Boot problem when old HDD is added to new install

I've just built a new Windows 8 PC.

Before installing Win8 to my new SSD, I added my old PC's HDD but disabled it in the bios, ready for copying files across.

After installing Win 8 and checking everything's ok, I re-enabled the old HDD. Restarted, went back into the BIOS and removed the old HDD from anything to do with booting.

When restarting again, it now goes into recovery mode and refuses to launch windows.

Disable the HDD and I can get back into windows again.

I'm not too hot on UEFI and boot managers, but I'm guessing the new boot manager is trying to boot off the old HDD for some reason.

In the bios, the old HDD appears with "UEFI:" in front of the name, the new SSD doesn't have that.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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  1. Best answer
    If it's only a boot problem, one simple trick is to hold down the Escape key while BIOS is loading, then you're presented with a boot selection and you can boot off your SSD. If everything works OK, then you can set another boot order directly from the BIOS setup. Mind, some BIOSses require another key to trigger that feature, refer to your mobo's manual or google your BIOS model and version.

    But that would be a trivial solution, I bet there's more beyond it... One thing that surprises me is that the BIOS tries to bootrstrap an operating system that simply CAN'T have any UEFI partition (Windows 7 boots only off MBR disks, your old hdd must have a MBR partition table and not a GPT one). And also, if you let the Win 8 installer partition your SSD from scratch, you should have a GPT table on it, with an appropriate UEFI partition to boot off. Could you give us some more info, using e.g. Disk Management Tool on Win 8? A trick to see your old HDD under these conditions might be: activate it through BIOS, disconnect the SATA cable, boot off Win 8, hot-plug the SATA cable onto the disk. AFAIK, SATA supports hotplugging, and Windows too.
  2. 1st check msconfig boot tab to make sure you only have a reference to Win 8.
    Presumably you have a Windows installation on your old HDD and have some files you want to retain. Ideally create a new partition on the old HDD, transfer files to the new partition and delete all but the new partition to remove all traces of the old Windows. Re-size the new partition to encompass the complete drive. To achieve this you may well have to disconnect the pwr supply to the old HDD whilst you boot from the SSD, then re-connect to do the necessary..As with any partition juggling make sure you have any really important stuff backed up. (I prefer EasUs Partition Manager to do the work). (Still learning the intricacies of UEFIs, so can't suggest anything there...)
  3. Hadn't thought of the hot swap - if I can get it to pick the drive up after a restart, I can copy what I need and reformat - it's only 320G and 5 yrs old, so that's going to be a scratch drive.
  4. Best answer selected by reece_.
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