Question Laptop starts booting only after 5 minutes when secondary hard drive is in DVD bay - system doesn't see the HDD

Apr 3, 2020
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Hello people of the Internet!
I own a roughly 4 years old Acer Aspire e1-572pg (you can find basically zero information of it) that I wanted to upgrade with an SSD. I bought a Samsung 860 EVO 2.5 250GB SATA3 MZ-76E250 SSD, cloned Windows from my "Seagate laptop thin HDD 500gb" to it with Samsung Magician, formatted the C: partition from HDD and extended the size of the other one, where I kept all my documents, programs, games, movies etc (the C was in front of E on the drive, so everything from E was moved on top of the area where C used to be). I did the extension with EaseUS Partition Manager, because with Windows' built in partition manager I was getting an error saying "The operation is not supported by the object".
When I booted from the SSD, without the HDD inserted, everything was working just as it should. So I took out the optical drive and inserted the HDD with a Raidsonic ICYBOX IB-AC640 SSD/HDD caddy. and when I tried powering my machine on, it froze at the Acer logo, it didn't even start booting, however the HDD did spin up. It wasn't until today when I actually tried waiting longer at the Acer logo, and after 3-6 minutes, it booted successfully (the boot process itself was as fast as it should be from the SSD), however the HDD doesn't show up in Device Manager, in File explorer, in the partition manager, and in the BIOS either.
The HDD works perfectly (mostly, I'll explain in a bit) as an external device from any machine I connect it to. I've read thing about enabling ATA/SATA in BIOS, however the options in my BIOS are not a lot, there's not too many things to mess around with (see attached images).

Things I've tried:
  • setting the boot load order (images attached)
  • removing boot flag from HDD's partition
  • upgrading related drivers
  • plugging in the caddy with the HDD in it while the computer is powered on - it immediately powered off the system, as if I'd pulled the plug (later I was told that this could kill my machine, so I haven't messed around with this since)
  • ran CCleaner, cleaned registry (theoretically)
  • with VisualBCD: repair boot, repair BCD (images attached about information it showed about the system)
  • Bootrec /rebuildbcd, /fixboot, /fixMbr , however cmd said '"Bootrec' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file."
  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  • analyzing and defragmenting
  • probably a couple of other things as well that I cant recall at the moment

Things I haven't tried, that I probably should, but I can't:
  • formatting the HDD, making sure this way that I've removed all traces of Windows - I can't, I have important files on the drive
  • inserting a brand new, or formatted HDD to DVD bay via the caddy, making sure that my laptop IS capable of handling a secondary hard drive (which I read it should, if it has an optical drive) - I can't, I have no access to such drive
Another issue I'm having which might be connected to this one. I cannot just connect any USB device to my laptop, because in the Device Manager it says "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the device driver is still in memory. (Code 38) ". I've tried billions of solutions, but none of them were permanent, only temporary - like uninstalling the device, and restarting the system. So I have to do this every time I want to connect a flash drive, SD card, or my HDD as an external device. One more thing that belongs to this problem is that I usually can't disconnect the device safely, as it says that some applications are using it.. Anyway, I'm just putting this out there in case of this has anything to do with my main problem.


Specifications
Processor: Intel Core i5-8265
RAM: 8GB
OS: Windows 10 x64

IMAGES
- BIOS









- VisualBCD (information)






an error I got from I think repair BCD:


- Windows Information Viewer
the volumes that are shown by VisualBCD


- bcdedit
result



Really hope someone can help me, I'm really out of ideas at this point.
Regards,
Joshua
 
i would suggest doing a fresh install of Windows and reinstalling the updated Acer system drivers from the product support web page(s).

you have SATA [AHCI] mode enabled in your BIOS, so that's not the issue.

if any system partitions or files still remain on the old HD;
it will more than likely still not be able to boot correctly. Windows will often get hung up on "deciding" which sections to read from when multiple partitions with the same system boot/load data exist. EasUS Partition Manager should be able to see these on the old disk though.

are you sure everything but your personal file's partition was deleted? and are you sure that this partition containing your files wasn't a system partition with system files? making a backup of these personal files and totally wiping the entire drive is definitely recommended.
you can get a multi-TB HD for very cheap these days to use for backup now & for the future.
 
Apr 3, 2020
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10
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i would suggest doing a fresh install of Windows and reinstalling the updated Acer system drivers from the product support web page(s).

you have SATA [AHCI] mode enabled in your BIOS, so that's not the issue.

if any system partitions or files still remain on the old HD;
it will more than likely still not be able to boot correctly. Windows will often get hung up on "deciding" which sections to read from when multiple partitions with the same system boot/load data exist. EasUS Partition Manager should be able to see these on the old disk though.

are you sure everything but your personal file's partition was deleted? and are you sure that this partition containing your files wasn't a system partition with system files? making a backup of these personal files and totally wiping the entire drive is definitely recommended.
you can get a multi-TB HD for very cheap these days to use for backup now & for the future.
Thank you for your answer!
Doing a fresh install would be my last resort, as I have many installed software that has files on partition C. Unfortunately Acer's support is terrible, also, when I look up drivers for my device using its serial number on Acer's website, it only lists maybe four, most of them are even outdated as well.

AHCI mode is the only option actually.

There are no system partitions on the old HD for sure, however there's a folder called SoftwareDistribution, inside that there's a folder DeliveryOptimization which has five folders with names that look like random character and number combinations.
I have no idea what this folder is, or what it is for.

EaseUS PM doesn't show any other partition, unless there's an option that needs to be enabled that I don't know of.

I might be able to get an external HD to do a backup of my old HD, so I could see if that solves my problem, but I'll have to wait for that because of the virus..
Until then I hope there's another way to resolve this issue.
 
Apr 3, 2020
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Since then I've removed the SoftwareDistribution folder from the HD, also removed all unavailable or ghost drives both manually and with the use of a software that can be seen in Device Manager if you enable showing unavailable devices, but that didn't change anything.

I'm still looking for other ideas!
 
Apr 3, 2020
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UPDATE:
Today I made a backup of the HD then formatted it, but it didn't solve the issue. So this is not caused by some Windows leftover files..
 
Apr 3, 2020
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UPDATE: I might have mentioned that the system won't even start booting, however that's not actually the case as I recently discovered, that quiet boot is enabled in BIOS, which means instead of showing the white text on black screen, it shows the Acer logo. So the booting sequence starts, but hangs.

SOLUTION:
Partially it was a faulty caddy. When I replaced the caddy, it proceeded with booting, everything went as it should. However the system didn't recognize the hard drive, not even after a restart.
I did the following, which I'd found here https://teckangaroo.com/enable-windows-10-virtual-machine-platform/
- running "bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off" as an administrator in cmd
In the menu "Turn windows features on or off":
- Disabled -> Hyper-V
- Enabled -> Virtual Machine Platform
- Enabled -> Windows Hypervisor Platform

The interesting part is that I don't know which of the above solved my problem, because I undid all of them one by one, and the problem didn't come back.
 

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