I upgraded my machine with a new mobo/processor/memory and Windows complains when it tries to boot. It says startup failed probably because of a change in hardware, and offers the options to boot to safe mode, last known configuration, normal. It recommends booting from the OS install DVD and running Repair. But I can’t get the new board to boot to the DVD. I removed all the other boot options. It’s as if it isn’t there, but BIOS offers it as a boot option. It correctly shows the DVD drive connected to SATA 2.
Any troubleshooting tips?
Board is MSI Z87-G41. Processor is Intel i5-4670K. OS is Windows Vista Home Premium.
I did the upgrade because this was my own build from 5 years ago and it was getting balky on boot. This week it wouldn’t POST so I decided it would be easier to do the upgrade than to troubleshoot a 5-year-old build anyway.
My immediate problem is getting the machine to boot from DVD. That should work no matter what Windows’ opinion of the motherboard is, shouldn’t it?
Not sure I understand the question. I replaced the mobo, CPU, and memory. What is the correct procedure for this other than “just swapping it in”? The machine wouldn’t boot, it wouldn’t even POST, so I couldn’t install new drivers first. I’m just trying to figure out how to get it do something. Even if I wanted to do a clean install, I can’t.
BTW to be clear, when I say SATA 2, that’s the port number not the SATA version. This board has SATA III and my devices are SATA II; I thought the board should be backward compatible to the older devices but maybe I’m mistaken.
No. Once Windows is set up with a particular mobo, that boot drive will not work with any other, unless it’s a closely related one that uses (or can use) the driver set loaded for low level interface. I have successfully swapped a newer ASUS board of the same chipset, then updated drivers, but that was luck. New mobo, bare metal OS install… no good workaround.
Yes, Suburban Plankton, that was my thinking. Amateur Barbarian may have the right answer to why Windows won’t come up, but before I can even consider that problem I have to be able to boot to the Windows install DVD.
When I remove all the boot options (and this BIOS gives me 13) except the DVD, I just get a prompt that says
The DVD works fine in another machine so it’s a good disc.
Is it possible that there is a compatibility issue with the DVD drive and the motherboard?
This has been a problem for years with MSI MBs with IDE drives, but not sure how it happens for SATA.
Check if some of the SATA ports are different from the others. E.g., I’ve seen MBs where two of the SATA connectors are for “legacy IDE”. I.e., they fake being IDE to the OS*. This setting can be turned on or off. Maybe you should/should not connect your drive to one of those, or it should be turned on/off.
The other option is to create a bootable USB image of the disc. There are several tools out there than can help do this (from a working machine).
(*Handy for older versions of Windows XP that didn’t support SATA natively.)
Windows Vista is too old, but on Windows 8 (and windows 7 I think too) it is possible to swap the motherboard out without issue. And I don’t mean even close to the same chipset - I went from A75 FM2 AMD to Z68 Intel I5 and then to Z77 Intel i5 on the same hard drive without issue.
The documentation doesn’t mention this and the markings on the board just refer to SATA1, SATA2, …6. I tried a new cable and also plugged it into SATA4. This time the drive was making sounds like it was reading but the end result was the same.
I agree that it’s likely a mismatch between the mobo and the DVD drive, or possibly - it’s not rare - a bad motherboard. If you haven’t, pull all other hardware you might have installed - start with the mobo, onboard video, optical drive and HDD.
As for doing a hot swap, I’ve had mixed results. Since I tend to stay with ASUS boards, I’ve been successful doing a momboard transplant and driver update a few times, but unsuccessful more times than that. Once Windows embeds those low-level drivers, I don’t think there’s any good way to force it to go back to the generic hooks it uses for a new installation.
Most systems that I swapped successfully had long-term stability problems as well. It’s not a recommended practice except MAYBE to get a system up long enough to retrieve data, deactivate software licenses, etc. Doing a bare-metal rebuild after that is highly recommended.
I created a bootable USB with my Vista install disc, and tried Repair (long shot). It boots that way, but the program doesn’t like the BCD file and replaces it, but it replaces it on the USB. This seems to prevent it from booting successfully again from the USB. On reboot it says that winload.exe is missing or corrupt.
Well, my current thinking is to install a new DVD drive, and get an OEM copy of Windows 7 and go from there. I’m also thinking of using a new formatted hard drive–would you recommend that? I hate buying a new optical drive without knowing for sure that’s necessary but the old one was only $25. I’ve been looking for an excuse to upgrade to W7 anyway; I am going to have to reinstall all my apps but I guess there is no way around that.
Amateur Barbarian, how does the Windows install process get those low-level drivers for the mobo on a clean install? I have a driver CD that came with the board but obviously Windows has to be installed first to load it.
I am not clear what your goal is - are you trying to recover the system and get it working on the new mobo, or are you prepared to/okay with doing a clean rebuild? It definitely sounds like something on the existing boot drive is interfering with the process OR that the optical drive is bad.
Having had an endless string of CD, DVD and BR drives go bad for no known reason (and nothing like overuse), I’d bet on that.
If you’re good with a bare-metal rebuild, use whatever tool you have at hand to format the boot drive in place and see if that lets the install DVD run.
Try this: disconnect the boot drive and run the DVD install until it barfs because there’s no installation drive. That will isolate the problem, at least.
At first my goal was to recover the system but hopes are dimming for that. I’ll try your suggestion but at some point I don’t want to,put a lot of hours into a lost cause, given your info about mobo swaps. I’m willing to do a clean rebuild and that would probably clean up a lot of other shit as well, as well as taking the opportunity to upgrade Vista to W7, but I would start with a new HDD so I don’t lose data, downloads, etc. (I have a cloud backup service but see that as a last resort for disaster recovery.)
Thank you for all the support, I’ll post any interesting updates.
Built new and everything is coming up roses. I dropped in a new optical drive and whatever was wrong is no longer wrong. I ended up spending more than I had planned but now I’ve got W7 (you can keep 8, thank you) and a fresh drive so worth the tradeoff. Now comes the task of reinstalling everything.
I am in the process of taking ownership of the files on my old drive, which seems more complicated than it needs to be but seems to be working. Been a very long time since I had to do that.
Two years later and suddenly the machine won’t POST. Same machine described above, MSI Z87-G41 board. I was using Windows and Explorer crashed. I tried to do a restart and the machine hit the “Shutting down” screen and stayed there for 20 minutes, so I finally held the power button to force a shutdown. When I press the power button again, the case lights and fans come on but there is no audible disk activity (no vibration at all to indicate spin-up) and there is no BIOS splash screen or error beeps, just nothing at all.
I haven’t check voltage on the pins from the PS yet but I figured that’s an easy first step. But what else can I do to troubleshoot?
If it’s a fried motherboard I am hoping I can just replace the board (well, upgrade, the original is probably not available) without a complete rebuild.
Think I know the solution!
Happened last night, I suspect your O/S maybe trying to download/assign space for Windows 10, at 2 in the morning I was trying to workout what was delaying shut-down on an SSD which is normally quick as s### off a shovel then it dawned on me that 3GB+ of download takes a while to pre prepare.
that’s my 2c worth anyway.