Old Windows drive kills my new one!

Hi all!

I was wondering if I could pick at the brains of the infinitely-wise TH community for a bizarre HDD issue I'm having!

Basically, I bought a new SSD and decided to do a fresh install of Windows on it. My old HDD was unplugged at the time as I only have 2 SATA power connectors on my PSU and I needed one for the DVD drive.

I installed Windows and booted without a problem. I'm in AHCI on the new drive where as my old one was running on IDE mode.

I powered my system off and plugged in my old HDD so I could access it to retrieve my old docs and files.

When I powered up, it made it past the BIOS and complained there was no bootable partition. I rebooted, selected the SSD from the boot menu and same issue. Removed the old HDD and the issue STILL persisted!

I'm guessing that the MBR from the old drive may have stuffed my new one when I plugged it in as I didn't install my SSD with the HDD plugged in at the same time...? Just a guess.

Anyone know how I can convert my old Windows drive from appearing as a bootable primary drive to a slave storage drive without formatting/erasing the data on it? I'm getting bored of repeatedly re-installing Windows :\

I have another laptop I can test on, a SATA-USB adapter and a pile of Linux liveDVD's laying around but don't know what I need to do with them :P haha.

Any help would be massively appreciated :) Thanks in advance, all!
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  1. With a decent partition tool, many of which can be had for free (EASEUS, Parted Magic), you can remove the Active marking on the old drive. However, I don't think that trying to boot from the old drive would cause the problem of trashing the new one. There have been a few cases on this forum where one drive would simply kill the others, even if it had been freshly formatted.

    If you have a spare internal hdd lying about, try putting it in with the SSD and see if you get the same problem. If not, attach the old one as a USB device, copy everything, triple-check that the copy is good. Then you can totally wipe and re-initialize the old one and see if it still does harm.

    Is the SSD in the SATA port numbered as one? This helps, in rare cases.
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