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Adding second sata HDD questions

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April 9, 2012 7:23:43 PM

Hi everyone,

I just built a new computer for my sister (with help from these forums :D  ). I want to put the sata HDD from the old computer in the new computer for additional storage but two questions arise:

1) How do I make sure the OS starts up from the new HDD with windows 7 and not the old HDD with windows vista? I'm assuming it's in the bios but it just looks my only option is "Hard Drive" and I can't specify which one.

2) Will the viruses currently on the old HDD infect my new one? I am sure the old computer had viruses but I have installed McAfee on the new computer so I'm hoping no viruses will get through. As soon as I connect the old HDD I am planning on scanning the whole drive and quarantining all viruses. Also I am confident that any viruses are a couple months old since the old computer was sitting unused for a while.

Thanks for your input in advance. It is much appreciated!
April 9, 2012 7:26:22 PM

I should also add that there is important information on the old HDD so I don't want to format it.
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a b G Storage
April 9, 2012 9:16:06 PM

re 1)
Can you tell the motherboard type? I'd like to see if the motherboard user guide tells anything about the boot order of SATA HDDs.

Apart from that: connect both drives. Start the system. If it turns out to boot the Vista, press reset button to halt the boot process, and shutdown the machine. Then exchange the sata connectors on the motherboard. Well, it's not a perfect method, what if a virus from the old system gets activated before you press te reset... hmm...

re 2)
If you can boot on your Windows 7, your antivirus should prevent viruses to load from the other HDD automatically at startup, and a full HDD scan should take care of the others.
You know... speaking about viruses, nothing can be said with certainty, it's a trust thing...
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a b G Storage
April 9, 2012 9:44:48 PM

most, though not all, bios have a boot selector which will say things like "hard drive" "CD drive" "USB" etc, and then have another area that says HDD Boot Order where you can say which HDD in particular you want to boot from first.

Another option is to plug the drive you want to boot from into SATA0 (which is the first SATA slot) as most BIOS's will try the first drive first.

If these do not work then unplug the vista drive, and go out and purchase a $15 SATA to USB adapter (with power adapter included). Boot from the Win7 drive, and then plug in the vista drive like an external USB drive. Transfer the documents you need off of it, and then format the drive. At this point it will be safe to plug back into the mobo (well, after turning the computer off first), and then using it as a documents drive.
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a b G Storage
April 9, 2012 9:46:13 PM

Oh, other BIOS will have an F key (typically F10) which can be pressed during POST which will allow you to select which drive to boot from.
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April 10, 2012 1:05:22 AM

Thanks - this is all very helpful. My motherboard is Gigabyte Z68AP-D3.

In the bios under "standard CMOS features" there is a list of IDE channels. IDE channel 0 Master is set to my new HDD, IDE channel 0 slave is set to my optical drive, and the rest are empty. should i set the second HDD to IDE Channel 1 slave once I connect it?

Thanks again!
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April 10, 2012 2:39:40 AM

yeah that's my board - and my windows 7 HDD is in SATA 0. I'm not using any IDE cables. But in the bios it does say "IDE channel 0 Master". Maybe I need to update my bios???
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April 10, 2012 3:22:59 AM

Well I connected it and windows 7 boot up. I found the boot priority in "advanced bios features" --> "Hard Disk boot priority". It was right there all along, and it automatically had the HDD in sata 0 as first priority.

thanks for the advice and for the confidence to put this thing in my computer - I had a feeling I would probably be able to catch the viruses but I wanted to check with the experts!
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April 10, 2012 3:23:57 AM

Best answer selected by DovTheGlove.
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a b G Storage
April 11, 2012 4:55:49 PM

glad I could help!
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!