In an email issue, I wrote that I was having hardware problems on my Dell notebook (which was my primary computer at the time). I solved it the next week, but I’m afraid that this one is at the motherboard level, and will only go away for good when I get a new notebook — it’s happened on three different hard drives, so it’s not the drive…
[Update: I got an Acer Aspire TimelineX ultralight 13.3" notebook.]>
I’m having hardware problems with my notebook. For some reason, when I tried to reboot yesterday, the notebook responded that there was "No bootable partition in the table" or something to that effect.
Rebooting into Windows 7 on the notebook required that I put my Windows 7 DVD in the DVD drive. At that point, Windows 7 gave me a text-based menu screen. The options were to: Boot into the Windows 7 partition, press F8 for advanced options and boot from the DVD.
I picked Boot into the Windows 7 partition to make sure that worked. It did, just fine.
The only problem is that when I reboot, I get the same No bootable partition error. If I put the DVD in the drive, I get a Press Any Key to Boot From the DVD message. If I don’t press any key, it boots my Windows 7 partition. If I do press a key, the DVD boots and wants to install Windows 7.
In other words, I’m not getting the F8 for Advanced Options option. Of course, that’s where I expect I need to be to solve this problem.
Right now, I’ve done an Acronis True Image Home 2010 backup of my C: drive to another computer on my network. I’m in the process of validating that backup (there’s nothing worse than counting on the backup, and then finding that it was corrupted).
I think I know how to solve the problem.
Once I get my good, updated C: backup, I’m going to use the Disk Management tool (diskmgmt.msc) to set another partition as the Active partition (the one that’s bootable), and then click Apply. Then, I’ll promptly change that back to C:.
The idea is that Windows 7 will rewrite the hard drive’s partition table so that my Windows 7 partition will boot.
That was exactly the solution.
Once my verification of the Acronis backup completed, I used the Start menu’s Run command (if you didn’t set up the Run command in your Windows 7 start menu, see my article
Windows 7 – Adding a Run Command to the Start Menu for detailed instructions).
I clicked on Run, then started the Disk Management utility by entering the following and clicking the OK button or pressing the Enter key.
Since I had a D: partition set up, even though it was a partition that did not have an operating system installed on it I used the Disk Management utility to set the D: partition as Active. This had the effect of rewriting the hard drive’s partition table. Then, I immediately changed it again to make C: the Active partition.
A quick reboot showed that this solved the problem. Yea!
By the way, I finally realized that Acronis’ validation process checks the internal consistency of the image file. It does not check back against the hard drive. You can keep working on your PC while the validation is occurring, but I already knew that.
In this particular case, I was validating to make sure the file was ok, so that I could immediately do the repair to Windows 7. I backed up across my home network — the 33 GB backup image took about an hour to make. The validation process across the network took almost six hours!.
For reading images stored on a computer across the network, Acronis’ file reading process is apparently very inefficient. Today, I finally tried validating the exact same file by using the copy of Acronis True Image Home 2010 that’s installed on that computer across my home network. It took only 18 minutes instead of 6 hours!
Validating a file on an external hard drive would be a little slower than one stored on the same computer, but should still be far less than the "across the network" validation time requirement.