Install two SATA drives only want to boot from one

Had a hard drive crash (I think), very little noise, will not boot, gets to Windows copyright screen and hangs up (Windows Vista, been running about two years). SO for immediate repair I install a Seagate Barracuda 500GB SATA drive. Original is Hitachi 320 GB SATA drive. Computer is a Gateway desktop, not sure of MB specs. Anyhow, new install went well, reinstalled OS and boots fine. However, I would like to reconnect the old drive and see if I can salvage any files, but when I reconnect the original drive it reverts back to not booting past the Windows copyright. I have tried changing the order of the SATA cables, the boot order, etc, but nothing has worked. Is there someway I can set it so that the original HD can be seen, but not booted? Appreciate any help
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  1. You will have to enter the BIOS (press the F1 or F2 key right after you power-on the computer) and set the HDD boot order to the new HDD there. Save and Exit the BIOS. It will automatically re-boot and if you selected the new HDD as the boot drive, it will boot into your new installation of the Vista. You should be able to see your old HDD in windows explorer and access its folders and files.
  2. I actually posted this twice by mistake.

    I thought changing the Boot order was the way to go too, but it doesn't seem to matter. Anytime the original HD is connected it hangs up while booting. The BIOS sees both drives correctly and I have confirmed the boot order is the new drive first, but it still hangs up. If I disconnect the original drive it boots just fine.

  3. Best answer
    It obviously shouldn't be doing that; I wonder if the original crash was caused by a virus. Have you tried putting the old HDD in an external enclosure or in another computer? If not, try that after updating your anti-virus software and running a full scan on the new HDD.
  4. Many thanks for the suggestions and information.

    I installed a new version of Norton 360 (was previously McAfee) then I was able to place the original HD in an external enclosure and connect using a USB cable. When I did I nearly fell in the floor, there was my entire file system as drive J. I copied the entire drive in a folder labeled backup files. Took about 1 1/2 hours to copy. Ran a scan on the entire setup C; J; drive etc. and it found nothing.

    Shut down, rebooted and everything is operating as normal. Now I need to back my photos, etc. to DVD. I had already backed my business files on a regular basis so they were no loss, but numerous pictures of my two year old that I was afraid had been loss were saved.

    Obviously a logical hard drive failure. Would it be safe to format the old drive (after all files are backed up) and continue to use it as a storage device or am I missing something?

    Thanks again
  5. You're welcome.

    It should be fine to format the old HDD and continue to use it a s storage device.
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