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Can't boot from HD I want to?

This is a discussion on Can't boot from HD I want to? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Ok so I have two hard drives for my computer, one being a maxtor 120gb HD and the other a


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Old 08-31-2007, 12:13 AM   #1
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Ok so I have two hard drives for my computer, one being a maxtor 120gb HD and the other a 300gb HD with maxtor as well. I used to have windows xp on the 300 gb hard drive but have had it on the 120 before though too. I decided I wanted to format both of the hard drives since my computer had been running very slow as of late so I copid all my files onto an external hard drive and then partitioned both using the windows xp cd. Then I took out the 300gb hard drive and set up a 10gb partition on the 120 so I could install windows xp on that one and then have all my files and stuff on the second partition of 110gb. I did all of this and everything worked cool.

Then I go to put my 300gb hd back in and windows will not boot from the 120gb one if the 300gb one is plugged in. Soon as I plug the 300 gb one in and try to load up it says cannot find operating system. I notice that when I unplug the 300gb and load the comp up it recognizes the 120gb hard disk on ide-channel 2 i believe as master... and it says on ide channel 1 master "none". Then when i plug the 300gb in that shows up as master on channel 1... how do I get my computer to boot up from the 120gb and let me use the 300 gb as storage. I tried to go into my advanced bios settings and set hard disk priority to the 120 one but that didnt do anything at all even when I set it to 120.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:26 AM   #2
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Hi Python !

Problem is because you installed XP on a drive that was on the secondary channel and added a drive on the primary channel afterwards. The system drive should preferably be installed on the primary IDE channel (what you refer to as IDE 1) as master. Try to swap the positions of your drives. Which IDE controller is the primary and which one is the secondary on the mothboard will be explained in the motherboard manual.

If your drives are IDE drives (broad 80-wires ribbon cable) then you have to pay attention to the positions of the jumpers (small plastic cap on metal pins at the rear of the drive). There's a sticker on each drive telling which positions corresponds to which state. When the drive is hooked on the end connector of an IDE cable it has to be set as master, when it's hooked on the middle connector it has to be set as slave. There has to be a drive hooked on the end connecter (no slave drive without a master drive).

The boot sectors from your old XP installation on the 300GB may also be causing trouble. It's recommended you wipe a drive which has already had an OS installed on to erase those boot sectors, use a dban floppy to do that. Formatting doesn't reset the boot sectors.

If the problem isn't solved when you swap your drives then with your 2 drives hooked, boot on XP's CD (set boot priority to CD-rom first), press 'R' on the first screen to load the recovery console, select your windows installation (if more than 1 show then it's because you didn't wipe the 300GB) and press enter if you haven't set any admin password. Then type bootcfg /rebuild and follow the instructions from here :
https://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184
If you had installed Windows when all your drives were already hooked in the computer the boot.ini file would have been setup correctly.

On a side note, 10GB for XP is doable but quite small. You'll have to make sure the page file is on the other hard drive (while leaving a small one on this drive), you don't install too many programs on the system partition and you don't use the hibernate feature. The programs that start with Windows will want to be installed on the same partition for better performances. If you want some help finding an efficient partitioning layout I can help. Just tell me how you want to use that computer, how much space you need for your installed programs and such...

Have a look at this thread :
https://www.techsupportforum.com/f16/...ss-160168.html
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:30 AM   #3
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Hi,
Are both drives IDE? If so, you should connect the 120GB as master and the 300GB as slave on IDE channel 1. Make sure the jumpers on the drives are set correctly and the master drive is connected at the end of the cable (the slave at the middle).
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:34 AM   #4
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I didn't see that you had replied in this thread, justpassingby. I'll merge this thread with the one in Hard drive support.

@Python49: Please don't post the same question in more than one forum.
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:23 AM   #5
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when i tried to follow the directions for the bootcfg directions everything was going fine until I got to the last part telling me to type /fastdetect. When I did that it basically told me that they cant add it to the bootfile or something like that. Also, one hard drive (the 120gb one) is firewire and the other one 300gb uses the gray wide strap thing (not sure whats it called). So I cant just plug the gray strap into the 120.
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:56 AM   #6
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Is the 120GB an external drive? Perhaps you mean it's a SATA drive?
Look in BIOS and make sure the 120GB is #1 under Boot priority.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:37 AM   #7
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yeah i meant sata, my mistake... dont know too much about comps. in bios I had the 120 as #1 in boot priority and it still wouldnt boot from it first when plugging the 300 in
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:39 AM   #8
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What motherboard do you have?
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:58 PM   #9
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https://www.amptron.com/html/MB-PM800-M2.html
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:19 PM   #10
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Look in BIOS > Advanced BIOS features. Make sure the 120GB is set as boot drive in "Hard disk boot priority" and "First boot device". Under "VIA OnChip IDE Device" set SATA mode to "IDE".
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