The OS can be installed on any HDD???


Well-Known Member
I have a big problem and I would like very much if you can, to have patience to read the entire post.
I'd like to give me the solution of this problem only if you are really sure and you had such problems.
PC configuration:
OS: Windows 8.1 x64
CPU: Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200@2.5 GHz
RAM: Kingmax 4GB @ 800 MHz
GPU: Nvidia 9600 GT 1024 MB
Source: Raidmax 500 W
IDE type HDD (150 GB) (old) (8 years old): WDC WD1600JB-98GVC0 ATA Device (it says in the "Properties")
SATA 2 type HDD (500 GB) (new) (3.5 years old): WDC WD5000AAKS-00V1A0 ATA Device (it says in the "Properties")
Until now a month, my PC which had XP, 7, 8 and 8.1 over the years, had installed the OS only on the IDE type HDD. So I managed to exchange the roles of the HDDs, meaning to reinstall my OS and this time to put it on the SATA 2 type HDD. Before doing this SW operation, I opened the PC and I noticed that the IDE type HDD was set to MASTER (had no jumper connected, and the illustration on it specifies that the master module is obtained connecting no jumper on the HDD). Also this IDE type HDD is connected to the end of the IDE cable (so in the middle there is a connector that is free (unused)) and the SATA 2 type HDD is connected to the 2nd SATA port on the MB -> (SATA_1) . Physical changes inside the PC that I did were to change only the SATA cables (two in number) of the PC (one SATA 2 type HDD, and the second for the optical drive). The old SATA cables were red without clamp, and now the new ones are yellow and have clamp. Other HW modifies I haven't done.
After that I reinstalled 8.1 x64 on the new HDD (so, before that the OS was running/installed on the old HDD).
I installed all the drivers (updated ones) and also put a virtual machine with XP Professional x86.
The problem is that now the famous phenomenon appears "System freezes for 30 seconds and Highest active time at 100% for no discernable reason. And the red light that indicates the HDD activity in this period is lit without rippling and in Task Manager, at "disk " section, the process that uses most MBs from the HDD (in this time when the phenomenon is occuring) actually uses only 0.1MB or 0.5MB maximum in most extreme cases (only in those moments when the phenomenon appears and I don't give tasks to the PC), and the percentage is 100% on "Disk" section.
The idea is that in the first days after reinstalling the OS I can say that I had this problem .... or maybe i haven't noticed it .... and now when I put the virtual machine and have loaded the HDD with info. now in the present this problem is visible and very unpleasant. I also made several "Power plans" in Windows.
I deleted those Power plans made by me, I deleted the virtual machine, I uninstalled the program specific to the virtual machine (VMware) and nothing has changed.

Questions: Do you think that the problem exists because I changed the SATA cables?
Do you think the problem exists because I made this roles reversal of the HDDs?
If the answer to the question above is "yes", there is a BIOS setting(s) to solve the problem? (AHCI, IDE)
In the situation where I am now, I use the old HDD as storege, so it should be configured as SLAVE? (now it is MASTER)
Are there HDDs on which you can not put OS's? (due to it's type? (if it is "green" type...) or because of physical configuration (connected to the second SATA port) or logical (BIOS sees it as the 2nd HDD (the new one)) .

Thank you very much if you could follow me and understand what I meant. Sincerely I wait for your answers ...


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
The PATA Western Digital drives usually were set without a jumper if they were the only device on the channel, so it should be OK.

The fact something is using a lot of hard drive time, might be some type of maintenance, or some other background utility, like configuring .Net Framework. It may stop after some time, but until then you could do a couple of things.

Check the Event Viewer to see if you are getting messages around the time of the unwanted activity.

Open the Resource Monitor and look at the DISK tab. Look for whatever might be doing the most Read/Writes and put a checkmark next to that process. You may then be able to tell what the increased activity is doing.

I don't really have any experience with Virtual Machines.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
1. Your hhd configuration looks ok to me.
Btw a “green” type hdd is an environmental model i.e. has extra padding to make it run quieter in an office… nothing to do with {how many dolphins were harmed in the making of}.

2. The most important issue was the drive order at boot up… did you:
a. Leave the old ide drive in when installing windows 8 on the new drive or
b. Remove the old ide drive (recommended) until after the windows 8 install and put it back in later.
This effects the page files and having the best setup can get technical so I’ll just cover the basics;
If you have an ide drive in at the time of install and do a legacy install type (note the system will detect the ide drive and assume legacy by default) then you will at least be sending the page files to that ide drive… the result will be a frag-ed ide drive needing extra maintenance and I’m willing to bet that the ide drive is also slower than the others.

Exception; If you want windows 8 to be on a dual with the old (xp) system then I would go for b and then install the other system (on the ide) after putting the hdd back in.

3. Vmware workstation is a solid virtual platform but it does need extra resources over what hyper-v needs… I use both but they don’t get along on the same system and it depends on what you want the V-xp machine for.
c. If you just want a simple setup that can run some old xp programs without using more cpu and ram than needed then hyper-v comes free with 8.1 and is the best option ime.
d. if you want a virtual machine that can share the full graphics and sound of the host machine i.e. games then vmware is typically the better way to go… *however vmware needs an extra gig of ram to run itself efficiently and you also need enough ram to power the virtual alongside the host.

My 1st recommendation is that you invest in some more ram… at least another 8 gig would do the trick but you haven’t told us the mother-boards make and model so I also have to warn you that some of the older ide compatible ones can’t read ram over a certain amount.

* Best practice note; Vmware defaults to the hosts c drive for making page files on virtual machines and this should always be moved to a non-system drive for best performance wherever possible… the improvement this simple step gives is VERY noticeable if you run more than one virtual machine at a time.

p.s. sorry about the wall of text… I tried to keep it short.