Computer won't boot upon hard drive removal

Old 03-16-05, 05:28 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Computer won't boot upon hard drive removal

I have 2 Hard drives in my computer. One of them is empty and I want to remove it to use it elsewhere, but when I remove it form the computer my bios will not detect my primary drive for a long time then windows will not load. How can I remove the second drive and get my computer to work?
Old 03-16-05, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If the drive you remove is the master, it may be that XP won't boot because the master boot record is on the drive. XP must boot from the master boot record. This is the zero track on the first hard drive in the windows system, usually the master in a master-slave configuration or the drive at the end of the IDE cable in a cable select system.

Check the jumpers on the back of the drive you remove and see how it is set up, either as master-slave or cable select. The jumper diagram is usually on the outside of the case of the hard drive.

If yours is a cable select system and the drive you remove is the one at the end of the IDE cable and you don't reconfigure the cable arrangement upon removing the drive, the system cannot treat the remaining drive as a master because it is in the slave position. If you have a cable select system, move the remaining drive to the end of the cable and see if the system will boot.
Old 03-17-05, 10:40 AM
Davejb's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 827
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Also, if your primary drive is a Western Digital, the jumper master setting as a stand alone drive and with a slave drive present are different. With a slave drive present you set the jumper to master, if no slave is present you remove all jumpers.
Old 03-17-05, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
To me, it sounds like the BIOS is not configured to auto detect the drives on bootup. Thus, it is looking for the now removed hard drive.

I would check in the BIOS to see if the settings for the removed drive are still there.

And, as mentioned, you may need to change the jumpers on the remaining drive to "single" rather than master or slave.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: