Trouble installing a second drive, which is IDE

I recently bought a new PC (Intel Core2 Quad, 6GB ram, Sata with 300GB HDD) and installed a new (OEM) version of Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)
Everything was running fine until I decided I'd physically add the old 'primary' drive from my old Pentium 3 as a secondary/backup. It's only 120GB so not really large enough for "proper" backup, but I thought it would be useful for photo/music storage AND give me the added advantage of not having to copy all these files via CD, Easy Transfer or whatever.

Since the old drive is IDE and the new mobo is SATA, I bought an adaptor and plugged everything in. Things ran OK for about 2 or 3 restarts, then the crap hit the fan. I've had to disconnect the IDE drive in order to be able to boot win7. I think the copy of WinXP Pro on the old drive trashed portions of my Win7 boot record, because I no longer even see a BIOS prompt when booting the new PC, which means I have no access to any "repair tools".......that is, if there even ARE repair tools on an OEM copy of win7 (I don't think there are!)

The computer WILL boot into win7, but there's still some strange stuff going on. I need to do a repair of some sort (probably just a complete re-installation).

In the meantime, I'm wondering, if I get any new stuff safely off the computer, do a clean install of Win7 and THEN try again to add the second (IDE with adaptor) drive, is there some way to prevent (with jumpers or install procedure or whatever) the old drive from screwing up my new OS before I get in there and delete XP from it? Plus, is there a standard jumper setting for the old drive.....or are they all different, depending on brand, etc?

Thanks for any tips/tricks/suggestions.
(P.S. Drives are so cheap nowdays, I'm thinking maybe I should just forget the old one, but my conscience and to some degree my wallet tells me to make this work!)


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Hi Michael,
I presume you have a OEM disk? If so, reconnect your old drive and then pop your disk in and boot off that. You can then use the install feature to reformat the old drive as well as repairing your original installation.
Check the back of the IDE drive for Jumpers and make sure it's in the 'slave' position. There should be a diagramme there-abouts to show you the correct position.

I wish it were that simple, kemical. (Thanks for getting back, though!)

Yes, I do have my new OEM boot disk, but the computer doesn't like IT either. It won't boot from the HD or the CD.

It just sits there with everything, drive, lights, cd (if the disk is in)......but nothing 'bites'.

I've tried the power cord off, push off button for 30 seconds, remove/replace CMOS battery, re-seat RAM, F1, F2, F8, F10, F12 until I'm blue in the face (getting RED in the face now :).....but nothing seems to work. Unplugged the monitor, the printer, the mouse, the keyboard, the router cable........nada!

Just about ready to hand it over to a PC shop nearby.......once I get them to agree to get it up and running (at no extra charge) in exchange for my purchase of a new/additional/larger drive. (Aren't I nasty??)

Hey, I've put MY three days worth of work into this sucker.....time for someone else to take a run at it.

Thanks again.



Extraordinary Member
well try post without any drives enabled, check the boot settings in bios and save, reboot with devices enabled and re-enter bios and check boot drive is selected correct. IDE HD wont need to be slaved at all as all SATA's are masters and has no effect on a IDE driver, however IDE will often be forced ahead of SATA in the boot menus until manually changed.

Thanks for the suggestion, John, but when I disconnect the HD and the CD, I still get absolutely nothing.......except the "Check Cable Signal" msg floating across the screen of my Samsung monitor. (Not getting to BIOS. Yup, I removed and replaced the battery, to no avail.)

If anyone wants to try to walk me through any other steps.....I'm willing to make the long distance call to you......providing you're in North America!
(Ah, the wonders of MagicJack!)

Thanks for any help,

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Sounds like the Bios is wipped, Could been the fact that something was already wrong and Just waiting for something (a condition to be met) till it was the end of that. Take it back, Say you upgraded the OS and the motherboard just died, Get them to RMA it.

Thanks, Will,

That's definitely the way I'd go.........IF it were a new computer. But it was the product of a "private sale" I don't think I have that avenue open to me.
I may just have to 'take it on the chin' if/when the shop finds the problem.

How bad can it be? There's not much to these things once you strip away all the peripherals. I wish there were (and maybe there IS) some sort of plug-in diagnostics tool (like your car can plug into) that speaks right up and says, "Hey, you're processor is fried!"....or whatever.

I guess I'll find out when I take it to the shop tomorrow.



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Sounds like I'm a little too late but just wondered if you had access to a friends machine? If so you could at least verify what's either working or not....


Extraordinary Member
there are such hardware tools that do test components, however they tend to be pricey, usually specialist home builders and most repair centers carry them since they do those tasks daily, although I think some like PC world are feckless even with the equipment based on many stories from friends that have had shoddy diagnostics done by them before bringing them to me to fix.

I've just been trying some 'last ditch' efforts before heading off to my PC repair man.
Thought I'd try "recovering" my BIOS. Have the board model #D975XBX@ AAD53350-507.......and the current BIOS, BX97720J.86A.2674.2007.0315.1546 03/15/2007.

However, in searching for the downloadable BIOS file on Intel's support page, I see almost every Windows OS under the sun listed beside this BIOS file's description, including DOS, OS Independent, Windows 2000*, Windows Vista 32*, Windows Vista 64*, Windows XP Home Edition*, Windows XP Media Center Edition*, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition*, Windows XP Professional*

Strangely, no Windows 7.

What would the reason for that be? (Can't believe Intel would be "behind the times" in updating their page. But I also can't believe the BIOS file in a Core2 Quad-equipped board wouldn't accommodate Windows most recent operating system.

What's up with that?

My plan, by the way, was to download the appropriate BIOS file to a thumb drive then perform the described recovery process of powering down...removing the BIOS jumper on board....inserting the thumb drive in any USB port....powering up for 5 for onscreen indications of updated BIOS......power down.....replace jumper........power up. Voila!!

I'm hopin!


Extraordinary Member
in most cases vista support is enough to get it working fine on windows 7

Thanks, buddy. Yes, I saw somewhere else a minute ago that these files work OK 'regardless of OS'.

I'll give it a try and let you know what happens.

Game a bad way.

I'm afraid the BIOS recovery did nothing. Slightly worse now, if anything.

My keyboard at least used to be able to trigger a reset when I hit CTL/ALT/DEL. Not even getting that any more; nor does my NumLock light stay on like it used to.

I'm hearing no bumping and grinding from the HD at all.

Time to head for the shop where they can pull a few things out, sub a few things and find out what's dead and what isn't.

C'est la vie!

OK.......I'm back in business!

Here's what THEY did to get me running:

Unplugged EVERYTHING (I thought I had done that by removing my mouse, printer and keyboard) They pulled out the video cards, all four ram modules and the network card......AND the CMOS battery as well as disconnecting my hard drive and CD. They then powered it up and heard the single beep which apparently signifies "Your board's OK, but you need some RAM".

Then they reinstalled a single module of some other known-to-be-good RAM.
Ran a test of the power supply with a little hand-held "Power Supply Checker"
Fired up the machine and actually got BIOS to display.

Then they tried using MY ram, one stick at a time. One of them didn't allow boot and was set aside. The other three did work, singly and as a group.
One by one, the other components were reinstalled. Then the fourth RAM stick was installed again.......and total ram (for some reason) indicated that it was now working. (Peanut butter on the pinouts??? :)

When the drive was reconnected and booted, it came up quite readily and went straight back into the Easeus partitioning program that I'd been trying to run when everything died on me initially. (I explained to the tech I'd been trying to 'carve out' a partition large enough to re-install Windows without reformatting so I could save my data; I also explained that the only option I seemed to have in Easeus was to increase the size of a 100MB partition that already existed. He recoiled in horror (sorta kidding but not really) and said, "That's the SECRET 100mb Microsoft partition that nobody knows the purpose of and NOBODY should play with!!!)

However, we let the re-partitioning continue rather than shut it down.......and it appears to have worked without consequence. (My secret, 100MB Microsoft partition is now 10GB in size......although I no longer have the need to reinstall Win7!) (Wondering now whether I should put that partition back to 100MB?......or leave well enough alone.)

Tech-man also installed my IDE 120GB drive for me using the onboard IDE connector of the Intel board......and booted up again. This time, the computer tried to boot using the IDE, which he quickly aborted, went into BIOS and change the boot order so it would go to the WD primary drive first.

So, at the end of the day (aside from not yet uncovering the mystery of the 'secret MS 100MB partition'), the lesson learned is, when you read "Unseat and re-seat EVERYTHING!!!) (I had unseated the RAM, but didn't actually pull it ALL THE WAY OUT and sit it on the bench!!)

Thanks again for all your tips/tricks/suggestions and contributions, guys! I'll no doubt be talking to you again.


that 100MB partition contains the file "bootmgr" and the folder "/boot/" because these files are missing on the Windows 7 partition.

That's probably why I couldn't boot after 'expanding' it with Easeus. Do you suppose I should leave well enough alone now......or shrink it back to 100MB (it's now 10GB) in order to reclaim the space?

BTW, i forgot to mention that the tech also ran "repair" from an OEM install disk, which DID seem to do a little 'work'.


Windows Forum Admin
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It's original size would be fine. There is an actual way to avoid this small partition which is to format the HDD using third party software before installing the os. The files usually destined for the partition are placed into a hidden folder.


Extraordinary Member
to be fair 100mb of slack is nothing, hardly worth the hassle to reclaim. Glad you finally have a working PC anyhoo...


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
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to be fair 100mb of slack is nothing, hardly worth the hassle to reclaim. Glad you finally have a working PC anyhoo...
Agreed... :)


Extraordinary Member
My Boot folder and Bootmgr file are and always have been in the root folder (C:\). Dunno why. Disk has 3 usable partitions.

I do have a 3mb unallocated partition though!

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