Question Windows 10 Boots w/ 3 drives, Remove Storage, Won't Boot

Oct 2, 2020
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I'm stumped by an issue with my laptop's three internal drives.

I have a Dell Studio 1747 with three internal drives.

Windows 10 on drive 1
Windows 7 on drive 2
General storage on drive 3

I've bought a new computer, and tried to move storage drive 3 to new comptuer.

Rebooted laptop and getting PXE media test failure from Windows 10 drive 1.

Changed boot order to drive 2, got same PXE error.

Reinstalled storage drive 3, changed boot order to drive 3, and booted fine.

There are no system files on the drive 3 that I can sell (even looked at hidden drives) but somehow Windows 10 drive 1 won't boot without drive 3 installed.

Any ideas? Could it be the MBR is corrupted somehow?
 

howtobeironic

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Jun 16, 2018
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Seems like the bootloader is written to Drive 3. You most likely had all the drives plugged in while setting up the OS's, and drive 3 was in the lowest numbered SATA port. So, Windows 7/10 wrote to it and the other followed up. Not to worry, can be fixed.

Try pulling an administrator cmd up on the W10 OS, and type (assuming the system drive is C)
bcdboot c:\windows /s c:
which will create a new boot manager on the drive C:, then to add the second installation run (assuming Win7 is on D)
bcdboot d:\windows

and this should create the bootloader, with both options present, and you should be able to boot without the drive 3. You should get rid of the old bootloader so as to not have conflicts by deleting the EFI system partition on the third drive.

Alternative to these commands you can use EasyBCD, I did not try that at home but people praise it a lot: https://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/
 
Reactions: devlon
Oct 2, 2020
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Awesome, thanks for the help. Seems like that's exactly what happened. Ran both bcdboot commands and Win 10 and 7 are appearing back on the boot loader screen.
 
Reactions: howtobeironic

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