Can You Other SATA Drives Effect Your OS on the System Drive?

  1. Posts : 436

    Can You Other SATA Drives Effect Your OS on the System Drive?

    I've got this Asus H170 board computer running win10 that I've got a long history of problems with.
    And I've got an Asus H61-MK board computer running win10 that I never get troubles with.

    A great puzzle.

    I might have found a clue. This board, this computer, yesterday and the last few days was growing increasingly sick.. no task bar, running very slow... then went into boot errors, wouldn't boot, then repair computer said it couldn't be repaired and Kyhi and macrium fix boot issues didn't work..... chkdsk reported no problems... nothing I did would fix it....

    Then I did what I should have done long ago and pulled all other SATA drives off to simplify things and just have the system drive there. (I left two USB drives there though).

    It booted. And performed fairly well. And it is still doing it. I'm using it now.

    After telling me it couldn't possibly boot because the 'system registry' was missing or corrupt and after previous error messages about the boot sector, etc..

    One of those drives I pulled also had an old win10 instance on it. From a previous situation with th is computer.

    Is this just a freaky coincidence or is it at all possible that your other SATA drives can somehow effect how your OS works?

    The only possible effect i can think of is that SATA wants to boot from the first SATA drive so perhaps if the bad Win10 install was on SATA1 and the 'good' Win10 on SATA 2 then it has to leapfrog SATA1 to get to it. And perhaps picks up some confusion on the way.

    A vague and tenuous connection but it's all I can think of.

    When I screw up the courage I'll hang the old drives off it again and see if the problem comes back.

    But does the idea have any merit that anyone knows about or conversely can it clearly and emphatically be ruled out?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 12,459
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro

    Yes, it is possible. Usually the only drive will show as Drive 0 or Drive 1 and it may depend upon which SATA port it is plugged into on the motherboard. You mention that SATA drive 2 seems to work the best so I'd remove drive 1 as a test but be aware that parts of Windows may be on both drives and it won't boot. I recently ran into a computer with 2 drives and a clean install pick both up as part of RAID/AHCI as set in the BIOS and removing one drive killed things, removing one drive and a new clean install on drive C: fixed it. Once you've reached a workable conclusion add in the other drives one at a time between reboots.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 920
    Windows 10 Pro

    I had a similar issue with SATA drives messing things up. I installed an NVME drive with the intention of booting that and having a SATA SSD for games and a SATA HDD for files etc. Clean installed Windows on the NVME, installed with no issues, but once installed the system would hang at the end of POST with the spinning Windows dots.
    Booted from a Linux cd to check what was happening and found my old Windows install on the SSD, thought that was the issue so formatted the SSD and tried booting the system again....still hanging just after POST.
    Unhooked both SATA drives, machine booted with no issues from the NVME, re connected SATA boot.
    Used a boot USB and ran Disk part, cleaned both SATA drives, Machine booted from NVME drive, in Windows used disk management to create primary partitions on both SATA drives, re-booted, everything worked.
    So it seems that if there is any partition information on either of the SATA drives pre or post Windows install the boot will fail. Having 2 raw SATA's Windows would boot and allow me to partition the SATA's and use them as normal.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 436
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for those replies, guys. Excellent information.

    It matches my experience, totally. I've long had this mystery: two machines each on Asus boards, both new, both with new win10 installs and each having a completely different history.

    One is good. The other a long history of breakdowns.

    I've just put my OS disk on SATA1 (which the system calls 'disk 0' - be nice if it were called SATA 0 wouldn't it?) and all is running fine now.

    I've got left over OS hassles. The task bar doesn't complete its lineup of icons for a full two minutes after boot but I can live with that for a while.

    So trying to make sense of it I'm surmising that on boot the system takes some information from the first drive it finds that information on. That'd be the first disk it finds a boot partition on I suppose, something like that.

    It then carries on and finds the disk that is listed as the boot disk and tries to boot from it. Adding more information which it gets from this new disk - and continuing the process.

    But the second lot of info doesn't match the first. Maybe something after the style of the first disk gave an address for some code and that code can't be found on the second disk at that address.

    Like maybe the BCD. So the computer reports there is no BCD and it can't boot.

    If you're lucky both disks have the code at the same address so it does work.

    I don't know. I'd like to know.

    But it is nice to have this much known: I'm not going mad, the SATA ports used do have an effect on the behaviour of the OS.

      My Computer

  5. Posts : 920
    Windows 10 Pro

    Don't know if you are still following this thread, but, on my system Disk 3 was my boot disk(NVME), Disk 1 was my HDD and Disk 2 was my SSD.
    That was until I replaced the default Microsoft drivers for the Intel NVME driver and the Intel AHCI SATA controller driver, now the NVME is listed as Disk 0, the SATA SSD is Disk 2 and the HDD is Disk 3.....this setup actually reflects the physical locations of the Disks according to how they are connected to the motherboard. The Disk letters are still the same just the Disk numbering has changed.
      My Computer


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