Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts

    Windows 8 Anoyances: Boot files & Drive setup

    A Heads Up and Warning for those who may not be aware:
    Windows 8 wants to place it's boot files on another drive or create a new/hidden partition for them

    I was experimenting with the Windows 8 image backup and restore feature, yes Windows 8 does have one that looks similar
    to the Windows 7 Image Backup and Restore application, but I didn't actually use it Because I was trying to figure out why the heck this imaging application of Microsoft's was consistently wanting to include a seemingly random other internal drive with it's image of my primary C:/ drive.
    And it wouldn't provide any option to remove that extra partition from it's image creation setup.
    I found out why afterwards; The boot files for Windows 8 are placed elsewhere and it wanted to include an image
    of that entire partition, in my case internal drive, to include those boot files.

    When you first go to install Windows 8 it wants to create another partition and place boot files on it instead of the primary partition.
    If it can't create the 300MG or so partition on the same drive it will place them on another drive.
    In my case, and for whatever reason, it didn't create a separate 300MG partition on the same drive.
    It took an already existent 2 TB drive half full of data and placed the boot files on it, then removed the drive letter from it,
    thereby rendering it unseen until I had to go into disk manager and reassign the drive letter.
    I had no idea that the boot files for Windows 8 were being placed anywhere other than where they belong;
    On the drive or partition Windows 8 is running on.

    This got me curious so I went looking a little closer at this drive I had to reassign it's drive letters too and found the boot files
    hidden in plain sight:
    Untitled.jpg
    Desktop Computer
    Here you can see them located on one of my internal backup drives named: "MiRROR".
    Note that they would normally be hidden.


    I did another little experiment; I deleted those boot files I found placed on the above internal storage and backup drive.
    Naturally, when I went to reboot, there will be no booting into Windows 8, and there will be no image restore either because
    there would not have been the included boot files in the image I had made to restore from.

    What I ended up having to do to get my image restored (from a Macrium Reflect image) was to reinstall Windows 8.
    I watched it place the boot files on this other drive of mine at the time of custom clean reinstall of the OS.
    And as I can recall, it did not provide any option to move them elsewhere.
    So I reinstalled Windows 8, restored the image I had made previously, then I had to go in with the Windows 8 recovery disk
    and use the command prompt to have "bootrec" rebuild/reconcile the new boot files that were placed on the other drive from
    the freshly installed OS. So in order to get the restored image up and running, I had to reconcile the OS restore to the new boot files.

    To confirm this, Windows 8 did the same thing on my laptop, except it kept the original hidden partition for the placement of such boot files.
    The laptop was an upgrade install of Windows 8.
    My desktop was a format and clean install of Windows 8.


    If anyone else has noticed this behavior, or has any input into this please post.
    I would like to discuss workarounds or any steps in the install process I may have missed.
    Thanks
    C
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-11-07 at 22:06.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    3,762
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 424 Times in 338 Posts
    My boot files are on the root of C:\. My laptop is an upgrade install over Windows 7 Ultimate. I have no 300MB partition - double-checked with BootIt Bare Metal.

    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    I don't know why Windows 8 is wanting to place components of the boot process on another drive.
    The drive in question is drive0 (J) but it is not my primary drive.

    1 Is there a way to edit this drive to make it just a "primary partition", as opposed to a "system, active, primary partition"?

    2 Is there a safe way to move these boot files back to the primary OS drive without interrupting
    the boot process into Windows 8 the next time I restart?
    Untitled1.jpg
    BCDEdit invoked through Windows PowerShell ISE

    3 How did I manage to get the Boot Manager on this drive in the first place?
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    OK, I managed to fixed my bootmgr issue;

    I used Diskpart in an elevated command prompt to create a MBR boot item on the primary C drive:
    (where it should be)
    bcdboot c:\Windows /s c: /l en-us

    I then used diskpart to inactivate the drive the bootmgr files were originally placed on:
    (I only need one active primary as I don't dual boot)
    type diskpart, enter
    type list disk, enter
    type select disk #, where # is the disk that has the partition to unmark, enter
    type list partition, enter
    Type select partition #, where # is the partition you want to unmark, enter.
    type inactive, enter.
    type exit, enter.

    I then rebooted and manually deleted the bootmgr files from the drive they had originally been on.
    Then reimaged the drive and deleted old images where bootmgr were missing from primary C drive.

    Problem solved. Sorry, I was under the impression that this was specifically a Windows 8 issue when in fact this can happen in Windows 7
    and other Windows versions as well. Too many hard drives I guess. With a total of 8 drives installed on this machine something is bound to get messed up.

    Untitled2.jpg
    BCDEdit in Windows PowerShell ISE shows everything where it should be
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-11-08 at 02:13.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to CLiNT For This Useful Post:

    scaisson (2013-09-21)

  6. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    I also do not have a 300 Mb partition. My MBR is included on my main C Drive as well. I did a format as part of the installation process.

    I believe I read that this 300 Mb partition is similar to the 100 Mb partition included with Win 7, and is used for MBR and Bitlocker operations. I wonder if the partition is created if you either have Bitlocker enabled or had it enabled in Win 7???

    It is strange that some installations have it and some don't. In my case I deleted the 100 Mb partition in my Win 7 installations quite some time ago, and of course had to repair the MBR afterward. In my case loading the Win 7 Repair Disk and booting to it automatically found and repaired the problem.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  7. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    Apparently a Windows installation will default some of it's boot components to drive0 if certain conditions exist.
    The drive in question is on drive0 via my MB's SATA 2.0 ports.
    The drive in question had it's parameters set to active some time ago, unknowing and unwittingly by me, and I hadn't noticed it until now.
    I've added and reinstalled/replaced hard drives multiple time previously too, so something may have been done inadvertently by me.
    If I had not attempted to use the default backup and restore imaging app in windows 8, I probably would not have caught it.

    This condition must have predated my Windows 8 installation, while sometime early in Windows 7 when I was still using Windows 7's
    back up and restore imaging application.

    The application would behave similarly by wanting to include a (seemingly) irrelevant internal drive in the imaging
    process while not allowing for any options to exclude it. All the while the drive was somehow set to active and
    the bootmgr components where defaulted to it.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-11-08 at 09:49.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Polk County, Florida
    Posts
    3,762
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 424 Times in 338 Posts
    Could UEFI and GPT be involved? If you have UEFI enabled in the BIOS, Windows may well use GPT to partition and format a drive, and create a boot partition (ESP) at the beginning of the drive. GPT also puts a protective MBR entry on the drive beginning at sector 0 so that tools that pre-date GPT will have something to see.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to bbearren For This Useful Post:

    mrjimphelps (2012-11-08),RetiredGeek (2013-09-21),scaisson (2013-09-21)

  10. #8
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,411
    Thanks
    447
    Thanked 406 Times in 378 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Highly informative and interesting link!

  11. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    I don't have UEFI enabled, but I do have 2 3TB drives running in GPT that were installed as recently a 2 months ago.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  12. #10
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,483
    Thanks
    176
    Thanked 152 Times in 129 Posts
    By the way, bootrec and the MBR can be restored from my Macrium Reflect Backup Archives. I think it's in there by default. I used the Restore MBR option when a Macrium Reflect Restore operation trashed the bootrec in my Windows XP dual-boot which uses Norton Bootmagic. Bootmagic then had to be reactivated, but all was well with the restored MBR and bootrec. All of this may not apply if there are different drives, or the boot info is in a different partition.

    The small System Partition in Windows 7 was created on my Toshiba Satellite laptop even without Bitlocker. It is a property of the 64-bit editions. Windows 8 64-bits does not create this small System Partition.
    -- Bob Primak --

  13. #11
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Super Moderator am having this same problem in Win 8 Pro. I could use a hand with understanding completely what you are saying here. My Computer was doing updates and then it just suddenly powered down and it has not booted up since. This just happened this evening. And I am still up trying to figure out what to do. I can't boot up, it goes to Win 8 and then into a gray screen. Then I tried to go into Save Mode and I couldn't. The I tried to boot up my Win 8 CD install disk. It would not boot. so I tried it with my Win 8 USB and that booted. I tried Advanced-Repair and that just looped for 2 hours. So then I ventured to the command prompt and found out that I could not do a chkdsk or a sfc scannow. I tried to repair the boot, that did not work. Then I tried to see if the drive was locked, it wasn't. Then I did your command above bcdboot etc. and the response was that the en-us was not a valid command. In the volumes of which there are 4 I saw the C drive. One hidden, the cd drive, usb drivem the external drive and the c drive. The volumn letters do not match the drive letters, but I am not sure if they really are suppose too. This is the frist time in 2 years that I have had any problems with Win 8 Pro 64 nit until now. So my question to you is this.

    bcdboot c:\Windows /s c: /l en-us This did not work. It said that the en-us was in invalid command.

    I then used diskpart to inactivate the drive the bootmgr files were originally placed on:
    (I only need one active primary as I don't dual boot) I do not do a dual boot either. I have 5 other computers with Linix that I am studying and learning on.
    type diskpart, enter | OK
    type list disk, enter | C:\ Correct?
    type select disk #, where # is the disk that has the partition to unmark, enter | Please explain this part to me.
    type list partition, enter |
    Type select partition #, where # is the partition you want to unmark, enter. | Please explain this part to me
    type inactive, enter. | OK
    type exit, enter. | OK

    I then rebooted and manually deleted the bootmgr files from the drive they had originally been on. And where was that at? How did you find them? On the Hidden?
    Then reimaged the drive and deleted old images where bootmgr were missing from primary C drive. OK I will do that.

    All drivers are fine. No virus, no malware etc. Maintenance was done before the Windows Upgrades installing. Thanks. Piaowaka

  14. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    Use the "bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd" command from the command prompt of your USB boot disk in
    an attempt to get back to a normal booting state. Although you may have other issues, this is the first thing I would try.
    Make certain that your dos syntax is correct, including all applicable spaces.


    The use of diskpart can be tricky, as your bootdisk may influence the disk number order.
    You have to really know your disks, as I have 7 of them, it tends to complicate things somewhat.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  15. #13
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Hey there super Moderator I did that this morning and it is up now with an issue. When it idles and I have to sign in again the keyboard will not work. So I have to restart and then it is OK. I have heard that diskpart is hard and I am not knowledgeable in this area. So I suppose it was finally my turn to start having problems with Windows 8. LOL As soon as I can learn Linux better I am switching. Thanks for answering so fast. That was nice of you to do. Take care. Pia

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •