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plugging internal hd problem

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ok simply put, my computer has one hard drive... not long ago i took a 40gig hard drive from another computer and put it in, so it had 2, for a while. Then i decided to take apart one of my externals as the shell started screwing up. SOooooooooooo i took out my 40gig hd and put this one in to replace it. It worked perfectly fine for a bit. But then i left some files on my 40 gig, so i replugged it to get it. that worked fine too.... But then when took that 40 gig out and plugged the other one back in, it won't detect my original hd. But the thing is i tested it, if i only had my original (the one with XP installed) it would load normally, and if i unplugged my original and plugged in the other one, that thing would be detected as well. However put them together and boom nothing loads, it just keeps saying the same msg over and over again "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device" so yeah.. if its too confusing.. lets see if this help

I have hard drive A
one day i got hard drive B
then i took apart my external for hard drive C

I replace B with C
worked fine

then i had to get something at B so i replaced C with B again.
worked fine

then i replaced B with C one last time, thats when the error started happening. yep..
3 ide hard drives
dont know whats wrong
thanks in advance
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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Have you thought about the jumpers that are on the hard drives? Perhaps you were lucky for a while, but both the "B" and "C" drives should have the jumpers set to slave to make sure they will be in the proper boot order. Look them up on the net for your drives. They were probably set to cable select and that can cause problems sometimes. I have just swapped out 13 drives in a XP computer to see which ones were good. all but 2 were good and i did not have any problems swapping drives, but i did set their jumpers to slave.The 2 bad drives caused the computer to either error, or not boot at all. Taking them back out returned things back to normal.

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