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  1. #1
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    How to return drive MBRs and FATs to their pre-Win7 states

    I have an older (pre-UEFI) multi-boot system here with several Windows and Linux OSs installed and working just fine, but now Win7 has (again) recently done something that is causing me to experience these two problems:

    1. "BPD hidden sectors should not be zero for a hard-disk partition boot sector."

    2. ntldr and boot.ini from any of my four hard drives drive cannot bring XP up and get it running on any *first* attempt, but then that *does* work following a restart. Windows initially shows a "Disk Configuration Error" message, but then a simple restart *will* result in XP coming up and running (and then the same also on any later second try).

    I have used bootsect both in XP and in Win7 to write and/or to re-write /nt52 at the beginning of (each first partition of) each of my four hard drives, and bootsect reported success in each case. However, my first SATA (drive #3 of 4) still does not ever even try to boot anything at all.

    note: I use Grub4Dos from boot.ini to get to a Win7 Menu.

    As Fred Landa says in at least one of his many fine articles, "UEFI can cause major problems." That is definitely the case with my older hardware, and I am hoping someone here might be able to show me how to completely remove whatever UEFI code Win7 has written on my drives.

    Many thanks!
    Last edited by leejosepho; 2015-06-11 at 07:23.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    I don't have a direct answer, I know that anything similar to MiniTool's Power Data Recovery and/or its Partition Manager can help. I've used Acronis Disk Director 11 & now 12 to help.
    I don't know what technically these programs do, but, when used cautiously and carefully, these utilities can get the job done.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    leejosepho (2015-06-12)

  4. #3
    jwoods
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    Another option is Terabyte Unlimited's Bootit Bare Metal.

    https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-bare-metal.htm

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    leejosepho (2015-06-12)

  6. #4
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    As it works on the second boot the boot configuration is OK but your BIOS doesn't like something. Short or updating the BIOS I'd stick to a second boot.

    cheers, Paul

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    leejosepho (2015-06-12)

  8. #5
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    As it works on the second boot the boot configuration is OK but your BIOS doesn't like something. Short or updating the BIOS I'd stick to a second boot.

    cheers, Paul
    Many thanks to each of you here, and yes, you understand! Everything used to be fine until Win7 wrote something on drive #3 (SATA1) while viewing it as first-in-line-of-four where my BIOS *always* places the two PATAs first in the boot order even after I have tried to set the SATAs to be first...but then my BIOS *does* now always place the Win7 SATA ahead of the other even after I have physically switched one cable for the other at the motherboard SATA sockets.

    I discovered the page at this link just this morning, and I plan to next try mbrfix.exe:
    http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm...Refs.htm#TOOLS

  9. #6
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    I have an older (pre-UEFI) multi-boot system here with several Windows and Linux OSs installed and working just fine, but now Win7 has (again) recently done something that is causing me to experience these two problems:

    \
    I don't believe you ever said WHY you suspected W7 was to blame.

    Abit late now but A back up BCD file might have helped.
    This is why many say it is better to install to a single physical drive. preferably with others disabled and use BIOS to chose boot drive rather than a boot manager.
    JWoods post in #3 might also be a better idea,IIRC it is designed for that situation.
    Last edited by wavy; 2015-06-12 at 15:02. Reason: gammar; and more grammar
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  10. #7
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    I don't believe you ever said WHY you suspected W7 was to blame.
    Because none of this was ever an issue until I had brought Win7 into play. I first installed Win7 not long after it first came out, meaning "prior to sp1", and I did all the partitioning beforehand and then simply gave it its place on my third drive and it accepted that quietly. More recently, however, at the time of sp1, Win7 wrote whatever it wrote wherever it wrote it and messed up my ability to multi-boot as I had been doing. Not knowing what was going on and while wanting to do a fresh re-installation anyway, I cleared some space on a drive and quite mistakenly let Win7 do its own partitioning...and now nothing so far has made it possible for me to again be the one deciding precisely what my machine will boot from where and how that shall be done! Bottom line: Win7 presumes way too much about its own status here in my personal playground and how my machine's startup should be handled. Until after sp1, I had been able to leave every boot loader alone in its native state, but now I have had to push Win7's BCD away from the start gate and tell it to wait for Grub4Dos to call it since it does not know how to play nicely with me and/or others.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 2015-06-12 at 15:42.

  11. #8
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Here is what an expert has said: "Having more than 1 drive connected at the time you did the SP1 upgrade...likely did allow Windows to overwrite all sorts of code on every drive and even in the partitions of any of those with a Windows OS in them...pointing to the Win 7 install partition in an effort to make it always boot-up first."

    That is exactly what has happened, and it had even broken the boot of my Win98se Startup floppy and I had to make a new one. Unless there is something somewhere in the Win7 EULA about Windows completely taking over like that, I should have been given an option just as with any non-Windows OS.

  12. #9
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Here is what an expert has said: "Having more than 1 drive connected at the time you did the SP1 upgrade...likely did allow Windows to overwrite all sorts of code on every drive and even in the partitions of any of those with a Windows OS in them...pointing to the Win 7 install partition in an effort to make it always boot-up first."
    Which is why, unless you ARE an expert (I certainly am not) (and have backups), I said:
    This is why many say it is better to install to a single physical drive. preferably with others disabled and use BIOS to chose boot drive rather than a boot manager.
    I hope you can get it sorted out. You seem to have a lot of things going on on your computer, maybe one our more learned and experienced members could help if you can document just what is on your computer and where.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  13. #10
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    What is on my computer where does not make any difference at all as far as fixing whatever Win7 has broken is concerned. That would only be relevant if Win7's boot was broken and someone was trying to fix that...and I am not meaning to sound argumentative!

    Just a few years ago, I knew nothing at all about multi-booting, and it did not take long to begin understanding how ntldr is used to call a previous io.sys...and then how a BCD can call either or both...and now today I can add any Windows OS in any order I wish and still have (or get) each boot loader working in its own native way. Then I began adding various Linux distros and learned a lot about how varied their boot installers can be...but now most lately Win7 has come in with a curve ball by writing its own "self-declared-king-of-the-hill" stuff in places where it never had any business being at all! That is fine for anyone who wants to let Micro$oft have complete control of his or her machine, but I will pitch my Win7 Ultimate 64-bit entirely before I ever bow to that.

  14. #11
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Ok I'll step aside here. You seem to be a knowledgeable person, I am sure you will figure it out. If you think it is crazy now just wait until you use a UEFI firmware computer! I would say Windows is a lot 'nicer' in this regard as I have found Linux. I trashed a company box loading Linux on a USB drive w/ LILO. (oh did fix it ).
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  15. #12
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    Ok I'll step aside here. You seem to be a knowledgeable person, I am sure you will figure it out.
    Maybe, and I hope I did not sound overtly political while talking about my hobby!

    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    If you think it is crazy now just wait until you use a UEFI firmware computer!
    I am 65 and still in XP most of the time, and I have several of these particular motherboards up and running just in case my primary machine might ever quit before I do! Point: Nothing newer for me from this point forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    I would say Windows is a lot 'nicer' in this regard as I have found Linux. I trashed a company box loading Linux on a USB drive w/ LILO. (oh did fix it ).
    Understood, and I have had my own troubles with certain distros and/or the surprise changes that come along with later copies. Most recently I have been quite impressed with a certain Puppy, but my biggest Linux project ever still awaits me at the Ubuntu server command line where I have no idea what to do next!

    Regards.

  16. #13
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    , but my biggest Linux project ever still awaits me at the Ubuntu server command line where I have no idea what to do next!
    ?

    And let us know what it took to sort it out.

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  17. #14
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    My first effort was made while using a small netinst CD and following someone's guide to include several things at once, and I also checked a desktop to hopefully simplify things later on...but then ended up with things I could not access because certain passwords or whatever had not been covered during the overall installation process. So, my most-recent try has been made by using a full "Live" server DVD...but then that did not give me the option of adding a desktop! However, it does at least offer some clues at the command line about packages having updates available.

  18. #15
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    ..but then that did not give me the option of adding a desktop!
    You are losing me here. Have you used easybcd to add back boot options? It can be very helpful if you have a simple situation ( which I gather is not the case).

    You are still attempting to regain the multi boot functionality you had before, correct?
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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