Thanks for the reply @OldMike65. I'll definitely give your recommendations a try and let you know!
OldMike65, to remove one of the other drives and put the 2TB in its place, and see what happens.
EDIT: another thought - is the 2TB formatted GPT?
Yes it is formatted GPT. I have logged a return request for the drive and I'm going to order another Samsung SSD to replace it. Unfortunately I'll have to cut down the size but hopefully I wont have this issue which is driving me batty! @OldMike65 I tried all your suggestions and absolutely nothing unfortunately!
Strange that this is the 3rd time now that I'm returning a Seagate drive in less than 6 months!
I can't help I am afraid because I have a similar problem. I hadn't found your post when I posted a help request earlier at external hard drives impacting startup performance
Certainly bizarre because like you I have two drives that are not actually doing anything unless I access them but are working very hard on startup
I've removed the drive from my computer and copied everything over to an external drive and now my PC is flying again and everything is accessible and working from the external drive.
Hopefully the new SSD will offer a solution as it will only be a 500Gig compared to a 2TB as I have a suspicion that the capacity was causing the issue, weird but I'll keep you informed.