"preparing automatic repair" during windows 8 boot

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"preparing automatic repair" during windows 8 boot

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I am getting "preparing automatic repair" during windows 8 boot under some specific conditions.  This on a new preloaded windows 8  inspiron 660.

I have an 3.5 inch hard drive I am trying to mount inside the new dell machine.  If we leave this external drive uncabled to the new machine all is good.

This hard drive is a windows xp bootable (old master boot record, 8 year old system) drive where our old data is stored.

With the drive mounted internally we get the "preparing automatic repair" during boot.

If we boot without the drive mounted we can plug the drive into a usb adapter and we can read the drive just fine.  However if we try to boot the machine with the usb drive plugged in, we get the "preparing automatic repair" and the machine just sits there.  (I don't know how long, but at least a few minutes).

So it seems windows 8 wants no other bootable drive as competition for the queen windows 8 operating system.

The machine is set up fine boot wise, just as from the factory.  I can mount "other" disk drives internally that are newly formatted and boot just fine.

I've spent way too many hours on this and after google searching tonight, I realize many others are having similar issues with the message: "preparing automatic repair"

I want to mount this 3.5 inch hard drive internally to put backups on.

Any ideas?  What's wrong with this thing.  Seems a bit untested in the wild.

All Replies
  • Hi lsattle,

    Check the boot priority in BIOS. Restart the computer and tap F2 on Dell logo.Under "Boot" let me know the boot priority when the hard drive is connected internally.

    Refer the following link which has troubleshooting steps to resolve preparing automatic repair:

    http://bit.ly/ZvSpJQ

    Awaiting your response!

    Thanks & Regards
    Rajesh R
    #iworkfordell
    To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
    If a post answers your question, please click "
    Yes".

  • I cannot respond right away.   The computer is at my un-computer savy friends (it is his computer,).  But I do have a question / reply.  Seems to me there is no boot order with sata as there was with ide / ata.  If no boot drive exists in usb or cdrom, etc it boots from sata.  But in the bios you do not specify which sata port to use.  I was especially interested in getting this post on the web because it "adds information" regarding this issue.  May give a hint to what is really going on.

  • Hi lsattle,

    Yes, I agree with you. In these kind of scenarios, the computer may not boot with 2 hard drives one with Windows XP and another with windows 8.

    As you are able to connect the second hard drive through USB, I recommend backing up the data from the hard drive first.

    Now connect the old hard drive and try to change the Boot mode to Legacy in BIOS. Restart the computer and tap F2 on Dell logo. Under “Boot” change the boot mode to “Legacy”. Hit F10 to save and exit.

    Try to boot the computer now with both the hard drives connected.

    Awaiting your response!

    Thanks & Regards
    Rajesh R
    #iworkfordell
    To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
    If a post answers your question, please click "
    Yes".

  • Rajesh,

    Your answer does solve the problem of "Preparing Automatic Repair". But other issues still remain.  I tried to boot with 3 HDD's and 4 OS's. The disks with Windows Vista and Windows 2000 crashed while booting. A BSOD briefly appeared  for both, then the system rebooted right into Windows 8. I then tried a disk with a dual boot of Windows XP and Ubuntu 12.04. Windows XP crashed the same way as the disks with Windows Vista and Windows 2000. Interestingly, Ubuntu booted just fine.

  • I should note that I tried each HDD separately and externally using an IDE to USB connection.