I have two drives in my PC. One is an SSD that Windows stopped detecting a while back after a power shortage (no idea why, it works fine), and the other is a regular hard drive on which Windows is installed. Yesterday I installed Kali to my SSD, but I couldn't boot into Windows afterwards. Whenever I try to boot it, the "Starting Windows" message appears for about 2 seconds before it vanishes, and then I'm just left with a black screen. It offers startup repair sometimes, but that doesn't work either.

I tried:

  • Safe Mode
  • Last Known Good Configuration
  • Fixing the MBR on the HDD that has Windows through Linux (used mbr.bin from syslinux).

What's happening? Why would an installation on a different drive even affect Windows?


So, following some suggestions, I ran some tests. What I found:

  1. I can boot Windows if I unplug my SSD
  2. memtest found no issues
  3. gnome disk utility isn't detecting any issues as well
  4. Safe mode seems to hang when loading disk.sys(I guess it makes sense)
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it seems to be about booting Windows.
    – dhag
    Dec 3 '15 at 20:37
  • 1
    This is on a twilight zone on multi OS, or even on a XY problem. Kali/Linux might affect MBR. we should keep this question open.
    – Archemar
    Dec 3 '15 at 21:21
  • 1
    @dhag It is about booting Windows, but after a Kali installation.. It's a bit peculiar that Kali somehow affected the MBR on another HDD, isn't it. And even when I ran dd to repair it, it didn't change a thing.. Dec 4 '15 at 10:21
  • 1
    Eh, OK. I guess this is Twilight Zone issue... A good start would be to try to find out how much, if any, of the hardware is broken, and in what way. I would recommend trying to boot with the seemingly-faulty drive out, and see if Windows runs any better? Then perhaps try a memtest? Then maybe run a throughput test on both drives (slow performance and errors would be interesting too see).
    – dhag
    Dec 4 '15 at 15:22
  • @dhag Solid ideas, bud. I'll keep you guys posted. Dec 5 '15 at 16:18

You wrote:

  • I can boot Windows if I unplug my SSD

So I wonder if grub is used as bootloader? If it's so, you will have to swap your disks in grub configuration:

If you have installed DOS (or Windows) on a non-first hard disk, you have to use the disk swapping technique, because that OS cannot boot from any disks but the first one. The workaround used in GRUB is the command drivemap (see drivemap), like this:
drivemap -s (hd0) (hd1)

More details at https://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/html_node/DOS_002fWindows.html#DOS_002fWindows

See also Windows won't boot from hd1.

  • "Reboot and select proper boot device" is what I'm getting after doing that and trying to boot windows. Jan 14 '16 at 18:50

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