I can't boot after removing my third hard drive?

I have three storage devices in my computer (C, D, E), and all three have windows installed. I boot from my SSD (C), but cannot boot after removing my third hard drive (E). When I take it out of my system, I get a screen saying to put in the proper boot device. I tried only having the SSD in, then my second HDD (D), but neither of them could work without this third HDD.

This third hard drive did come from my other computer, and I used it before I got my new storage devices. Now that I don't use it anymore, I want to put it back into my old system.

If I need to give any more information, please let me know what I can do to solve this, or help find a solution.

7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about boot removing hard drive
  1. You should only have one drive with Windows on it.

    What drive is first in the boot priority in bios? Make sure its your SSD.
  2. Sounds like your bios may be bootinig into the wrong drive? try seeing what item is being booted into your bios by starting up the computer and either pressing delete or F11 or something like that to go into the bios and change the boot drive to the SSD. Your windows startup is obviously on the C: drive :D
  3. Best answer
    your problem is you installed windows on each with the others plugged in. when windows installs it uses the current mbr from an existing drive if it's available. what you need to do is:

    for each drive. leave just that one plugged, boot into windows recovery from a flash drive/dvd an run the command: BootRec.exe /fixmbr (from cmd repair) something like this
    until you get that particular hdd working.

    when you've got it running, unplug do the next one and so on.

    edit: backup first!
  4. The priority is set to the SSD. Boot configuration is Crucial being first, Sandisk being seoncd, then Hitachi being the third, the Hatachi drive is what I want to remove.
  5. What laviniuc said.
  6. Remove Windows from the other drives.
  7. Agrias said:
    The priority is set to the SSD. Boot configuration is Crucial being first, Sandisk being seoncd, then Hitachi being the third, the Hatachi drive is what I want to remove.

    What laviniuc said is correct.

    The problem began with Windows Vista. With XP and older versions, you could only install Windows on the primary (boot) drive. Starting with Vista, Microsoft let you install Windows on secondary drives. The way they did this was to install a small bootstrap on the primary drive - you may have seen this as a small 100 MB partition on your Windows drive. This bootstrap contained info on which drive and partition Windows resided on, and directed the computer to continue booting from that location.

    What's happened in your case is that this bootstrap is on your Hitachi drive. When you remove it, your computer has no idea how to find your Windows installation, and can't boot. The boot priority in your BIOS isn't working because your Crucial and Sandisk drives contain no boot info. The computer is trying the Crucial drive, sees it's not bootable so tries the Sandisk drive, sees it's not bootable and tries the Hitachi drive. It then sees the bootstrap there and reads it, which instructs it to boot off a specific partition on your C: drive. Remove the Hitachi drive and the computer can't find any bootable drives.

    The way to avoid this problem is to remove all drives except the one you want to boot off of when you're installing Windows. For good measure, other drives should have this 100MB partition deleted and have the boot flag removed. You should only mess with this multi-disk boot stuff if you deliberately want to boot off of multiple OSes on multiple drives. As for fixing your current setup, follow laviniuc's instructions.
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