Windows won't boot with 2 hard drives installed.


I have built my own custom computer about a month and a half ago. Today, I received a 2nd hard drive, same make, different model, same size as the other one. They are both western digital.

When one hard drive is installed, my main one, boots fine.

When I have both hard drives in, the computer will crash, and when i try to boot, it won't.

PC Specs:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4GHz
8 GB DDR3 1333 RAM
500 GB Western Digital Hard Drive
Gigabyte Motherboard GA-880GA-UD3H
Radeon 6870 HD

Any thing else you need, please just ask.
15 answers Last reply
More about windows boot hard drives installed
  1. Was there an operating system on the 2nd drive, or did you buy it new?

    What happens if you only have your second drive attached, if it has no OS it won't try to boot but does it still crash your system or will it post so you can go into the bios? (If it does have an old OS it will probably post and then crash when it attempts to start the OS due to incompatible drivers).
  2. To expand on what Realbeast asked, it would also be good to know if you are running SATA, IDE/PATA, or SCSI for your HDDs
  3. Ah yes, sorry should have included some more information.

    There was no operating system on the 2nd drive, it was purchased new.

    The hard drives are being connected through sata.

    Also, I have not tried just having the 2nd drive in, never really thought about it, but I will give it a shot, and post back what happens.

    -Thanks for responses.
  4. You might also want to try using a different SATA data cable, as one may be defective.

    Also, which SATA ports are you using, the SATA or GSATA or both; and is the GSATA controller enabled?
  5. Newly added drives sometimes changes the boot device order in the BIOS. Try selecting the boot device with your OS manually. If it works just change which drive is first in the boot order of the BIOS
  6. I have tried different cables, and they all do the same thing. Also, I am using regular Sata cables.

    I tried the computer with just the 2nd drive hooked up, and i get the message BOOTMGR is missing, Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart.

    I tried fixing that issue, but idk why its there, the drive is empty, but it runs very slowly when trying to fix the drive.
  7. So it didn't crash if it asked for the BOOTMGR, which is expected as you have no OS on it. That tells me that the drive is okay, and you also changed cables so that isn't the issue.

    Try attaching the new drive to the GSATA controller, which will have to be enabled in the bios probably, and your boot drive to the SATA0 port.
  8. @Realbeast, which one exactly is the the GSATA controller.

    My motherboard, GA-880GA-UD3H, has 6 Blue sata ports, and 2 white sata ports.


    The white ports are GSATA, let me do that, and I will reply back.
  9. Yup, the two white are GSATA and usually cannot support a boot drive but may isolate the other drive from the problem you are having.
  10. I have the 2nd hard drive in GSATA, and the main hard drive, regular sata, but it still won't boot.
  11. Hmmmm.

    When both drives are connected will it even post so you can get into the bios to insure that the boot drive is correct? If not, I only have one unusual idea left:

    I have actually never heard of this issue in a situation like yours, but the only thing that comes to mind is a drive signature collision -- although I have never seen it outside of external drives? Take a look at this:

    If you can install the drive in another computer and check its ID and compare to the boot drive you would know for sure. You could also initialize and format the drive on another computer.
  12. Yes it does post to allow me to go to BIOS and make sure the boot drive is correct.

    And, let me get working on that.

    I truly thank you for all the help, and will get back to you shortly.
  13. Did you get to the bottom of this? I'm having the same problem...
  14. if you have two drives and had problem in booting windows, be sure that the proper drive is selected where windows will boot. The drive where windows is installed should be the primary drive and that in the boot order, be sure to place this drive on top. Check the jumper settings on the drive, this can be done by removing the drives and check the pins at the back, one drive should be secondary/slave while the other as the primary drive (where windows is installed). If still it owuld not work, try to removethe other drive and just install the drive with windows to see if it will boot. if it will there is just a problem with the settings of the drives as the computer cannot properly determine where windows is and which drive to boot. If it will not work, try to boot from your windows dvd and follow this solution
  15. Yup i got the same problem as well. I have 2 drives 1 ssd and the other normal and gigabyte mobo (only the ssd bootable) . I changed today to AHCI mode and they fuking fly SSD gonne from 6.8 to 7.4 at windows experience index so i don't want to roll back or reinstall the windows.

    However there is a slight problem that they don't boot (displaying a message saying that no bootable device found and to press alt+ctrl+del) . The microsoft's standard sata ahci driver is up and running at boot ( storahci.sys for windows 8 that i have, msahci.sys (i think) for windows 7 or older ) . There is also another driver the adpahci.sys which is set to manual and does not run, if any1 has a clue what this driver does.... ) .
    So the solution i found is to boot with 1 drive and hotplug the other after :)

    Do not touch any jumpers since the master/slave trash is not for Sata ( sata drives are all master ) . Typicly Sata drives don't have jumpers and if they do they usually have no function at all .

    Also i'd like to ask is it normal for bios not to detect any drives now ?
    Bios detects only IDE drives not Sata right ??!

    P.S. i just had to change the boot order after all on bios ( bios doesn't detect em but it let me change their boot order funny ;) )
    It was much more easier than i thought.
    I was trying to do that for years....
    Bless windows 8 more solid than a fuking rock....
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