NTLDR Issue upon Fresh Install of Win 7 After deleting RAID

I've had my computer for about a year running XP with 2 harddrives in RAID (mirror). My motherboard, Asus P5NE SLI, has the RAID controller built in. These 2 drives are my only drives (other than an external USB drive). I wanted to get rid of RAID and just have 2 regular drives and install Win 7.

I started by deleting the RAID array first. Then went into BIOS and disabled the on-board RAID controller. I verified that my BIOS now recognized both drives (on SATA 3 & 4). I put in my Win 7 DVD and did a fresh install, including deleting the partitions and formatting the two drives. The installation went perfect. All drivers were installed and system worked perfect. I took out my Win 7 DVD and rebooted, only to get the NTLDR missing message right after POST. It said to hit CNTL-ALT-DEL to try again, but the same thing happened. I then put in my Win7 DVD and the computer loaded up perfectly. Upon booting, right after POST, it says press any key to boot from DVD-Rom. I DO NOT hit any keys and it start loading Win 7 perfectly.

So the problem is that if I remove the DVD, I get the missing NTLDR problem But if I put in the Win 7 DVD, everything boots up correctly. I'm stomped. I think maybe I un-did the previous RAID array incorrectly and somehow corrupted the MBR? I even loaded from the Win 7 DVD and told it to repair, but I still have the same problem.

I'm open to any and all suggestions! Thanks!

Problem Solved. I'm just posting the solution for anyone else who may read and benefit.

I have two external USB harddrives as well. I disconnected them and now the computer boots up fine. It appears the system was looking to boot from the external drives. In the BIOS, the boot order is 1. Optical Drive, 2. harddrive, 3. External device.

After it booted up fine without the two USB drives attached, I shut it down again and connected the USB drives. It booted up fine. Looks like you only have to disconnect it once and it will learn the boot drive from that point forward. I did not make any changes to BIOS (boot order is still the same as before).

I hope this can help others.

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