I can no longer access Windows that is on the old HDD.

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by j0w, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. j0w

    j0w Registered Member

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    Hello everyone.

    I have a hard drive, bought an SSD and installed Windows on it (with the hard drive disconnected).

    For some time I was able to use Windows that are on each separate disk, but unexpectedly I can no longer access Windows that is on HDD.

    This is the image of my list of hard drives. There is something wrong with it?

    How do I fix this problem?

    I can log into Windows that is on SSD, but I can't log into Windows that is on HDD. When I try to access it, SSD's Windows starts up with that recovery screen that gives some options.

    I appreciate any help.
     

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  2. itman

    itman Registered Member

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  3. j0w

    j0w Registered Member

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    That is not the case. I installed each Windows separately, with one disk disconnected while the other was connected. Everything was working fine, but suddenly I lost access to the Windows that is on HDD and I don't know why.
     
  4. itman

    itman Registered Member

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    How are you switching between each OS installation? By changing the boot drive in the BIOS/UFI?
     
  5. j0w

    j0w Registered Member

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    Exactly.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    j0w,

    If you disconnect the SSD, can you boot the OS on the HD?

    In the UEFI Boot Menu, do you have two Windows Boot Managers? How do you determine which belongs to the SSD or the HD?
     
  7. itman

    itman Registered Member

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    Refer to your posted screen shot. I assume Acer E: contains your other OS installation. It no longer is marked as a System partition.

    On my installation, I have both XP and Win 10 on separate drives. Drive D: in the below screen shot holds my XP installation:

    Win_OS_Partitions.png
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    With a MBR install the booting files may or may not be in the OS partition. The partition containing the booting files is labelled the System partition. With a UEFI install the booting files are never in the OS partition. They are always in the EFI System partition.

    j0w has two EFI System partitions which can cause unforeseen issues. I know j0w didn't do this but if you try installing Win10 in a computer with two visible EFI System partitions then the installer will create unnecessary partitions. eg multiple EFI System partitions.

    Drive D: holds the booting files for both OS. Win10 won't boot without the WinXP partition.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  9. j0w

    j0w Registered Member

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    I don't know. I can't disconnect it right now. It is installed on my laptop, and opening it fully to unplug the hard drive will be time consuming and I'm busy with work stuff, unfortunately.

    Yes, one for each disk.
    The BIOS/UEFI shows the model and manufacter of each disk (Western Digital for HDD and Samsung for SSD). When I needed to do something with the Windows's HDD, I would go to the BIOS/UEFI and change the boot order to go to the HDD (Western Digital).

    I did this on purpose. I would like to have 2 independent Windows installation, because of this I unplugged one disk while was installing Windows on the other. There is a better way to have 2 idependent Windows?
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes. Use a UEFI Boot Manager. Then you only need one EFI System Partition (it sounds like your second ESP is corrupted) and you can hide the Windows OS from each other. Hiding prevents OS interaction.

    Do you have images of the second ESP and OS that can be restored?
     
  11. j0w

    j0w Registered Member

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    Hi! Thanks for helping me.

    If I use an UEFI Boot Manager installed on disk 0 and disconnect disk 0, how I'll be able to access the Windows on disk 1? That is possible?

    When you say my second ESP is corrupted you're talking about ESP on disk 1 (SSD)? I can access the Windows on SSD, it's possible achieve this with a corrupted ESP?

    If you're talking about ESP on disk 0 (HDD) instead, there is a way to fix this corrupted ESP?
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Sorry, it's early in the morning here. I meant the ESP on the HD (not SSD) is likely to be corrupted. Do you have a backup image of that ESP?

    I'm interested in your setup so yesterday I installed two Win10 as you did. Only one drive connected at each install time. I was hoping for one OS to eventually fail to boot but that didn't happen.

    The concept of booting HD0, HD1, etc isn't really relevant to UEFI booting so I'll refer to first and second HD even though I was using SSDs. The ESP on the first HD was deleted so now only the OS on the second HD booted. BootIt UEFI was installed into the ESP on the second HD. Booting files were created in the ESP for the OS on the first HD. Boot Items were created to boot the relevant OS. The OS were hidden from each other. Both OS booted. Each OS was assigned C: drive when booted. There were no other drive letters as the non booting OS was hidden with to a non "Normal Data" Partition GUID Type.
     
  13. j0w

    j0w Registered Member

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    Unfortunately I don't have a backup of that possibly corrupted ESP partition. There is a way to fix this or verify if that partition is really corrupted?

    Every time I go to the BIOS/UEFI and change the boot order to make the HDD the first one, surprisingly the boot is redirected to the SSD. But before this, Windows try to repair something and after this repair process this window is shown:

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcQPSVCDasJvTFngmdJ3Arqdc1xJxy75VKjsjpxIloO35Ew__sAF

    When I click on "Use another operating system" only the Windows on SSD is shown.

    Do you think this step by step can repair the ESP partition?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  14. j0w

    j0w Registered Member

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    I managed to solve the problem.

    Assuming the ESP partition was corrupted (thanks, Brian!), I searched and saw that EasyUEFI has the function of repairing an ESP partition. So I did this procedure to rebuild the ESP partition and everything went back to normal.

    Thank you all!

    Edit: one more question: there is a way to hide one Windows from another using the default Windows Boot Manager?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  15. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Excellent and very helpful topic with useful replies.

    Thanks @j0w for bringing that issue you experienced for the rest of us to make note of in event of a similar ordeal.

    Grateful as well to the helpful analysis from the replies too. Windows for years never really puts enough effort into it in order to make matters just a little more simpler for users to pair O/S systems sometimes as we expect
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Nice work.

    The boot manager can't hide partitions but a workaround is to use Disk Management in each OS to remove the drive letter of the non booting Win10. This only has to be done once in each OS.

    Another method to fix a corrupt ESP (not as easy as using EasyUEFI) is to image the ESP of another computer and restore the image to the "bad" computer after having deleted the "bad" ESP. Then do a BCD Edit (offline) and Win10 will boot.

    I never bother with the boot order. Just use the BIOS Boot Menu.
     
  17. j0w

    j0w Registered Member

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    Thank you, EASTER!

    Thanks!

    I followed your suggestion.

    Talking about this interaction between each Windows, a strange thing happened. When I accessed the Windows that is on HDD, a popup appeared saying that the Recycle Bin of the Windows in SSD partition was corrupted. Then I booted in this Windows and did a scan, some problems were detected and fixed. I came back to HDD's Windows and again that popup appeared. Then I booted SSD's Windows again and did a scan, but this time nothing was wrong. Then I came back again to the HDD's Windows and the popup appeared again. I don't know what is the problem, but this is strange. I hope that hidding their disk driver letters, nothing weird happens again.

    Interesting. Can I backup the ESP partition of any computer and restore only that partition in another computer?

    Yes, I use the BIOS Boot Menu sometimes, but when I need to access the Windows that is on HDD, normally I keep that setup for a few days, so I prefer to change the order in the BIOS.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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