Cannot change back after changing boot device priority

Hello. OK, this is not a Windows 7 related/caused problem, but as I am desperate for help and have received excellent help on this site in the past, I thought I might try anyway.

When I started up my other PC this morning, it never got past the first screen, the one where I have a choice of entering SETUP via the <DEL>-button. It got stuck at the same point despite three or four tries.

It has been running fine now for what seems like almost a year so I guess it was time for some mischief.
And today is, after all, Friday 13:th.

I had previously created a system image using Macrium, so I figured I'd be OK. I rebooted the PC and this time entered the SETUP and changed boot device priority to 1:st) CDROM 2:nd) HDD 3:rd)FDD.

Then, with the Macrium rescue CD in the drive, I rebooted and, after I had provided some input, the Macrium software began restoring the image from the external drive which houses it.

After returning some hours later, the process was finished and I removed the rescue CD, rebooted, changed back boot device priority to 1:st) HDD 2:nd) CDROM 3:rd) FDD, and rebooted yet again.

Now, in an ideal world the PC would have booted from c:\ and all would be well and fine. But this is not an ideal world ('case you hadn't noticed) so, despite my having changed back boot device priority as described above (and having verified that the change had indeed 'taken'), a message appeared on the screen like so:


And that's the state of things now; no matter that the correct priority order is set (I even, in one attempt, disabled CDROM and FDD - same difference) the PC insists that it should boot from the CDROM drive.

I have a bootable CD with a collection of tools which I booted from at one point. This particular version of the CD has a VERY stripped down version of Windows XP on it and after booting from the disc, I started XP.

From the XP File Manager I could access c:\ OK, but the problem persists - the machine won't boot from the hard drive no matter what.

Can anybody tell me what's wrong? I'd be awful grateful! :confused:

You're probably missing the boot sector from your hard disk...

Interesting problem... you really only have two choices at this point...
A) Clean install from a Win7 DVD.
B) Repair install from a Win7 DVD.

Even the MBR repair tool isn't going to work because your system isn't booting... the proverbial keys are in the trunk.

For future... Your boot order should always have the HDD first, CD/DVD second, Flash drives 3rd... To temporarily boot from a DVD or Flash use the pop up boot selector menu (usually F8 or F12 when booting) ... not the bios setting.

Right CommonTater, I hear you. Thanks for your suggestions.
I think that, when all is said and done, more will have been said than done,
and I will have gone the clean install route.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

You might be able to boot the computer into XP from your boot disk to use EasyBCD to create a boot sector for your C: drive.

If you haven't started reinstalling it's worth a shot.
Probably a long shot but I have had good luck with EasyBCD in the past.

Download EasyBCD 2.0.2 - NeoSmart Technologies


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Hi Mike... How's he going to download EasyBCD if his computer won't boot?


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

How's he posting on this forum? LOL


Easy there guys, I have two PC's, that's how I can post. Like I said before, I'm very grateful for
tips 'cause in 3-4 hours I will have spent 24 hours (and every trick in my bag) trying to solve this.
It's kind of tiresome and still I can't let it go...EasyBCD you say Mike - I haven't tried that before
so I'll give it a go.
I'll be back when, and if, there is any progress. Again thanks for your tips.

Phew! Now, almost 24 hours later, I have managed to install XP from the very same disk that had previously
returned an error message (corrupt file) at least twice...go figure.
I had no luck with EasyBCD but did the formatting, setting partition active etc. from the XP installation
The sun is rising and it's time for bed.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Glad you can get some rest.

Glad you can get some rest.
You know Mike - I couldn't, I just had to go ahead and install Windows 7.
I've been using 7 for what seems like upwards of a year now (I got my hot little hands on it as soon as I could) and I am still impressed by the OS, still feel a thrill and almost a sense of awe when installing it it's so good. And I must have made several dozen installations, perhaps 50-60.
This has just got to be THE best Windows version ever. When I began using computers professionally Windows 2.0 had just been launched, remember 2.0? Clunky, chunky old thing...I gave Vista a miss, though, and it now seems that was the right thing to do :cool:

Hello Mike (or whoever feels like answering) I'd like to call your attention to a phenomenon
that has appeared since my reinstalling Windows and which is something I cannot recall
happening before. Namely that the drive letters have changed around so the internal HDD
on which the boot-files reside is now E:\ not C:\.

Also, the drive letters for my three external drives have moved around/changed. Still, software
installs just fine, so it seems to be only a matter of cosmetics and things looking unfamiliar.

Is this something I should regard as a problem and, if so, what can be done about it?


So long as things are actually in the correct partitions ... drive letters are not a problem.

The only exception to this might be some Craptastic software that tries to install at "C:\Program Files" instead of using the %PROGRAMFILES% environment variable. (Unfortunately for us all there's still quite a bit of it out there)

You can, of course, go to Disk Manager and reassign the drive letters....


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I started with Window 3.1 and Dos.
Then Windows 95, 98, skipped to XP and then W7.

You sound like me, I can't stop until I get my computer running if it crashes.
When I got my last Dell, I spent 7 hours on the phone talking to people in India.
Since it wouldn't do anything even recognize the DVD drives the guy read my the boot sector code line by line over the phone and I had to type it in.

It was a bad experience, because of that, I now have a Falcon Northwest computer and I can't say enough about it.
It came all set up, everything perfectly set and I have never had even one issue related to it.
And it is by many magnitudes the fastest computer I have ever worked on.

I beta tested Windows 7 and loved it from the start.
I skipped Vista as well and went directly to W7 from XP.

I dual booted with XP on my old Dell XPS computer.
I didn't know what was going to happen, but once I got W7 installed I never opened XP again except to run my scanner. I loved the excitement that installing it and discovering what it would do was, what a blast.

My favorite feature is really simple, the snap feature, I use it constantly.

There are still no W7 64 bit drivers for my Epson scanner. I had to buy 3rd party software to run in in Windows 7.

Glad you got everything up and running. I have become so paranoid about my data that I have two external hard drives and back up both of my internal drives to each of them.
And I have system image files made by both Windows 7 and Norton Ghost, complete with a recovery disk for each.

I still use Ghost because it's what I'm used to and it has never let me down, it feels good to know that you can be up and running again in and hour no matter what happens.


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Allright, thanks Tater and Mike!

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