Question Windows won't load after I disconnect second HDD

Denide

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So, I decided to install Linux Mint on the second HDD which is 80GB big. Windows 10 is installed on the 500GB HDD. Of course I went with dual boot. Now, I want to revive my older system just to play music from it, so I decided to take out 80GB HDD with Linux. Linux runs smoothly on that older system (but funny thing, there I see that dual boot menu that allows me to choose between Linux and Windows). And when I wanted to run Windows 10 on my computer, the GRUB screen read "error: no such drive". When I put back 80GB HDD in my system I was able to get to the dual boot menu to choose from Linux or Windows 10, and to boot to whatever I wanted.
I did a check and all Windows 10 system files are on 500GB HD... I think I have checked it thoroughly.
I changed the boot order but that had no effect. I set one partition on that 500GB HD as an active one.
Now, I have no idea what to do. I kind of don't want to reinstall the entire Windows, because I would have to back up my data and I don't have much space to spare.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
can you show us a screen shot of disk management?
right click start
choose disk management
expand window to show all drives/columns
upload screenshot to an image sharing website and show link.

Sounds like we need to remake boot partition but we look first.
 
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Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
So i think the error is in grub, not windows.
Linux runs smoothly on that older system (but funny thing, there I see that dual boot menu that allows me to choose between Linux and Windows). And when I wanted to run Windows 10 on my computer, the GRUB screen read "error: no such drive". When I put back 80GB HDD in my system I was able to get to the dual boot menu to choose from Linux or Windows 10, and to boot to whatever I wanted.
I don't know a lot about grub but it would seem to me that its "directory" that tells it what drives are where must be somehow on the hdd, as
  1. it shows if you run hdd alone on another pc
  2. it won't boot without it.
so the boot loader - grub - is the problem.

The windows drive appears to have the partitions it needs
https://askubuntu.com/questions/429610/uninstall-grub-and-use-windows-bootloader
 
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Denide

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Maybe, to avoid the hassle, I should delete Linux completely. Though, at this point I am just a bit afraid that uninstalling Linux won't wipe out GRUB entirely because, as you said, it might has gotten to another HDD and it would leave me again with that daunting GRUB rescue menu, that says "no such drive".

Thanks for the link, but I think that my system has Legacy not UEFI. I don't know will those things found in that link help me that much.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
the 2nd answer on the link I gave you should work for your boot method (Legacy)
To restore Win 10 default bootloader follow these steps:

  • Log into Win 10
  • Open Command Prompt (Admin)
  • c:\> bootsect /nt60 <drive name>: /mbr
<drive name> is the drive letter where the Master Boot Record (MBR) will be updated

For example to update C master boot record this is the command:

c:\> bootsect /nt60 c: /mbr

For more help about bootsect command see here - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/bootsect-command-line-options
as its similar steps to this - https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/20864-mbr-restore-windows-7-master-boot-record.html

If you have a uefi, you would use same commands as they work for both, windows knows most people aren't sure what they have so they try to make it easy.

If your bios has a choice called Legacy or CSM, it is a UEFI bios. Almost all PC since 2009 have UEFI bios.
 
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Denide

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Okay, I did as followed and I assume the line went through (when I pressed enter it waited for a second and then showed me the same line I entered).
Now, I am going to disconnect my second HDD to see if it has changed something.
 
Recreate windows bootloader.

First try this from elevated command prompt. Regular command prompt will give error.
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2790-open-elevated-command-prompt-windows-10-a.html
bcdboot c:\windows

If that doesn't fix your problem, then execute this (again from elevated command prompt)

diskpart
list disk
select disk 0
(select 465GB disk)​
list partition
select partition 1
(select 549MB partition)​
assign letter=H
format fs=ntfs quick
exit
bcdboot c:\windows /s H:
 
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Denide

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View: http://imgur.com/gallery/h74nzRa


Before I decide to play around with Windows boot I checked some things in Linux.
If I am not mistaken, but on that 500 HDD /dev/sda2 under the column Flags is written boot. So, is it possible that Linux boot files are stored there and they are triggering that grub screen when I take out 80GB HDD? But how come 80GB HDD can run Linux on a different machine without boot files that somehow ended up on the bigger drive?
 
If I am not mistaken, but on that 500 HDD /dev/sda2 under the column Flags is written boot. So, is it possible that Linux boot files are stored there and they are triggering that grub screen when I take out 80GB HDD?
No. Not correct.
Bootloader can function properly only on Primary active partition on MBR drive or
EFI System partition on GPT drive.

That is 549MB partition. 464GB partition is, where windows is installed.
 
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Denide

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Oh, okay I see.
So basically now I have to recreate bootloader with the instructions you gave me.
I was always afraid to delete things, especially if they have to do something with the system itself, because I don't want to mess something up.
I just thought that it was Linux boot that was messing with me.
 

Denide

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I am stuck at the part where I have to format that Partition 1 . It shows the message: "Virtual Disk Service error: Format is not allowed on the current boot, system, pagefile, crashdump or hibernation volume."
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
thats windows just being protective of itself. It won't let you delete the partitions its running on. if you boot from the win 10 installer and use CMD from there, it should work

Download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB
Boot from installer

On screen after language choice, pick repair pc, not install

Pick troubleshoot
Pick advanced
Pick Command Prompt
Type diskpart and press enter
follow his steps.
 

Denide

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Did you try first -
bcdboot c:\windows
It should have solved your issue.
Same error message, I just tried it.
I will try later today to boot from the installer and try to repair the system. But I don't know should I then have both HDDs connected or should I only keep the one with Windows plugged it.
 

Denide

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No effect. I still have GRUB error no such device, even though I recreated Windows bootloader.
So, should I now remove Linux?
 

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