TechSpot: Fixing Windows 8's Boot Configuration

Windows 8 received a decent amount of enhancements on the desktop side that I tend to appreciate versus running Windows 7, even if that means I get Metro standing in the middle here and there occasionally. One such area of improvement is notification management and how it handles updates and system restarts. Running the final version of the OS for a few months now, it’s been a painless affair until this past weekend.

I shut down my desktop PC with the purpose of connecting new hardware and on the way out I was prompted to “update and shutdown”. Sure, why not. I went on to install a secondary SSD for maintenance purposes and apparently that was enough for my system to refuse booting right after. I tried to backtrack to no avail.

"Reboot and select proper boot device"
I bet you have no love for the message, neither do I.

Because I had disconnected a few devices, it took me a while to narrow things down to my boot SSD, and for a second I even thought the SSD had gone forever kaput. After booting with a different drive and noting I could read all my data on the drive in question, I took a deep breath and started to troubleshoot the boot record. Once you settle on the idea that it’s not a hardware problem and you are unable to boot up, your best bet is to try to fix the MBR (Master Boot Record).

Read: Troubleshooting and Fixing Windows 8's Boot Configuration

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10 Comments

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The problem I faced is that it kept trying to start Automatic repair and would reboot in an eternal loop (safe mode, refresh, restore system, system file check, and disabling automatic repair weren't available). I simpy had to reinstall. Thankfully they released an update that included a fixed this little.. glitch, pretty recently and I've attempted another shot with Win8. Hope it goes well this time around.

This is a typical error that often has nothing to do with the OS and is usually down to the motherboards BIOS/UEFI. Connecting another HDD or SSD will often mess up the motherboards boot drive settings.

Did you try going in to the BIOS and setting the SSD with the OS as the main boot device?

1Pixel said,
...

I've had this happen on various Windows installations over the years.
I Just figured it out myself this year with Windows 8 testing.
I was installing OS on third disk in boot order from bios.
Windows will always write the MBR to the first disk's primary active partition.
If that disk disappears, you do not boot.

deadonthefloor said,

I've had this happen on various Windows installations over the years.
I Just figured it out myself this year with Windows 8 testing.
I was installing OS on third disk in boot order from bios.
Windows will always write the MBR to the first disk's primary active partition.
If that disk disappears, you do not boot.

So if the active boot partition is removed from a machine it no longer boots?

In other news, if you remove the starter from a car, it won't start.

I hope everyone realizes something so simplistic.