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Mixing HDD's

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
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Registered: ‎28-08-2007

Mixing HDD's

I already have a 60Gig SATA drive with my OS system on and I'm trying to add a standard ATA/IDE HDD. I have formatted the new HDD in another system to make sure the OS had gone but when I plug it into my board my PC tries to boot from the blank HDD and I get the error NTLDR is missing  Angry
I've tried googling for answers and tried everything suggested including not putting a jumper on the new HDD,setting to slave,setting to CSM and made sure that it was on the secondary IDE.
On boot it shows the both the HDD's registering. I have tried going into bios setup to change the boot order but that only shows one HD0 and I'm unsure whether thats the SATA or the ATA.
A lot of boards say a format would be best which would re-do the boot.ini file and correct the order of boot up but that seems a bit extreme considering I just want to add a hard drive and there's no problems with my current system.
Any help would be greatly apprerciated.
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Mixing HDD's

It's probably mainly to do with your BIOS.
Some of them can be configured to "mix" or "separate" PATA (IDE) and SATA.
And again some can control which you boot from.
But it seems that in a mixed environment the IDE tends to boot first in most cases.
One way round it is maybe to put a very basic system with NTLDR, boot.ini etc. on the IDE drive and "point" it to the SATA drive windows directory by default?
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

In the bios is there an option for setting the hard drive boot order.
However I installed Vista on a SATA drive and then inserted an IDE hard drive and the boot sequence just hung.
As I was only testing the hard drives for capacity and content before ditching I gave up and used an old XP machine to do it.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Mixing HDD's

I've got a machine that has both IDE and SATA and I wanted to dual-boot it between Vista and XP, each on their own disk.
What a total nightmare; in the end I just take the side off and switch the cables.
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Re: Mixing HDD's

In the bios on my Asus MB there is a facility for setting drive priority independent of boot sequence. Takes a bit of finding.
When I had a problem with the bios settings and reset to default it insisted on booting from the PATA drive. I eventually found the drive priority setting.

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Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

Take the drive out put it into another pc and delete the partitions DO NOT CREATE A NEW ONE.
Put it back in the pc  as a slave if there is already a master or master on the cd controller.
Boot the cd set the pc in the bios to boot from the old drive. It should now work ok then once in windows create the partition and format from disk manger.
I have had this many times before if you get to drives were both have a partition set to active as the bios get confused seeing 2 active partitions, some bios are ok but a lot dont like it and wont boot
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎28-08-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

Quote
What a total nightmare; in the end I just take the side off and switch the cables
  Grin
Yep it seems that way at times, a lot of posts I followed seemed to end with them giving up.
Quote
In the bios on my Asus MB there is a facility for setting drive priority independent of boot sequence.

I wish I could find that setting it sounds like the holy grail of mixing drives, my Asus A78NXE-Deluxe board is oldish technology and may not have a drive priority setting please let me know if you can point me to that setting.
Quote
Take the drive out put it into another PC and delete the partitions DO NOT CREATE A NEW ONE

Excuse my ignorance I'm not that PC savvy but I get by, the disk was formatted on another PC due to it having an OS on it just using the right click format disk in explorer, are you saying that there is a difference between that and deleting the partition?
Quote
Boot the CD set the PC in the bios to boot from the old drive

Sorry you lost me at this point  Embarrassed By the CD do you mean the xp boot CD?
BTW came across another post saying don't have anything in the boot sequence as the SATA has its own boot con fig although I'm not 100% that you can leave the options blank  Huh
Thanks for the help so far,  will be trying again with your suggestions tomorrow. I think if I take the side of this case again I'll be needing a divorce lawyer not a Hard Drive.  Grin

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

Quote from: AverageWhiteBloke
I wish I could find that setting it sounds like the holy grail of mixing drives, my Asus A78NXE-Deluxe board is oldish technology and may not have a drive priority setting please let me know if you can point me to that setting.
Unfortunately the motherboard manual isn't available for download (well I couldn't find it) but this is from a simalar board of the same era from Asus. If you check the manual you should find something similar
VileReynard
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

Does it matter which drive you boot from?
Your OS can still be on any disk.
This computer has the MBR etc on a SATA disk and the OS on a SCSI disk.
It works well.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

It seems to be a problem with Vista on a native SATA  drive and adding an IDE disk - there are quite a few reports on the forums but no real solution or identified reason
Here is a typical link http://computerhelpforum.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=15817
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

If you create a partiton on a drive and format it then it sets the partition as active if you arnt careful so the bios sees to active drives and gets confused
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VileReynard
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Re: Mixing HDD's

Only if it's a primary partion and you choose to mark it as active.
For those who enjoy looking at the guts of things  Smiley http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/structActive-c.html

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎28-08-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

Thanks for all the help so far  Cool Jim I think what your saying about the boot priority although set up slightly different I can access but I'm not sure how to identify which HD is in the line up  Undecided How do I know if HDD0 is my sata drive?
BTW OS is XP to save any confusion.
Reading whats been posted and a belting link from axis that made disk things a bit clearer it seem what I need to do here is clear the partition from the new PATA drive, what is the best way of going about this?
I could I suppose put the drive back into the other system I formatted it with and delete the partition through Disk management but will there still be a chance that the Bios will default to the PATA drive again?
I notice there are a few free boot-loader/managers on the go which seem to be aimed more at booting differing OS's. Would any of these be any good at setting which HD to boot from to get me into Windows so I can use Disk manager?
Any recommendations please
Don't give up on me now were nearly there  Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

The easy way to check which is which is to disconnect the new one and note the number of the original SATA drive.
The fact that you are using XP should make it much simpler - Vista seems to be a pig in this regard
I have done what you want with an XP machine but it was with an Abit motherboard which made a SATA drive look like an IDE drive in the bios which is not how the later motherboards handle it.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Mixing HDD's

To delete the partition depends on what you have. You can
Use win98 boot disk and run fdisk and remove none dos partition
Boot from windows cd and start an install and delete the partition then reboot before you create one.
Use diskpart in windows.
Use diskmanger if you can put it in another pc.
There are plenty of free utils if you google delete partition it depends what you can use ie Dos etc
The problem is that when creating a partition most software makes it a primary partition and sets it active without telling you if its not active then the bios cant boot from it problem solved as it should go to the next device in the boot order