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New Hard drive - PC won't boot without old (non system) disk

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by rosscouk, Sep 16, 2018 at 11:51 AM.

  1. rosscouk

    Gangster

    Joined: May 26, 2008

    Posts: 140

    Hi there,

    I recently picked up a WD 10tb drive as I was hoping to retire at least one of my older legacy drives. I received the drive and copied across everything I wanted onto the new drive leaving nothing on my old 1tb Seagate drive. My system drive (with windows installed) is a Samsung SSD, so I didn't think i would have any problems when I unplugged the 1tb Seagate drive, but with it unplugged the PC won't boot. I have checked and double checked in the bios and I am sure it is set to boot from the Samsung. There is also nothing on the Seagate but the machine refuses to boot unless it is connected.

    Anyone any ideas? Thanks.
     
  2. phil-k

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 1, 2011

    Posts: 1,053

    I don't think you can just copy over a drives contents, you need a cloning programme
     
  3. rosscouk

    Gangster

    Joined: May 26, 2008

    Posts: 140

    The old drive (1tb Seagate) is not a system drive. I had some media stored on it, that was what has now been moved off to the new WD.
     
  4. arknor

    Caporegime

    Joined: Nov 22, 2005

    Posts: 35,235

    Location: Newcastle/Zurich

    can't the MBR still be on a non system disk
     
  5. rosscouk

    Gangster

    Joined: May 26, 2008

    Posts: 140

    the Master Boot Record? How would I tell? Is there way to move it if it is?
     
  6. Maundie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 20, 2010

    Posts: 1,881

    Problem is Windows can write system files to other connected drives sometimes without you even knowing, for this reason I alwys only have my boot drive connected when installing Windows.

    What happens when you try to boot without the 1Tb drive in, do you get any error messages, does it POST etc.
     
  7. rosscouk

    Gangster

    Joined: May 26, 2008

    Posts: 140

    No, well I get the mobo splash screen then it tries to boot and I get an error message. I plug the, in theory, blank disk back in and despite not even booting from it, the PC will start normally.
     
  8. APM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 9, 2011

    Posts: 1,299

    Location: Wales

    Have only boot drive connected to the mobo and run windows repair from an install disk.
     
  9. rosscouk

    Gangster

    Joined: May 26, 2008

    Posts: 140

    Ok, I might still have my windows 7 disk somewhere...
     
  10. rosscouk

    Gangster

    Joined: May 26, 2008

    Posts: 140

    I have had a bit of route around in my man drawer (one of several). I have unearthed a windows 7 pro disk - although it does say something about being an upgrade disk. I have also found a windows 8 32b and 64b disks. I am thinking I should try the 64bit windows 8 disk first. Any thoughts, I can't see a key as of yet for the windows 8 disk although the windows 7 disk does have a product key.

    I also had a look at all my drives in MiniTool Partition, it seems my current system disk is set as boot however the 1tb Seagate I am looking to retire is set to 'active & system'. I can actually change the active status with the tool but I think it may make things worse if I have misunderstood.
     
  11. APM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 9, 2011

    Posts: 1,299

    Location: Wales

    Boot it up,id if you're on windows 7 or 8 and if it's 32 or 64 bit.

    https://www.howtogeek.com/206329/how-to-find-your-lost-windows-or-office-product-keys/

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows7

    there is another site for old windows images somewhere too.


    If you can set your boot drive to active that could be worth trying first,if it doesn't work try unplugging the 1tb and try again,if it still doesn't work either revert the changes or keep a written record of what you are doing.
     
  12. rosscouk

    Gangster

    Joined: May 26, 2008

    Posts: 140

    My main worry here, is if I do this and get it wrong, then I won't be able to get into the machine to switch it back.
     
  13. Mujja

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 7, 2003

    Posts: 2,581

    Location: Offline

    Did you clone the System partition with the OS partition?

    If not you'll need to run bcdboot to copy boot files to the root of the new OS partition.

    Do you have a spare USB to use as a bootable WinPE drive? Once at work I'll share a WinPE ISO if you need and and post some instructions.
     
  14. mattyfez

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Apr 12, 2007

    Posts: 8,456

    I had a similar issue after a clone..
    Ended up fixing it by unplugging all non system drives and running all the boot fix commands from a windows flash drive, fix mbr, sfc scan etc. There's about 5 or 6 commands to run. (just Google 'fix mbr') Doesn't take that long really and it's a strange issue... But easily fixed with a few CMD commands. Just make sure you change the target drive from 'x' (the Windows boot media) to 'c'

    Even if you end up borking the the mbr on the system drive the drive will still be readable from another system forffile recovery .. its just Windows being funny.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018 at 10:52 PM
  15. APM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 9, 2011

    Posts: 1,299

    Location: Wales

    Does the original 1TB drive still boot and function ok?

    If it does remove all other drives apart from the new one from the mobo and use Macrium Reflect to clone the image from the 1TB drive over to the new drive.

    Having said that,doesn't windows have issues if it's installed onto a larger than 2 or 3TB drive?