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Why the RANDOM exclusion by BIOS of SSD Boot.


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Short Story :-


Last Saturday my OCZ VERTEX2 SSD very briefly had no partitions,

and the BIOS chose to obliterate from its CMOS settings my SSD credentials before it responded to my DEL key over-ride,

when I selected Boot into my WinPE Boot Rescue Flash Drive and restored SSD partitions from image backup files.

That is my only guess as to why my SSD no longer booted.


I am now puzzled by why I suffered this RANDOM misfortune,

because on at least two previous occasions of erasing and then restoring partitions the BIOS always booted the SSD at every opportunity.


Have I encountered a random misfortune which every SSD owner has to live with ?

The only differences between this bad situation and previous good situations might be :-

How long I was hammering on the DEL key before the BIOS finished scrolling and responded to the key ; or

Whether the Linux session is closed by a Restart, or by a Shut-down followed eventually by a Power-Up ; or

Whether I was using an earlier version of the OCZ toolkit running under a similar Linux ISO but burnt to Bootable CD instead of held in a Bootable Flash.


Long Story ( so I do not disappoint your expectations ) :-


I used a Linux Boot Flash drive to perform a 5 second duration Secure ATA Erase on my SSD

Then I used a WinPE Macrium Reflect Rescue Boot Flash Drive to restore both "System Reserved" and C:\ partitions.

After which the BIOS refused to Boot into the OCZ SSD

BUT it took several hours for me to realise it failed to boot.


Windows was running in 56 GB C:\ partition on my SSD when I used Partition Wizard and noticed a peculiarity -

My SSD "System Reserved" was shown as merely "Active" but the Samsung HDD "System Reserved" had become "Active & Boot",

and then chosen to switch to the 56 GB system (C:) partition on SSD instead of running on the 25 GB System partition of the HDD.

( My Samsung HDD was my system drive before I had the SSD, and the Samsung had been demoted to second priority. )


That is when I realised that my BIOS had scrambled its configurations.


Why is Windows so nasty to me :(


I then powered up into the 'F8' Boot Selection screen,

and observed that my SSD was at the top of the list that allows manual selection of any drive (HDD / SSD / Flash)


I powered up into the "Del" BIOS menu and Chose the "Boot Priority"" Sub menu,

and found that my CD Drive had top priority followed by my two HDD,

but there was no sign of the SSD and I was unable to resurrect it.


I then used the "Hard Drive" Sub menu and again there was no sign of the SSD,

but after several clicks I struck lucky and the SSD was detected as a non-removable device,

and I was able to add it to the list of Hard Drives.


Then I returned to the "Del" BIOS menu and Chose the "Boot Priority" Sub menu and again could not see the SSD,

but now I was able to resurrect it as a viable boot drive and I gave it Boot priority.


After that my system booted into the SSD properly.



The 'F8' Boot Selection screen is NOT affected by any BIOS configurations held in CMOS RAM,

but merely lists all devices, removable and otherwise, that it can detect on startup.


The "Boot Priority" is a BIOS configuration held in CMOS RAM,

and apparently the CMOS RAM also holds a list of appropriate and "approved/known" non-removable Drives,


After the SSD had all partitions removed the LINUX system closed down,

and the computer powered back up into the BIOS and saw the SSD was totally empty,

and chose to update the CMOS settings to totally exclude the SSD before it proceeded to respond to the DEL key and launch the WinPE Flash Drive.



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