Booting with 2 W7 drives


Jan 1, 2012
I recently installed W7 on my new SSD, without my old HDD (w/ W7 on it) present in computer. I am going to put it and other drives i will be using for storage in it. When i turn on my computer, will it ask me what to boot into or will it automatically boot into either one?

Also, im wiping all of these drives clean except my SSD with W7 on it obviously. To get it completely clean and back to normal do i just need to reformat, or defrag then reformat? I heard that on another forum, but it didn't sound right. Should i uninstall everything manually before i reformat, or can i just reformat?

Sorry if they sound like dumb questions haha

Thanks in advance
'S okay.

1) Since there are two bootable disks, which one starts your system depends on settings in the BIOS. The BIOS assumes that you set your boot order and boots merrily from that one.

You can interrupt the boot process and get a boot menu on the first BIOS screen, usually by pressing F8. You will then get a menu with a choice of drives to boot from.

You can go into the BIOS, find the Boot menu, and select which HDD will boot using one of the submenus there.

Or you can do a complete re-init of the second drive, at which point the computer will no longer see it as a bootable drive and boot from the SSD.

2) How to clean the drive depends on your goals. A reformat will give you an empty disk, but not a secure one; a competent attacker could recover the old files. Also, it will leave the drive marked as bootable, so you will still have to pay attention to your boot order.

Defragging before or after the format is horsefeathers. No need to uninstall; a reformat will simply erase everything. Make sure that you have copied all the data that you need onto a drive for the new system first. Some of it may be hiding in the Application Data section of Documents and Settings.

I personally would use a tool such as Easeus Partition Editor to mark the disk non-bootable. In the most extreme case, you can use Parted Magic to send a Secure Erase command to the drive. Over the next hour or two the drive will rewrite zeros to every sector. This is the NIS-approved way of getting rid of sensitive data before repurposing or disposing of a drive.