the XP HDD, and THEN rebooted. Needless to say, the Win 7 DVD found several errors, and I had to reboot twice more, each time using the Win 7 Startup Repair.

However, after the third time of clicking on "Startup Repair", if found no errors, so, I rebooted again (still with no XP HDD physically hooked up, only the 7 HDD), took out the DVD, and it booted just fine into Windows 7! Hell's freakin' yeah!

The only funny thing/oddity about it is, even though I currently only have one OS running, and only one physical HDD hooked up, at boot up time, after the BIOS flash page, it still brings me to the black and white "Windows Boot Manager" screen, and it still asks me to "choose which OS I want to startup", but it only lists Windows 7 Ultimate, because that's all I have. So I still have to hit "enter" at that point, and THEN it brings me into 7 launch.

Isn't that strange? Is there anything I should do about that? Or just simply leave it alone, considering that 7 now finally boots all by itself, and the struggles I've gone through? I've attached a current picture of my 7 partition, and the current View Settings of EasyBCD, for your FYI. What do you think?
You could have got it working a whole lot easier if you followed CG's advice (i.e. EasyBCD->Change Boot Drive) then adjusted your BIOS boot sequence to put W7's HDD first instead of XP's. But oh well...glad you got it working. :smile:

Like CG said, use the "Skip boot menu" option in EasyBCD. It will disable the "displaybootmenu" option in the BCD.