replacing optical drive with HDD - Desktop

  1. xyz
    Posts : 107
    Windows 10

    replacing optical drive with HDD - Desktop

    W10 Version 2004 (OS Build 19041. 329) - Desktop Computer


    My motherboard only has 3x drive connection points:

    Last year I Installed 500 GB SSD as Boot Drive = 1 connection point

    Already installed Internal HDD (still in use) = 2 connection point

    Optical Drive = 3 connection point

    = all connection points in use

    The old (former) 1TB HDD Boot Drive I left inside the computer but not connected (this connection point is now used by SSD). I intended to use this later as an additional storage drive by using the Optical Drive connection point.


    Today I finally got around to connecting this old 1TB HDD Boot Drive using the optical drive connection point.

    However, this did not work out.

    I got a conflict notice = told I now had two boot drives connected.

    Although the old drive still has everything on it just like it was when it served as Boot C Drive = I am assuming the conflict is probably not this reason = but because the Optical Drive (the connection I am using) is marked in BIOS as (secondary) Start Up Drive (for emergency or something) = and I am now using that (optical drive) connection point.

    As I said, I am assuming this is the issue = but do not know for sure.

    I have reconnected the Optical Drive (and disconnected the old 1TB HDD)


    Is my assumption correct?

    What (and how) changes do I have to make in BIOS if this is correct (change to what?)

    Do I need the Optical Drive for emergency (or is it okay to use this connection point)?

    I am assuming I can use a USB stick drive as emergency start in place of Optical Drive (if this is the issue)?

    I am also assuming that the old Windows 10 Installation on former HDD drive will not cause any issues = I can just wipe/Format drive once connected?


    (PS. The HDD drive connection 2 - still in use - is some kind of Hot Swap HDD, although I have never used it to exchange the HDD as I don't feel at ease doing this, and I use this HDD constantly)
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 18,132
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1766 (x64) [21H2]

    If there's nothing on the old 1TB drive that you need, just delete the partition(s) on that drive, and after creating a new partition and formatting it, it will be usable for storage.
    I don't know if this is the easiest way, but I use Partition Wizard bootable USB stick for tasks like this (working on HDD partitions, outside of Windows)

    How To Create Partition Wizard Bootable USB

    Only issue with these directions is getting the ISO file to make the bootable USB stick. Fortunately, I have a copy of that self same ISO file. It's clean.

    Here is the Dropbox link for the Partition Wizard ISO file...
    Dropbox - pwhe8.1.iso.7z - Simplify your life

    1. Download the ISO file from the Dropbox link, then just follow the directions at the top link.
    2. Once the bootable Partition Wizard USB stick is made...just plug it in to a USB port, and reboot the computer.
    3. Either in the BIOS or on the boot menu (probably F12), choose the USB stick as first boot device and run Partition Wizard.
    4. Then just use Partition Wizard to delete all the partition(s) on the OLD 1TB hard drive.
    5. Then just create a new partition(s), and that's it... you're good to go.

    On a side note... having a bootable CD or USB stick with partition Wizard on one of the most helpful things, I've ever found and used.

    /edit Now IF you want to save some of the stuff on the old 1TB HDD, this won't work. But someone else on here will know how to accomplish that.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 12,461
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro

    I see and have used 2 options, one is based in using SATA drives, mount the 3.5" HDD in the case and use the power and data cables from the ODD and reset the BIOS to recognize. The other is to leave the computer as is and get a case for the extra HDD that uses a USB port and can be portable, usually has its own power supply.
    An example:
    If the ODD is necessary but seldom used can get an external USB-connected drive.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 5,828
    Win 11 Pro (x64) 21H2

    Some will turn this into rocket science but all you need to do is make sure you are on the correct boot drive in the BIOS. The BIOS will usually list the drive’s name so you can know what drive you’re using.

    Once that is established. Go to Disk Management and delete the other drive via delete or format. Assuming you are going to reformat the drive anyway, just choose. Done. Simple.

    Oh, and only you know if you need an optical drive or not so you need to make that decision.

    Good luck.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 27,650
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    If you are booting legacy could be all you have to do is remove the "Active" from the System reserved partition.

    Could you capture a copy of your Disk Management.

    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of

    There is no windows system requirement to have an Optical, so it is a personal choice. I unplugged mine but kept unit installed in the outside chance I wanted to use a disc or make a disc.

    You can also purchase and expansion card for a reasonable amount of money and that will provide you with additional Sata ports. That is what I did.

    VANTEC 4 Channel 6-Port SATA 6Gb/s PCIe RAID Host Card Model UGT-ST644R -

    as an example.
      My Computer


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