Image C:


O

OldGuy

Using Macrium Reflect Free to image (not clone) the C: drive.
Macrium shows three partitions but when I look at it with Windows
Explorer I do not see that.
So these are hidden but what are they? Some system partitions?

The question is, do I tell Macrium to Image all of C: (check all three
C: partitions) to get a proper image store that I could later use to
restore with or do I just need the larger partition (~300G Bytes)?

And when I restore do I restore all three (assuming I imaged all
three)?

The three partitions look like this:
HD: 1 Drive Letter W, FAT32(LBA) 96MB, Free 63MB
HD: 1 Drive Letter N/A. Unformatted 128MB free
HD: 1 Drive Letter C. NTFS 465GB Free 176GB


TIA
 
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P

Paul

OldGuy said:
Using Macrium Reflect Free to image (not clone) the C: drive.
Macrium shows three partitions but when I look at it with Windows
Explorer I do not see that.
So these are hidden but what are they? Some system partitions?

The question is, do I tell Macrium to Image all of C: (check all three
C: partitions) to get a proper image store that I could later use to
restore with or do I just need the larger partition (~300G Bytes)?

And when I restore do I restore all three (assuming I imaged all three)?

The three partitions look like this:
HD: 1 Drive Letter W, FAT32(LBA) 96MB, Free 63MB
HD: 1 Drive Letter N/A. Unformatted 128MB free
HD: 1 Drive Letter C. NTFS 465GB Free 176GB


TIA

Based on your previous post, there is a high probability this
question is about a Windows 7 based system.

And so far, the computer make and model number, is unnamed.

Paul
 
O

OldGuy

Paul formulated on Sunday :
Based on your previous post, there is a high probability this
question is about a Windows 7 based system.

And so far, the computer make and model number, is unnamed.

Paul

In this particular case it is sick Win 7 Pro (cobbled together, not a
brand name) using an OEM WIN 7 licensed disk purchased with the MB to
get it up, however, I have two XP Pro laptops and was thinking that
this might apply to all. I have not used Macrium on the XP PC so I am
not sure if I would see similar.
 
P

Paul

OldGuy said:
Paul formulated on Sunday :

In this particular case it is sick Win 7 Pro (cobbled together, not a
brand name) using an OEM WIN 7 licensed disk purchased with the MB to
get it up, however, I have two XP Pro laptops and was thinking that this
might apply to all. I have not used Macrium on the XP PC so I am not
sure if I would see similar.

Windows 7, can install two partitions. One is NTFS, 100MB in size,
and is called SYSTEM RESERVED. It will not have a drive letter in
Windows 7. SYSTEM RESERVED has the boot files in it. The second partition
(C:) is the main system partition. SYSTEM RESERVED has no drive letter,
to help prevent System Restore from trying to store restore points
in that tiny 100MB partition. This split was created (waste two partitions),
so a user later installing BitLocker full disk encryption, can have
an unencrypted set of boot files.

Your symptoms do not match. You have a FAT32 for the first partition.
I would have expected NTFS. Something does not add up here.

All I can suggest, is to gather more evidence with PTEDIT32.
The "Disktype" utility would give still more info, but you'd
need a Linux LiveCD and a bit of screwing around, to get it.
Disktype is available in the Linux Repository, already compiled
and ready to go. It isn't always included right on a Linux
Live CD or DVD. So it's a pain to get that tiny executable
when you need it. It ignores the partition identifier in
the MBR, and examines the actual file system header. If
it ran into a Dell partition, type "DE", it'll probe the
actual partition and tell you it is FAT32 or whatever.
Cloaking the partition, won't fool that utility.

*******

On my Windows 7 laptop, I back up C: and SYSTEM RESERVED,
at the same point in time. In a case where the laptop no longer
boots, I restore both of them. About 28GB for C: and 100MB for
the SYSTEM RESERVED partition. Having two partitions, is a
typical install technique for Windows 7.

*******

Note that, you can trick the Windows 7 installer DVD, into
installing and using just one (primary) partition. The way
to do that, is format the drive first, creating a single
partition of a size to your liking. When you run the
Windows 7 DVD, you point it to that existing partition,
and say "install here". And it then places all files,
into a single partition. Doing so, may not be conducive to
BitLocker full disk encryption, but that isn't all that
common anyway. So it is possible to prepare a Windows 7
home-brew machine, to have "all the goodies in one partition".
Then, all you need to restore later, is C:.

Paul
 
P

Paul

Bill said:
And I would think he only needs to image or restore C: Looks like there's
only 2 partitions above.

Not sure what W is for, but Dell used to use a couple of hidden partitions
(one for some system utilities, and one for the boot loader/restore
partition, I do believe).

My "pattern recognizer" is not getting a hit right now.
That pattern is strange. It's not a Dell pattern.
Something may be mis-identified (W is NTFS ???)

I'm hoping for more info.

If a restore partition was present (such as comes with a pre-built
computer), it would be gigabytes in size. On my laptop, it might
be 15GB or so.

It's close to a home-brew Windows 7 installation pattern,
to an entirely blank disk. The 128MB unformatted, that's
weird. Doesn't belong there. And the first one should
really be NTFS. So it's not a match to a home-brew Windows 7
installation, exactly. I can't guess how the thing ended
up that way.

Paul
 
O

OldGuy

Paul wrote :
Windows 7, can install two partitions. One is NTFS, 100MB in size,
and is called SYSTEM RESERVED. It will not have a drive letter in
Windows 7. SYSTEM RESERVED has the boot files in it. The second partition
(C:) is the main system partition. SYSTEM RESERVED has no drive letter,
to help prevent System Restore from trying to store restore points
in that tiny 100MB partition. This split was created (waste two partitions),
so a user later installing BitLocker full disk encryption, can have
an unencrypted set of boot files.

Your symptoms do not match. You have a FAT32 for the first partition.
I would have expected NTFS. Something does not add up here.

All I can suggest, is to gather more evidence with PTEDIT32.
The "Disktype" utility would give still more info, but you'd
need a Linux LiveCD and a bit of screwing around, to get it.
Disktype is available in the Linux Repository, already compiled
and ready to go. It isn't always included right on a Linux
Live CD or DVD. So it's a pain to get that tiny executable
when you need it. It ignores the partition identifier in
the MBR, and examines the actual file system header. If
it ran into a Dell partition, type "DE", it'll probe the
actual partition and tell you it is FAT32 or whatever.
Cloaking the partition, won't fool that utility.

*******

On my Windows 7 laptop, I back up C: and SYSTEM RESERVED,
at the same point in time. In a case where the laptop no longer
boots, I restore both of them. About 28GB for C: and 100MB for
the SYSTEM RESERVED partition. Having two partitions, is a
typical install technique for Windows 7.

*******

Note that, you can trick the Windows 7 installer DVD, into
installing and using just one (primary) partition. The way
to do that, is format the drive first, creating a single
partition of a size to your liking. When you run the
Windows 7 DVD, you point it to that existing partition,
and say "install here". And it then places all files,
into a single partition. Doing so, may not be conducive to
BitLocker full disk encryption, but that isn't all that
common anyway. So it is possible to prepare a Windows 7
home-brew machine, to have "all the goodies in one partition".
Then, all you need to restore later, is C:.

Paul

Macrium is what is telling me I have three partitions on Disk 1.
This was an OEM Win 7 install on a new disk.
I have no memory of a W "drive" allocation.
I think that originally I decided not to partition Disk 1 since I have
several other drives in the PC that are large so I can store my
recorded TV and other data backed up from other PCs.

I did put in a Linux Mint disk and booted and saw what looks like all
my drives and their respective folders.

My sick Disk 1 will not boot so I have already used Macrium to "fix"
the boot. Now I am creating an image prior to rebooting since it takes
a few minutes to boot into the Macrium Win boot CD. The image process
says it will take 7 hours. Sit and wait. (nah, going to another PC to
play while Macrium works for me).

This is the third C: HD to fail in this PC and I have indexing turned
off for C:. I specifically paid more for a better (longer warrantee)
drive (still in warrantee). But I think I killed the boot when the APC
UPS crashed and flipped on and off for a few seconds when it's battery
went. I think I'll buy a different brand next time.
 
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P

Paul

OldGuy said:
Paul wrote :

Macrium is what is telling me I have three partitions on Disk 1.
This was an OEM Win 7 install on a new disk.
I have no memory of a W "drive" allocation.
I think that originally I decided not to partition Disk 1 since I have
several other drives in the PC that are large so I can store my recorded
TV and other data backed up from other PCs.

I did put in a Linux Mint disk and booted and saw what looks like all my
drives and their respective folders.

My sick Disk 1 will not boot so I have already used Macrium to "fix" the
boot. Now I am creating an image prior to rebooting since it takes a
few minutes to boot into the Macrium Win boot CD. The image process
says it will take 7 hours. Sit and wait. (nah, going to another PC to
play while Macrium works for me).

This is the third C: HD to fail in this PC and I have indexing turned
off for C:. I specifically paid more for a better (longer warrantee)
drive (still in warrantee). But I think I killed the boot when the APC
UPS crashed and flipped on and off for a few seconds when it's battery
went. I think I'll buy a different brand next time.

The utility TestDisk can scan the partitions, and figure out
what type each partition is. You don't want it actually
writing out the new MBR. You'd do the scan, to see what
it thinks it detects, whether they're FAT32 or NTFS.
TestDisk can also list the files in a suspected partition
(at least, if it can figure out what the partition is).

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

The interface is the worst feature of the program. If
you get in some menu level without a "quit" option, and
you really want to quit, press <control-C>. It's the same
key combo as "copy", but in Unix land it means quit this
program. And the same quitting feature, exists in both
Linux and the Windows version of the program. It's better
than going to Task Manager, and killing it from there.

It will take some time, for TestDisk to scan the disk. If it
thinks the disk partitioning is DOS-like (everything is divisible
by 63), then it scans in some multiple-of-63 pattern. It does
not read every sector on the disk. It only looks in specific places.
When it asks if the partition came from Vista, I think that is to account
for "one megabyte" alignment, of the modern Vista/Win7/Win8 partitions.
So it switches strategies, and might do a few more reads, if
searching for modern partitions.

And what it's doing, is computing a new partition table, to be
stored in sector 0. In your current situation, it will be telling
you whether the partitions are really FAT32, NTFS, or completely
empty.

The program is sensitive enough, it can pick up "deleted" partitions.
I had a disk with four partitions. Deleted one, resized the one
next to it (to take up the space). That clever program, found all
four partitions (one of which I knew was no longer valid), and it
even allowed its new computed partition table, to have two partitions
overlapping (which is definitely not allowed). This is why you must
do a lot of research and checking, before actually allowing the program
to write the result to sector 0 (MBR). But in this case, TestDisk
is a good substitute for the "disktype" util that simply isn't
available to us.

In this TestDisk snapshot, the tool is listing files located
at the top level of a partition it has detected. That's an example
of a good result (like, if you were doing data recovery, then
all is not lost). It may not always get you closer to fixing
something, but it does give you another view of what is before you.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/mw/images/List_files.gif

Paul
 
O

OldGuy

I ran Macrium to image all Disk 1 and that finished.
Macrium also has a boot repair feature that I ran and it seemed to go
OK.
It identified the Windows OS and wrote the boot info but the PC still
does not boot.
I checked the BIOS to make sure that Disk 1 was the first boot device.
The Linux Mint and Macrium CD seems to see all of the folders and files
on Disk 1 (C:).
When I try to boot it goes through the BIOS stuff and the disk activity
stops and an underline appears in the upper left corner of the display.
I get no text on the screen after the BIOS startup graphic image.
Not sure what to try next.
 
P

Paul

OldGuy said:
I ran Macrium to image all Disk 1 and that finished.
Macrium also has a boot repair feature that I ran and it seemed to go OK.
It identified the Windows OS and wrote the boot info but the PC still
does not boot.
I checked the BIOS to make sure that Disk 1 was the first boot device.
The Linux Mint and Macrium CD seems to see all of the folders and files
on Disk 1 (C:).
When I try to boot it goes through the BIOS stuff and the disk activity
stops and an underline appears in the upper left corner of the display.
I get no text on the screen after the BIOS startup graphic image.
Not sure what to try next.

In this thread, an errant device got into the boot order.
Some USB printers have a storage device on the bus. Unplug all USB,
is a start in that direction (except your keyboard/mouse of course).

http://www.techsupportforum.com/for...ith-flashing-cursor-in-upper-left-578799.html

*******

I doubt there is an opportunity to get to pressing F8 and select
"Last Known Good" in Safe Mode.

*******

Startup repair from your recovery CD. (The recovery CD is
the one that, at about 200MB in size, provides things like
an MSDOS prompt, so you can run repair commands. It also includes
an automated repair feature. Not likely to work, but worth
a shot if the other thread doesn't give any ideas.)

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/products/features/startup-repair

I expect that will try "fixmbr" and "fixboot" type fixes.

The menu with the Startup Repair item... When my Windows 7 broke,
I probably tried this three times, until it gave up on me. The
third pass, it does a sector level CHKDSK read test.

http://res1.windows.microsoft.com/r...in/65a1558c-4130-45c3-93b4-e1de3c40739d_0.jpg

*******

You can do an actual Repair Install, but that requires that the DVD used
for it, matches the current Service Pack level of the OS. To match my
Win7 SP1 laptop, I had to download a DVD from digitalriver ("X17-24209.iso").
Now, I'm ready to do a Repair install if necessary.

http://www.w7forums.com/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-image-downloads-t12325.html

Repair install procedure, using install DVD

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html

That is an upgrade style installation, which will create a
Windows.old when it is finished. You can delete the Windows.old
when you want to, using Disk Cleanup special options section.
You need enough space on C:, to support the Windows.old.

So that's the least damaging re-installation option.

I'll post again, if I run into any other suggestions.
So far, all the blinking cursor threads, were resolved
by removing storage devices that didn't belong in the
boot order. I'm sure that's not the only reason.
If it is MBR related, perhaps the recovery console and
the startup repair can fix that without resorting to doing
it manually...

(Click "Bootrec.exe options" half way down the page,
for more info on manual repair.)

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392

/FixMbr <--- likely why it isn't booting
/FixBoot <--- these other two would probably throw
/RebuildBcd a text error message of some sort

HTH,
Paul
 
O

OldGuy

I cannot get to anyplace to get a command prompt.
The BIOS keeps changing itself.
I set the BIOS boot sequence to DVD, Disk 0 (depends where I read the
Disk #) but the description is always the 500G drive (I only have one
500G drive and that was the original boot drive). After one or two
attempts to boot the BIOS boot sequence gets changed (not by me) to
some other drive and all boot devices that were set to Disable now have
one random drive set. What is that?

I have been trying to do a repair from the Win 7 DVD but that is
failing.
If I select Repair it will not get me to where I can do a command as
you suggested. I get a message indicating that I can do an upgrade or
custom install. What upgrade? Maybe Macrium boot fix gave the disk a
boot for XP or Vista or something and not for Win 7.

So I (since I have done an Image) am trying the custom install.
I get to a window that is very strange. It shows:
Disk0 Part 1 100MB free 63 MB System
Part 2 128MB Free 128MB MSR (Reserved)
Part 3 465GB Free 176GB Primary

And the following one is highlighted
Disk 1
Part 1:Hitachi 12T 1863GB Free 328.& GB Primary
Disk 2
Part 1 128MB FREE 128MB MSR (Reserved)
Part 2: WD Caviar 2-2T 1862GB Free 450 GB Primary.
etc
I click on the Disk 0 Part3 and get the message:
Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the
GPT partition style. Huh?
And all Partitions on Disk 0 say the same thing.
It want to install Windows on disk 1 or later.
That is just wrong.

If I click Advanced I get among other options the option to format.
But format what? Also get Refresh, Delete, Load Driver and Extend.

Can I delete all Disk 0 partitions an wind up with one that I would
then format? Or?

To make matters even worse, I have two DVD drive and the one booting
the Win 7 DVD disappears from the BIOS and the open drive button fails
to work. Full cycle of power and I was able to get the DVD out and put
the DVD in the other drive to boot to where I am now.

I should have remembered that the DVD has disappeared before. Strange.
 
P

Paul

OldGuy said:
I cannot get to anyplace to get a command prompt.
The BIOS keeps changing itself.
I set the BIOS boot sequence to DVD, Disk 0 (depends where I read the
Disk #) but the description is always the 500G drive (I only have one
500G drive and that was the original boot drive). After one or two
attempts to boot the BIOS boot sequence gets changed (not by me) to some
other drive and all boot devices that were set to Disable now have one
random drive set. What is that?

I have been trying to do a repair from the Win 7 DVD but that is failing.
If I select Repair it will not get me to where I can do a command as you
suggested. I get a message indicating that I can do an upgrade or
custom install. What upgrade? Maybe Macrium boot fix gave the disk a
boot for XP or Vista or something and not for Win 7.

So I (since I have done an Image) am trying the custom install.
I get to a window that is very strange. It shows:
Disk0 Part 1 100MB free 63 MB System
Part 2 128MB Free 128MB MSR (Reserved)
Part 3 465GB Free 176GB Primary

And the following one is highlighted
Disk 1
Part 1:Hitachi 12T 1863GB Free 328.& GB Primary
Disk 2
Part 1 128MB FREE 128MB MSR (Reserved)
Part 2: WD Caviar 2-2T 1862GB Free 450 GB Primary.
etc
I click on the Disk 0 Part3 and get the message:
Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the
GPT partition style. Huh?
And all Partitions on Disk 0 say the same thing.
It want to install Windows on disk 1 or later.
That is just wrong.

If I click Advanced I get among other options the option to format. But
format what? Also get Refresh, Delete, Load Driver and Extend.

Can I delete all Disk 0 partitions an wind up with one that I would then
format? Or?

To make matters even worse, I have two DVD drive and the one booting the
Win 7 DVD disappears from the BIOS and the open drive button fails to
work. Full cycle of power and I was able to get the DVD out and put the
DVD in the other drive to boot to where I am now.

I should have remembered that the DVD has disappeared before. Strange.

Slow down.

Something is very wrong here.

The system should be stable, before you waste time installing.

GPT is a kind of partitioning for disks. It is used for high capacity
storage systems, such as huge RAID arrays perhaps. It is the
successor to MBR based partitioning. If you want to use a 3TB
disk and use the whole thing for C: in Windows 7, then GPT is
how you'd do it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

I doubt very much, the disk actually says that. So
something is very wrong here.

*******

If the CMOS battery in the motherboard is bad, *and* you turn
off the power at the back of the PC, then you will lose your
BIOS settings.

If you leave the back of the PC powered, and try reboot after
reboot, the BIOS settings will not change.

It sounds like your BIOS settings are changing while the
power stayed on. This is not good! I don't think I've ever
run into a case, where someone had unstable BIOS settings
while the power remained on. It would take a duff power
supply (out of spec) at the same time as the CMOS battery
was flat, to come even close to doing that. If the motherboard
is Asus, it would take an "Overclocking Failed!" error message
on the screen, to mess up the BIOS settings.

I would turn off the computer and have a snooze. This is
getting too freaky. What kind of malware would do this ?

*******

Are you being entirely honest with me ?

Is there only one hard drive inside this computer ?

Or do you have many disk drives ?

I recommend only having the Windows 7 drive connected
during the installation. That way, nothing
bad can happen to the other drives.

That is what I do, when installing an OS. I pull the
data cables off the other drives. Before I instituted
that policy, I had a few instances where the wrong
drive got blasted. Maybe IT guys don't pull the
excess cables, but *I* do. I hate cleaning up a mess.

The DVD drive should not be disappearing. If I had
to guess, the BIOS is changing the disk controllers
in a way that only enables four of six ports, and the
DVD is on one of the other (disabled) ports. Or something.

I really don't recommend installing, when everything is
shifting underneath you. There really isn't a point to it.
How stable is the machine going to be five minutes
after you're finished ?

*******

In terms of debugging techniques, you're going to need
to simplify the hardware setup, and continue testing,
and try and establish a configuration that isn't changing
all the time. If the motherboard is defective, then
you're going to need to do something about it.

And if the BIOS really is changing between POST attempts,
then critical settings like VDimm or the Northbridge
voltage could be changing. Any number of settings
that change, could make the computer crash prone.

When you change the BIOS settings, you select "Save and Exit"
when you're finished. That stores the settings in CMOS, for
the next POST. If you select "Discard and Exit", none of
your changes will be kept.

Of your two DVD drives, disconnect the data cable of the
one that is disappearing. And see if at least that
annoyance is out of the way. If the remaining DVD is on
an IDE ribbon cable, put it on the end connector (as Master).

If your BIOS setup screen, has a "Hardware Health" tab,
you can check the 3.3V, 5V, and 12V measurements and
see if they are within 5% of the nominal value. In other
words, 12V between 11.4V and 12.6V.

Good luck,

Paul
 
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S

Stan Brown

Windows 7, can install two partitions. One is NTFS, 100MB in size,
and is called SYSTEM RESERVED. It will not have a drive letter in
Windows 7. SYSTEM RESERVED has the boot files in it.

And I found out the hard way, a year and a half ago, that if you
don't back up and restore that system partition, when you restore
your C: drive it won't boot.

(The workaround, which it took me upwards of a week to find, even
with help, was to boot from a Windows installation disk and repair my
restored C: drive. Since Dell, like other manufacturers, saves a few
cents by not providing my Windows disk, I was lucky to be able to
find one at work that I could use.)
 
O

OldGuy

Paul formulated the question :
Slow down.

Something is very wrong here.

The system should be stable, before you waste time installing.

GPT is a kind of partitioning for disks. It is used for high capacity
storage systems, such as huge RAID arrays perhaps. It is the
successor to MBR based partitioning. If you want to use a 3TB
disk and use the whole thing for C: in Windows 7, then GPT is
how you'd do it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

I doubt very much, the disk actually says that. So
something is very wrong here.

*******

If the CMOS battery in the motherboard is bad, *and* you turn
off the power at the back of the PC, then you will lose your
BIOS settings.

If you leave the back of the PC powered, and try reboot after
reboot, the BIOS settings will not change.

It sounds like your BIOS settings are changing while the
power stayed on. This is not good! I don't think I've ever
run into a case, where someone had unstable BIOS settings
while the power remained on. It would take a duff power
supply (out of spec) at the same time as the CMOS battery
was flat, to come even close to doing that. If the motherboard
is Asus, it would take an "Overclocking Failed!" error message
on the screen, to mess up the BIOS settings.

I would turn off the computer and have a snooze. This is
getting too freaky. What kind of malware would do this ?

*******

Are you being entirely honest with me ?

Is there only one hard drive inside this computer ?

Or do you have many disk drives ?

I recommend only having the Windows 7 drive connected
during the installation. That way, nothing
bad can happen to the other drives.

That is what I do, when installing an OS. I pull the
data cables off the other drives. Before I instituted
that policy, I had a few instances where the wrong
drive got blasted. Maybe IT guys don't pull the
excess cables, but *I* do. I hate cleaning up a mess.

The DVD drive should not be disappearing. If I had
to guess, the BIOS is changing the disk controllers
in a way that only enables four of six ports, and the
DVD is on one of the other (disabled) ports. Or something.

I really don't recommend installing, when everything is
shifting underneath you. There really isn't a point to it.
How stable is the machine going to be five minutes
after you're finished ?

*******

In terms of debugging techniques, you're going to need
to simplify the hardware setup, and continue testing,
and try and establish a configuration that isn't changing
all the time. If the motherboard is defective, then
you're going to need to do something about it.

And if the BIOS really is changing between POST attempts,
then critical settings like VDimm or the Northbridge
voltage could be changing. Any number of settings
that change, could make the computer crash prone.

When you change the BIOS settings, you select "Save and Exit"
when you're finished. That stores the settings in CMOS, for
the next POST. If you select "Discard and Exit", none of
your changes will be kept.

Of your two DVD drives, disconnect the data cable of the
one that is disappearing. And see if at least that
annoyance is out of the way. If the remaining DVD is on
an IDE ribbon cable, put it on the end connector (as Master).

If your BIOS setup screen, has a "Hardware Health" tab,
you can check the 3.3V, 5V, and 12V measurements and
see if they are within 5% of the nominal value. In other
words, 12V between 11.4V and 12.6V.

Good luck,

Paul

Not fooling about any of this. It is the most frustration I have had
in years.

1) Remember the Linux Mint and the Macrium rescue disks allowed looking
at the C: drive and I saw all the files. Strange.
2) The MS original, and it is as marked by me the original, install
disk reports the C: Disk 0 as funny.
3) all BIOS voltages are stable. watched for a while and they jiggled
only a little bit.
4) I do have 4 Internal SATA HHDs. All show in BIOS
5) the DVD BluRay drives are on the secondary SATA ports. Both now
show in BIOS.
6) no IDE in there.
7) boot drive0 stayed stable at "good" DVD drive but all other boot
drives came alive (not disabled) but in wrong order.
I wonder if the BIOS detects that the "C:" drive is bad and turns on
all boot drives to allow a possible good boot from some other drive.
Hmmm.
8) the MB is 1.5 years old as is the C: 500G drive. Battery bad?
9) the BIOS changes between boots. I do not cycle power between boots.
I have only cycled power twice through multiple boots. Back has always
been powered, never unplugged.
10) MB is a MSI 890FXA-GD65 military class. AMD quad CPU. 8GRam
11) I looked at every setting in BIOS all but one looked correct.
This MB has something called 2.2G Infinity. It was enabled so I
disabled it. Not sure what that is but I think it was enabled since
day one. MSI website only talks about 3G+Infinity and does not explain
well what that means. On US website. My interpretation is that my MB
is not the latest revision and the 2.2TB Infinity means that it can
boot from up to a 2.2TB drive to Windows. I do not use this so I
disabled it now.
12) NO overclocking profiles. I do not need overclocking so I never do
that.
13) I use either F10 to save (Yes) and exit or the BIOS selection of
Save and Exit so I do always save.
14) I do not loose other BIOS setting when I turned off the power
switch but I did not unplug.
15) There is one large 1.5G USB drive connected.
 
O

OldGuy

OldGuy wrote on 6/10/2013 :
Not fooling about any of this. It is the most frustration I have had in
years.

1) Remember the Linux Mint and the Macrium rescue disks allowed looking at
the C: drive and I saw all the files. Strange.
2) The MS original, and it is as marked by me the original, install disk
reports the C: Disk 0 as funny.
3) all BIOS voltages are stable. watched for a while and they jiggled only a
little bit.
4) I do have 4 Internal SATA HHDs. All show in BIOS
5) the DVD BluRay drives are on the secondary SATA ports. Both now show in
BIOS.
6) no IDE in there.
7) boot drive0 stayed stable at "good" DVD drive but all other boot drives
came alive (not disabled) but in wrong order.
I wonder if the BIOS detects that the "C:" drive is bad and turns on all boot
drives to allow a possible good boot from some other drive. Hmmm.
8) the MB is 1.5 years old as is the C: 500G drive. Battery bad?
9) the BIOS changes between boots. I do not cycle power between boots.
I have only cycled power twice through multiple boots. Back has always been
powered, never unplugged.
10) MB is a MSI 890FXA-GD65 military class. AMD quad CPU. 8GRam
11) I looked at every setting in BIOS all but one looked correct.
This MB has something called 2.2G Infinity. It was enabled so I disabled it.
Not sure what that is but I think it was enabled since day one. MSI website
only talks about 3G+Infinity and does not explain well what that means. On
US website. My interpretation is that my MB is not the latest revision and
the 2.2TB Infinity means that it can boot from up to a 2.2TB drive to
Windows. I do not use this so I disabled it now.
12) NO overclocking profiles. I do not need overclocking so I never do that.
13) I use either F10 to save (Yes) and exit or the BIOS selection of Save and
Exit so I do always save.
14) I do not loose other BIOS setting when I turned off the power switch but
I did not unplug.
15) There is one large 1.5G USB drive connected.

15) 1.5TB USB drive.

Desperate times.
I used the Win 7 install CD to delete all partitions on Disk 0.
Then it allowed me to install. would not let me format but it did not
keep me from a fresh install.
Installing right now. We'll see.

I wonder if there is a change that the Macrium recovery will work or am
I at square one?

I will see what the install does.
I need to do something to see if it will get me some place where I can
figure out what to do next. New MB, new C: HDD, what?
 
O

OldGuy

LAST POST IN XP NEWSGROUP! FOLLOW IN WIN7 NEWSGROUP. THANKS!
Originally this started as a general Windows situation and turned into
a more Win 7 specific problem.

Oh brother!

Win 7 finished install with no errors .... but ...

I tried to connect to the internet and it says i have no network
adapter (that is part of the MB). or needs drivers. This did not
happen on the original install 1.5 years ago. So maybe the MB is bad.
It is 1.5 yrs into a 3yr warrantee.

I think i may just give up and go buy a new computer. wadayathink?
Throw in the towel?

All the internal HDDs and the 1.5TB USB drive seem perfectly OK as I
did explore all of them.

The second SATA Blu Ray drive is again missing.
 
D

dadiOH

OldGuy said:
LAST POST IN XP NEWSGROUP! FOLLOW IN WIN7 NEWSGROUP. THANKS!
Originally this started as a general Windows situation and turned into a
more Win 7 specific problem.

Oh brother!

Win 7 finished install with no errors .... but ...

I tried to connect to the internet and it says i have no network adapter
(that is part of the MB). or needs drivers. This did not happen on the
original install 1.5 years ago. So maybe the MB is bad. It is 1.5 yrs
into a 3yr warrantee.

I think i may just give up and go buy a new computer. wadayathink?
Throw in the towel?

All the internal HDDs and the 1.5TB USB drive seem perfectly OK as I did
explore all of them.

The second SATA Blu Ray drive is again missing.

I have no idea what you should do but I'd like to reiterate the advice given
by Paul as to what you should *have* done: disconnect everything except
that upon which you are working.

dadiOH
 
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P

Paul

OldGuy said:
Not fooling about any of this. It is the most frustration I have had in
years.

1) Remember the Linux Mint and the Macrium rescue disks allowed looking
at the C: drive and I saw all the files. Strange.
2) The MS original, and it is as marked by me the original, install disk
reports the C: Disk 0 as funny.
3) all BIOS voltages are stable. watched for a while and they jiggled
only a little bit.
4) I do have 4 Internal SATA HHDs. All show in BIOS
5) the DVD BluRay drives are on the secondary SATA ports. Both now show
in BIOS.
6) no IDE in there.
7) boot drive0 stayed stable at "good" DVD drive but all other boot
drives came alive (not disabled) but in wrong order.
I wonder if the BIOS detects that the "C:" drive is bad and turns on all
boot drives to allow a possible good boot from some other drive. Hmmm.
8) the MB is 1.5 years old as is the C: 500G drive. Battery bad?
9) the BIOS changes between boots. I do not cycle power between boots.
I have only cycled power twice through multiple boots. Back has always
been powered, never unplugged.
10) MB is a MSI 890FXA-GD65 military class. AMD quad CPU. 8GRam
11) I looked at every setting in BIOS all but one looked correct.
This MB has something called 2.2G Infinity. It was enabled so I
disabled it. Not sure what that is but I think it was enabled since day
one. MSI website only talks about 3G+Infinity and does not explain well
what that means. On US website. My interpretation is that my MB is not
the latest revision and the 2.2TB Infinity means that it can boot from
up to a 2.2TB drive to Windows. I do not use this so I disabled it now.
12) NO overclocking profiles. I do not need overclocking so I never do
that.
13) I use either F10 to save (Yes) and exit or the BIOS selection of
Save and Exit so I do always save.
14) I do not loose other BIOS setting when I turned off the power switch
but I did not unplug.
15) There is one large 1.5TB USB drive connected.

890FXA-GD65 manual

http://download2.msi.com/files/downloads/mnu_exe/E7640v3.1.zip

Board comes in several revisions. I selected revision 3.1

Drivers are available here, for downloading with another computer.

http://us.msi.com/product/mb/890FXA-GD65.html#/?div=Driver&os=Win7 64

*******

The manual says you have an "Overclocking Profile" storage feature.
The manual does not explain what settings are saved.

Such a feature, if triggered, could override the current CMOS RAM
contained settings. The interface for the Overclocking Profile feature,
does not show how it is triggered, and how the computer knows what
profile is currently being used. It should be passive, and only
come into play while you interact with it in the BIOS screen
(... load or save a profile).

That's the only thing that stands out right now in the manual,
to explain the weird symptoms. Your board is not as ordinary
as mine is (mine has no profile feature).

*******

We still don't have any evidence that the motherboard is bad.
If the CMOS battery is flat, as long as the power is switched on
at the back of the computer (and the PC is plugged in), any
BIOS settings should survive from one reboot to the next. The
+5VSB provides power in place of the CMOS battery - diode
ORing ensures one of the two power sources is used. If both
the PC power is completely switched off, and the CMOS battery is
below 2.4V, then you lose all the CMOS RAM settings. Since you
have an "Overclocking Profile" feature, with room to store
six profiles, that tells me the motherboard BIOS flash chip
is storing that info. And restoring a profile, can bring back
the settings (flash contents transferred to CMOS RAM). Of course,
you have to store things in the profiles, to be able to restore
them later. And if you flash upgrade the BIOS, that invalidates
all the profile storage (the settings are no longer aligned with
the data definitions of the new BIOS).

When you flash upgrade a BIOS, it's a good idea to do something
like "Load Defaults" or even use the Clear CMOS jumper, after
the flash. That can clean out the old CMOS contents, but you
then have to re-enter your boot order and other custom settings.
But I really don't think that would account for the settings
changing on their own. All I can see that would be responsible
at the moment, is the "Overclocking Profile" feature, or
maybe an actual overclocking failure detection that resets
the BIOS CMOS settings.

If it was my motherboard, I would be Googling "890FXA-GD65"
and looking for forums where they discuss bad BIOS versions,
and what version is a good one to load into the motherboard.
The MSI site, I think they have a forum. You can use an
external search engine, and try

site:forum-en.msi.com 890FXA-GD65

and see what pops up. This is an example of the discussions there.

http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=158332.0

What you're looking for, is evidence that your current
BIOS version has a bug in it.

*******

To override the boot order, you can press the "popup boot"
function key at startup. The MSI manual does not document
it. The <Del> key allows you to enter the BIOS. That
fact should be displayed on the first (startup) BIOS
screen. You can press the Pause/Break key, to make
the text stand still so you can read it. Normally,
a BIOS screen will mention the usage of two keys,
and we know one of the keys is <Del> to enter BIOS.
But we don't know what the other, popup boot key is.

To see the text underneath, you have to set

Full Screen Logo Display [Disabled]

I have computers here, where the key to press for popup boot
is F8 or F12. I don't know what MSI uses. If you figure out
what key to use for popup boot, you can then use the
cursor keys to select something to boot from.

Your manual also mentions an "Infinity" feature, for
supporting disk drives over 2.2TB. Since you don't
have any drives bigger than 2.2TB, you might check
and see if that can be disabled. With the PDF manual
open in Acrobat Reader, search for "2.2" as a string,
to find the BIOS setting. The word Infinity has a space
character embedded in it, which prevents search from
finding the word Infinity. Since I can't find any
other documentation in the manual, I can't tell you
what such a feature would be doing.

Paul
 

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