Sanjeev Sabhlok's notes on technology, hardware, gardening

Problems installing Windows 7

I faced weird problems installing Windows 7.

 Installed Windows 7 happily on a new 2TB disk without any hitch on a gigabyte ga-h61ma-d2v motherboard. When I added a secondary disk (which had bootable Win XP installed) then Windows XP became the master disk. Must have been a problem with SATA master/slave. Unfortunately, when I removed the secondary disk, the Windows 7 installation wouldn't work. Upon trying to reinstall, got the msg: "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.Windows cannot be installed to this disk"

When I fiddled with the BIOS, I managed to disrupt it entirely and the computer would no longer read even keyboard or mouse. And got a msg "NTLDR is missing" (or some such thing).

A total mess.

SOLUTION

1. Reset BIOS (CMOS) on the motherboard (using screwdriver). This enabled keyboard/mouse to be recognised again. Big relief.

2. Went into BIOS and ensured that SATA optical disk (DVD writer) option was selected as boot #1, the new hard disk as #2, and DISABLED UEFI optical disk option (#3). This allowed recognition of the same disk that had started giving trouble, and reinstalled Windows 7 once again. 

Haven't yet finished the install. I'm going to have to try the secondary disk once again (I've managed to delete the XP install through a second computer), and if both work, I'm done.

UPDATE

Worked fine initially. Even installed the secondary disk from which the system "recovered" unindexed DLL files. 

After a couple of reboots, gave the NTLDR probem.

Checked that by disconnecting secondary disk, Windows 7 was booting properly. Decided I needed to format the windows XP partition of the secondary disk but since it was not reading, 

Installed XP on a separate master disk, made it the master. The secondary disk was now readable. Formatted (NOT quick format but full format) the secondary diisk to clear it of any Windows XP residue. 

UDATE

That did NOT work. Got NTLDR problem again. Looked into BIOS and found that the new disk (Seagate) was not listed as either boot 1 or boot 2. Finally, searched the extreme end of the BIOS software and found a link that allowed me to find the SEAGATE disk and DISABLE the western digital disk. That fixed the problem. 

Took me a total of 9 days to fix this problem. 

UPDATE

Still not fixed. The system reverted, and I could not locate the seagate disk in the BIOS any longer. The problem is that this motherboard automatically gives priority to a particular hard drive (with multiple drives) UNLESS drive order is established under a sub-menu known as Hard Drive BBS priorities.

That's where both Seagate and Western Digital drives were found, and the motherboard had prioritised WD even though it was connected to the slave port SATA 4 (with CD ROM on 1, and seagate on 2). 

By forcing Seagate to be pioritised this way, the system will now hopefully get fixed once and for all. All the fuss from Day 1 could have been avoided had I known this way of over-riding the motherboard's self-determination of priorities.

Very clumsy and confusing motherboard.

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