I'm having some big time issues with my two hard drives and the way Windows sees them. I’ll be talking about 2 SATA drives that I have (please see the image), Disk 0 (D: ) and Disk 1 (C: ).

The NEW drive is Disk 0 (D: ), which I added two days ago. Currently my OS is running on it. Previously I used Disk 1 (C: ), which still has the old installation of Windows on.

The original intention I had was to install Windows on the NEW drive, then format the OLD one and use it for whatever. When the NEW drive arrived 3 days ago, I unplugged the OLD one and plugged in the NEW one, then proceeded to install Windows on the NEW drive. That didn’t work. I got the following message (or similar), “partition table invalid”. Then I connected the OLD drive, and then I was able to start installation of Windows on my NEW drive. After I finished installing Windows, I proceeded to format my OLD drive (whish still had old instalation of Windows on). That did not work, because Windows sees OLD disk as a System Volume, and my NEW disk as a Boot Volume (I do not know the difference between the two). Now when I disconnect the OLD drive (C: ), and turn on the PC, during the boot process I get the following message: NTLDR is missing.

When you look at the picture, you’ll see that under Computer Management > Disk Management I do not have the options to Format, Delete Volume or Convert to Basic Disk (I converted it to Dynamic hoping that that would change something and allow me to format the OLD drive).

I also tried changing Boot Priority in BIOS, putting the NEW drive as number 1 (please remember that Windows is now running from this NEW drive). When I do that, I again get the message that NTLDR is missing. When I change Boot Priority back to the OLD drive, even though I run Windows from a NEW drive, I am able to boot.

So the question is: how do I get this to work and format the OLD drive? Or perhaps how do I tell Windows that the NEW drive is the System Volume, so it allows me to format the OLD drive?

Thank you all a lot!!!



short answer:- "I unplugged the OLD one and plugged in the NEW one, then proceeded to install Windows on the NEW drive. That didn’t work. I got the following message (or similar), “partition table invalid”."
Windows setup will format and partition the new drive. It's a SATA, so it would be auto-detected by the SCSI, and CMOS settings don't come into it.
Except this one: did you set boot order to CD first?
... do that most simply by hitting Delete key during POST....

Boot order... it's a quirky thing... if u set it so that floppy and CD precede HD, then the BIOS will happily check and bypass those two if no bootable medium is present and finally settle on the HD. But if you have HD at the top of the order, and that HD is unbootable then BIOS is stuck. It checks for a Master boot record so that it can find which volume's boot code to use, and if it cannot find it an error message is the result.

Hello gerbil,

I got it fixed yesterday. Unplugged the drive, set boot order to CD first and installed it on the new. That forced NTLDR on the new drive (which then became System Volume) so I was able to format the old one.

Thank you a lot!

Cheers, Exp.
Yep, only one active partition per system is allowed. with a system drive [old one, c:] already in there, you were not going to get boot files on the new installation...
These simple things, eh?