Windows boots from the wrong drive's bootloader, but is it worth fixing?
October 24, 2012 5:57 AM Subscribe
I bought a new laptop that has 2 hard drive bays. It came with a hard drive with Windows 7 preinstalled. I bought an SSD, installed Windows and Linux fresh onto it, wiped the old hard drive and used it as a data disk, but something is slightly out-of-whack in the boot sequence (and a partition is marked "System" when it really isn't). Is it worth fixing?
posted by jozxyqk to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
So, long story short:
After I installed Windows on the SSD ("sda"), and made sure everything was on the up-and-up, I went to fix the partitions and reformat things.
I noticed, on the hard drive that was formerly the system drive ("sdb"), there was this 100MB "system" partition without a drive letter, followed by a full-disk partition that was formerly the C: drive.
I know now that this is standard practice of Win7 installations, but I didn't know or think much about it at the time.
What I ended up doing was this:
Delete the "rest of the drive" partition on sdb.
Extend the first sdb partition, still marked "System", to fill the whole drive (other than the space reserved for Linux). This may or may not have been a dumb idea.
Format that partition, and give it a drive letter.
On sda, I have my Windows "OS" partition (sda1), and my Linux Mint "root" partition (sda2).
I don't have the extra 100MB NTFS System partition on that drive; the installation simply didn't put one there for whatever reason.
I've installed grub, of course.
When I boot up, grub presents me with the option to boot Linux (sda1), or to boot Windows. That's great.
But the Windows option is still pointing at the boot sector of the secondary drive (sdb), where Windows -used to- be installed. Apparently, *that* boot sector is smart enough to say "hey, the root of Windows is actually over there on sda1". But it seems like an extra step.
What I would like to do is fix the boot sequence so that grub only boots Windows "from" sda1, and forgets about the boot sector that is on sdb.
But my question is: Can I fix this without destroying any data, and how? Can I remove the 'boot sector' from sdb, and add the 'Windows boot sector' back to sda while preserving grub (or reinstalling grub from my bootable usb key), and get grub to figure out the proper boot drive?
Do I have to find some way to mark the "System" bit on sda1 and/or remove the extraneous "System" bit from sdb?
Also, is it worth fixing, or am I better off just leaving it as-is, since there are no actual problems and the system boots up fine?
I realize that I also may not be adequately explaining the situation in words. I'd be happy to supply more information and/or screenshots.