Adding second HD causes boot problem

My Vaio desktop runs Windows XP-SP3 from a 250GB HD. (Also running BitDefender TS 2009, in case it matters.) After a recent boot-sector problem, I added a second, 500GB WD SATA drive for auto backup with Acronis TI 2010. First time installing a HD, but eventually got it set up with separate partitions for incremental backup: weekly full disk image and daily e-mail backup.

When I rebooted after installation, got a black screen with a message something like "disk check failed; insert system disk and reboot." This PC came w/o system disk, so that wasn't an option. Tried rebooting repeatedly; same message.

Unplugged new SATA drive; reboot went fine. When I hot-reconnected the second drive, it was not recognized; "Computer Management" window showed it offline. I switched it back on from that window, but restarting gave the same problem.

Since I have to restart often for software upgrades, this is a problem. Help, please?

Thanks very much for any assistance!
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  1. Hot reconnected ? Not a good idea unless you have "hot swappable" drive bays.

    1. Shut down windows and turn off machine.

    2. Unplug new HD and let sit for 5 minutes.

    3. Turn on machine w/ only old HD connected.

    4. Resolve any problems w/ boot dive before installing new one again.
  2. Best answer
    The problem is that the computer is trying to boot from your new SATA disk in preference to your original disk. To fix this you need to enter your BIOS and change your boot order to select your original disk first.
  3. Thanks - I wondered if it might be something like that. Never messed with the BIOS before either, but there must be plenty of good directions on the Web. Will try it tomorrow when a big backup task has finished.

    Seems odd in one way, though: the new drive contains (I hope) a full image of the original HD. Shouldn't that be bootable too? Or maybe I'd have to insert the Acronis CD, or the new recovery disc it made for me, to open the backup file.

    Thanks to JN too. Could that "teach" the Vaio which is the right boot drive in a way that it will remember, or do I need to go into BIOS anyway?

    BTW, the tech who revived my computer after the original boot-sector crash had said that SATA drives are hot-swappable, or I'd never have tried. I was always taught never to plug or unplug equipment with power on.

    Much obliged for the good advice-

  4. Yup - all OK now. Took a while to find the right key to enter BIOS on startup: various sources gave different ones; it turned out to be F2. No problem setting the original drive as boot drive and the new one as secondary.

    Thanks so much for this help!

  5. Best answer selected by cteno.
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