Switch from ssd to hdd in HP elitebook 8560p leads to boot hang at classpnp.sys

I'm trying to run Windows 7 on my HP Elitebook 8560p laptop-- it shipped with a ~120GB ssd, but this drive proved to be faulty (separate issue) so I swapped in a ~250GB hdd from an older elitebook 8540p and performed a clean install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit with verified-as-working source files. Directly after a clean install it will boot without issue (though it does take a little longer on the Windows logo screen than usual), but after installing the driver set it hangs at the Windows logo during boot. I tried starting in safe mode and found that the hang occurs specifically after loading classpnp.sys, which is just after disk.sys. I thought since I had recently monkeyed with the disk setup that this was likely the culprit... here's what I've done so far:
1. Ran Windows auto-repair, obviously it didn't work and identified a driver failure as one of the possible causes but found no root cause.
2. I ran sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=d:\windows from a bootable Windows PE DVD (which assigns the host OS's system reserved volume c:\ and the system volume d:\ by default) and it found no integrity violations
3. I flashed the BIOS to the latest revision (f.27) and disabled all peripheral devices and ports, but this made no difference.
4. I tried a different hdd with a known-to-be-working Windows 7 installation, and hit the same problem

My next move is to perform a clean install on the most recent hdd and re-enable the various BIOS peripheral devices options to ensure I can still boot at that point. If that goes well, I'll start installing essential drivers one at a time with a reboot in between each to help identify the culprit. Has anyone seen this particular scenario before (trouble booting after making the switch from ssd to hdd)? Does anyone have any alternative/additional suggestions to what I proposed above?

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More about switch elitebook 8560p leads boot hang classpnp
  1. Boot to safe mode, go to control panel and devices, view devices by connection, remove hdd and controller, restart. Don't have IDE mode on if the drive is SATA. Turn on AHCPI in BIOS.
  2. I can't boot, even in safe mode. It hangs after disk.sys and classpnp.sys. Regardless, I found the offending driver: it is the Intel Management Engine Interface driver [sp55757 revision from the HP driver portal] and/or the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver [sp52144 r.]. My guess is one or both of those drivers (or at least the noted revisions) expect to be working with the ssd, since elitebook 8560p laptops ship with them now. It would seem that if one or both of these drivers at the noted revisions encounters a hdd it/they cause(s) the system to hang during boot. I will roll back to just before I installed these drivers in order to confirm which is/are the exact problem. I'll report back when I know more...
  3. Sounds like you got it pinned. I have Intel Rapid Storage running on my Acer HDD as an accelerator, try the Management Engine.
  4. yeah, it was the Intel Rapid Storage driver... it's odd, but for some reason after I rolled the machine back to just after the installation of Intel Management Engine and just before the installation of Rapid Storage and then installed Rapid Storage again to verify that the boot hang started again I found that while the boot sequence was oddly slow to pass through the Windows logo screen, it did eventually boot successfully (after about 5 minutes on the logo screen). On subsequent reboots this held true, a long boot sequence followed by eventual boot success. Driver Verifier did not report any problems. Just to be safe I uninstalled the Rapid Storage driver anyway, and the long boot sequence issue immediately went away. I wonder what exactly was going on here?
  5. Best answer
    Drive not compatible with the Intel Accelerator, check with intel for compatible drives.
  6. Best answer selected by crescojeff.
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