I have an AMD 6400+ on a Gigabyte S-Series GA-MA770 DS3 (rev 1). I have 4GB of ram (2 x 1GB sticks of OCZ and 2 x 1GB sticks of Corsair) dual channel and an Antec 650 watt neopower. GPU is an XFX 8800GT.
I have three HDDs.
1 x 250 GB Maxtor (IDE) <-- for storage
1 x 250 GB Seagate (SATA) <-- XP SP3 x86 drive
1 x 500 GB WD (SATA) <-- Vista SP1 x64 drive
Now I encounter my problem after trying to remove my IDE drive to replace it with a larger drive. I want to give my IDE drive to my brother, but every time the IDE HDD isn't plugged in, the bootloader will not load up. If I try to put my Memorex optical drive as the master in the IDE, it still will not load up.
All I get is Disk Boot Failure Please Insert Disk (or something to that effect), but I know that no O/S was ever installed on the 250 GB hdd. I'm afraid if I insert the Windows disk to "repair" the boot loader for XP and Vista won't come up anymore even if I have the IDE HDD plugged in.
I read online that fixmbr or fixboot can redo the boot sectors, but I have no idea what commands to use. (I'm just afraid I will do something wrong and I won't be able to do anything, but reformat the drives)
I also read to have the boot order as hdd first, and I do have that. The boot priority is all HDDs and no CD/DVD drives; however, without the IDE drive plugged in, the system still checks the CD/DVD drive to boot from.
I've also tried to have just my XP drive plugged in with nothing else (no optical or other HDDs, just XP). It still gives me that stupid DISK BOOT FAILURE, and it tries to check for a CD/DVD when I don't even have one plugged in.
I heard that resetting the CMOS on my mobo could correct this problem. Is there any truth to this, if so, how can I do this?
Thanks for any or all of your help. Sorry if I forgot to mention something important. I really have no experience with these boot problem or boot sectors at all.