Windows 8 Client Install & Reboot Problems (Driver Letters)

    General discussion

  • Was challenging to install Win8 Client on machine with multi HDs, but eventually I found a helpful post that suggested all drives except os drive and non-critical devices be removed prior to install.  After install and joining machine to a windows server 2012 ad ds domain per this technet tutorial, machine operated great for 3-4 days.  However, the time had come to integrate the other drives and devices, so I shut the computer down.  Connected the drives and devices and powered the computer on.

    1st Startup failed.  I assumed the BIOS setting of which hard drive had boot priority had changed, so I checked BIOS and confirmed this basic non-windows error.  I set the proper boot order and rebooted.

    2nd Startup failed.  The position of the cursor changed two or three times, but other than that I stared at a black screen with blinking cursor for several minutes.  I inserted windows 8 install dvd to try a startup repair and rebooted.

    Experienced the new startup repair layout.  Attempted to automatically troubleshoot, which resulted in nothing.  I choose to get into the command line and poke around with diskpart, and sure enough, the drive letters had been reassigned.  I assigned the correct letter c to the os drive and reboot.

    3rd 4th and 5th startup failed.  Every time I would reboot and enter the windows 8 repair utility on installation dvd and EVERYTIME the drive letters had been reassigned.

    Finally I tried removing all drives except os drive; I was finally able to boot into os.  I then connected the sata cables from motherboard to the other drives, and luckily nothing terrible happened.  

    Experienced the new feature about what to do when additional drives are connected -nice work there.  I set up file backup, ran the new optimize drives feature, and just to make sure everything was glued in place, I rebooted....

    Startup 6th failed, same as before.  Entering Diskpart and reassigning dive letters to the correct drives does not do any good.  I swapped out the motherboard battery, to be sure, but I knew it wasn't going to be that because the motherboard is less than 1 year old.  Everytime I startup the machine it fails to boot unless I have disconnected all drives expect the os drive.  The only way to run the os is to first boot up with one drive connected to motherboard (6 port sata III on chip) and then after startup, connect the sata cables to the other drives.  

    The machine had windows 7 on it before windows 8, and this was never an issue.

    I've reproduced this issue on two other machines.

    Just thought it may be helpful to share my info.



    Motherboard: Abit IPPRO35 XE

    CPU: Intel Core2 Quad-Core Q9450 GHz 2.66 O/C to GHz 3.4

    RAM: 8GB



    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3

    CPU: AMD FX 8150 Eight-Core @ 3.6 O/C disabled

    RAM: 16GB

    HD: Seagate Barracuda 250 GB


    Motherboard: Dell Optiplex GX280

    CPU: Intel Pent 4

    RAM: 4GB

    HD: Seagate Barracuda 250 GB

    Monday, August 20, 2012 3:46 PM

All replies

  • My one machine has 4 sata drives including the the boot drive.  When I upgraded I formatted the first drive(120GB SSD) with the other three drives connected and installed with no problems, and haven't seen anything like this yet.  The other three drives are all WD, a 1TB, a 1TB and a 2 TB.  After the first couple restarts I did remove the drive letters from all the WD drives and re-assign them the same drive letters they had in Windows 7, but nothing other then that.  I have an ASUS motherboard that should be set to AHCI, and I believe all disks are set to Basic.
    • Edited by illafam Tuesday, August 21, 2012 1:19 AM
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 1:18 AM