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Won't Boot From SSD Boot Drive Unless Another Random HDD is Connected?

Hey Guys,

So I just built a new system and I'm reusing my SSD from the old system. I threw out a couple HDDs I no longer need. When I try to boot however from the SSD, I get the message "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key."

If I reconnect an old HDD, then the computer will boot from the SSD no problems and I can just unplug the old HDD as soon as Windows loads with no issues.

The SSD is set as the primary boot drive in the BIOS.

Any ideas?
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about boot ssd boot drive random hdd connected
  1. you had more than one drive connected before?

    sounds like the boot record is looking for a second drive
  2. 1. "new system" Did you reinstall the OS?
    2. Did you install the OS, before or after, with more than one drive connected?
  3. How are the PCH Storage options setup? AHCI or RAID or IDE? And how was it setup on your old system? These have to match (but why it works with the HDD in there is puzzling, unless it somehow auto-detects and sets it according to drives connected)

    Have you looked at boot priority?

    Can you force select a boot device (might be F12 during POST) and boot from the SSD, but you should also be able to do it from UEFI BIOS.

    Sounds like a strange issue to me, considering it's a new build.
  4. USAFRet said:
    1. "new system" Did you reinstall the OS?
    2. Did you install the OS, before or after, with more than one drive connected?


    The OS was installed on the old build. This new build has all brand new physical components with the exception of the SSD boot drive with windows on it.

    The SSD is the only option under boot priority in the BIOS - the HDD doesn't even show up in BIOS or My Computer after boot, it may be fried.

    I believe it was set up AHCI on the old system.
  5. How is it setup on the new one?

    Can you try putting your installation media in there and see if it'll boot and windows detect the disk?
  6. HowardRoark said:
    USAFRet said:
    1. "new system" Did you reinstall the OS?
    2. Did you install the OS, before or after, with more than one drive connected?


    The OS was installed on the old build. This new build has all brand new physical components with the exception of the SSD boot drive with windows on it.


    For a motherboard change, you really need to reinstall the OS.
    And do this with only the target drive connected.
  7. USAFRet said:
    HowardRoark said:
    USAFRet said:
    1. "new system" Did you reinstall the OS?
    2. Did you install the OS, before or after, with more than one drive connected?


    The OS was installed on the old build. This new build has all brand new physical components with the exception of the SSD boot drive with windows on it.


    For a motherboard change, you really need to reinstall the OS.
    And do this with only the target drive connected.


    But as this is before, as far as I understand, Windows even starts loading properly I'm wondering if this would actually have any effect, as it boots with the HDD in there I doubt a reinstall fixes the issues. Also, leaving the drive in there makes no difference during the installation. Windows is pretty adept at working with drives.

    However, I agree with you, always reinstall.

    Also, windows will probably bitch about the motherboard-switch,
  8. Installing the OS, with 2 drives connected, very often the boot partition ends up on 'the other drive'.
    Take that drive out, and no boot for you.

    Reinstall the OS with only the one drive connected to prevent this.
  9. Secondly, just moving a drive over to a new system (motherboard) with the original OS often (but not always) has issues.

    Clean install with the new hardware is highly recommended.
  10. It only ends up there if the user messes up. In 20 years I've yet to see that happen as a random and spontaneous event.

    But clean-install! Eventhough windows is extremely good at adapting to a new system. Switched an SDD with Windows 8 on to my Mac that I'd forgotten to format, Windows installed drivers and performed flawlessly. Odd!
  11. Best answer
    This is exactly what happens when you install or do an upgrade to a new drive and you leave the old drive with Windows on it in the system. Since the install detects a boot drive, it will do the install, using the boot sector on the old drive. Your old PC has been booting this way all along without you even realizing it, until you separate the old drive, and the new drive, now suddenly, you dont have the boot sector anymore.
    Rule # 1
    Only have 1 drive connected, the one you want the OS on, when you install an OS. Attach secondary drives after the install.
    Rule # 2
    New motherboard, do a new fresh install. Especially if the new board is very different from the old one. You may get it to work with old install, but looking ahead down the road, people in the know will tell you its not worth the bugs and glitches you will run into later on.
  12. jitpublisher said:
    This is exactly what happens when you install or do an upgrade to a new drive and you leave the old drive with Windows on it in the system. Since the install detects a boot drive, it will do the install, using the boot sector on the old drive. Your old PC has been booting this way all along without you even realizing it, until you separate the old drive, and the new drive, now suddenly, you dont have the boot sector anymore.
    Rule # 1
    Only have 1 drive connected, the one you want the OS on, when you install an OS. Attach secondary drives after the install.
    Rule # 2
    New motherboard, do a new fresh install. Especially if the new board is very different from the old one. You may get it to work with old install, but looking ahead down the road, people in the know will tell you its not worth the bugs and glitches you will run into later on.


    This must have been it...old hdd had an old copy of windows installed on it before installing a new copy on the SSD. You're probably right, unbeknownst to me there must have been a boot sector on the old drive if it detected the old copy of windows. Thank you!

    And to everyone recommending a fresh install - doing that now!
  13. jitpublisher said:
    This is exactly what happens when you install or do an upgrade to a new drive and you leave the old drive with Windows on it in the system. Since the install detects a boot drive, it will do the install, using the boot sector on the old drive. Your old PC has been booting this way all along without you even realizing it, until you separate the old drive, and the new drive, now suddenly, you dont have the boot sector anymore.
    Rule # 1
    Only have 1 drive connected, the one you want the OS on, when you install an OS. Attach secondary drives after the install.
    Rule # 2
    New motherboard, do a new fresh install. Especially if the new board is very different from the old one. You may get it to work with old install, but looking ahead down the road, people in the know will tell you its not worth the bugs and glitches you will run into later on.


    How the hell do you end up doing that?

    I'm not exaggerating when I say that I clean install around 5-6 times a year and have done that since XP-released. And I've never had anything like this happen. Is it user error? I have 4 mechanical drives and 3 ssds and have no idea how to even accidentally do this.
  14. RunLuke said:
    jitpublisher said:
    This is exactly what happens when you install or do an upgrade to a new drive and you leave the old drive with Windows on it in the system. Since the install detects a boot drive, it will do the install, using the boot sector on the old drive. Your old PC has been booting this way all along without you even realizing it, until you separate the old drive, and the new drive, now suddenly, you dont have the boot sector anymore.
    Rule # 1
    Only have 1 drive connected, the one you want the OS on, when you install an OS. Attach secondary drives after the install.
    Rule # 2
    New motherboard, do a new fresh install. Especially if the new board is very different from the old one. You may get it to work with old install, but looking ahead down the road, people in the know will tell you its not worth the bugs and glitches you will run into later on.


    How the hell do you end up doing that?

    I'm not exaggerating when I say that I clean install around 5-6 times a year and have done that since XP-released. And I've never had anything like this happen. Is it user error? I have 4 mechanical drives and 3 ssds and have no idea how to even accidentally do this.


    I just explained to you in some detail exactly how it happens, quite common actually.
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