Question Cannot Boot from other SATA drives on Gigabyte Z390 AORUS

Sep 3, 2022
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I saw a similar topic but I think I'm supposed to start a new thread.

I LOVE the Gig. Z390 AORUS and have NO trouble with it until now. I have a Samsung 970 EVO NVME installed in the M2.A slot, which is working fine.

I have FOUR other hard drives which DO SHOW in Windows 10 and I use them every day. EACH has a bootable copy of my Windows 10 as I rotate backups using Casper 10. It has never given me a problem.

Today, I wanted to TEST boot these other drives, BUT NONE of them show up as Boot Drive choices in the BIOS. They are:

1 Samsung 860 EVO SATA
3 WD 2TB Blue Drives

No matter what I try, NONE of them show as BOOT devices, but as I said, they ALL work in Win10 and DO show up as SATA devices in the BIOS. I cannot fathom WHY I cannot select ANY of them to boot from.

I know from the other thread that IF an NVME is installed in M2.A, I lose ONE SATA port due to sharing. But this doesn't explain why the BIOS CAN see the drives (but NOT as boot). Windows 10 seems them, BIOS does, but NO BOOT selectability.

YES, I DO have CSM enabled. I've tried setting BOTH "Storage Boot Option Control" and "Other PCI Devices" from UEFI to Legacy, but that made NO difference. The Drives are ALL MBR and NOT GPT.

I have included a link to 3 images on my shared Google Drive because I couldn't figure out how to insert images from my local folder into this post.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am desperate. Thanks in advance!

BIOS Photos
 

Karadjgne

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The drives are storage. They aren't tagged as a boot device, no matter what files you add to them or what changes you make in bios.

You'd need to add a boot tag to the drives themselves, and then every single time you push the power button, you'll get a screen asking which drive you want to boot from.

 
Sep 3, 2022
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Ok, I tried something different and met with LIMITED success.
In the BIOS, under "SATA and RST Configuration", changed from the "Intel RST Premium ..." to "AHCI" (see first and second pictures).

Then after saving and restarting, I pressed F12 and was greeted with a NEW list of boot drives (see third picture). YEAH! But ...

Trying to Boot from my 860 EVO SSD, I met (see fourth picture) Windows Boot Failure blue screen: Inaccessible Boot Device. :(

SO, I set RST BACK to the original Intel. Interestingly, with EITHER AHCI or Intel RST, I could boot from my primary NVMe (970 EVO).

These ARE all boot devices. Before trying all this, I performed a FULL Macrium Reflect backup of the 970, then went into the offline Macrium Rescue and restored that pristine image to the 860. I didn't bother with the WD Blue HDs yet, as I didn't succeed with the 860.

This is SO frustrating and I am in a real predicament. IF, the primary 970 EVO NVMe were to fail, I would be completely out of options.

PLEASE HELP! Thanks!
Additional Images
 
This is SO frustrating and I am in a real predicament. IF, the primary 970 EVO NVMe were to fail, I would be completely out of options.
PLEASE HELP! Thanks!
Additional Images
Set sata controller to AHCI.
Intel RTS with Optane mode is used for HDD caching with Optane drive.
You don't have Optane drive. So there's no reason to use this option.

Please show screenshot from Disk Management.
 

Karadjgne

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That is not applicable to GPT drives in UEFI system.
Assuming they are GPT and not MBR? Default setup for any drive, including nvme, that's 2Gb or less is MBR.
YES, I DO have CSM enabled. I've tried setting BOTH "Storage Boot Option Control" and "Other PCI Devices" from UEFI to Legacy, but that made NO difference. The Drives are ALL MBR and NOT GPT.
Those drives are going to need the boot.efi on each drive, for each drive, a generic boot.efi isn't going to work right when initializing the drive.
 
Sep 3, 2022
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USAFRet: Thanks. I would like to know how to post images directly to my post RATHER than linking to a google drive. Can you tell me how to do that? Then I can post the Disk Management window .

ALL Drives ARE MBR. I have re-initialized them (NOT THE PRIMARY) using Macrium Reflect's Fix Boot problems, which rewrites the MBR, etc.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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USAFRet: Thanks. I would like to know how to post images directly to my post RATHER than linking to a google drive. Can you tell me how to do that? Then I can post the Disk Management window .

ALL Drives ARE MBR. I have re-initialized them (NOT THE PRIMARY) using Macrium Reflect's Fix Boot problems, which rewrites the MBR, etc.
You can't post pics directly.

This forum does not host pics. That is a corporate decision, and is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Most people here use imgur.com.
 
so many incorrect answers
go in bios, boot options, change storage boot control option from UEFI to legacy (or both legacy+UEFI if available)
if its set to uefi, it will boot just UEFI GPT drives, if its set to legacy, it will boot from MBR
 

USAFRet

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Having multiple bootable mostly identical Windows drives online all the time can result in major confusion and problems.

Instead of direct clones, the best way (IMHO) to use Macrium Reflect or similar is Images.
You create an Image off on some other drive.
In case of need, you boot from a Macrium Resue USB, tell it where the Image is and what physical drive to aply it to.
 
Sep 3, 2022
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Having multiple bootable mostly identical Windows drives online all the time can result in major confusion and problems.

Instead of direct clones, the best way (IMHO) to use Macrium Reflect or similar is Images.
You create an Image off on some other drive.
In case of need, you boot from a Macrium Resue USB, tell it where the Image is and what physical drive to aply it to.
USAFRet: I sort of do that. Before this all began, I did a FULL Macrium Backup of Win10-AR1 (C) (970 EVO). Then today, I booted into the Rescue USB and restored that Image to Win10-AR2 (M) (860 EVO). Then:

so many incorrect answers
go in bios, boot options, change storage boot control option from UEFI to legacy (or both legacy+UEFI if available)
if its set to uefi, it will boot just UEFI GPT drives, if its set to legacy, it will boot from MBR
using kerberos_20's instructions, I changed the BIOS to Legacy (FROM UEFI).
Then I tried to boot 860 EVO (AR2) and got the Windows Blue Screen ("Inaccessible-Boot-Device") that I got as shown by the first set of images.

I guess I'll go back to BIOS and change Legacy back to UEFI. Interestingly, the 970 EVO (primary) seems to boot in either mode. But it's the only one.

I DID have this all working a year ago, and the ONLY thing that I (recall) changing, is the addition of a GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming OC 8G (REV2.0) Graphics Card. That went in without a hitch and has been working perfectly. I did NOT even need to enter the BIOS when I installed it 3 months ago. It just worked. Other than that, NO BIOS/HARDWARE changes.

I really don't know what to do next. :(
 
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USAFRet: I sort of do that. Before this all began, I did a FULL Macrium Backup of Win10-AR1 (C) (970 EVO). Then today, I booted into the Rescue USB and restored that Image to Win10-AR2 (M) (860 EVO). Then:



using kerberos_20's instructions, I changed the BIOS to Legacy (FROM UEFI).
Then I tried to boot 860 EVO (AR2) and got the Windows Blue Screen ("Inaccessible-Boot-Device") that I got as shown by the first set of images.

I guess I'll go back to BIOS and change Legacy back to UEFI. Interestingly, the 970 EVO (primary) seems to boot in either mode. But it's the only one.

I DID have this all working a year ago, and the ONLY thing that I (recall) changing, is the addition of a GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming OC 8G (REV2.0) Graphics Card. That went in without a hitch and has been working perfectly. I did NOT even need to enter the BIOS when I installed it 3 months ago. It just worked. Other than that, NO BIOS/HARDWARE changes.

I really don't know what to do next. :(
inaccesible boot device means that drive was bad cloned, bcd store will need to be rebuilt...tho you can have just single drive bootable and in bcd you can add other windows instances in it
 

USAFRet

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USAFRet: I sort of do that. Before this all began, I did a FULL Macrium Backup of Win10-AR1 (C) (970 EVO). Then today, I booted into the Rescue USB and restored that Image to Win10-AR2 (M) (860 EVO). Then:
If a clone or restored Image does not boot, you did something wrong.

When you tested the restored Image, was that the only drive in the system at that time?

Reduce your complexity. You seem to have too many bootable (or semi-bootable) drives in this at the same time.
 

Karadjgne

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You have 4x drives. Every day, backup iso to 1 drive. Every week backup iso to 2nd drive. Every month backup iso to 3rd drive.

No matter what happens, even catastrophic damage to 3x drives, you'll never have data older than 1 month old.

You do not need 4x bootable drives. Only need 1. The remaining storage drives are easily made bootable on need or kept as storage and used via bootable USB to repair/replace any other drive via iso

All this mucking around trying to protect yourself from possible drive failure at any given time is likely to create more issues and promote drive failure. There's more issues with boot drives than with storage drives.
 
what about making windows image backup, windows has it named as win 7backup or something like that, it makes image backup + gradual restore points
this can be placed on second drive, easy to restore from usb install media
and you can macrium backup to another drive aswell
 
Sep 3, 2022
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That's just the problem. I CANNOT remove the NVMe (without loads of work inside the comp), so I can't test them individually.

AND, only having that ONE NVMe drive bootable, I have no recourse IF it fails, since none of the others are bootable. I've had this configuration for many years without problems.

I THINK the route lies (as you've stated) with the BCD. When I changed the BIOS to boot Legacy, Windows can't boot (even though by doing this, I've made the drives visible in the boot order) because of the change from Intel RST to AHCI. I ran into this problem way back in the XP days.

My thoughts at this point are to order up the boot order in the BIOS to the next logical drive in the sequence, the 870 EVO SATA. Then try THREE interrupted boot tries, and then see if Windows will put me into Safe Mode on the next attempt. I think the root of the problem lies with having the standard SATA driver and NOT having Windows load the AHCI driver as needed. Perhaps getting into Safe Mode along with a Recovery Environment USB stick, will let me attempt to repair the BCD. Thanks!

... Curiously (and thankfully), no tinkering so far has affected the primary NVMe on M2.A. If it had, I wouldn't be here now.
 

USAFRet

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You're looking at the whole bootable backup wrong (IMHO).

Clones are for switching a drive right now.
Images stored elsewhere are for actual backups.

If a nasty virus or ransomware were to strike your system, all these bootable backups are null and void.

A real backup takes care of software faults as well as physical drive fail.

Can you survive through a 1 hour downtime to recover an Image to whatever drive?
If so...Images are your friend.


You're making this much more complex and fail prone than it needs to be.
And apparently, your procedure does not work.
 
Sep 3, 2022
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All good points. BUT my main problem (no matter how many backups I have or what type), if that the ONLY drive I can boot from is the 970 EVO NVMe. If /when it fails, I have NOTHING I can boot from. True, I could restore my friend the image backup to one of the other drives, but I could not boot from any of them. AND THAT is the heart of the problem.
 

USAFRet

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All good points. BUT my main problem (no matter how many backups I have or what type), if that the ONLY drive I can boot from is the 970 EVO NVMe. If /when it fails, I have NOTHING I can boot from. True, I could restore my friend the image backup to one of the other drives, but I could not boot from any of them. AND THAT is the heart of the problem.
Start small.

You have too many things going on.

Do ONE clone.
See if it boots up, with ONLY that cloned drive connected. (yes, physically disconnect all others)
 

Karadjgne

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You don't need a drive to boot a pc. At all. A pc will boot up just fine without any drives or drive media present. After that it's just a matter of initializing Windows to load. That's the purpose of the iso, it'll contain Windows in its entirety.

If you totally lose the original C drive, it's a simple matter to use a USB repair to load up the iso back onto any of the other drives, which makes it C drive.

You don't need 4x fully bootable copies of Windows available simultaneously.
 

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