[Solved] No boot from SSD, if HDD is not connected

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[Solved] No boot from SSD, if HDD is not connected

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:44 pm

Hi TechReport!

Been a lurker for a year or so, thought this would be a good excuse to man up and join the forums. I'm a Danish med. student with a growing fondness for things with MegaHertz.

My problem starts with the fact that my secondary hard disk (primary is an SSD) is failing. At least that's what I'm lead to believe from the strange sounds it makes every second or so when accessed, during which it will not read or write.

The thing is, when I disconnect said HD from my motherboard, windose will not boot from the SSD and instead ask me to either insert a boot device and press a key or reboot and select a proper boot device.

I have tried to specifically ask to boot from the SSD in the bios via boot override, but to no avail.

My SSD has the drive letter S, whilst the HD retains the C from elden days. (My SSD was second to the party, after my HD, so to speak)

Hope any of you have a wild suggestion as to what to do, because I'm clueless and my google-fu is failing me.
Thank you for your time
Last edited by Aistic on Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:00 pm

When loading an operating system, there are two key components:

- The bootloader.
- The operating system proper.

Given that very often you don't want or expect the operating system to be on the same partition as the operating system, that means you can place it whenever. Trouble is, Windows often tries to be a smartass, like in your case. You seem to have the bootloader on your HDD, and the operating system on the SSD, which means that whenever you don't have your hard drive, you can't load the operating system. Funny eh? All you need to do now is to remove the HDD from the boot process, and that means installing a new boot loader on the SSD.

The easiest ways tend to be, in descending order, always with the HDD disconnected:

- Boot from the Windows CD and use the startup repair wizard. If that doesn't work...
- Pull up the recovery console and use the tips provided here (Tom's, I know...), especially the fixboot and rebuildbcd disk.

Just for paranoia, have a backup of the stuff in your SSD. There shouldn't be any issues with these operations but you never know.
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:01 pm

Well, you have a mess.

Sounds like your boot loader is on the HDD. This is repairable!

Windows should not be on anything other than C:. This will likely cause many problems in the future!

Instructions from MS about reinstalling the boot loader. You'll want to follow these steps with the old HDD NOT CONNECTED.

http://superuser.com/questions/234824/h ... oot-loader
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:06 pm

Excellent advise, I will give these a spin.
Thank you again!
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:10 pm

The operation faced complications, but the patient survived... :)

Also my HDD seems to have stopped acting up alltogether.

It's all win.
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:30 pm

Aistic wrote:The operation faced complications, but the patient survived... :)

Also my HDD seems to have stopped acting up alltogether.

It's all win.

Good to hear.

Though... do not trust that HDD with any important data.
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:21 am

Yeah, I thought as much... I've moved the important stuff to the ssd; I'm just glad I don't have to buy a HDD considering their current pricing.
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:37 am

I'd probably have taken that as a cue to do a full re-install with only the SSD connected so its properly set as the primary boot partition and the C: drive.
Having windows on a drive other than C: isn't good for some programs.
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:59 am

jihadjoe wrote:I'd probably have taken that as a cue to do a full re-install with only the SSD connected so its properly set as the primary boot partition and the C: drive.
Having windows on a drive other than C: isn't good for some programs.

This is a good tip, if and when you have the time to do so.

I once had Windows installed in D:\. It was bad. Windows and most programs were fine because they did things The Right Way. But too many poorly-coded applications think that the operating system is in C:\.
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:14 am

On the other hand, from the time of win2k's betas up through the release of Vista, I often had one or more OSes thinking they were installed to D: and while some poorly coded apps broke, so did much malware.
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Re: Windows will not boot from SSD, if HD is not connected

Postposted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:15 pm

I'll remember your advise on the re-install treatment. I don't believe I've had problems in relation to having the OS on S: yet, but if something inexplicable turns up, I'll probably try the re-install. Which usually cures most software problems anyway :wink:

My HDD is still spinning, btw. I believe a "yay, so far" is in order.
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