Windows 7 won't boot when I remove my secondary storage hardrive.

I have 3 hard drives. Widows 7 is installed in drive C. Downloads are on drive D and personal files are on drive E. I have moved all of the files on drive D and I want to format it and remove it from my PC. When I try to format it from "my computer" I get the error "Windows was unable to complete the format. When I try to format it from Disk Management I get the error "Format is not allowed on the current boot, system, pagefile, crashdump or hibernation volume". When I physically removed the drive from my PC the system would not boot and I get "Disk Boot Failure Insert System Disk"

I've also noticed that even though the drive appears completly empty, there is still 5GB used.
In Disk Management the drive status says "Healthy (System, Primary Partition)"
This drive shouldn't be used for any system files as it was only used to store downloads.
I have tried marking the partition as active or unactive but it didn't seem to help.
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about windows boot remove secondary storage hardrive
  1. You must have installed Windows with the other drive present. Windows will frequently put the boot files on the other drive, while putting most of the OS on the drive you tell it to.

    You can resolve this situation by booting up from a Windows installation disc and then getting to a command prompt and running this command:

    bcdboot c:\windows /s c:

    It will consolidate all boot files to the current "C" drive.

    Alternately, you can do this. It refers to another operating system, but it is consistent across all the newer ones:

    Alternative: bcdboot c:\windows /s c:
    1. Insert the Windows 2008 Server DVD into the drive
    2. Explore the DVD
    3. Change directory to dvd:\Boot
    4. Run Bootsect from there using the command line below
    BOOTSECT /NT60 C: ( or what ever drive letter you want to install the boot information onto)
  2. I tried bcdboot c:\windows /s c: as you said. I got the error Failure when attempting to copy boot files.

    I tried Windows Startup Repair. There was no Windows Installation to select so I just clicked next and ran the repair. It found one error.

    Root cause found:
    The partition table does not have a valid System Partition.

    The repair fixed this so I tried your advice again. but still no luck.
    I ran Startup Repair again. This time I found the operating system on D: and Startup Repair cound not detect a problem.

    I tried Alternative: bcdboot c:\windows /s c: and got the following results:

    Updated NTFS filesystem bootcode. The update may be unreliable since the volume could not be locked during the update:
    Access is dinied.

    Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.

    I still can't format the drive. I tried bcdboot c:\windows /s c: one more time but sill got the error.
  3. Best answer
    Thanks for trying to help mbreslin1954.
    I took advice from another forum. I removed all of my hard drives except for C:. When my PC booted up it said Boot Manager was missing so I used my Windows disc and Startup Repair to fix this. Then I reconnected all my drives and changed the boot order to C: as the first drive. I was still unable to format D: from Disk Management though. I rebooted, ran my Windows disc again and started Windows install. I selected Custom Install then deleted the partition on D: and reformated it. I closed Windows Install restarted my PC and removed my Windows disc. Everything seems fine now.
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