I bought a second SATA drive for my PC and it has always worked fine, but found that if i removed it that when i replaced it it would always take quite alot of restarts with unplugging and replugging of HDD in between and sometimes telling it to check for HDD in BIOS for it to finally pick up once PC had started, even though sometimes it would register upon boot but would then fail to show when i would press windows+e to check. Also i've had occasions where my PC will boot but then the monitor would go on standby and not display a signal yet the PC is still working, fans going, lights all lit etc and awhile after on both occasion beforehand my graphics cards have eventually stopped working.
I am on my third graphics card and have recently removed my second HDD to loan to a mate and have now had it back and keep failing to get my PC to pick it up, but now also having the monitor showing no signal problem at same time which doesn't help.
I have just got PC working tidy again now with second HDD unplugged and serveral restarts.
I have seen many people say to clean PC as dust can sometimes cause problems which i have given PC a thorough clean also checked that all cables are plugged in. Also seen comments saying to test different parts with other parts however i have no spare parts to do this as this is my first custom build PC.
Has anyone had any of these problems and could maybe help, i know from what my mate has told me that its never straight forward with PC's as there could be a million possibilities of whats causing something to go wrong.
Do you have AHCI turned on? That is better if you're constantly removing your hard drive, but it's only good for hot swaps. IDE mode should work fine for what you're doing.
In my 15 years experience, when a system doesn't boot because of a second hard drive, that usually means the second hard drive is bad. Do you have S.M.A.R.T turned on in the BIOS? If so, check to see what it reports when you POST.