My HP Envy 6 originally came with a 500GB SATA II HDD plus a 32GB mSATA SSD configured as a cache drive in RAID-0 configuration.
I purchased a 240GB Crucial m4 mSATA SSD to replace the 32GB one that came with the machine. The plan is to use the larger SSD as a full Windows 7 x64 boot drive holding the OS and program files in a single large partition, and to use the 500GB HDD for data.
After some research I figured out how to "unbind" the two drives from their RAID-0 configuration, how to format and partition the SSD and align it with the ALIGN=1024 command in DISKPART. I have also managed to clean install Windows 7 to the SSD from a USB stick. So far so good.
Because HP use the Insyde H2O BIOS, which is crippled at the factory
, I have no way to access any advanced BIOS parameters. I can not switch to AHCI mode as has been recommended elsewhere in these forums...... so I am stuck with the Intel SATA RAID drivers
, although thankfully the two drives are no longer operating in RAID mode.
The HDD (DISK 0) which I intend to use purely for data is currently still holding my original OS, and is bootable. Upon startup, I now get a choice to boot either my original Windows installation from the HDD, or my new clean Windows install from the SSD (DISK 1). Both appear to work fine.
However, when I format the HDD and re-boot, the system does not see the SSD, and I get a "No Bootable Devices found" error and the system cannot boot. If I physically remove the HDD from the drive bay and re-boot, the system sees the mSATA drive and boots perfectly from it.
There is no way in BIOS to change the boot order of hard disks. It appears that the system will always look to the SATA II drive bay for a bootable disk and won't even bother checking the mSATA one if it can't find one there (unless the first bay is actually empty!).
So am I stuck with having to maintain two complete versions of Windows just to be able to have the ability of booting from SSD, or is there some kind of workaround? Maybe there is some kind of boot loader I could put on the HDD just to get it to automatically switch to booting Windows from the SSD at start-up? Or is there a simpler way which I am missing?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as my remaining hair is retreating fast