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  1. #1
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    Secondary Hard Drive Removal Issues

    We have a Win7 PC that has a relatively uncomplicated setup, two hard drives two opticals and a floppy. Well, the secondary hard drive, a WD 320MB(EIDE, I think) had nothing on it, so it was removed and we made it into a DVR with a kit.

    And now, the PC takes forever to boot. Once it does there are no problems with how it runs. We've looked at the BIOS, Device Manager(no yellow !'s ) and am not sure where else to look. When the PC was opened, we used air to clean it out, made sure everything was reseated. Reseated everything again after the problem was discovered. It's not a devastating problem, but just very annoying to just have the PC sit there for what seems like forever and just do nothing. It seems like it's something that should be able to be resolved with a little help.

    We thought about diagnosing with msconfig, but can't see how this is a software problem. Thank you

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Peaches,

    This seems like an older PC in that it doesn't have SATA drives. You might check the jumpers on the drive still in the computer and make sure they're set for single drive. The settings are usually shown on the top of the drive.

    Are you sure there was nothing on the 2nd drive? It may have had a MBR that was set and the system is now looking for that drive on boot. You could load a program like EasyBCD and check the available boot options and delete any that don't apply to the current setup. This would also rewrite the MBR and possibly fix any corruption.

    You might also post the Maker/Model of computer so those here can look up the specs to offer more specific advice.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  3. #3
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    I would boot into the operating system disk and navigate to repair. then choose 'start up repair'. This may resolve any problems with MBR.
    Also check your settings for 'Page file' and 'Prefetch', make sure they are set for the correct 'C' drive not the drive you removed.
    Also if you was using any form of automatic file backup programs such as 'Vice Versa' make sure it is not still looking to sync with files that were on the removed drive.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

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    My thanks to you both for your reply.

    The drive was a WD Caviar, 320 GB EIDE. I have the box it came in. The model was WD3200JBRTL. I asked if there was anything on the disk and my husband said he didn't think so....The drive was formatted when we installed Windows 7 and I didn't look before he removed it. I can't verify what was on the disk now because the satellite TV system formatted the disk in question

    Would system files that disks have on them cause the problem with the MBR? I've never had to try to repair one. I will Check the Page File and Prefetch, that I know how to do. I am not sure how to "navigate to repair, then choose "start up repair".

    The computer was a custom built that's had it's innards upgraded several times. I do know that it has an Asrock dual core VSTA motherboard and an nvidia 8600GT video card. The "C" drive is a WD EIDE but a smaller one probably about 100GB. There are two opticals a CD writer and a LiteOn DVD writer but those weren't touched. Thanks again. I'll work on your suggestions and let you know how I do.

    Diane


    PS. The jumpers have been checked and it's set as the master. And, there was no automatic backup program running.
    Last edited by PeachesP; 2012-11-08 at 12:48.

  5. #5
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    We repaired the MBR, but it made no difference. I checked the page file and it's okay. I will have to google on how to check for prefetch because I don't know what it is or what it does. It still takes a minute and half or so for the PC to bootup--annoying, but not devastating.

    We are going to get the manual out on the motherboard....and take a look at the settings/switches there. The hangup is the beginning of POST and finding the bootup drive. The Bootup process just hangs after it shows how much memory the PC has. Then the PC finds the bootup drive, it moves right along and very quickly and the rest of bootup time is negligible.

    D.

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Peaches,

    Did you change cable positions when you removed the drive? This could be the problem especially if the drives are jumpered for Cable Select. If you're using a single cable with 2 connectors a single drive should be on the connector at the end of the cable.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    I don't see where anyone has yet suggested checking your BIOS settings. If your BIOS is set for four devices (assuming all IDE, that would be master and slave devices on both IDE channels) and you remove one of them, POST will sit awhile waiting for the missing device to respond. Assuming the removed drive was the slave on the primary channel, go into your BIOS settings and change it to "NONE" or "OFF".

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    Thanks to both RG & dg1261.

    The cable positions wren't changed. As a matter of fact, when we opened the PC a second time we put in a new cable and attached the drive at the end, not in the middle.

    As to the BIOS, dg, you may be right about that. We got into the BIOS and poked around. I don't remember what the settings were, but we did clear CMOS. That still didn't solve it, but I'll get into the BIOS this am and see what we find. Thanks again.

    D.

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    The change was made in the BIOS, turning off/not installed setting for a primary slave, but the bootup time is still slow. I think I give up. The PC runs okay and perhaps its best left alone.

    Perhaps the nondestructive Windows repair installation might be tried next. Thanks again for those who responded.

    Diane

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Look through device manager again, this time ensure your drive is set up for better performance;
    Untitled.jpg
    This is the Windows 8 device manager but it is not too dissimilar.
    Untitled.jpg
    You might be able to shave 30 seconds off the boot process, (above)
    but the real key may lie in the BIOS boot order, and other advance boot settings.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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    Thanks, Clint. I will give this a try. Appreciate your taking the time for the screenshots.

    I am not sophisticated enough to monkey with advanced settings in the BIOS. Normally I take pics of the all the settings in the BIOS of each PC we bring in the house, but I can't find the ones we took of this machine.

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    In Bios there will be a setting for boot order need to make sure that either the hard drive is first or the CD drive first then Hard drive second. make sure that all other boot options are either after these or disabled.
    If in doubt you could take photo or screen shot of the boot option pages and post here. Maybe someone here may spot the error if any.

    just as a precaution make sure there is no floppy disk in the drive. or any CD, in case one has been left in by mistake. (Just a shot in the dark here).
    Last edited by curiousclive; 2012-11-17 at 05:31.
    Clive

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  13. #13
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    We have followed all suggestions and the PC stubbornly boots slowly, but otherwise is okay. The PC is set to bootup with the hard drive, cd-rom and then the floppy. We have disabled the ability of the PC to see a secondary drive which is the one we removed. There is no disk in the floppy. We dusted the innards with air, reseated everything, checked for bulging components, et c., no joy

    Resetting CMOS/changing the battery set off a host of a new set of problems including all sorts of BSOD's. It forced me to get out my Memtest disk--tons of errors in Test 5. Fortunately, I kept notes of issues we had when we first installed this motherboard in 2007. There was some compatibility issues between the Corsair memory and the ASrock mobo causing the computer to crash. Some kind soul in a hardware forum walked us through the solution, including changing the voltage and enabling a "Flexibility Option" that underclocked the processor a bit. The BIOS was reset the way it was before this all started. Now, the PC is fixed again, booting slowly, but otherwise fine. Right now, we don't have the stomach for fooling around with the Start Up menu.

    We're done with this little adventure, never thinking removing a drive would cause such a hassle. My thanks to all who replied to my post.

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