Secondary HDD preventing boot: HDD or mobo problem?

I have a 250g SSD as my main storage with Windows, etc on it, then a secondary 1tb HDD for my users folder and misc storage. My pc started freezing immediately before the Windows login screen with some horizontal artifacts at the top of the screen. I immediately suspected GPU or PSU issues, but after hooking up a spare PSU I discovered that I only had the problem if the 1tb HDD was hooked up. Reconnecting my original PSU confirmed this; the problem only occurs if the HDD is connected. I plugged the same HDD in using USB, and got the "scan and fix" dialog, though I was able to access the files (thank God, as my wife would kill me if I'd lost the pictures I hadn't yet backed up).

Would the HDD itself prevent boot (also considering it's used for the "users" Windows folder) or am I possibly looking at a motherboard/sata port issue?

Thanks, you guys rock.
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  1. Best answer
    The drive could be faulty, that alone could cause startup problems even if it is not the boot drive. I suggest you test the drive with the drive maker's own Windows-based diagnostic software. The download links are here:
  2. Should I run the Windows scan and fix utility or just skip it in favor of the Samsung diagnostic utility? Also, should I try to salvage what I can before running either?
  3. Yes, salvage what you can before testing.

    Windows error scan does not test the actual drive, it only checks for file system errors and bad sectors. It can't tell you if the drive itself is faulty.

    To test the actual drive's health you need to use the maker's diagnostic utility.
  4. Thanks, man.
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