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Newbie question about HDD and booting

Last response: in Storage
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February 22, 2011 1:49:10 AM

I bought a used PC on eBay and it appeared to have another 1TB hard drive inside. Upon opening it up, lo and behold, there were actually two 1TB hard drives inside! So I thought I could remove them and sell them or something. But when I did, on rebooting, the computer was looking for a network location via DHCP and wouldn't boot up.

So I restarted (with the drives still removed) and chose "Boot options." The options were the HDD, the DVD drive, or Realtek Boot Agent. None of the three worked.

I looked at the properties for the two extra drives and the Disk Type is Dynamic. My primary drive is set to Basic.

I put the drives back in and everything is back to normal.

So, what's going on here? Is it set up as a RAID perhaps? And what do I have to do to pull one or both of these extra drives out?

HP/Compaq dx2400 MT
Win7
a b G Storage
February 22, 2011 12:44:35 PM

First, make sure that the HDDs show up in my Computer as separate disks. If not, they are probably set up in a RAID.
Second, from your post it appears there are 3 HDDs in that system, is that correct? If so, probably the RAID was set as the bootable array, while the third one was the storage/data disk.
The best way for you would be to clean-install OS on the HDD that you want to set as system disk (while only that HDD is connected) by selecting the DVD drive as the first bootable device and booting from the OS DVD. Then, you could add extra HDDs as storage and whatever you may need.
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February 22, 2011 1:27:28 PM

House,
There are indeed three disks. The two extra disks appear as one so they must be set up as a RAID.

I did a clean install of Win7 Home Premium but don't remember any steps related to these extra disks. At this point I'd hate to reinstall the OS since it takes so long to reconfigure everything. Really, all I want to do is remove these extra disks.

Any idea why it would look for a DHCP address at bootup when they're removed?

Thanks!
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a b G Storage
February 22, 2011 1:34:23 PM

The network is setup as the third booting option in BIOS, that's why it is looking for it after the first 2 options failed (DVD drive and HDD).
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February 22, 2011 1:45:14 PM

house70 said:
The network is setup as the third booting option in BIOS, that's why it is looking for it after the first 2 options failed (DVD drive and HDD).


But I never removed the primary drive with the OS on it, so not sure why it doesn't find this drive when the extra two drives are pulled out.
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a b G Storage
February 22, 2011 1:55:43 PM

Is the OS on the single drive, or on the RAID? If it is on the RAID, it will not boot from the single drive when the RAID HDDs are out. If it is on the single drive, it should boot from it; if so, I would reset the BIOS to the default values and try again.
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February 22, 2011 1:56:14 PM

If the OS was installed while RAID was setup then the OS could have parts on the other drives, if it was RAID 0.
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February 22, 2011 1:58:09 PM

house70 said:
Is the OS on the single drive, or on the RAID? If it is on the RAID, it will not boot from the single drive when the RAID HDDs are out. If it is on the single drive, it should boot from it; if so, I would reset the BIOS to the default values and try again.


The OS is on the single smaller drive, so logically it should boot up. Kept thinking back to the old days of SCSI drive termination, etc.

I'll try fiddling with the BIOS to see if that works. Thanks for the help.
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February 22, 2011 2:16:51 PM

PaulR08 said:
If the OS was installed while RAID was setup then the OS could have parts on the other drives, if it was RAID 0.

Okay, good to know! Thanks.
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a c 377 G Storage
February 22, 2011 4:42:02 PM

Erutangis said:
Okay, good to know! Thanks.


This is why I always make sure to only have one drive connected when I install windows. It forces windows to put the boot loader and operating system on the same drive.
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a b G Storage
February 23, 2011 11:08:03 AM

You could try a repair-install while only the system HDD is connected. That way, you don't have to reinstall all your programs and such.
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!