[SOLVED] Not booting after replacing non-OS HDD?

grizzlybeer

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Apr 23, 2014
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Hi folks, I just recently replaced my 1TB WD Black which I used for games/etc with a 4TB WD black for more room, but then I got a message that I dont have a valid boot device. My OS is installed on another SSD (which was untouched) so I am confused as to why this is happening.

In BIOS, it recognized all the drives. I bought an external enclosure to see if having the original HDD would boot properly, and it did, so I suspect that I'm not doing something right in the BIOS settings, or that there is something important on the replaced drive that is essential to boot. I did also upgrade from Win7 to Win10 with both drives plugged in at the time, which from my cursory searches may be causing my issue.

Where do I go from here? I'd like to avoid relying in the replaced drive as it is now 6 years old. Thanks!
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
Sounds like you had the 1TB drive attached when you installed Windows and part of the OS (through no fault of your own) was written to that drive. For whatever reason, Windows is known to do that. Your best bet is to simply reattach the 1TB drive AND install the 4TB drive and use them both. Later, when you get around to a clean Windows install, only have the SSD installed in the system so this doesn't happen again.

-Wolf sends
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
Sounds like you had the 1TB drive attached when you installed Windows and part of the OS (through no fault of your own) was written to that drive. For whatever reason, Windows is known to do that. Your best bet is to simply reattach the 1TB drive AND install the 4TB drive and use them both. Later, when you get around to a clean Windows install, only have the SSD installed in the system so this doesn't happen again.

-Wolf sends
 

grizzlybeer

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Apr 23, 2014
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does it boot if you put the 1tb WD black back in?
sound like you have the boot partition on the hdd
Yes, it does, and that was what I was suspecting. Very strange, and now I'm not sure how to proceed.

Sounds like you had the 1TB drive attached when you installed Windows and part of the OS (through no fault of your own) was written to that drive. For whatever reason, Windows is known to do that. Your best bet is to simply reattach the 1TB drive AND install the 4TB drive and use them both. Later, when you get around to a clean Windows install, only have the SSD installed in the system so this doesn't happen again.

-Wolf sends
Thanks for the heads up; that is unfortunate. I didn't know about the finicky nature of windows installs but more importantly I have never had the issue of having too many drives (SSD + 3 HDD) to fit into my computer, hence my reliance on an external enclosure and current dilemma.

Given that I can't even boot my computer without the 1TB HDD plugged in, that means I would have to rely on a USB loaded with the install file or CD, correct? I have never used a USB drive method, is it possible to do via micro SD card through an adapter? Further, will I have any issues with reinstalling windows and activating it if I only have the win7 key that I upgraded to win10 for free?

I appreciate your advice!!
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
No. You shouldn't have any issues with re-installing windows. It might warn you that Windows isn't activated, but just give it a few days and it should resolve itself.

As for the reinstall process, just go get an 8GB USB Flash Drive.
Download and install the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool onto your current system. Use this tool to create a USB install.
Back up any data you have on your SSD. If it's all on your secondary drives, you'll be ok.
Check your system BIOS and set USB first in your boot priority
Shut down your system and remove/disconnect all drives except your SSD where you want your OS install to go.
Connect your USB install media and boot your system from it. This begins your Windows installation process. Be sure to format your SSD when it asks where to install Windows.
Once the Windows installation is complete, then you can reconnect your storage drives.

-Wolf sends
 
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grizzlybeer

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Apr 23, 2014
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Thanks for your help Wolf!! I finally got it to work after reinstalling from a USB following your instructions.

To anyone that may stumble upon this in the future:
I had a few issues with using Windows to install the drivers it recommended instead of installing the drivers from the manufacturer's websites so I had to reinstall Windows again...
Lesson: Get drivers from the manufacturer instead of letting Windows do everything

Related to the above point: you might run into driver issues with having an optical drive being plugged into an ASMedia SATA port, as I did on my ASRock z97 Extreme4. Had to move it to an Intel port (can look this up in the manual).
 

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