Monday, August 1, 2011

Windows 7 won't boot!

Well in a nutshell, here's how this problem unfolded, and came to be corrected.

New Install
I bought a pair of 1TB drives, and set them up in a RAID 1 array, using the VT8237A southbridge's built-in RAID feature. I left my old 200GB PATA drive in-place, so I could copy my files to the array. Then, I installed Windows 7 on the array, and everything was great. Until I happened to notice (while cleaning up) a new file: bootmgr on the old drive. A quick Google search told me that this was the Vista/7 bootloader. Crap! The brilliant installer decided to put the Win7 install on the new RAID array, where I specified, but put the bootloader on the old drive!

Steps:
- Unhook old drive, which renders system unbootable.
- Boot up Win 7 setup DVD, and select Repair (not install).
- Choose command prompt.

From Command prompt:
- diskpart
- list disk
- select disk 0
- list partition
- select partition 1
- active
- exit
(This marks the partition as active, which it was not before.  This is required for the BIOS to see it as bootable.)

Next, need to fix boot sector:
- bootrec /FixMbr
- bootrec /FixBoot
- bootrec /RebuildBcd

Then, close command prompt, and choose startup repair.  It may take once through for it to say fixed an error, then reboot. Then go back to startup repair. Here you should be able to run the automatic startup repair, and it will tell you that BOOTMGR was missing, which it will correct.

It now works for me, without the old drive!!!