SATA won't boot after removing IDE drive

Posted on 2006-05-12
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I like many others have the problem of SATA drive in RAID array not booting after removing original IDE drive. I used the Western Digital Lifeguard tool to transfer system over to new SATA HD. Initially I could not even get the single SATA HD to ever boot until I installed second drive and created RAID 0 array. System would boot fine and in fact very fast XP Home Edition load up time compared to IDE time for loading. Now that I want to eradicate the IDE drive I can't. I read somewhere that the original MBR is retained on the IDE boot partition and doesn't transfer when transferring system over to SATA array or single SATA drive. Will the program Partition Magic solve this or is XP repair in order? I hate doing XP repair because of the lengthy reinsallation of several register sensitive flight sim software not to mention my limited reregistering of Norton. Believe it or not , this is the 3rd motherboard I have transferred  this WinXP(SP2) to. I was able to do this without having to do XP repair. Uninstalled all chipset drivers and graphics drivers when switching from ATI to Nvidia. System booted up with only a few Microsoft FS9 addon software programs requiring reinstall. I think some of that was do to going from Nforce2 to Nforce4 chipset. Surprised the heck out of me! Thats why when I got this problem with the SATA drives not booting after removing the IDE drives-in fact 2 IDE drives-it drives me crazy. I can live with the extra WD 80 PATA drive but would be nice to free up space. MOBO is ASUS A8N32-SLI with AMD 64 4000+ OC'ed to 2.6GZ. All BIOS settings in order with Mirror array set as primary boot, but hangs up in absence of any of my 2 IDE HD's not being part of system.
Question by:tim737murphy
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    Remove the IDE disk and then boot from the XP CD into the recovery console and then use the FIXBOOT and FIXMBR commands to set up the MBR and boot files.

    Author Comment

    when I get into recovery console will the FIXBOOT and FIXMBR be immediate options or are they part of repair option. Can I back out of recovery console and return to previous condition with my IDE drive back in place. I always worry about getting into screwed up unbootable situations.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    Here's one of the Microsoft articles on the Recovery Console

    The fixboot and fixmbr are commands used after starting the Recovery Console.  Other commands are listed too.

    >> I read somewhere that the original MBR is retained on the IDE boot partition and doesn't transfer when transferring system over to SATA array or single SATA drive.

    That depends upon the program used in copying the drive.  But since you used the Recovery Console fixmbr command, it is rewritten for you.

    Glad to hear you got it working!

    Author Comment

    I haven't done the recovery console yet, I wanted to know what order to do Boot fix and MBR fix. Also I can boot from my SATA drives with the IDE drive in place so would I only need to do MBR fix or both BOOT and MBR fix after removing the IDE drive?
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    I would run fixmbr first, then fixboot.

    The idea is to be able to boot from your SATA drive independently from (and not needing) the IDE drive.  That's why it is important to remove the IDE (or at least remove power connection and IDE cable) after shutting down and before using the Recovery Console from the startup CD.  After everything is working fine with just the SATA drive, you can re-add the IDE one as a secondardy disk drive.

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