Error when booting - Please Help

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#21
What is your BIOS (Project Version) version?
Looks like APL0B108.

I have not done any bios updates (unless Windows did something automatically) that I'm aware of. Machine has been running fine for a year or more.

@csmart , if you're directly responding to other forum members, use the "reply" feature or at least @TAG the user in question. (The user you're quoting will then receive a notification that they've been mentioned. It's not foolproof obviously but it will at least improve your chances. If you just respond in the blind without quoting or tagging you're even less likely to get a response, let alone a prompt response.)

I've done it for you in this instance, but it's just an FYI if you need future assistance :).
 
#22
Looks like APL0B108.

I have not done any bios updates (unless Windows did something automatically) that I'm aware of. Machine has been running fine for a year or more.
Your BIOS version is already the latest version.
This problem appears as if it is the following problem.
This problem occurs because the UEFI Shell is inadvertently set to the highest priority boot option (boot option #1).
https://theminixforum.com/index.php?threads/uefi-shell-problem.20/
 
#23
Your BIOS version is already the latest version.
This problem appears as if it is the following problem.
This problem occurs because the UEFI Shell is inadvertently set to the highest priority boot option (boot option #1).
https://theminixforum.com/index.php?threads/uefi-shell-problem.20/
Thanks @MINIX - Alex.

Unfortunately the SSD doesn't appear in the list of options to change the boot order. If I completely power off the device device unplug the power cord I can reboot it to the SSD one time. After that the PC always boots from the eMMC and I cannot choose the SSD in the boot options.

The SSD is detected by the chipset but nothing I do let's me boot from it.

Unfortunately not as simple as just changing the boot order.
 
#24
Unfortunately the SSD doesn't appear in the list of options to change the boot order.

The SSD is detected by the chipset but nothing I do let's me boot from it.
1. In the start menu search for Disk Manager then check what format your SSD is, is it gpt or mbr and what drive letter is assigned?
2. Did you recently reinstall windows on the eMMC?
3. What happens when you disable the eMMC and boot, do you get the "no OS found"?
4. Is CSM enabled/disabled in the BIOS?

There are many reasons this could occur so lets start with the above....
 
#25
1. In the start menu search for Disk Manager then check what format your SSD is, is it gpt or mbr and what drive letter is assigned?
2. Did you recently reinstall windows on the eMMC?
3. What happens when you disable the eMMC and boot, do you get the "no OS found"?
4. Is CSM enabled/disabled in the BIOS?

There are many reasons this could occur so lets start with the above....
I will need to check a few of these tonight. The PC is out in a remote observatory to run my astronomy gear so takes a bit of a time commitment to deal with. However, key issue is that the machine ran fine for a year. I made no changes and suddenly it will not boot from the SSD. Pulled the SSD to test in another machine and diagnostics come back fine.

1. From memory it will be NTFS. It is assigned to C-drive. Cannot recall offhand whether MBR or GPT but will be default for Win 10. No issues with the drive when I can get the BIOS to boot correctly.

2. No. I have never (intentionally) run Windows from the eMMC and disabled it from Day 1.

3. If I unplug the machine before I try to boot (noting the BIOS battery is disconnected), it is ignored regardless on the first boot. However if I disable the eMMC for a subsequent boot I either get the UEFI boot up screen, an attempt to boot via network or once in a blue moon I get a black screen with a cursor. If I leave the eMMC enabled, it boots from the eMMC. After unplugging the machine the eMMC is re-enabled regardless of whether I disabled it previously. (Expected behaviour with the battery disconnected I believe.)

4. This I need to check. From recollection I had tried booting with it both enabled and disabled when I was initially troubleshooting. I can't recall the behaviour exactly - only that it did not work so I moved on. Given the BIOS battery being disconnected, I expect it will be in default / factory setting at first boot when the SSD is working.

My inclination at this point is to believe there is something damaged on the PC board. (Maybe an insect or a transient voltage spike... I saw no evidence of damage when I had it open to test the SSD, but that doesn't mean anything.) I can live with it for now, but am leaning towards replacing the entire unit with something more robust.

Corey
 
#26
However, key issue is that the machine ran fine for a year. I made no changes and suddenly it will not boot from the SSD.
Windows updates maybe, is the machine connected to the internet and do you have automatic updates enabled?

noting the BIOS battery is disconnected
You need to reconnect the battery, or better still replace the battery, in essence there is no point in trying anything here because it will all be reset on the next power cycle. If removing the battery partially gives you a fix then I would definitely start with the replacement.
 
#27
Windows updates maybe, is the machine connected to the internet and do you have automatic updates enabled?
Wouldn't doubt that. Had a few minutes to test things out this afternoon. If I go into BIOS settings after unplugging, I can see the SSD (and the eMMC) and everything is as it should be. If I reboot from the BIOS without letting it get to Windows, those settings all remain intact. If it gets as far as the Windows startup it all goes back to an unusable configuration and I have to power off / unplug before it works again.

You need to reconnect the battery, or better still replace the battery, in essence there is no point in trying anything here because it will all be reset on the next power cycle. If removing the battery partially gives you a fix then I would definitely start with the replacement.
Problem with that scenario is that the battery is used to retain the settings in the BIOS when the power is disconnected. If I replace or plug the battery back in, I never get the "reset" I need to be able to boot from the SSD. So battery can't go back in until I can figure out what's causing the problem. (It's not the battery... the battery just stops the BIOS from shaking the bad settings.) The BIOS keeps the settings as long as the power input is live, so I can still test the fix without having to crack open the case and disconnect the battery again if changes don't work.

Pertaining to your earlier note:

1. Didn't get a chance to look at drive format or letter, but this can't be the issue as things DO boot when the BIOS can find it.
...
4. Played with "CSM" settings. With CSM enabled, it sees the SSD but not the boot partition on the SSD. It will boot, but gets to a black screen with a cursor that never changes. With CSM disabled, I can see the eMMC (if enabled) but not the SSD (on the second or any subsequent reboots).
* edit - worth noting that CSM is [disabled] by default on that first boot when I can see the SSD and correct partition in the boot menu.

Corey
 
#28
Wouldn't doubt that. Had a few minutes to test things out this afternoon. If I go into BIOS settings after unplugging, I can see the SSD (and the eMMC) and everything is as it should be. If I reboot from the BIOS without letting it get to Windows, those settings all remain intact. If it gets as far as the Windows startup it all goes back to an unusable configuration and I have to power off / unplug before it works again.



Problem with that scenario is that the battery is used to retain the settings in the BIOS when the power is disconnected. If I replace or plug the battery back in, I never get the "reset" I need to be able to boot from the SSD. So battery can't go back in until I can figure out what's causing the problem. (It's not the battery... the battery just stops the BIOS from shaking the bad settings.) The BIOS keeps the settings as long as the power input is live, so I can still test the fix without having to crack open the case and disconnect the battery again if changes don't work.

Pertaining to your earlier note:

1. Didn't get a chance to look at drive format or letter, but this can't be the issue as things DO boot when the BIOS can find it.
...
4. Played with "CSM" settings. With CSM enabled, it sees the SSD but not the boot partition on the SSD. It will boot, but gets to a black screen with a cursor that never changes. With CSM disabled, I can see the eMMC (if enabled) but not the SSD (on the second or any subsequent reboots).
* edit - worth noting that CSM is [disabled] by default on that first boot when I can see the SSD and correct partition in the boot menu.

Corey
I reckon something has happened to your boot record, I had a similar problem on a gaming PC where windows was installed on a M.2 drive attached to the motherboard but for some odd reason it placed the boot record onto the seperate SSD when I installed windows so when I attempted to convert the M.2 to gpt via CMD in windows it would say "cannot find OS partition". In addition it would not come up as a choice to boot to in the BIOS.

tl;dr: I solved my problem by copying the boot record from the SSD over to the M.2

If your boot record is only on the one drive then when disabled you will get the black screen with cursor when trying to boot into the other, so if you are comfortable with CMD in windows (actually just good at following instructions to the T) then follow this tutorial on both drives to make sure you have "boot" on both drives:
https://www.diskpart.com/gpt-mbr/mbr2gpt-cannot-find-os-partition-7201.html

If "boot" is missing on the SSD then copy it over using this tutorial:
https://www.ubackup.com/clone/copy-mbr-from-one-disk-to-another-3889.html

Disclaimer: please troubleshoot at your own peril, I am just trying to help and share what solved my issue, at the very worse you will need to reinstall windows so before starting anything please keep a copy of your windows key in a safe and seperate place to your PC as well as backing up any important data again in a safe and seperate place to your PC.

Edit: P.S follow the CMD prompt part of the tutorial only, do not get sucked into purchasing any software as it is not neccesary!!
 
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notrui

Trusted Helper
#29
@csmart

I had one issue a time ago:
-My OS (win 10 home 64 bits) was installed in one SSD (my laptop PC has only one SSD installed)
-After i entered the BIOS and changed (and save) some settings the OS never started again (i was testing the settings)
-I don't remember if it was secure boot options (BIOS)

How i solved it:
-i entered the BIOS again and i put the BIOS with the default settings (save and exit).
-i decided to format the SSD and install the new Windows 11 (ISO from Microsoft) because i also needed.

Note:
N42C-4 does not meet windows 11 System requirements (i already tested), you need previous Windows 10 OS.
 
Last edited:
#30
I reckon something has happened to your boot record, I ...

...

Disclaimer: please troubleshoot at your own peril, I am just trying to help and share what solved my issue, at the very worse you will need to reinstall windows so before starting anything please keep a copy of your windows key in a safe and seperate place to your PC as well as backing up any important data again in a safe and seperate place to your PC.
That is probably a good spot to check. I'm not sure I trust the MBR on the eMMC to boot the SSD but I suspect if I do a little research there's probably a reasonably simple way to fix an MBR. Have had to do the same with a few Linux PC's over the years. And now that I think about it, have had to do the same with some Windows PC's after Linux changed the MBR on a dual boot system.

No worries on the disclaimer. I'm here because I've exhausted my own ideas. Worst case is I pitch the Neo and use my laptop to run the observatory for a little while. (Was about to click "buy" on a new fanless PC last night but not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.) There's some licensed software I'm a little worried about because the developer seems to have gone off the radar. I think I have enough info to reverse engineer that if I really need to. (ASCOM drivers for the roll off roof controller...)
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#31
That is probably a good spot to check. I'm not sure I trust the MBR on the eMMC to boot the SSD but I suspect if I do a little research there's probably a reasonably simple way to fix an MBR. Have had to do the same with a few Linux PC's over the years. And now that I think about it, have had to do the same with some Windows PC's after Linux changed the MBR on a dual boot system.

No worries on the disclaimer. I'm here because I've exhausted my own ideas. Worst case is I pitch the Neo and use my laptop to run the observatory for a little while. (Was about to click "buy" on a new fanless PC last night but not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.) There's some licensed software I'm a little worried about because the developer seems to have gone off the radar. I think I have enough info to reverse engineer that if I really need to. (ASCOM drivers for the roll off roof controller...)
Do you have any USB sticks/SD cards connected?

If so, try disconnecting & boot normally. (Sometimes they can interfere & simply removing them reverts the boot record back to normal. Replace them after a couple of successful boots.)

As with @Marty, I had a gaming rig that decided to ignore the normal boot record & the cause was a basic USB stick.

There's no need to pitch the Neo if you can't resolve the issue. Just do a completely fresh install of Windows & it'll completely solve this problem.

There is also a way to add a new boot record if it goes missing or becomes corrupted. I went through the procedure years ago with Microsoft (literally took 6 hours to troubleshoot & rectify despite my knowledge), but it got sorted. You'd have to look the specifics of that procedure up as I certainly can't remember all of the involved steps.

It's not a device terminal issue, merely (and annoyingly) software critical.
 
#32
Do you have any USB sticks/SD cards connected?
No external storage attached.

There's no need to pitch the Neo if you can't resolve the issue. Just do a completely fresh install of Windows & it'll completely solve this problem.
...
It's not a device terminal issue, merely (and annoyingly) software critical.
Perhaps... Certainly a cheaper option than buying a new one. Reluctant to do a fresh install due to some of the software licenses but will be dealing with that regardless. I'm not convinced yet there isn't a hardware problem but a fresh install would tell the answer on that I suppose.

I have another SSD in an external enclosure that is only used for SneakerNet transfers. Might try installing on that to see if it solves the issue. If it does I know it's MBR or some other software issue. If not, then I know it's hardware. If it is software I might spend a bit more time trying to resolve it on the original SSD after that. If it's hardware, well...
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#33
No external storage attached.



Perhaps... Certainly a cheaper option than buying a new one. Reluctant to do a fresh install due to some of the software licenses but will be dealing with that regardless. I'm not convinced yet there isn't a hardware problem but a fresh install would tell the answer on that I suppose.

I have another SSD in an external enclosure that is only used for SneakerNet transfers. Might try installing on that to see if it solves the issue. If it does I know it's MBR or some other software issue. If not, then I know it's hardware. If it is software I might spend a bit more time trying to resolve it on the original SSD after that. If it's hardware, well...
Last official Win image MINIX released available here....

https://theminixforum.com/index.php?threads/neo-n42c-4-windows-10-pro-os-image-1903.2124/

Installation instructions here...

https://theminixforum.com/index.php...tallation-instructions-for-the-neo-n42c-4.17/

Precisely, even if you purchased an entirely new device you'd still have the exact same issues as starting with a fresh OS install when it comes to software licences etc. (Although, if the software also actively reads the licence key & various hardware info, you're less likely to experience issues using the same device with a clean install. Still, backup what you can before proceeding.)

From what you've described I'd say a hardware issue is unlikely, at least with the N42 itself. Yes, trying another SSD also not a bad idea.

This is the sort of article you'll want to research if you want to attempt a repair....

https://pureinfotech.com/repair-master-boot-record-mbr-windows-10/
 
#34
@ArcticWolf Thanks... didn't get a chance to look at it tonight but tomorrow looks like a quiet day if the calendar holds true. Will give it a run with the second SSD tomorrow and report back.

Cheers!
 
#35
@ArcticWolf / @Marty

Quick update. Has taken me a few days to get back to this, download files and try the fixes. So far, the Windows repair stuff has been unsuccessful.
  • bootrec / ScanOs finds no Windows installations with the eMMC disabled (despite the correct "C" drive and various files being listed from the command prompt.
  • bootrec /FixMbr claimed to be successful but was not
  • ... and so on ...
Plan tonight was to swap SSD's and try the fresh install. That got derailed when the screws holding the case together turned out to be stripped and I had to physically break the case open. My patience is at an end and if there wasn't a problem with the hardware before there is definitely a problem now. Recovered the SSD, RAM and wifi boards... I was on the fence about whether I was taxing the processor running two telescopes and my auxiliary gear to start with. Time for a system upgrade. Core i5 8th gen unit inbound.

Really do appreciate the help but I'm convinced there is some sort of hardware glitch behind it all. Observatory is solar powered and the Neo was floating on the battery voltage. Best guess is voltage spiked one sunny day and torched something nano-sized. Not sure it was the issue, but will add a voltage stabilizer to the circuit for this generation.

Corey
 
#36
  • bootrec / ScanOs finds no Windows installations with the eMMC disabled.
I reckon something has happened to your boot record

tl;dr: I solved my problem by copying the boot record from the SSD over to the M.2

If "boot" is missing on the SSD then copy it over using this tutorial:
https://www.ubackup.com/clone/copy-mbr-from-one-disk-to-another-3889.html
Why did you not try and copy over the MBR? It is such a simple command?
bcdboot c:\windows /s c:
 
#37
Why did you not try and copy over the MBR? It is such a simple command?
bcdboot c:\windows /s c:
Whenever I tried something from the eMMC or SSD rescue mode (ie restarting in rescue from one of those partitions) it threw an error that it could not find the command. Same commands "worked" when booting from the install USB but had no effect on my ability to boot. At one point I started getting error messages that there were redundant items and was skipping or aborting the process. (Didn't take a screenshot at the time and can't recall the exact error message.)

In the end all would have been moot... I'd have had to reopen the case to reconnect the battery and those tiny little screws were rounded out from all my prior attempts. I'm sure I could have found a way but I have missed 3 months of astrophotography due to weather or wildfires. Finally have some clear nights in the forecast and out of patience for hardware issues.
 
#38
Whenever I tried something from the eMMC or SSD rescue mode (ie restarting in rescue from one of those partitions) it threw an error that it could not find the command. Same commands "worked" when booting from the install USB but had no effect on my ability to boot. At one point I started getting error messages that there were redundant items and was skipping or aborting the process. (Didn't take a screenshot at the time and can't recall the exact error message.)

In the end all would have been moot... I'd have had to reopen the case to reconnect the battery and those tiny little screws were rounded out from all my prior attempts. I'm sure I could have found a way but I have missed 3 months of astrophotography due to weather or wildfires. Finally have some clear nights in the forecast and out of patience for hardware issues.
You could have tried drilling the screws heads ;). The screws are almost made of chocolate as it is so the heads would have actually drilled off quite easily & the base would have lifted straight off. If you were careful it would have also left the female mounts fully intact for replacement screws to immediately replace them as well.

If you don't have the necessary hardware or skills yourself, any half decent tradesman could have drilled them out for you literally in a couple of minutes & only charged you a few bucks for the pleasure too.

I completely understand that this may have been time sensitive to your profession or hobbies, but you could have still purchased a replacement & still had the original N42C-4 as a backup or future repurpose if you hadn't resorted to pure brute force so quickly ;).

Redundant now obviously, & ultimately an expensive lesson to boot ;).
 

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