[SOLVED] Swapping secondary HDD makes primary unbootable.

Apr 15, 2019
8
0
10
0
Hello, first time asking a question but long time user of the site. Unsure if i'm in the right section, hopefully i am.

Here is the full story. I got a laptop gifted to me since the person was upgrading. The original state of the laptop was 2 5400 rpm HDD of 1 To each and it had windows 7 home on it. The person upgraded it to windows 10 and then payed someone to migrate the system on an SSD. So now the config is 1 SSD of 500gig and 1 5400 rpm 1to running windows 10. The system runs without a hitch.

I wanted to swap the 5400 to a 7200 rpm, so when i removed the 5400 and put in the 7200, the laptop said there was no bootable drives. Checked the cables and connections all was good. The Bios could see both hard drives but for some reason it wouldn't boot. After a ton of trial and errors, even trying the SSD by itself and it still didn't boot which baffled me. Then when i put the old 5400 in, it booted but windows said there was something wrong. When i checked the bios again, i noticed that the raid was active but i dunno if it became active after i reset the bios or not. I put it in AHCI and all started to work again. Mind you i had never touched the bios before it didn't want to boot so no idea if it was in raid or AHCI. When i check the disk manager, i cannot delete the volume on the 5400.

So my theory is that the laptop might have been in a raid when it had 2 5400 1to in it and when the system was migrated on a SSD, the guy didn't do his job properly and something of the RAID stayed active which prevents a swap. So now i'm left wondering how to proceed. Do i make a recovery disk and wipe both the SSD and the 5400 and then use the recovery disk to put it back on the SSD (btw i know not to format a SSD) or do a clean install. But the clean install i don't know if my windows key will still work since it's tied to the computer (its a Dell M18X r2).

Any help is appreciated, kinda at a loss here.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Can you post a picture of disk management (with the original config installed)? I suspect the Windows boot manager is on the HDD, with the balance of the OS drive on the SSD. An all too common problem when installing Windows with multiple drives connected.

Doubtful it was in RAID, honestly. If it were, and you switched it to AHCI, it wouldn't work.... but it does?

You could clean install, that's probably the best route to go here, honestly. To be safe, remove any drives other than the SSD you want Windows on for the install.
Make sure you install the same version of Windows (home, Pro) and skip when prompted for a key - it'll reactivate when you're back online.
https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/
 
Apr 15, 2019
8
0
10
0
I am unsure how to post images in the forum directly sorry so here is the link to the disk manager when it's the SSD and the 5400 on windows 10.

View: https://imgur.com/n2nVc1t


Also i just want to be sure, this is a dell laptop that came with windows 7 but got the free upgrade to windows 10 back in the day. I zipped by the link you gave to have an idea of how to proceed, i will read more in depth when i'm actually going to do it but i want to be absolutly sure that the windows key will still be valid.

I saw while quick browsing the link you gave me that there was a section about the said key, even tho its (unsure of the terms, been a while) OEM meaning locked to this particular laptop that it should still work ?

Sorry for sounding like a noob, i'm usually the person people go to when they got computer problems but my go to person can't help me anymore (don't want to overshare so i'll leave it at that). Been years since i dabbled this seriously in computers. Thanks for the quick response btw barty1884.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
That doesn't look right to me. Your drive should be partitioned.... Windows woudl have a ~500MB recovery partition and a ~100MB "boot" partition - neither of which appear present anywhere on those drives. Is there another drive below the CD-ROM?

Yes, the W7 key was upgraded to W10 - that activation is now tied to the hardware with W10. A clean install, installing the same version of Windows (Home, Pro) will reactivate without a problem, assuming it's currently activated, of course.


Hey, don't worry about how you sound. It's much better to ask any questions you have beforehand opposed "I did X, it went wrong, help me fix it".

Remember to back up any data you cannot afford to lose before reinstalling Windows.
 

QwerkyPengwen

Dignified
Herald
As fret is saying:
Chances are when Windows was installed to the laptop, it was done while both drives were inside and one thing Windows stupidly likes to do is install the MBR into the other drive that the OS is not being installed to.
So if you want to upgrade that HDD you'll just have to do a clean install of Windows onto the SSD while it's the only drive inside the laptop, then put in the new HDD
 
Apr 15, 2019
8
0
10
0
Yeah i had no part in the migration of the system to the SSD. Told my bro in law who gifted me the laptop to never use that person again. Cost him 115$ Canadian dollars to migrate his system to the SSD and it looked weird to me also but couldn't be sure. To answer your question bart1884 there is nothing else besides the 2 HDDs and the bluray.

USAFRet i know, a bit out of practice since i had the same laptop for 10 years lol, hadn't had much chance to dabble much since it kept running, just routine maintenance and cleaning. Guess clean install it is.

Well thank you both for your help. It is greatly appreciated, and so quick also.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
A clean install on a used system is strongly recommended, because you have no idea what the previous users had in there.

Accidental malware, keyloggers, or far, far worse.
Also, it verifies any OS license involved.


Migrating from one drive to another? $115CDN?
Free software + 30 minutes...done.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Yeah i had no part in the migration of the system to the SSD. Told my bro in law who gifted me the laptop to never use that person again. Cost him 115$ Canadian dollars to migrate his system to the SSD and it looked weird to me also but couldn't be sure. To answer your question bart1884 there is nothing else besides the 2 HDDs and the bluray.

USAFRet i know, a bit out of practice since i had the same laptop for 10 years lol, hadn't had much chance to dabble much since it kept running, just routine maintenance and cleaning. Guess clean install it is.

Well thank you both for your help. It is greatly appreciated, and so quick also.
Holy! Where is your bro in law? If he happens to be in Calgary, send him my way for tech support! :ROFLMAO: I'm kidding.

That is very strange if you only have the SSD, HDD and Blu-Ray.... I don't see the appropriate partitions anywhere...

While a laptop from family isn't as bad as random laptop from a random person necessarily, it's still risky & would still be a good idea to wipe the drive & clean install even if there wasn't an issue.

Migrating from one drive to another? $115CDN?
Free software + 30 minutes...done.
Heck, even if it were clean install on SSD + manually migrating files over, you're looking at a couple of hours maximum. Easily over $50/hr..... I'd take that gig in a heartbeat!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
While a laptop from family isn't as bad as random laptop from a random person necessarily, it's still risky & would still be a good idea to wipe the drive & clean install even if there wasn't an issue.

Heck, even if it were clean install on SSD + manually migrating files over, you're looking at a couple of hours maximum. Easily over $50/hr..... I'd take that gig in a heartbeat!
And its not just the bro in law previous owner, but anyone else he let touch that system, ever.
Including the thief PC shop guy that did the migration.

I know if my brother in law gave me a PC, I'd have to disinfect it. Not just with BitDefender and MalwareBytes, but also Lysol and bleach.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
And its not just the bro in law previous owner, but anyone else he let touch that system, ever.
Including the thief PC shop guy that did the migration.

I know if my brother in law gave me a PC, I'd have to disinfect it. Not just with BitDefender and MalwareBytes, but also Lysol and bleach.
Very true. Guess it depends on the family member :ROFLMAO: Good point about the thief PC shop guy though. Clearly not above taking somebody for a ride re: pricing, so who knows what else they're up to!
 
Apr 15, 2019
8
0
10
0
Sorry it's been a few days lol. Followed the guides you all suggested and everything went fine. Hard drive is now properly partitioned with all the proper sections in it, no issues swapping secondary drive now (had to swap it again cause i had put a brand new seagate in it, but then 3 days ago my 2to seagate who is not even 1 year old crapped out on me and then i learned that seagate was crap lol so ordered a new WD black drive instead).

Thank you all of you who helped me, it has been greatly appreciated. I dunno how it goes to lock threads but this subject is pretty much done for me.
 

QwerkyPengwen

Dignified
Herald
Sorry it's been a few days lol. Followed the guides you all suggested and everything went fine. Hard drive is now properly partitioned with all the proper sections in it, no issues swapping secondary drive now (had to swap it again cause i had put a brand new seagate in it, but then 3 days ago my 2to seagate who is not even 1 year old crapped out on me and then i learned that seagate was crap lol so ordered a new WD black drive instead).

Thank you all of you who helped me, it has been greatly appreciated. I dunno how it goes to lock threads but this subject is pretty much done for me.
to finish off this thread, simply select one of the posts above as what you would consider to be the best answer to your problem.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS