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Windows 7: Had a HDD die. Win7 will not boot with new drive.

21 Jun 2017   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Had a HDD die. Win7 will not boot with new drive.

Had a HDD die. Win7 will not boot with new drive

The PC had two drives installed. The bad data storage drive was found when Win7 would not boot. It will boot with only the one good drive [the OS partition] installed.
I installed another good drive to replace the bad one. Win7 still will not boot with that drive installed. I pulled it out and Win7 will again boot. I put the good drive into a dock on another PC. It works just fine.

How can I get the PC to accept the new drive?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2017   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

You may have an active partition on the "new" drive. Remove the active flag from that using diskpart or any 3rd party partition manager.

Good free version here
Free Partition Manager Software - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2017   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

It has a single 1 TB logical partition with an 8MB unallocated space in front of it.
I just formatted it while in the dock, then reinstalled it.

More information:

Both drives, the OS partition SSD and the failed drive, were attached by way of a 2 drive SATA III PCIe expansion card.
The failed drive was connected by a red SATA II cable. 
I switched to a black SATA III with the replacement drive.

After switching to the other connection, the SSD still boots when it's the only drive.
The problem does not seem to be the PCIe card. 

When the replacement HDD is connected, boot usually freezes at the "Starting Windows" display. 

If it doesn't freeze, the replacement drive will not show in the partition utility, or Disk Management.

The replacement drive still does not show in the BIOS.

After connecting the offending drive to a SATA II port on the mobo, the PC will boot. 
But, the drive still doesn't show in Disk Management or in the partition utility. 
Plus, it still doesn't show in the BIOS.
After all that, I switched the black SATA III cable out again to another black SATA III cable.
Problem fixed after a bit of fumbling around in the BIOS to get the SSD back as the boot drive.
Thanks SIW2.

I don't believe I went through all that because of a bad SATA cable.
I had checked those drives a few weeks ago with HDD Sentinel and found no problems.
Could the bad red cable have caused the drive to fail?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jun 2017   #4

Win7 Pro 32bit

Pournelle's Law - always check cables first because 90% of the time, the problem is the cable.

A few years back, every so often I would "lose" one of my 1TB storage drives. It would not be found in the BIOS when rebooting, and wasn't found in Device Manager. The only way to get the drive back would be to shut down the PC, unplug the cable, re-seat it, and reboot. The BIOS would then re-discover the "lost" drive.

The problem was solved when I got new cables with metal latches on them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Had a HDD die. Win7 will not boot with new drive.

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