Can't get Vista to boot


O

Oenone

I'm having a problem getting Vista to boot, which I've narrowed down
somewhat but can't find a way to resolve.

My system has two SATA hard drives and an IDE hard drive. My first SATA
drive has WinXP on it, which I want to keep intact. The second SATA drive is
empty, and the IDE drive has data. My plan is to set the primary boot drive
in my BIOS to one or other of the SATA drives in order to choose which OS I
boot into.

I have performed a clean install of Vista Ultimate RTM. The installation is
made on the second (empty) SATA drive, and completes successfully, leaving
me with Vista running. If I reboot whilst the installation DVD is still in
the drive, it boots fine straight back into Vista. But as soon as I try to
boot without the DVD in the drive, I get the following message:

Boot from CD :
DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER

At this point the only thing I can do is reset my PC.

Setting the first SATA drive back as the primary drive boots into XP without
any problems.

The second SATA drive is recognised correctly by the BIOS and is displayed
during the POST.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can resolve this? Keeping the Vista
DVD permanently in my DVD drive isn't a hugely attractive proposition...

My thanks in advance,
 
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R

Rick Rogers

Hi Oenone,

I am thinking that your setup place the bootloader on the first SATA drive,
which has the active partition. Shutdown, disconnect that drive temporarily,
then boot with the Vista DVD as the first device. Do not enter install mode,
but rather run a startup repair at the initial screen. When complete,
restart without the DVD and make sure it loads (don't forget to change the
primary boot device). If all goes well, shut down and reconnect the first
drive, then boot to the OS that is desired.

--
Best of Luck,

Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP

Windows help - www.rickrogers.org
 
O

Oenone

Rick said:
I am thinking that your setup place the bootloader on the first SATA
drive, which has the active partition.
[...]

Hi Rick,

Thanks for the suggestion -- I followed it through with the following
results:

- With the XP drive disconnected, Vista failed to boot just as before.

- I booted into the installation DVD and selected to repair my computer.

- It detected the Vista installation without any problems, although
curiously it listed it as being drive D:. Shouldn't that have been C:?

- I told it to fix problems that might be stopping Vista from booting. It
ran a whole series of checks, all of which completed successfully.

- I rebooted the PC with the DVD removed, and once again it failed to boot
with the same message as before. :(

Back in XP I've just looked at the drive in Disk Management. I had split it
into two partitions as part of the Vista installation, a 100GB partition for
Vista itself and then a second 200GB partition for data. However Disk
Management displays a 1MB unallocated space before the first partition on
the drive. Do you think this could be the problem? If the PC trying to boot
from the first partition on the drive and finding that it's unallocated..?

Would appreciate any further help or suggestions that you or anyone else can
offer!

Many thanks,
 
O

Oenone

Oenone said:
Back in XP I've just looked at the drive in Disk Management. I had
split it into two partitions as part of the Vista installation, a
100GB partition for Vista itself and then a second 200GB partition
for data. However Disk Management displays a 1MB unallocated space
before the first partition on the drive. Do you think this could be
the problem? If the PC trying to boot from the first partition on the
drive and finding that it's unallocated..?

I tried re-partitioning to remove this 1MB space and reinstalled, same
message as before.

I tried deleting all partitions and letting Vista install to the drive's
single unallocated space (no partitions present), same message as before.

I also tried deleting the partitions and booting the PC on the "Vista" drive
with no OS installed at all -- and once again, the same message as before.
So perhaps it's not a Vista problem but simply a matter of getting my PC to
recognise this drive as bootable..? What am I missing here?
 
R

Rick Rogers

Hi Oenone,

One of the reasons I asked to remove the first disk was to determine if it
was interfering or not. Obviously, from the troubles you are listing it is
not, the problems exist with the drive you are trying to load Vista to. The
1MB of unallocated space is normal when the partition is aligned, just
ignore it, it should have no effect as the partition table is what tells the
system where on the disk the volume starts. Just a hunch, but try
disconnecting the IDE drive as well.

--
Best of Luck,

Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP

Windows help - www.rickrogers.org
 
O

Oenone

Rick said:
Just a hunch, but try disconnecting the IDE drive as well.

Success!

With the WinXP and the IDE drives both disconnected, Vista installed as
usual and then booted without the DVD in the drive. I then reconnected the
IDE drive and it continued to boot, and finally the WinXP SATA drive and it
still booted.

Booting into WinXP also works fine by swapping the priority around in the
BIOS.

MANY thanks for your help, I don't think I would ever have considered
attempting installation with the IDE drive disconnected!

Best regards,
 
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R

Richard Urban

When installing on a SATA drive, physically disconnect all but the drive you
want to install Vista on, especially any IDE drives.

I have found that vista will find, and write, some of the boot files to the
IDE drive. On an IDE drive there is about 8 meg of free space left at the
beginning of the drive if it is formatted as an NTFS logical partition. Now,
8 meg is not large enough for what Vista wants to write there apparently, so
that part of setup fails - without notification.

When you finish the installation, take out the DVD. You will find that you
can not boot from the newly installed system, unless you leave the DVD in
the computer.

I have also found that the IDE drive is unusable until you use a program
such as Acronis Disk Director (bootable CD) to delete the partition that has
been created there by the Vista install. You will then likely have to also
repair the MR. for the IDE drive (I have gone through this 3 times now).

I have seen this now on 3-4 different installs - and I "still" forget to
disconnect the damned drives myself. (-:

I am really starting to think that it has to do with the implementation of
the SATA standards on some early M/B's that have built in SATA capability
(such as the one I have).

--


Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
(For email, remove the obvious from my address)

Quote from George Ankner:
If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!
 
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R

Richard Urban

Correction.

The sentence should read:

"You will then likely have to also
repair the MBR. for the IDE drive (I have gone through this 3 times now)."


--


Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
(For email, remove the obvious from my address)

Quote from George Ankner:
If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!



Richard Urban said:
When installing on a SATA drive, physically disconnect all but the drive
you want to install Vista on, especially any IDE drives.

I have found that vista will find, and write, some of the boot files to
the IDE drive. On an IDE drive there is about 8 meg of free space left at
the beginning of the drive if it is formatted as an NTFS logical
partition. Now, 8 meg is not large enough for what Vista wants to write
there apparently, so that part of setup fails - without notification.

When you finish the installation, take out the DVD. You will find that you
can not boot from the newly installed system, unless you leave the DVD in
the computer.

I have also found that the IDE drive is unusable until you use a program
such as Acronis Disk Director (bootable CD) to delete the partition that
has been created there by the Vista install. You will then likely have to
also repair the MR. for the IDE drive (I have gone through this 3 times
now).

I have seen this now on 3-4 different installs - and I "still" forget to
disconnect the damned drives myself. (-:

I am really starting to think that it has to do with the implementation of
the SATA standards on some early M/B's that have built in SATA capability
(such as the one I have).

--


Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
(For email, remove the obvious from my address)

Quote from George Ankner:
If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!
 

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