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BIOS starts with one HDD, doesn't with the other one


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#1 Rithly

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:25 AM

Hi yall.

I recently bought a brand new tower case, CPU, PSU, HDD, Graphics card, Mother Board and some RAM to basically build a new computer (The only part that's not brand new is the CD/DVD ROM) and I've got it all hooked up and ready to go but I've run into a bit of trouble.
I've got one 40 gig hard drive with Vista Home Basic 32 bit on it and one brand spankin' new blank 250 gig hard drive. I tried to boot up with the 250 gig and well...nothing really happened. The BIOS didn't start up, the screen didn't come on and neither my mouse or keyboard lit up. I figured maybe I did something wrong and took the computer back out and opened it up and fiddled with some cords to make sure I hooked it all up the right way ( I did) and couldn't figure out why nothing worked so I just did the best I could think of and took out the 250 gig and put in the 40 gig. With that one in, BIOS started up and everything was working...until Windows failed to start and it hung up at 45% of a System Recovery. So I took that out thinking what ever the problem was had been solved and put the 250 gig back in but BIOS still doesn't start up and my mosue and keyboard don't light up.

So my question is, my machine won't boot AT ALL with a blank HDD and what should I do now? I have a CD to install Vista with but my CD/DVD ROM won't open with the blank HDD in.

Sorry if this is an easy fix or I'm just doing it wrong but this is my first time building a computer and I cannot for the life of me figure what to do now. I've been googling for the last three hours with no luck. If you need me to clarify something or go into better detail just say so. I explained it as well as I could having been up all night staring at a bright screen/staring at the inside of a computer.

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#2 diepartbrandin

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:05 AM

I'm no expert but try this, put in the 40gb as a master drive then put in the 250gb as a slave. It starts to load go to bios set your cd-rom drive as the first drive to boot from. Save your settings then put in a windows vista restore cd and boot that way. this should take care of your problem. I would leave both drives in the tower, use the 40gb as the os drive and the 250 as storage. Ounce everything is working ok then reboot (switch bios back to boot from the 40gb hard drive first. Then save and let it boot up again. This may help.

It could possible be something is not seated or plugged in proberly, and this is why you are not getting proper boot of bios.

#3 Rithly

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:46 AM

I'm no expert but try this, put in the 40gb as a master drive then put in the 250gb as a slave. It starts to load go to bios set your cd-rom drive as the first drive to boot from. Save your settings then put in a windows vista restore cd and boot that way. this should take care of your problem. I would leave both drives in the tower, use the 40gb as the os drive and the 250 as storage. Ounce everything is working ok then reboot (switch bios back to boot from the 40gb hard drive first. Then save and let it boot up again. This may help.

It could possible be something is not seated or plugged in proberly, and this is why you are not getting proper boot of bios.


How would one set up a slave/master relationship with two SATA HDDs? I've been reading up on this stuff and it looks like you can only do that with PATA HDDs. Would it work if I just plugged the 40 gig into the first SATA slot and the 250 gig into the second one?

#4 diepartbrandin

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 11:50 AM

Haven't worked much with a sata drive, but its worth a try, could get further than you are now. Is there jumper pins on the drives?

#5 Rithly

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:07 PM

Ok well I set them up like I said I would and It's booting from the CD as you suggested as I type this message. Here's to hoping it works.

#6 diepartbrandin

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:15 PM

If that dosn't work, first I would suggest forgetting about it for a while and getting some descent sleep, its amazing what a few hours will do especially if you are trying to work on something that is just frustrating you. Good luck. Let me know how it goes I have a friend who uses sata drives all the time.

#7 dc3

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:30 PM

When you take a hdd with a Windows OS installed on it that you have been using on one computer and then install it as in another computer you are asking for major problems. The excerpt below is from a Intel article which describes in detail what happens. The article also mentions a reference to an article by Microsoft, it can be seen here .

"Moving a hard drive with Windows* 2000 or Windows XP* already installed to a new motherboard without reinstalling the operating system is not recommended.

If a hard drive is moved to a new computer, the registry entries and drivers for the mass storage controller hardware on the new motherboard are not installed in Windows for the new computer and you may not be able to start Windows. This is documented in Microsoft's knowledge base article. This is true even if you move the hard drive to a motherboard with the same chipset, as different hardware revisions can cause this issue as well.

Additionally, moving a hard drive to a new motherboard may not exhibit any errors until you install new IDE drivers. This is because each chipset uses a different Plug-n-Play (PNP) ID to identify it. If you move your motherboard, your registry will have multiple PNP IDs (for the old hardware as well as the new hardware). If there are multiple entries in the registry, Windows cannot determine which hardware to initialize and therefore fails with a STOP error."


This will explain why the 40GB hdd failed.

The larger hdd won't do anything until you partition it, format it, and install the operating system. You should be able to access the BIOS by tapping Delete when the computer starts up, make sure the optical drive is the first device in the boot order, place the Vista installation CD in the drive and restart the computer and the computer should boot from the installation CD.

A consideration, make two partitions on this hdd, a small one of say 25GB, and the remainder for the second partition. Install the OS on the smaller partition and use the other partition for all of you files and non Windows applications. If you ever have to reinstall the OS you can simply reformat the partition with the OS and reinstall it, with all of you files and other application on the other partition they will not be effected.

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#8 Rithly

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:55 PM

Ok well I finally got it working after rebooting several times and got Vista all setup to my liking then installed Counter Strike Source to test out how my new system handles semi-newer games. Everything went fine (except Steam refused to work and Windows wasn't finding any connections to the internet but that's fine, I can fix those problems) but then as I was about to open up the DVD/CD drive to install the motherboards drivers when the screen powered off, the Mouse went dead and Windows crashed. So I shut off/unplugged the computer and opened it up again to find both of my hard drives extremely warm. I took them both out and set them in a cool place so they could cool off and went to bed. I woke up about an hour ago and tried to get the computer to boot again but now BIOS doesn't start up with either of them. I think they fried though I'm not sure how the 250 gig could have, being as it wasn't being used, just plugged in.

The larger hdd won't do anything until you partition it, format it, and install the operating system. You should be able to access the BIOS by tapping Delete when the computer starts up, make sure the optical drive is the first device in the boot order, place the Vista installation CD in the drive and restart the computer and the computer should boot from the installation CD.

A consideration, make two partitions on this hdd, a small one of say 25GB, and the remainder for the second partition. Install the OS on the smaller partition and use the other partition for all of you files and non Windows applications. If you ever have to reinstall the OS you can simply reformat the partition with the OS and reinstall it, with all of you files and other application on the other partition they will not be effected.


How does one partition, format and install things on a hard drive when the computer doesn't boot to BIOS, power up the mouse or keyboard or update the screen if you have the Hard Drive installed? I'm starting to get desperate.

#9 diepartbrandin

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 06:49 AM

First make sure you didn't unplug something else when taking out your hdd.




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