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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Windows 10 Boot Drive

    I had a major problem with Windows 10 and MS Office. Even with Microsoft support it became clear that a clean install and starting over was warranted. The reinstall of the system went just fine with an unexpected result.
    The system has two drives. Drive C was a 480GB SSD drive. A second drive labeled "Multimedia" was a 500GB mechanical disk drive which stored my video and pictures files.
    I found File Explorer did not list the Multimedia drive. I checked Disk Management and the disk was listed. Thinking system was confused I pulled the Multimedia drive and now the system would not boot, it was missing the boot drive.
    Putting the drive back in it booted just fine.
    Checking disk management, this is was it showed:
    Disk 0 C: Basic 447.13 GB (76% free) Healthy (boot, page file, crash dump, Primary partition)
    Disk 1 Basic 465.76 GB (25% free) Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)

    Note: disk 1 has no drive letter.
    Can the boot be changed from disk 1 to disk 0? If so, what are the steps?
    Or, is it better to reinstall the whole system, this time remove disk one until install is complete?
    Although, then can this drive return to previous state to see the data files?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Note: disk 1 has no drive letter.
    If Disk Management does not show an assigned drive letter for the drive then File Explorer won't know about it. I'd try to assign a drive letter.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    If you have a DVD drive built in and a printer plugged in permanently, check the drive letters. They may be listed as D and E, in which case, you should change E to F in Disk Manager. Next change D to E. Do this as separate operations, rebooting each time, That leaves D to be allocated to your missing drive. If D is free, however, just allocate it to the drive. Do this by right clicking on the drive in Disk Manager and selecting Change Drive Letter and paths. You will then see D in Explorer.
    If you still want to swap 0 and 1, try exchanging the connectors on the back of the drives. It sounds like you have them reversed.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    The initial problem seems to be that it's the data drive that has the Active flag - it has to be connected to point the BIOS handover back to the System drive and the Windows bootloader, BIOS > Active (Drive 1) > Boot (Drive 0)> System. Ideally, this should be BIOS > Active (Disk 0) > Boot > System). Note that from within Windows, Disk 0 is always the Windows (System) drive.

    If it were W7 and BIOS, I'd boot from a Repair disk/USB without the data drive attached and run fixMBR/fixBoot, W10 (and you might be using UEFI/GPT rather than BIOS), I'm not sure about as I've not had to deal with that yet.

    It might be easier for you to go the clean install with only the Windows drive attached and reconnect the Data drive once Windows is reinstalled.

  5. #5
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    On a reboot after the Data drive has been reconnected, could that not confuse Windows as to which drive to boot from ?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Providing the BIOS points to the System/Windows drive, the data drive would become a passive part of the boot process (unless there's a page file). It's okay to have multiple Active drives, they'll be ignored during Boot, providing the BIOS is set correctly to point to the real boot drive.

    Ideally, the Windows drive should be on the first SATA connector (Drive 0) on the 'board, Device Manager (not Disk Management) should give the correct # as seen by the BIOS. Mine's booting from the 2nd SATA connection currently:

    DeviceDriveManagenent.jpg

  7. #7
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    It's just that I've come across where a machine wouldn't boot with an external drive plugged in until the BIOS was set to Legacy, but with this one also having a boot sector, thought that may have confused things even more - but that was a while ago.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    This is what my Disk Management shows:
    Disk Mgt.JPG

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    To add: Drive C: where Windows was installed on is connected to the first SATA port on the Asus motherboard and the Multimedia drive is connected to the second port on the motherboard.
    My concern is if I changed the drive letter will that cause the system to no longer use it as a boot drive and fail to boot?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    You have the data drive with both Active and System flags, we need to see the view from Device Manager (see my earlier post) to get a better idea of what's happened there.

    Was there originally a Windows version installed on the data drive?

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info. Here are the Device Mgr drive info. The Sandisk drive the 480GB drive that Windows 10 is installed on. The Seagate drive is the multimedia drive. The Seagate drive has never had Windows OS installed on it.DMgr sandisk.JPGDMgr seagate.JPG

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