Changing the boot drive (without using startup recovery)

#1
Hi all,

First post and I'm sorry if this has been covered, but I was unable to find the answer.

I recently installed Vista onto a new system. I have two "drives", one of which is a SATA raid 5 array (nvraid, 650i chipset) and the other is an old IDE drive. I installed Vista to the RAID, and set that to be the first boot drive in BIOS, but Vista had other ideas and wrote the bootloader etc. to the IDE drive (so now I either boot to that, or put the DVD in the drive in which case it just chainboots to the IDE bootloader anyway, from what I can tell).

So right now this is fine, I just gave the IDE drive priority in BIOS. Problem is, I'm removing that drive at some point and need to get this booting from the RAID.

From what I can tell, the easiest way to do this would just be to unplug the IDE drive, boot from the DVD, and run the startup recovery tool. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to handle the RAID properly, and causes degradation without fixing the problem. I put the drivers on a USB stick and tried loading them from there, but didn't have much luck with that either.

So what I'm wondering is if there's a way to do this within EasyBCD (finessing the RAID driver problem since the OS will already have loaded them) with the IDE drive still attached. I tried rewriting the MBR and stuff using the GUI, but it seems to be writing it to the IDE drive as well. I didn't see a way to tell it to write to another drive. Is there a way to do this within the power console? From what I've read, mbrfix and bootsect seem like they might help, but I'm not sure how to use them.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi absinthe, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

Easiest way:
Copy the folder "BOOT" from the current boot drive to the one you want.
In the power console:
Code:
bootsect /nt60 all
You may need to (most probably will have to) copy C:\Boot\BCD to the new drive via a boot cd or another OS.

Copy C:\Bootmgr to the other drive too.

That should do the trick. Let us know how it goes, and good luck. :smile:
 
#3
Thanks for the suggestions, but no luck so far. I tried bootsect from within Vista and got an error saying it might not be reliable because it was unable to lock the drive. Then I booted off the Vista DVD into a command prompt, and I think I copied bootmgr and boot\bcd over properly, but it still didn't work. So I tried bootsect again from the Vista DVD command prompt, and it still gave the warning about not being able to lock the drive.

The error I'm getting is a DISK BOOT FAILURE (the same one I was getting before). Any suggestions on what to try next?

Cheers

Hi absinthe, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

Easiest way:
Copy the folder "BOOT" from the current boot drive to the one you want.
In the power console:
Code:
bootsect /nt60 all
You may need to (most probably will have to) copy C:\Boot\BCD to the new drive via a boot cd or another OS.

Copy C:\Bootmgr to the other drive too.

That should do the trick. Let us know how it goes, and good luck. :smile:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Code:
bootsect /nt60 all /f
Does that change anything?
 
#5
Well, it didn't seem to. Then I decided to give Vista's Startup Recovery another chance. It said "partition table doesn't have a valid system partition" and repaired that (no degradation this time, though I'm not sure that's what it fixed last time), and voila, it's all working. So I've no idea what did what, but it's all good now.

Thanks for the help!

Code:
bootsect /nt60 all /f
Does that change anything?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Ah, that was the missing step! (that's what MBRfix is for....), oh well.

Glad you got it to work. Congratulations :smile:
 
#7
noob question:
Is it enough just to write from d:\boot (where the vista DVD is)
the command
bootsect /nt60 f:

to make my USB bootable? I got an OSX86 iso file extracted to it, I want to make it bootable.

Do I need also boot.sdi in my USB?

One more thing -
Running the above command gave me this:

F: (\\?\Volume{e9000d64-3adf-11de-b581-001cc07f9a9c})

Updated NTFS filesystem bootcode. The update may be unreliable since the volume could not be locked during the update:
Access is denied.

Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.

what's with the access is denied? I'm the administrator...

Thanks!

Josh.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
A proccess is accessing F:. You should be able to run bootsect from a Vista DVD/recovery disc, but you'll need to cd to the system32 directory of your windows install or the bin directory of EasyBCD if you've got it installed cause most Vista DVDs (including our recovery disc) don't have bootsect on them.
 
#9
One more thing -
Running the above command gave me this:

F: (\\?\Volume{e9000d64-3adf-11de-b581-001cc07f9a9c})

Updated NTFS filesystem bootcode. The update may be unreliable since the volume could not be locked during the update:
Access is denied.

Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.

what's with the access is denied? I'm the administrator...

Thanks!

Josh.
Beware! :smile: That's the exact same problem I had not too long ago, when I used bootsect.exe on a UFD's bootsector. It said it was unable to lock the volume after the bootcode was updated, and I was no longer able to access the UFD's contents at all afterwards. :scared: I had to use TestDisk to fix it.
You may have just screwed your UFD.

Jake
 
#10
Thanks, but still didn't help. And my USB still works...

It still wouldn't boot from the USB. I got an ISO of OSX86 ready to be burnt into CD, but it's 7 gigs so I'm using USB. I extracted it all to the USB formatted as NTFS, but I can't get it to act as a boot CD. How do I define the boot sector?
I'm kinda noob, so please, help me in simple language... :smile:


Thanks!
Josh.
 
#12
Still doesn't work. Do I need to first run bootsect /nt60 f: /force prior to extracting the iso content to the USB or it doesn't matter?

it just sound to me that it might have to be more complicated than that because even after defining the usb to be bootable, 'someone' needs to know which file exactly is the one to be uploaded to the boot sector and all that... right?

Thanks,
Josh.
 
#13
Running that command puts a Vista bootsector on the the volume, not an OS X bootsector...
If you want to use the Vista bootloader, you will need to make sure the volume is set to "active", and contains a BCD and bootmgr. The BCD will need to contain an entry that is compatible with OS X (you can use EasyBCD to create the entry, under the Mac tab in the Add/Remove Entries section).
 
#14
bootsect /nt60

Running that command puts a Vista bootsector on the the volume, not an OS X bootsector...
If you want to use the Vista bootloader, you will need to make sure the volume is set to "active", and contains a BCD and bootmgr. The BCD will need to contain an entry that is compatible with OS X (you can use EasyBCD to create the entry, under the Mac tab in the Add/Remove Entries section).
I dot have a boot CD so am unable to no execute the bootsect /nt60 f: COMMAND. How can I do this?

Thanks
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#15

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#17
bootsect.exe is also available as part of the The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7, a free download from Microsoft.
Yes but WAIK requires an ISO file in order to do anything. The poster already said they do not have any installation media. Therefor making the WAIK option invalid. If you are suggesting that they purchase our recovery media, then modify it, that is a completely different option altogether. One that would be defeating the purpose considering our media already contains such files.
 
#18
Well, it would be better if people didn't hijack each others threads, but oh well.

Perhaps I misunderstood the poster, but I'm pretty sure they said they didn't have a Boot Disk which is different than not having an optical drive nor optical media, but I would contest you even need those to install the WAIK to your Windows, despite what Microsoft says.

Anyway, they weren't entirely clear, but the way I read it the poster just needs bootsect.exe in order to make a drive bootable for whatever purpose. Again, not knowing which OS they are on, what they are doing, if they are making a bootable flash drive or whatever, their post is open to interpretation, so I interpreted.

Aside from all that, you can use tools to virtually mount the ISO, then install the WAIK, such as ImDisk virtual disk driver which is free and I use all the time. You can also use 7zip to extract the contents of the ISO.

Furthermore, you can now download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO, burn it, then use it in place of the Windows 7 rescue disk for many purposes such as bootsect, bcdedit, diskpart, chkdsk, etc.. It should work fine back through Vista. I used it to rebuild my Windows 7 BCD for example.

Anyway, chances are we both misunderstood the terse post made by the poster, lol.

Cheers! :lol:

breaker

P .S. bootsect.exe seems to be available from within my Windows 8 install by default. I can't remember, is this the case with Windows 7? If so, then the poster might be confused and just need to open up an administrator command prompt and simply use it!

Chances are, I am the one confused, I will admit. :wink:
 
Last edited:

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#19
bootsect.exe wasn't included on the Windows 7 hard disk, so that's a new development.

I think the original poster has no operating system whatsoever, so nothing short of either a recovery or install CD would help.