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Install 2nd Hard Drive with WIn 8

I have an HP with Win 7.  I have an updated drive for this machine with Win 8.

Can I simply install the win 8 drive, then on startup choose which one to boot to?
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what model Hp is this?
if a bios system - just open the bios at boot, and select the boot drive

or - if you want a dual boot system, here a discussion of your options :
The answer is yes. If your system on second hdd is bootable then you can do what you want.
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Nothing but startup issues now!  First two times going to each os, machine went thru check disk but started.  Just attempted to reboot into win 7 and now it is going thru startup repair!  I think I am hosed!
Take out the second hard drive and try starting only the first.

Was the second drive the Windows 7 license upgraded to Windows 8?
Well it won't let me cancel. Yes it was a clone that was updated.
Windows is good at detecting duplicate licenses.

Are you in a position to turn the machine off?

But won it really screw up this repair?
It could do, yes. But if you cannot cancel and it is it in a loop stuck, I do not have another option.

Can you wait an hour (or even two) and see if it pulls out of its current state. A repair can take that long.
Have you checked the HDDs for the errors on them? It is strange that CHKDSK started checking and fixing there something.
At startup, for each it went thru that process and found nothing and would start normally last night..  Then this morning all went to bad when I started the machine and selected the win 7 drive and it started the startup recovery!  

Now the Win 7 will not boot, will not find any restore points  but data is accessible and the Win 8 drive will not update pending 20 nor will it install 8.1.

Not a good day!

First I assume you removed the drives and are physically only starting one at a time.

For the Windows 7 machine and only for that disk (windows 8 disk on the table), try a Windows 7 Startup Repair to see if that gets you going. Here is a Seven Forums Tutorial to assist you.
I have run the startup repair 4 times from the dvd.  Each time it tells me it repaired successfully the partition, but upon reboot it goes right back to the startup recovery process.  Yes DVD is removed.
Look down the bottom of the following article (Tom's Hardware),10036.html

for fixing the boot record to see if it might help you. Read it a couple of time and then see if you might try the bootrec commands.
Fix MBA said fix, bu no change and when I try fixboot! It says element not found
Once you boot into Windows 8 please go to Windows Disk Management (right click on My Computer - Manage - Disk Management) - take screen shot of that window and post it here.
Do you want to see the win 7 disk connect via USB?
Can you remove the drive letters from G: and H: drives and then try to boot from this drive?
Booting to win 8 is no longer an issue, without the win 7 drive attached to the main board..  At this point I need a stable PC, so I have given up on the dual hard drive scenario.

Here is what remains now:

Win 8 Dr - Cannot update, always fails after updates are installed and win 8.1 update

Win 7 Dr - When installed only, will not boot, only goes into startup recovery.  I would really like to get this drive back to working since it is more reliable than the win 8, since it can be updated.

As far as removing, I guess but do you want me to do that as the only drive in the system?  Again, no longer interested in the dual boot.
Would the trash on the H drive being corrupted cause an issue?
Not likely. At least not so far as I know. Can you delete the trash (recycle bin) to test.
Yes it gives me that option, but I have avoided.  Also removing the drive letter as suggested, that wont destroy my data partition will it?
I found this, what do you guys think:

Please try this:

1- boot the windows 7 CD

2- repair

3- click on the cmd option

4- diskpart list volume

5- make sur that c:\ is referencing the volume that contains windows directory, if it is not the case change it to c using assign letter command of disk part

6- now, you are ready to rebuild from scratch

7- go to c:\windows\system32

8- run :    bcdboot c:\windows /s c:

9- shutdown -r -t 0

Everything should be ok.
That is a similar list to the Tom's Hardware article I posted.

I cannot say it will work however, it is worth a try. Please see if you can back up critical data first.
OK Yes data is backed several times, I just don't want to loose all of the programs!

SIDE NOTE: I appreciate you guys sticking with me!
if the partitions G: and H: are on Windows 7 drives then do as I said. The drive letter must be assigned automatically by Windows startup process.
And do not touch the recycle bin. You risk to corrupt the NTFS file system with it.
The small 100MB system reserved partition does not have drive letter usually. So it is not needed there.

As for the updates - install them one by one instead of running this task in a bunch. Thus you will find out which exact update is having problems.
When I boot to the system recovery DVD for this machine, it shows the windows drive as "x", is this normal?
Also regarding the win 7, when I boot to either a win 7 disk or the recovery DVD, when I get into system recovery options, there are no operating systems listed??????
When I boot to the system recovery DVD for this machine, it shows the windows drive as "x", is this normal?
Yes, this is normal. In Boot Environment of Windows it assigns a fake drive letter which is valid only for this Recovery DVD session only.

Also regarding the win 7, when I boot to either a win 7 disk or the recovery DVD, when I get into system recovery options, there are no operating systems listed??????
Run there diskpart.exe and see if the drive contains any active partition. Maybe it simply does not see the hard drives.
So I removed an addition backup dr and I could then see the os drive under recovery.  Used disk part and made the correct partition active, fix mbr and boot and rebuild bcc.  Still no joy!
Which partition have you made active? The 100MB one? If yes then try the following. Download this free CD:
Create from it a bootable CD or USB stick. Boot from it this PC with only Windows 7 drive connected and select there Normal Mode - Boot Corrector - Find Windows Installations to correct - Correct/Update the BCD on all partitions.
When done - try to boot into Windows.
No the larger  second one with all of the data, I screwed up didn't i?
At this point, if you have all your data, you might be better, on the Windows 7 drive, to delete all partitions (which will reset everything) and reinstall Windows 7. That will give you a good stable system. Make sure the Windows 8 drive is not installed when you do this.
Yes thanks john, I am sure that that is were this is headed!  But I just wanted to give this challenge a try!

Did I make the wrong partition active?
I am not certain based on all your posts but did you try your list of instructions ending with bcdboot?  If you did, then I do not have any other options. Others might, but I am running out of ideas.
Thanks, I just did a search and it looks like I made the wrong partition active.  Will try again later when I get home.
As I said the partition which is called Microsoft System Reserved should be active. They do not need drive letters.
Sorry was not able to get back on this until last night.

Here is what I did:

1.) started win 8, inserted win & drive and under disk management removed any letter associated.  Rebooted same issue.  So I booted to system recovery DVD and tried to fix via both auto and prompmt, no luck

note that even after removing the letters assigned and rebooting, the system reverted them back to c (small partition) and d (large windows partition.

2.) so I went into diskpart and deleted the assigned letters again making the smaller one have no letter and the bigger "c".  I did fixmber, fixboot and BCDBOOT.  WHen I did the BCDBOOT I got a new error about not being able to transfer boot files.  

I went to do the paragon software and there are too many things to down load, so I gave up on that.

What I don't know is why the system keeps renaming the small to c and the larger to d?
>>   renaming the small to c   <<  post a screenshot of disk management, so we know what exactly the small one is
in most pc's there is a "small" partition, of 100-200 MB only - that has NO drive letter,
Too many things to download? Actually only one package. You do not need WinPE based CD. Standard Linux based is enoigh to get to Boot Corrector.
noxcho, I downloaded the program, installed it.  A screen came up with 4 squares on it.  I chose the top left and it wanted me to go to Microsoft and install some program.

Deleted and moved on.  Problem no
I am accepting this as the correct answer to the original question, although doing this for some reason, corrupted the win 7 drive and win 8 was a nightmare.  I reinstalled win 7 on a new drive.

@Stardotstar  - Thank you for the update and I am glad you got Windows 7 working.
>>  although doing this for some reason, corrupted the win 7 drive and win 8 was a nightmare.  <<  that does not seem a correct answer to me...
Big panic on Titanic. Not a good way to solve issues with a PC. Well, last time EE turned to be a general forum.
?? what do you mean noxcho?
Nobus, I accepted John's first answer because in reality, it initially worked and should have.  In the process somehow, the win 7 drive became corrupted (unbootable) and the conversation turned to that: repairing it and getting it to boot again.  As you and noxcho jumped in to assist, I could never get the 7 drive to boot again
so I started using the win 8 drive, which was giving me update errors.  After a while and needing to get back online, I cut my losses while I could, got another drive and re-loaded win 7.

I think that noxcho may be upset at my decision on the awarding of the initial points and my inability to resolve my bootable drive issue with his suggestions

I can gladly ask another question regarding the win 7 dr and work towards getting it bootable again?  and then award points for that issue if you guys still want to work with me on it?

Again, my points were awarded based out of fairness in my mind because of the original question asked and who answered it first.

Let me know what you guys would like to do.
Stardotstar - i have no problem with your decision - i just found it an odd way to assign it as answer -  then say "although doing this for some reason, corrupted the win 7 drive and win 8 was a nightmare"  that's all
i'm not looking for points - i have enough

main point is you're running again !
?? what do you mean noxcho?
I came to EE in early 2008 as it was unique in my eyes. Not like other tech forums where general answers like: it can be that that and this and try this this and that with lots of links to different forums and kbs. Technically professional experts were keen on giving exact answers and making proper diagnosis. Unfortunately recent times I see something different. Either experts are too lazy or foxy, or nobody needs to dig deep into the problem.

BTW, Stardotstar, see my first answer: if your system on second HdD is bootable you will be able to do it. As test showed it was not really bootable.
Noxcho, both drives, prior to installing them both in the system, were bootable drives on their own.  I don't know what happened after the first boot process after they were both installed.  Once the 2 were installed, the errors started after one and only one successful boot: win 7 would not boot and win 8 had update issues.

Nobus, that first answer from John is what everyone said to do, related to the original question and he was the first to suggest it, wasn't he?

What corrupted the win 7 on boot up, I don't know!  As far as win 8 being a nightmare, that's a personal thought and was not a result of the dual drive install.
yes - but your comment contradicts it in my eyes to be "the solution"
So if that answer is wrong, then yours along with noxcho is also wrong! and would have caused the same results, since it was the same suggestion and or recommended the same?
hey - i'm not saying mine or another is better
only that  - for the 3rd time now - "although doing this for some reason, corrupted the win 7 drive and win 8 was a nightmare"  does not seem to say it was a solution

i am thinking of the guy who reads this later -  what must he think of such a solution??
and plse - in no case - assign me points - i don't need them