Boot only with install DVD in drive?

#1
I just installed Windows 7 RC on a Acer Aspire One netbook from a USB DVD-ROM. The installation completes and everything works fine. When I remove the UDB DVD drive Windows 7 does not boot. All that appears is a message "Operating System not found" before any windows messages appear.
So I tried to change the boot order in the BIOS, eventually only leaving the HDD, but still the same. If I plug the UDB DVD drive back in, I get a message if I want to boot from DVD (press a key...) and when I let that continue without pressing a key Windows 7 boots up fine.
I unplugged all other USB devices (I had a Razer mouse and a keyboard plugged in via a USB hub), problems persist.

I reinstalled after deleteing all partitions and reformatting. Still the same problem.

So I looked into the disk manager and I have one 10MB partition created by windows installer and a ~140GB windows partition.

I booted into the recovery mode and ran the startup recovery. "windows could not find any problems". But still no boot.

So I did the steps described in How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista /fixmbr, fixboot, including the bcdedit /rebuild, and still the same error.

I think that when the BIOS boots it may have a problem with finding the OS - that's what the error message seems to indicate. How do you find out what the BIOS or the boot manager sees, so I can fix?


Then I made a bootable stick and set the BIOS to boot from it (and tried the F12 method as well). The netbook cannot find the Operating system! Basically, the BIOS splash screen appears with the information on the detected drives, etc, and then the error message "Operating System not found". Does anyone know which component emits this message? That would allow me to fix the right thing. I have been screwing around with bcdedit in the recovery console with no success. Help!

The stick I made was able to boot up another machine I have... There is some issue with this Acer Aspire 0751h-1948 from Costco. The BIOS I guess

I think that when the DVD drive is plugged in that causes the BIOS to assign different names to the boot devices (maybe the D drive is somewhere else). I my case W7 seems to create 2 partitions on the boot disk. One with 100MB storage and boot stuff in it, the other is the rest of the drive with \Windows on it. Maybe the BIOS stupidly screws up the order that the install program saw????

I also tried to move the boot drive to my C drive using the instructions in the Wiki, but that didn't have an effect.
 
#2
Hello marstein, welcome to NST.
Please boot into Win 7, and post a screenshot of your Disk Management screen.
 
#4
Have you tried booting with both the removable HDD and USB CD drive disconnected? Try running Startup Repair from the DVD again with the removable HDD disconnected, this time, and see if still detects no problem.
 
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#5
Just a mem stick

Have you tried booting with both the removable HDD and USB CD drive disconnected? Try running Startup Repair from the DVD again with the removable HDD disconnected, this time, and see if still detects no problem.
The removeable HDD is just the memory stick I tried to install from. It is in there because I am trying readyboost on it. I have rebooted many times without it and ran startup repair, too. I'll do it again, but am sure it won't have an effect.


I have tried to boor with everything disconnected. Both the USB-CD and the USB-HDD stick. Then the "Operating System not found" message appears immediately.

Addendum:

I just ran the startup repair from the boot DVD again and it finds no errors, then I rebooted and pulled the USB-CDs cable.
Operating System not found
I think the boot manager can't be found when the DVD is unplugged.
Plugging the (USB) DVD back in fixes things for this boot...
 
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#6
Hmm...this appears to be a freak occurrence, even for Windows. I have never heard of such a thing before, but I guess with Windows, anything (even the most strangest and shocking things) is possible. :brows:
The "Missing Operating System" message would certainly lead one to believe the OS either did not exist, or was broken. But if you say you can boot it with the DVD inserted, then this is indeed very strange. :S My next guess would be possibly the MBR, but you say you ran bootrec /fixmbr already, and it didn't fix the problem.

One thing I noticed from your Disk Management screenshot is that your Win 7 OS partition is both "system" and "active", though the installer appears to have created its (previously) hidden 100 MB system partition, where the boot files would be used for the boot normally. So that would imply that you must have copied over the boot files into your OS partition, and then later set it to "active" status. I'm wondering though if that effort was completely successful...

Could you verify that the OS files BOOTMGR, boot/BCD, and winload.exe all exist on your Win 7 partition? You will need to first unhide protected OS files and show hidden files and folders in the Folder Options in the Control Panel, before you will be able to see those files. Bootmgr will need to be in the root of your OS partition, along with a folder called "boot" which should store a file called BCD.
You should also check your Windows/System32 directory to verify that winload.exe exists there.

The only other thing that I can suggest to try, other than what you have already tried, now is to run the following command from the Win 7 Command Prompt:

Code:
chkdsk /r c:
It should give you a message saying you can not run Check Disk on a partition that is being used, but allow you to schedule to run the scan the next reboot. So accept that offer, and then reboot. Once the Check Disk is completed, hopefully you will able to boot without the DVD inserted.
 
#7
Hello Coolname007 - your assessment is correct. I copied the boot files from C to D just in case the DVD-drive less bootmanager was looking there. I think I did it correctly though. Here the dir/a output:

Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is B636-566E

Directory of C:\

06/20/2009 11:19 AM <DIR> $Recycle.Bin
03/20/2009 08:42 AM 24 autoexec.bat
06/20/2009 09:14 PM 32,768 bcdbackup
06/20/2009 09:14 PM 29,696 bcdbackup.LOG
06/20/2009 09:14 PM 0 bcdbackup.LOG1
06/20/2009 09:14 PM 0 bcdbackup.LOG2
06/20/2009 11:27 PM <DIR> Boot
04/21/2009 10:28 PM 383,200 bootmgr
03/20/2009 08:42 AM 10 config.sys
04/22/2009 01:27 AM <JUNCTION> Documents and Settings [C:\Users]
06/20/2009 10:32 PM 797,634,560 hiberfil.sys
06/20/2009 10:45 PM 0 l
06/20/2009 10:32 PM 1,073,741,824 pagefile.sys
04/21/2009 11:17 PM <DIR> PerfLogs
06/20/2009 10:05 PM <DIR> Program Files
06/20/2009 12:57 PM <DIR> ProgramData
06/20/2009 11:18 AM <DIR> Recovery
06/20/2009 09:18 PM <DIR> System Volume Information
06/20/2009 11:18 AM <DIR> Users
06/20/2009 09:40 PM <DIR> Windows
10 File(s) 1,871,822,082 bytes
10 Dir(s) 149,758,201,856 bytes free
Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is B636-566E

Directory of C:\Boot

06/20/2009 11:27 PM <DIR> .
06/20/2009 11:27 PM <DIR> ..
06/20/2009 10:43 PM 36,864 BCD
06/20/2009 10:48 PM 36,864 BCD.Backup.0001
06/20/2009 10:43 PM 33,792 BCD.LOG
06/20/2009 09:02 PM 0 BCD.LOG1
06/20/2009 09:02 PM 0 BCD.LOG2
06/20/2009 11:27 PM 65,536 BootStat.dat
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> cs-CZ
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> da-DK
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> de-DE
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> el-GR
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> en-US
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> es-ES
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> fi-FI
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> fr-FR
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> hu-HU
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> it-IT
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> ja-JP
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> ko-KR
04/21/2009 10:24 PM 484,944 memtest.exe
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> nb-NO
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> nl-NL
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> pl-PL
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> pt-BR
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> pt-PT
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> ru-RU
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> sv-SE
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> tr-TR
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> zh-CN
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> zh-HK
06/20/2009 09:00 PM <DIR> zh-TW
7 File(s) 658,000 bytes
25 Dir(s) 149,758,201,856 bytes free
Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is B636-566E

Directory of C:\Windows\system32

04/21/2009 10:24 PM 507,056 winload.exe
1 File(s) 507,056 bytes
0 Dir(s) 149,758,201,856 bytes free
 
#8
Ok, the files all appear to be there, but try this:

From Win 7, download and install [thread=642]EasyBCD 2.0 Beta[/thread]. Then open it, and navigate to the Manage Bootloader page. Select the "Reinstall the Vista bootloader" option, and click the Write MBR button.
Now try to boot.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
The usb cd/dvd drive is acting like writeable removeable media to Windows though it cannot be written to, so consequently the Windows installer was confused. Your best bet is copying over bootmgr from the DVD to the hard drive, creating a boot folder there, and having EasyBCD reset the BCD for you with the the usb cd/dvd drive disconnected. Once that's done you can give startup repair another go if case need be, but I'd actually have the hard drive first before the cd/dvd drive in the BIOS if it allows you to access a boot menu to manually select the device you want to boot from (Dell for examples F12).
 
#10
I just ran sfc /scannow which reports everything is fine, and I had EasyBCD reset the MBR. Reboot with and without DVD has no result.
I'll try a BCD reset and another MBR repair now.

Don't a lot of people install Windows from the DVD? How could that confuse the installer? This would be real poor engineering. I installed the predecessor to this netbook from the DVD. I can choose the boot device in the BIOS and I can do the F12 boot, but no matter which boot drive I choose it always says "OS not found". I hope they come out with a BIOS update soon. Acer support wrote back they don't support another OS than the machine came with :frowning: loosers.

I just did the MBR reset and the BCD recover without DVD drive and will try to reboot now without DVD. Thanks for your help, see you on the other side

Addendum:

I had big hopes, but no success. Is there a tool that tells me where an MBR is on the disk?
My Acer AO0751h has a Phoenix BIOS - are there any ways to tell what the BIOS sees?

I did reinstall the BCD and the MBR using EasyBCD. I also had previously copied the boot loader from the 100MB partition D: to C: so that it is on both partitions. But this doesn't seem to help.

I can only boot off the built-in hard disk when the USB DVD drive is plugged in and I do not 'press a key to boot from DVD'.
 
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JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#11
Did you change the boot priority in the BIOS so the hard drive is first? Make sure the c: partition is the active partition for the hard drive in disk management.
 
#12
C: is already active, Justin. Take a look at the posted screenshot of Disk Management, which he posted above.
Marstein, try booting into Win 7 again, and run the following commands from EasyBCD's Power Console on the Useful Utilities page:

Code:
bootsect.exe /nt60 C: /force
MbrFix /drive 0 fixmbr /vista /yes
 
#13
Just ran that, below is the output. Of course C: can't be unmounted because it's running the OS. I could re-run that from the recovery console though. Will reboot and report.

C:\Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\bin>bootsect.exe /nt60 C: /force
Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.
C: (\\?\Volume{8d1be968-5e84-11de-b198-806e6f6e6963})
Updated NTFS filesystem bootcode. The update may be unreliable since the
volume could not be dismounted during the update:
Access is denied.

Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.
C:\Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\bin>MbrFix /drive 0 fixmbr /vista
/yes

Addendum:

I ran bootsect /nt60 C: /force from the recovery console after the normal boot without DVD didn't work. I also did that for D:. mbrfix doesnt seem to exist in the recovery console.
This also did not let me boot without the DVD drive plugged in. Thanks for all the help, let me know if you have further tips. Maybe the next step would be attaching another machine with a boot debugger?
 
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#14
Just ran that, below is the output. Of course C: can't be unmounted because it's running the OS. I could re-run that from the recovery console though. Will reboot and report.

C:\Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\bin>bootsect.exe /nt60 C: /force
Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.
C: (\\?\Volume{8d1be968-5e84-11de-b198-806e6f6e6963})
Updated NTFS filesystem bootcode. The update may be unreliable since the
volume could not be dismounted during the update:
Access is denied.

Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.
C:\Program Files\NeoSmart Technologies\EasyBCD\bin>MbrFix /drive 0 fixmbr /vista
/yes
Addendum:

I ran bootsect /nt60 C: /force from the recovery console after the normal boot without DVD didn't work. I also did that for D:. mbrfix doesnt seem to exist in the recovery console.
Which "recovery console" are you referring to? EasyBCD's is called a "Power Console", not a "recovery console". Were you referring instead to the command prompt on the dvd? Please clarify, thanks.
MbrFix exists in the /bin folder of the "EasyBCD" directory on your hard drive, as your quoted "citation" showed. :wink:
So what was the results of the MbrFix command?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
A lot of people install thier OSes on netbooks via usb drive, which they prepare using a working computer. You may want to try making a bootable ufd with the Windows install files on it for this purpose. Copy the entire Windows DVD over to a blank 4gb or so drive, and run EasyBCD -> Useful utilities -> Power Console -> "bootsect.exe /nt60 x: /force" where x: is the letter for the drive. Make sure its active and it should boot.
 
#16
USB Stick boot, mbrfix.

kairozamorro :
I did prepare a usb stick with diskpart, formatting as FAT32, primary, marking as active and copying the Win7 DVD onto it. The laptop won't boot off of it. I tried the stick in another machine and there it boots fine. My guess is that the laptop BIOS is buggy.

Coolname007:
With recovery console I mean the command prompt when I boot off the Win7 DVD and then go into 'repair my computer' and the advanced tools or so. There you get a command prompt. I ran bootsect there - C: can be unmounted when no booting off the HDD.

mbrfix ran fine, no errors and it has no effect on my booting. Still only with the DVD in the drive :frowning: I tried to run it from the recovery console and didn't realize that it's part of EasyBCD.

BTW: I did set up the boot order in the BIOS to be the HDD first (or only too, but it doesn't change things)


UPDATE: I flashed the older BIOS 3202 and just had a successful boot straight into the OS! So there could be

* The 3204 BIOS has bugs
* I had bad settings on the 3204 BIOS
* The 3204 BIOS didn't flash correctly

Thanks for your help, I'll update if I discover anything new. You have a great tool, website and have given wonderful advice!


Final update: it turns out that resetting the BIOS to default settings had the desired effect. I am pretty sure that the D2D recovery option that I turned off is the culprit. So leave D2D on and you're good to go, even if it has no use.
 
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#17
UPDATE: I flashed the older BIOS 3202 and just had a successful boot straight into the OS!
Does this mean it is fixed? :smile: Congratulations!
I should have thought of there maybe being a problem with your BIOS...
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#18
You may want to take the time now while things are working to update your BIOS if there's updates available to help prevent problems such as this.