Question Why won't my laptop boot when I connect a secondary SSD?

Nov 17, 2022
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I have two laptops my old one, and one I just recently purchased. Both laptops have an M.2 OS drive and a secondary 2.5" SATA slot.

The old laptop had a 4TB Samsung 850 Evo connected to it. The new one had a Seagate 1TB HDD connected. I don't know if it is relevant, but the 1TB drive was unformatted. I connected the 4TB SSD to the new laptop and it refuses to boot. The logo appears, but the spinning circles for a Windows 10 start-up don't show and it stays like that indefinitely. As soon as the drive is removed it will boot normally.

What could be the cause for this?
 
Nov 17, 2022
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It was brand new when I bought it, I formatted it to my requirements and have only used it for storage.

My best guess is I have to format it again for this new laptop, really hoping that isn't the case as I have 3TB worth of data on there, so hoping someone has an idea of what could be wrong.
 
Nov 17, 2022
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Thanks, will give that a try. I've just noticed that the laptop is set to fast boot by default, might be interfering, so will disable that as well and let you know what happens.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Yes, disable fast boot. Also, you might look for settings such as "stop on any errors" and disable that in the BIOS as well, at least temporarily. Make sure as well that you've connected both the power and SATA cables to the drive. Also, make sure that either the drive that the OS is on or "Windows boot manager" are selected as the primary boot devices in the BIOS.
 
Nov 17, 2022
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I've established that it's not unique to this SSD, have some spare 2.5" drives and none of them worked, only the original that came with the laptop will allow it to boot. It's as if it is hardwired to only accept the original drive and nothing else.

Despite fast boot being disabled I cannot enter BIOS screen on startup, so that appears to be manufacturer design, can only enter it through Windows settings, so that doesn't help. The BIOS is up to date, but I don't have or can't find a "stop on any errors" option or something similar.

Connections is not an issue as a laptop most of it is soldered, the SATA connection is the only part that matters and the drive is held in by screws when connected.

Any other suggestions?

Update: despite performing updates and driver installs as soon as I received the laptop, I was checking my Windows update and found that I am getting a "Your device is missing important security and quality fixes.", I am currently resolving that by using Windows 10 Update Assistant (downloaded from Microsoft website), hopefully that should resolve this

Also slight correction, going into BIOS on startup does work, but it will fail if an HDD or SSD is connected that isn't the one it originally came with.

Update 2: Glad that everything is properly up to date, but it did not help the SSD issue
 
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Nov 17, 2022
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So I tried a 3rd HDD, and formatted it on my old laptop and then plugged it into the new one and it worked. It seems I am going to have spend some hours shuffling data around, then format the Samsung Evo to get it to work on the new laptop. Oh well, could be worse.
 
Nov 30, 2022
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I think I have a similar problem. My laptop works fine without the SSD but if I plug it in it doesnt go past the logo neither opens the bios. This has to have a simple fix that only one who fixes ir knows.
 

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