Windows 10: PC won't boot unless an empty HDD is connected Solved

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  1. Posts : 6
    W10 Pro x64 (16299)
       26 Feb 2018 #1

    PC won't boot unless an empty HDD is connected


    So my HDD of almost two years seem to be acting...weird lately. I checked it out with CrystalDiskInfo, and it didn't look good.



    I searched the internet on what that means, and it looks like it needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, I can't get a new one at the moment. But I do remember that I have an old HDD (320 GB) that I used to use. The one that I replaced for this new one (500 GB).

    I plugged it in, and it works! So now I have two HDDs, but I decided to reinstall Windows 10 on the old one (320 GB) because it wasn't broken. So I wiped the new one (500 GB) and put everything in the old one (320 GB).

    Now, I recently encountered a BSOD memory management error. I didn't know what it meant, but I thought the new HDD (500 GB) had something to do with it. So I disconnected it (but left it in the CPU), leaving only the old HDD (320 GB).

    I thought, well the new HDD (500 GB) was basically empty, so if I disconnected it, nothing will happen, right? But when I booted it up, I got a Reboot and select proper boot device screen. I tried everything (reattaching stuff, selecting the HDD on startup), but the only thing that worked was reconnecting the new HDD (500 GB).

    Can anyone help me out on this? Why does it still need the empty HDD when everything including Windows 10 is on another HDD?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    26 Feb 2018 #2

    Please post a screenshot of your Disk Management with both drives connected. I suspect that Windows put the boot files on the "empty" drive.

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 6
    W10 Pro x64 (16299)
    Thread Starter
       26 Feb 2018 #3



    So apparently it does show the EFI System Partition on the "empty" HDD. Is that the culprit?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    26 Feb 2018 #4

    Yes. You can try the steps at Moving / recreating EFI partition - Windows 10 Forums to put the EFI partition on your Windows drive. Or you can just disconnect the 500GB drive and do another clean install.

    Did you happen to have the 500GB drive plugged in a lower SATA port number than the 320GB (e.g. the 500GB was in SATA-0 and the 320GB was in SATA-1) when you installed Windows?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 6
    W10 Pro x64 (16299)
    Thread Starter
       26 Feb 2018 #5

    PolarNettles said: View Post
    Yes. You can try the steps at Moving / recreating EFI partition - Windows 10 Forums to put the EFI partition on your Windows drive. Or you can just disconnect the 500GB drive and do another clean install.
    Alright, thanks! I'll follow up when I've done this.

    PolarNettles said: View Post
    Did you happen to have the 500GB drive plugged in a lower SATA port number than the 320GB (e.g. the 500GB was in SATA-0 and the 320GB was in SATA-1) when you installed Windows?
    I guess. I haven't been paying attention to which SATA port they are plugged into, but I think I have the 500 GB plugged in on SATA-3 and the 320 GB on the SATA-4.

    Does Windows install the EFI Partition on the first HDD it sees by SATA port number order?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    26 Feb 2018 #6

    Walpurgis said: View Post
    Does Windows install the EFI Partition on the first HDD it sees by SATA port number order?
    I haven't found it documented anywhere but from experimentation it does seem like Windows Setup always puts the boot files on the first drive it sees regardless of where you're actually installing Windows.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 2,468
    Windows 10 Home x64 (Laptop), Windows 10 Pro x64 (Desktop)
       27 Feb 2018 #7

    Do you have active partitions on both disks? Set the partition of the disk you don't want to boot from to inactive if so and see if the system now works with the disk removed. Please backup first.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    27 Feb 2018 #8

    That disk is not in good shape at all and your Disk management shows mixed BOOT partitions probably a result of installing windows while both disks were connected.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  • Posts : 16,245
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       27 Feb 2018 #9

    1) Please re-post the image of disk management using the information in this link (widen each column status and volume)
    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of Windows 10 Tutorials
    2) Download and install the Minitool partition wizard > post an image into the thread
    MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com
    3) Run Sea tools for windows on your drive using SMART, short and long generic tests:

    How to use SeaTools for Windows
    http://www.seagate.com/support/downl...ls-win-master/
    How to use SeaTools for Windows
    http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/

    Take Screenshot in Windows 10 Windows 10 Tutorials

    4) Run the beta log collector using extract and post a zip into this thread:
    log collector v2-beta08.zip

    5) Run HD Tune:
    http://www.hdtune.com/
    Post an image in to the thread for the results of each of these tabs:
    a) Health (SMART)
    b) Benchmark
    c) Full error scan
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 6
    W10 Pro x64 (16299)
    Thread Starter
       28 Feb 2018 #10

    Steve C said: View Post
    Do you have active partitions on both disks? Set the partition of the disk you don't want to boot from to inactive if so and see if the system now works with the disk removed. Please backup first.
    Yes, they're both active. But based on what PolarNettles said with the EFI System Partition on Disk 1, I don't think it's a good idea to make it inactive.

    CountMike said: View Post
    That disk is not in good shape at all and your Disk management shows mixed BOOT partitions probably a result of installing windows while both disks were connected.
    What do you mean by mixed Boot partitions?

    zbook said: View Post
    1) Please re-post the image of disk management using the information in this link (widen each column status and volume)


    zbook said: View Post
    2) Download and install the Minitool partition wizard > post an image into the thread


    zbook said: View Post
    3) Run Sea tools for windows on your drive using SMART, short and long generic tests:
    Disk 0 - SMART - PASS; Short Generic - PASS; Long Generic - FAIL
    Disk 1 - SMART - PASS; Short Generic - PASS; Long Generic - FAIL

    zbook said: View Post
    5) Run HD Tune:
    Disk 0 Benchmark - Always giving a read error

    Disk 0 Health



    Disk 0 Error Scan



    Disk 1 Benchmark



    Disk 1 Health



    Disk 1 Error Scan

      My ComputerSystem Spec


  •  
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