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problem, diagnosis, plan for the future to prevent this issue


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#1
bubbasparks

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I have an hp desktop with dual 320 gig hard drives. (this one)

It came installed with windows vista. I then added windows 7 to the 2nd hdd. Everything was working well until I decided to wipe the hdd with windows 7 to install windows xp.

After wiping the drive clean upon restart I received a boot error msg. I was unable to access the drive with vista. I was able to use the Hiren boot cd to look around but not being completely comfortable with trying to diagnose the problem I did not make any changes.

I tried to re-install Windows 7, however it continued to say there was a drive missing and kept sending me to an option where I could load a driver.

I decided to take it to a local shop, to investigate the problem. In an email from the repair staff I was told this:

"The reason you were having issues finding the drive to install to, is that
> your board has a somewhat older chipset that does not support bootable
> volumes on all of the SATA ports. So, a drive on port 0 or 1 will normally
> be a viable OS drive, and a drive on 2 or 3 may not be. Moving the drive
> to a different port allowed it to be a valid target to install the
> operating system on.


So after 6 days and 170.00 I finally have my computer. So here are my questions:

1) Why did this happen after deleting the os off of the 2nd hdd?
2) Is the "tech" being honest about his assessment of the problem? If so did he physically move the drives or was this accomplished via software or some other means?
3) how, in the future, can make each hdd bootable?

I enjoyed running 2 os but I'm paranoid now. The Tech also finished by saying the following:

"So to make things clear; The top
> drive (behind the HP drive bay) is Drive 0, which Vista is current
> installed on. The bottom drive is formatted as a storage drive; I do not
> know for sure if <name deleted> connected it to a valid bootable SATA port or not.
> If you want to install Windows 7 on the second drive, you may need to move
> that drive's sata cable (on the end where it connects to the motherboard)
> into a different port.
"

I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not but the above doesn't seem right. I thought I would bring this issue here to get a professional opinion. I'd love to 2 bootable hdd's so If 1 fails I can still use the other.

Thank you to those who have read this entire post.
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#2
Neil Jones

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First things first, find yourself a better repair shop because you are being given duff advice.

The easiest solution if you want a dual-boot Vista/7 solution is as follows that is fail-safe when either drive dies:

1) Pick a drive to install Vista on and totally unplug the other one. Install Vista.
2) Disconnect the Vista hard drive, connect the other hard drive, install Windows 7 on it. Forget all the crap you've been told about "valid OS Drives", that machine can and should be able to boot off any drive connected to any port.

3) Connect both hard drives up. Usually the machine will try and boot off the drive it used last time, in this case the Win 7 drive. You can then use the computer's Boot Menu option (which is typically F8 or F12) to boot off the other hard drive. You can change this behaviour in the BIOS to boot off the Vista hard drive instead if you wish. The advantage of doing it this way is that if either drive dies, the other one will still boot.

What you probably did in the first place was set up a dual-boot configuration. While nice, they become useless if you then try and change the operating system because the secondary hard drive becomes unbootable because the dual-boot information is on the drive you've just wiped.
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#3
bubbasparks

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Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I was giving up hope :)

I have 4 slots on my motherboard for the sata cable to connect to, does it matter which slot/port I plug the cable into? (3 slot are being used, 2 for hdd and 1 for DvDbrnr. I'm not sure which drive has the vista and which one does not.

Thanks for the input. I just downloaded double driver also to back up my drivers just in case. Also if I choose to put on xp instead of windows 7 would the same procedure apply?
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#4
Neil Jones

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As I say, the port you use is irrelevant. The procedure I outlined applies to all operating systems, personally I would never use a dual-boot configuration because it'll just screw things up further down the line, even more so if the second O/S needs repairing later on.
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#5
bubbasparks

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I will take your advice and just leave my system as it is. When I'm ready to install windows 7 I'll just overright Vista.

thanks again :)
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