New Windows 7 build - second hard drive issue

Hello, first time post here.

I just built my first system, and everything is looking good, EXCEPT for one nagging issue.

I loaded Windows 7 Professional onto a brand new Intel 120GB SSD. Excellent performance with that, and everything looks okay. I install necessary drivers/programs and some Windows updates.

However, I have a second hard drive. It's an OEM Western Digital Caviar Black (1TB, 7200 rpm, 64MB cache) acting as a second/data/media hard drive. I went through disk management to mount and format the drive (NTFS), then restarted the computer. Now my new system will load up, get to "Windows is Starting" and just freeze. I thought Windows freaked out and I tried a clean reinstall (it was fast the first time). I got to the screen to select the English language, but it got stuck on "Setup is starting." Uh-oh.

After process of elimination, I removed the WD Caviar and rebooted. Eureka! Windows boots up!

I would like to throw the WD back in my system and use it, but I know doing so will cause the "Windows is Starting" hangup issue again. I am fairly sure (when it was still attached) going into my BIOS and setting the Boot Order to Intel SSD (where Windows is installed), dvd-rom drive, then the WD Caviar. I don't think I actually disabled the WD from the boot order, because I don't recall seeing an option to do. If anyone is familiar with the BIOS on my Asus mobo, have you seen an issue similar to this with two (or more) drives. Or do you know how to disable a second drive from the Boot order?

Here are my specs:

Processor: i5 2500k
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-VPro
GPU: Galaxy GTX 570
CPU cooling: Cooler Master Hyper N520
Boot Drive: Intel 120GB SSD
Data Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black OEM (1TB, 7200 rpm, 64MB cache)
Optical drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST (OEM)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaw 16GB 1600mhz (4 DIMMS)
PSU: Seasonic X-Series 750W
Case: Corsair 400r
16 answers Last reply
More about windows build hard drive issue
  1. Did you have the second hard drive connected when you installed Windows on the first one?

    If so, did you have a valid OS on the second hard drive?

    If the answer to those two things is yes, then I think you should reinstall Windows and delete all the partitions on both disks early in the process when you are able to (like the 2nd or 3rd time it asks for your input).

    Then install Windows on the SSD.

    I suspect the answer to both questions is yes, and if so it sounds like the MBR is somehow jacked up due to the 2nd drive being installed at the same time as the first one.

    The way I said to do it really isn't that optimal. If you have another computer in the house that you could shove the second drive into and format it again there, that would be good. Then you can just reinstall windows on the SSD with no other drives attached (recommended to only have one hard drive connected during OS installs if not multi booting).

    Anyway, if my suspicions are off, let me know.
  2. Hi Raiddinn,

    I did have the second hard drive attached when I installed Windows on the SSD.
    It was however, completely brand new, no valid OS data or any other data.
    I will put the WD HDD in an enclosure and re-format. I'll let you know what happens when I put it back in my build.
  3. While you are formatting it, reinstall windows without the second drive in the PC.
  4. So I clean reinstalled Windows with just the SSD, and book the HDD in a SATA dock.
    It wouldn't format, or anything else, with Disk Management or Partition Magic. I booted up the Windows version of KillDisk to write zeroes to the drive, and it said it would take over 400 hours. Gave up on that.
    I tried the HDD/dock on two other computers, same thing.
    So no luck.
    Looks like the drive is defective, I am exchanging for a new one.
    Thanks for the help Raiddinn
  5. NP. Let me know how it turns out.
  6. you know that you have to initialize drive first.
    go to control panel administrative tools then go to computer management then go to storage disk management. Find ur disk right click on it and initialize then format
  7. Yeah, the first time it comes up in Disk Management it asks you to Initialize. I chose MBR.
  8. does it comes up in BIOS ?
  9. Yes, it does. But when I boot Windows 7, it freezes on "Windows is Starting".
  10. hm strange did u try using different sata port?
  11. Yes, all the free ones on my mobo (two were used by SSD and Optical).
  12. what about ur chipset drivers ? did you update em?
    it seems like it's a drive .. I just got Barracuda XT 2Tb and it's is still not initialized but looks like it's recognized everywhere
  13. Don't think it's the chipset drivers. Remember, I tried the HDD on two other computers. Same issues.
  14. hm yeah u r right
    well rma it
  15. Thank you for your suggestions madchemist. I appreciate it.
    RMA already set up.
  16. no problem mate
    i was debating between WD Black and Barracuda XT myself
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