Solved Cannot boot with 2nd HD plugged in. Post Windows 10 re-install

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PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Feb 12, 2019

Summary of problem: After re-installing Windows 10 on my SSD (i'll refer to this as drive 1), I have to have my 2nd HDD (i'll refer to this as drive 2) unplugged to get it to boot to windows. Note: Drive 1 is the drive I originally had windows installed. As a test step, I did configure drive 2 SATA port for hot swap mode. This does allow me to boot the computer with only drive 1 plugged in and once it boots, I plug in drive 2. Drive 2 works just fine and all data is there.

During the re-install of windows, I am pretty sure I had drive 2 unplugged, but not 100% sure.

Below is a screen shot of the Boot Manager.

Below is a screen shot of Disk Manager:

PC Details:
Drive 1 SSD: Qty1 , SanDisk 250GB Ultra II, plugged into SATA port 1
Drive 2 HDD: Qty1, Seagate Barracuda 2TB, plugged into SATA port 2
Mother Board: Asus Prime B350-Plus
OS: Windows 10 64 bit

Other Notes:

  1. Before I did this re-install, drive 1 had two partitions from the factory. I dont remember details but I had to delete both partitions to re-install windows.
  2. When I try to boot the computer with both HDs plugged in, drive 1 doesn't show up in the bios boot menu (although I have a couple of time gotten it to show up if a remove power from Motherboard) but drive 2 always shows up and takes priority in the boot menu. I cannot get it to boot from drive 1 if drive 2 is plugged in.
Please let me know if any additional details would help.


I've had this happen to me before. You need to clean format Windows 10. When you're reinstalling Windows on the SSD, you need to make sure it creates the EFI and Recovery partitions successfully. If it doesn't, delete the partitions that it made and try again.

This is what your main drive partitions should look like if Windows is installed properly. You're missing the Recovery and EFI partitions.

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