New poster here. I might be missing something super basic, but I was wondering if anyone could help me out. I had built a new desktop computer and installed PC Linux OS on one hard drive. Worked fine. I then added a used 250gb hard drive to my desktop and installed Windows 8 via USB drive. I changed the drive order in the BIOS so that the Win8 drive would load first. All was well and good, but the old drive started making a horrendous clicking sound that drives sometimes give off right before they are going to fail. I decided to remove the Win 8 drive and go back to just PC Linux OS, until I purchase a new 2nd drive.
I took out the old clicking drive with Win8 on it and changed the boot order back in BIOS so that PC Linux OS loads first again. Lo and behold, I get taken to the Windows Recovery Environment screen, which tells me that an error has occurred and it can't find the proper files to boot (DUH, the hard drive was removed). There is a button to press for "alternate boot options", but it doesn't seem to do anything. I get stuck on this screen. Where is this Windows Recovery Environment screen coming from? I didn't install Win8 in any shape or form on the PCLinuxOS hard drive.
If you installed Windows 8 with both drives connected, the Windows 8 boot loader is managing the bootup process for both drives. Removing the drive with Windows 8 on it must have completely messed it up. I haven't used PCLinuxOS before (I have very little Linux experience overall), but perhaps you can use the PCLinuxOS install media to reinstall its boot loader instead of it utilizing the bootmgr in Windows 8? If that's not possible, you're either going to have to reinstall the OS altogether, or put the Windows 8 drive back in temporarily and figure out a solution from there.
Edit: To avoid this problem in the future, if you want to install multiple operating systems on the same tower, disconnect all of the hard drives from the system except the one you want to install the OS to. For example:
Drives A, B and C exist in the system, each one will get an OS (OS A, B, and C). Disconnect drives B and C, install OS A to drive A. Once done, disconnect drives A and C, install OS B to drive B, etc. Repeat this for however many drives and operating systems you want.
Thanks ! I think you are right. Just as an aside question, where does the bootloader reside in terms of memory? I always thought it resided on the drive and booted after BIOS set the boot order. Obviously I was wrong...