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Windows 7 can not boot from SATA drive

Posted on 2013-02-05
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Having upgraded from XP 64 bit to Windows 7 64 bit on a new SATA drive with an Asus m/db which has extended IDE for SATA, all works fine except the only way I can now boot is to leave an Acronis boot disc in the master CD drive which then gives me the option to boot in Windows. After that the boot is normal.

If I remove the Acronis boot disc, then on boot it just says that it can not find a valid boot sector. Boot order is set as first to to the Windows 7 C drive which is a SATA drive.

If I remove all drives to leave only the new SATA 'C' drive, it still says no valid boot sector.

My old IDE C drive was breaking down with numerous bad sectors. When I installed  Windows 7 to a new SATA drive , the new drive then assigned to C Drive. The old drive when I refitted it to obtain program data on it, became letter 'W'.

I have other drives present when the change was made. To force the new drive to C, I disconnected all other drives when installing Windows 7 on the new drive.

In Computer Management, Disc 0 is now the next internal drive (then 'H') that was present after the old C drive in the old drive letter order.

The new C drive is now Disc 1. It is the only one listed as the boot drive with Page File and as Active. It is, like the other 3 drives as a Primary Partition.

The old drive, now 'W', is drive number 3, it still has the XP operating system. That drive, and 'J' drive where I stored downloaded programs, are both marked as Active.

Acronis Disk Director shows all drives marked as having Basic Master Boot record, apart from the 3 external drives. It calls Drive 0 as Drive 1, etc. I attach a screen copy of the drive layout as per Acronis

I have tried several suggestions of how to force Windows to see a SATA drive as a boot drive, none have any effect.

Is the old boot record still held in BIOS ? Should I flash update BIOS, ASUS has the EZE Flash utility ? So many warnings are given about the hazards of flashing BIOS.

I would be grateful for some help.

Regards Jonathan
screen-image-drive-layout-130105.jpg
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Question by:nextenso
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by:EMJSR
EMJSR earned 100 total points
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It is probably a driver issue. Most computers, especially laptops, now come configured with  native AHCI mode. It's the Advanced Host Controller Interface that allows, among other things, for SATA drives to be hot swapped, and it increases performance.

Usually Windows Vista/7 have inbuilt support for this mode, however, it can cause some issues if the drivers aren't loaded. Your Acronis boot disc may have the drivers inbuilt for it to work, which means they are loaded before Windows boots.
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Gabriel Clifton earned 400 total points
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You need to repair your boot loader, somewhere it got stuck that it needs your acronis disk to boot. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/32523/how-to-manually-repair-windows-7-boot-loader-problems/
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by:nextenso
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Thanks for the quick replies EMJSR for explaining what has happened and PantherTech for the link to repair the problem. For those who may refer to this question later, I note the following.

Following the 'howtogeek' solution that PantherTech gave, I booted with the Win 7 install disc in and selected the 'Repair' option. Windows went to an auto search for problems and said the master boot record was incorrect, I selected the 'repair now' option.

Any other option to run a repair function was not given, just re-start and it showed the auto repair had re-assigned my C drive to 'D'. This would cause too many problems with various programmes coded to find program data on 'C' drive.

On re-start normally, it once again said 'no boot sector found'

On re-booting with the install disc and running 'Repair' again, Windows considered it had fixed all problems and gave me access to the Command Prompt window and I was able to run bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fix boot.

Then on making a normal re-boot, I first went into BIOS set-up, and found that in the Boot Order, the drives had been numbered with the SATA boot drive last at number 6. I re-ordered the drive numbering placing the boot drive as 1 and made sure the boot order was still showing Optical drive first, then Hard drive second which would select the first hard drive (which was now the SATA drive) in the numbered list.

On re-boot, yay, it booted normally. Thank you both for information and answer.

Rgds Jonathan
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