XP home second disc not recognised

By Derrick Page ·
Object of exercise: Upgrading memory and Disk space> I want the small 180 Gig SATA HDD currently fitted to be the boot up and system operating drive and the new 500 Gig SATA drive to be for programs and in-work tasks
PC = Dell Inspiration 6400. Fitted new BIOS battery. Fully formatted 180 gig HDD and reloaded WinXP to SP 3 plus updates. Loaded current drivers from Dell site, upgraded BIOS latest version, 9 to 12, All working normally. Re-lettered existing DVD to letter H. Added additional new 500 Gig HDD and restarted. No sign of new drive. Turned off Windows firewall, no change. Virus program not yet fitted.

Removed existing Drive C containing WinXP Op system. Removed BIOS battery and then refitted battery. Fitted new 500Gig drive, fully formatted it, loaded.
fresh copy of WinXP, updated up to SP3. Drive and WinXP worked perfectly.
PC turned Off, added original 180 Gig HDD, started PC. all disks show in Bios and on "My Computer".
Reinstalled 180 Gig as operating system drive, swapped MB SATA cables, and set 180 Gig HDD as boot drive, still cannot see new 500Gig drive, also not showing up in BIOS setup, Boot order or My Computer.
Removed BIOS battery and refitted. Installed 500 Gig HDD as C, boot drive. The system is now in full working order, Drive C, D now shows up in BIOS and on "My Computer" and PC is fully operational.
Problem: Cant get PC to accept 180 Gig drive for Boot up/ Operating system while using 500 Gig for programs/work.
Any suggestion would be helpful, regards acepage

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Have you tried booting with only the smaller HDD?

Rather than with both HDDs, try booting with only the smaller drive. It could be
something simple like the master boot record needing fixed. If it will not boot
with only the smaller drive, then try booting from the WinXP installation disk and
see if it will detect the drive and offer to format if needed, and make it bootable.
After that, power down and install the larger drive, bootup and check BIOS to
make sure the smaller drive is preferred boot drive, then reboot and see if it works. Try not changing the cables too. Leave the primary
cable attached to the smaller drive.

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Reponse To Answer

by gechurch In reply to Have you tried booting wi ...

My reading of the question is that the machine boots just fine off the 180GB drive when it is the only drive plugged in. That rules out the MBR. Also it sounds like he's been using the XP installation on the 180GB drive for a while so he definitely won't want to format the drive.

As below, I agree that leaving the cables as they are when both drives detect and changing the preferred HDD to boot from in the BIOS is the correct way to proceed.

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Reponse To Answer

by Derrick Page In reply to Have you tried booting wi ...

Hi, sorry for the late reply, been using Firefox which doesn

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Cabling issue by the sounds of it

by gechurch In reply to XP home second disc not r ...

Ok, so in summary:
* Both drives show up individually
* Both drives showed up together, when the 500GB was set as boot drive
* The 500GB doesn't show up when the smaller drive is plugged in as the boot drive

The problem is a physical one, since the drive isn't showing up in the BIOS (if it doesn't show there it is impossible for it to show up in My Computer). Since both drives can work together the problem must be with whatever cabling changes you make to "Reinstalled 180 Gig as operating system drive". There could be a few causes:
* Maybe you're using a different SATA cable, and it is faulty
* Maybe you're using a different power connector, and it is faulty
* Some motherboards require you to use SATA ports sequentially (ie. SATA0 first, SATA1 next etc).

More playing around could tell you what is going on. The quickest solution though would be to plug things back in so that both drives are detected. Now go into the BIOS setup program (usually by pressing Del or one of the function keys just after boot). In there you should be able to set the hard drive priority. Change it so that the 180GB drive is first. Now both drives should still be detected, but the BIOS will choose to boot into the OS installed on the 180GB drive instead of the 500GB drive.

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Reponse To Answer

by Derrick Page In reply to Cabling issue by the soun ...

Hi, sorry for the late reply, been using Firefox which doesn

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