Question Windows 11 install new computer..

EdBakersfield

Distinguished
Aug 24, 2008
43
1
18,535
0
Years ago I was told to have only one drive present when installing Windows to prevent the operating system from being installed on multiple drives. Is this still true?
 
Oct 11, 2021
40
10
45
2
What do you mean "install on multiple drives"? Windows will only install on one drive. But it will ask which one if more than one is on the system. I've had new systems with 2 drives on it before and Windows asked which one to install on at the time. It didn't touch the other drive.

But, just to make things easier, it probably is best to have just the drive you intend to install the OS on be the only one on the system.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
154,961
11,348
176,090
24,163
What do you mean "install on multiple drives"? Windows will only install on one drive. But it will ask which one if more than one is on the system. I've had new systems with 2 drives on it before and Windows asked which one to install on at the time. It didn't touch the other drive.

But, just to make things easier, it probably is best to have just the drive you intend to install the OS on be the only one on the system.
What happens is...

You select Drive 1. Fine, no problem. That is your "C drive".
But the boot partition ends up on Drive 2.

Later, you remove Drive 2, for whatever reason....no boot for you.
Yes, it does this. Has done this for many years.

The 100% way to prevent this is to have only one drive physically connected during the install.
 
Oct 11, 2021
40
10
45
2
What happens is...

You select Drive 1. Fine, no problem. That is your "C drive".
But the boot partition ends up on Drive 2.

Later, you remove Drive 2, for whatever reason....no boot for you.
Yes, it does this. Has done this for many years.

The 100% way to prevent this is to have only one drive physically connected during the install.
Guess I've lucked out. But then, I've only built 3 systems like that (with at least 2 drives already plugged in) over the last 18 years, and did a clean reinstall on 2 existing systems with multiple drives still in place. So, that's not a lot of opportunities to see that happen.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
154,961
11,348
176,090
24,163
Guess I've lucked out. But then, I've only built 3 systems like that (with at least 2 drives already plugged in) over the last 18 years, and did a clean reinstall on 2 existing systems with multiple drives still in place. So, that's not a lot of opportunities to see that happen.
And it may not be something you notice.
Until that second drive dies or you take it out.

We see people here with that issue every day.

Not something you choose or can prevent...it just does it.
 
Oct 11, 2021
40
10
45
2
And it may not be something you notice.
Until that second drive dies or you take it out.

We see people here with that issue every day.

Not something you choose or can prevent...it just does it.
Except that I have swapped at least one of those secondary drives out without issue. I had to as that one did start to fail on me.

On my current build from just a year ago, the C drive is the SSD shown as Drive 2, and two other HDDs are slotted in the Disk Manager as Drive 0 and 1, yet the SSD has the boot partition along with the separate EFI and recovery partitions. All I did was pick the drive to install (at the time) Win 10 Pro on.

I'm not trying to argue, just stating what I've experienced. But, if what you say does happen, then I certainly won't risk that again. I may be building another system for my oldest son in a few months (unless we just go for the cheap Dell).
 

dwd999

Honorable
Except that I have swapped at least one of those secondary drives out without issue. I had to as that one did start to fail on me.

On my current build from just a year ago, the C drive is the SSD shown as Drive 2, and two other HDDs are slotted in the Disk Manager as Drive 0 and 1, yet the SSD has the boot partition along with the separate EFI and recovery partitions. All I did was pick the drive to install (at the time) Win 10 Pro on.

I'm not trying to argue, just stating what I've experienced. But, if what you say does happen, then I certainly won't risk that again. I may be building another system for my oldest son in a few months (unless we just go for the cheap Dell).
Sometimes this depends on the secondary drives; if they are totally blank and all of the space is unallocated that lowers the chance of that type of error occurring. Another factor is the position of the secondary drives in the drive list at installation time. If drive 0 is the intended installation drive the chance of that type of error is lower. The worst case scenarios are where the secondary drives already have another Windows installation.
 
What happens is...

You select Drive 1. Fine, no problem. That is your "C drive".
But the boot partition ends up on Drive 2.

Later, you remove Drive 2, for whatever reason....no boot for you.
Yes, it does this. Has done this for many years.

The 100% way to prevent this is to have only one drive physically connected during the install.
is mostly true, it does put boot data on drive with lower number
so if you have 2 sata drives as drive 0 and drive 1 and you want OS on nvme, nvme will be drive 3, boot files and recovery partition will end up on ssd drive 0
you can check with device manager drive numbers
but generaly its sata drive on lower sata port number has lower drive index number, nvme is always at end of drive index list
in old legacy bios days you could change drive numbers with boot priority, but in uefi its not possible anymore

but if you know what you doing and can manualy fix it later on, then nothing is stopping you from installing windows with multiple drives
here example of mine drives

disk 1 main OS drive with its own efi boot data
disk 2 backup OS drive with its own efi boot data + it caan also boot disk 1
disk 1 and 2 both share recovery partition (no need to dupllicate data)
disk 0 has custom grub boot, able to boot disk 1, disk 2, win11 installer, windows PE, linux, memtest and such...something like you usualy do with multiple usb sticks
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS