Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Attempting to repair

  1. #21

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    It seems that the device wants to use the SATA port that it's installed on.
    If you're up to experimenting, what happens if you install the OS when the drive is plugged into SATA 3?
    And, does it repeat the behavior when it's plugged into SATA 1?

    Also, can you see the BSOD? If so, does it blame a particular driver?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #22

    Posts : 116
    xp , 7Pro, 8RP, Android phone, Tablet

    Yes, I am sure that is what happening, I had previously tried the other way round, as you suggest, with same error cycle.

    I have also tried by putting a clean drive on sata channel 3 and restoring an image of W8 taken when installed on sata channel 1. The restore image apparently completes correctly but when it reboots, it again goes into the attempting to restore cycle.
    Remove drive put it on channel 1 master and boots correctly.

    Therefore it must have the channel association stored within the image somewhere in HKLM boot.
    I also then tried by replugging the drive to sata channel 1 slave and booted ok; so it is only the channel number stored.
    Do not get any BSODs it just stops at failed to repair, suggesting do a restore/reset which of course would wipe installed programs (not apps) which is not what we would wish. I have also searched for any log files that may give an indication of what was happening but could find any as as far as the system is concerned it was a clean boot at that stage.

    This makes W8 a complete NO!NO! - if the bios is set auto to dynamically assign channels when a varying number of internal/esata drives are used; which works perfectly under Win7. With 8 drives 4 channels you only have a 1 in 4 chance of a successful boot. This explains why I was having limited success when experimenting with just 4 drives. I could of course set the bios to set channels to use fixed ports but that is a restriction.

    I would imagine the existing situation will completely throw less experienced users who at a later stage just wished to add an extra drive and moved the ports around; they would end up having to reload W8 and their programs from scratch not good!.
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  3. #23

    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

    After Bootim hides your cursor, the easy way to regain your hidden cursor is to press Ctrl Alt Del, and select Task Manager, and your hidden (but still active and functional, like a cloaked Harry Potter or a cloaked Klingon Bird Of Prey) cursor reappears.

    Windows 8 boot manager does not use drive letters like previous windows versions - it uses Volume numbers, and presumably the volume numbering is associated with the SATA channel. It does not load the registry, for speed's sake, I think, or else it would be able to use the drive assigned letters.

    Have you thought of trying a Windows 8 on VHD installation, which will be enumerated separately, presumably after the SATA channels have been registered in the BCD? Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #24

    Posts : 116
    xp , 7Pro, 8RP, Android phone, Tablet

    I have been using VHD and hence I was not posting in the interim, I returned to moving a single drive around ports and channels as I was intrigued by the problem.
    If volume numbering is associated with the channel as you suggest then the volume number must be stored within an image.
    What is in the bcd file located in the boot folder??
    I have restored an image taken when on channel 1 to a drive on channel 3. It fails to boot completely unless put back on channel 1. (Note the by fails to boot it actually finds W8 and starts to load before going into its attempt to recover loop)
    The net result as it stands is that you cannot relocate a drive containing W8 to a different port.
    This is the issue I am trying to address in that it will break W8 for the average user as opposed to users of this forum.
    If it does not work we find a way around it.

    Would anybody care to verify this by creating a copy of W8 on a spare hard drive boot to check and then move it to a different port on a different channel and see what happens. Moving from master to slave on the same channel does not create the problem.
    I will try and borrow a usb drive enclosure and see what happens in that instance.
    It will either prove I am going completely senile or verify the situation.
    Last edited by besb; 06 Jul 2012 at 17:16. Reason: Added a question
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #25

    Posts : 116
    xp , 7Pro, 8RP, Android phone, Tablet

    OK found it - W8 has a serious bug or more precisely "attempting repairs" is just not up to the job
    fafhrd is correct it does use volume numbers (thanks for that)
    The problem lies in the boot folder or the bcd.
    I booted to win7 to check the contents of the W8 boot folders of the two versions I created:-
    On the version installed on sata ch1 the files in the boot folder - bcd log referenced volume 1
    On the version installed on sata ch3 the files in the boot folder - bcd log referenced volume 6
    By copying an image created on a sata ch1 installation to a drive installed on sata ch3 installed the sata 1 boot folder.

    Therefore the problem is that the "attempting to repair" does not check the boot folder bcd and the objects it references in the bcd itself to spot a volume change; rather simple IMHO.

    However during this investigation I also spotted the other issue I had posted about.
    With win7 and both my W8 copies installed I could only see one of the two in explorer.
    I opened up admin local storage and could see both drives the second having an exclamation mark the info:-
    "This disc is off-line because it has a signature collision with another disc that is online"
    The 2 have W8 installed but have different programs installed.
    The net effect of this explains why I could not get W8 to boot when I had just 2 differing copies of W8 attached.
    But what it means in real world terms (not Verified as yet) is that you cannot clone a W8 disc for backup and have both installed at the same time.
    Why did they have to change the boot manager it is worse than the problems associated with dual booting W7 or Vista with XP.

    Anyway I am getting too old for this (74 next birthday) I may try swopping the boot folders between the sata ch1 and sata ch3 installations on changing ports if I can summon up the enthusiasm.
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  6. #26

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    Great discovery! Thanks for isolating the problem(s). It'll help lot's of other people as they start messing around with Win8!

    I don't know if it works in Win8 - but have you tried the bcdedit commands in the Command Prompt of Startup Repair? That fixes problems in Win7 that Startup Repair won't.

    bootrec /fixboot
    bootrec /fixmbr
    bootrec /rebuildbcd

    Check for a PM from me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #27

    Posts : 116
    xp , 7Pro, 8RP, Android phone, Tablet

    Hi usasma
    I had a feeling that I had tried bootrec before and failed and yes it is posted it in the tutorial threads.
    However I tried again for completeness and we still get the same error cycles.

    But I did transfer the boot folder from sata ch1 and replace that created on sata ch3.
    (A PITA as I could not have the two W8 drives installed concurrently and had to use W7 as an intermediary)
    It did fail initially complaining about a missing device driver (not surprising as they had differing programs media center installed I had been using drive on sata ch1 for a couple of days and did not reload a new image sata ch3)
    I forced safe mode and low and behold it booted. QED

    I did try to post bug on windows ask but guess what "page not available at the moment"
    Guess they might fix it by W8 SP1 as it looks like the the RTM is due out in the next 4-6 weeks
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  8. #28

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    We had a long discussion about this at work today.
    We figure it's not going to bother many people - because most people don't move drives around.

    BUT, we do figure that it's going to have a huge impact on the more adventurous users who do mess around with their systems.
    And it's going to affect technician's because they're going to have to fix this when someone does it unknowingly.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #29

    First time I read this thread. And I mean every word. What a vast vault of knowledge and wisdom you older, experience gentlemen have!! Blows me away!! I'll keep tabs on this thread to read the conclusion for sure!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #30

    Posts : 116
    xp , 7Pro, 8RP, Android phone, Tablet

    On behalf of all the "oldies" on this forum, I must say thanks for your gracious compliment HippsieGypsie.
    One day I trust you will be in the same position attracting such comments.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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