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Boot from IDE instead of SATA

By Blackcurrant ·
Hi

I have a problem booting my Dell Optiplex GX270. A few months ago I bought a SATA drive, connected it, formatted it - everything was hunky dory. I also have two IDE drives, one of which is my boot drive containing WinXP Pro SP2.

Then my friend needed help with his SATA machine, so I leant him my SATA drive which he connected, formatted and he installed WindowsXP Pro on it. After he got his computer (a RAID machine), back in good working order I again connected my SATA drive (containing his WinXP) to my machine.

After enabling it in the BIOS (A06), my computer tried to boot from the SATA drive. This resulted in a blue screen (because the OS was looking for a RAID 1 configuration which obviously was not present).

The only way I can get my machine to boot now is to press F12 (the boot menu) and select 'Primary Master Drive' as the drive to boot from. If I select 'Drive C' the computer attempts to boot from the SATA drive, even though SATA 2 is listed as a seperate device. I have deleted everything from the SATA drive and have also reformatted it. I have tried changing the connection from SATA1 to SATA2 on the motherboard.

I have also tried changing the boot sequence in the BIOS but the only options available are 'BIOS enabled devices' and 'USB devices' - there is no distinction between IDE and SATA. If I allow my machine to boot without interuption now, a message is displayed saying that NTDLR is missing.

When I look at the SATA drive in Disk Management there is just one partition shown.

Does anyone know how I may force the computer to boot from the IDE (the primary master drive).

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by Jaqui In reply to Boot from IDE instead of ...

fdisk mbr
there is a bootloader in the master boot record of the sata drive, removing it with fdisk will stop this from happening.

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by Blackcurrant In reply to

Hi Jaqui, thanks for replying to my question. I tried this by booting from the WinXP installation disk. I used the Recovery Console, switched to the SATA drive, and typed fdiskmbr. The command succeeded, but when I rebooted, I was still presented with the NTDLR missing message.

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by willcomp In reply to Boot from IDE instead of ...

As best I recall, Dell Optiplex PCs do not have a configurable boot sequence in BIOS. That being the case, you are locked into boot sequence that can only be changed temporarily by pressing F12.

You can format hard disk or delete system files to make it non-bootable. To remove system files, delete these files in root directory of drive.

Boot.ini
NTLDR
Ntdetect.com

Dalton

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by Blackcurrant In reply to

Hi Willcomp, thanks for answering. Sorry to reject your answer, but I have already reformatted the drive and there are no boot files located in the root folder of the SATA drive.

I think the answer lies in the BIOS. If the system was looking for Windows boot files it would pass my SATA drive and boot from my (bootable) primary master drive (my IDE drive). The fact that I have formatted it, and that when I boot I get the NTDLR error says that the BIOS must be expecting to launch an operating system from it, and is not expecting or configured to search any other drive

When I originally installed my SATA drive it was brand new, and I used the Disk Management console to format it (single partition). My computer always booted from my IDE drive until an operating system was installed on it (by my friend).

I have had this same question on Dell's Optiplex>Hard drive forum for over 24 hours and have not ahd a single answer. You guys and girls win again!

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by willcomp In reply to Boot from IDE instead of ...

Da*n, guess I need to get my eyes calibrated. Plain missed that you had reformatted drive.

One thing that might work is to return it to its pristine state and reintall it. Most drive manufacturers have diagnostic software that will write all 1's or 0's to drive and return it to it's factory state. I know Western Digital has a version for their SATA drives and assume others do also. You will need version that boots from floppy.

Dalton

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by Blackcurrant In reply to

Thanks for answering

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by glyall In reply to Boot from IDE instead of ...

here you used the CD that came to the ATA drive
or check with the manufactor of your drive?

In disk management have you tried to reformat the ATA drive?

In Disk management you have to remove that drive then readd and format it

I think there is something on the boot sector on the ATA drive that it thinks is a primary drive
it needs to be removed and set to secondary drive

parttion magic by power quest might also help

hope this helps

good luck

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by Blackcurrant In reply to

Thanks for answering

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by Blackcurrant In reply to Boot from IDE instead of ...

Wow, you guys really are top notch.

Working from Willcomp's second answer suggesting I return it to its pristine state and gylall's answer mentioning Disk Management, I thought, 'hey, partitions'. I started Disk Management, removed the partition from the SATA drive and rebooted my computer without re-allocating it (the partition).

My computer booted from my IDE drive (fireworks, hats in the air, cheering and similar frivolities ensued). After rebooting, and several WooWoo's later, I reformatted and have rebooted since with no problems. Jaqui was also on the right track suggesting the MBR needed to be re-written.

Thanks again folks

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by Blackcurrant In reply to Boot from IDE instead of ...

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