Issue adding second SATA hard drive to Inspiron 660/Win 8 Pro

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Issue adding second SATA hard drive to Inspiron 660/Win 8 Pro

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I just purchased a Dell Inspiron 660 with Windows 8 Pro.

I added a second hard drive to the machine. This drive contains all my data (files, music, pictures, etc.)

The boot drive is plugged into sata 0.

The dvd was plugged into sata 1.

I plugged the second hdd into sata 2.

It would not recognize the 2nd hdd.

So I switched the dvd and 2nd hdd.  The dvd now in the sata 2 slot and the 2nd hdd in sata 1.

The PC found the 2nd hdd, but did not pick up the dvd.  Oddly, it showed an E drive as System Reserve (it must have picked up one of the system partitions that I noticed windows uses).

I rebooted a few times, then noticed that I would sometimes lose the 2nd hdd on sata 1.

Is this simply a cabling issue?  I thinking it maybe HOWEVER does not explain why NOTHING is picked up in the sata 2 slot.

In terms of other partitions: the OS is on C and I have a Programs partition labeled G.  when it picks up the 2nd hdd, I have an H,I and J partition on it.  And like I said, it shows that System Reserve partition as E.

Any thoughts?

Need more info?

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  • Ok, let me tell you the results of my saga with this issue.  I DID get my machine to recognize the drive, that is  the good news.  The bad news: not sure I can tell you WHICH item along the way fixed the problem.  I know I know, I should only test one thing at a time.  But when you are in the pit of frustration, you just begin to do everything at once with the hope that something will work...

    I had read on Win 7 forums about various problems with UEFI and 2nd hard drives. (I know we are dealing with Win 8 here, but so little has been written in the forums as of yet). One astute poster mentioned that adding a drive with multiple partitions might prove to be difficult or impossible.

    So here is what I did.

    Since I could get the machine to recognize the HDD into the SATA 1 slot (this of course left me without my ODD...see original post above).  I moved ALL the data from this 2nd HDD to the 1st HDD.  

    Then, I deleted ALL the partition (three) that I had on the 2nd HDD.  

    *I unallocated the entire drive.  I put the ODD back to SATA 1 and put the 2nd HDD into SATA 2.  Not recognized.

    *I switched the 2nd HDD back to SATA 1.  I created a single partition on the hard drive.

    *Again  I put the ODD back to SATA 1 and put the 2nd HDD into SATA 2.  Not recognized.

    *This time however, I went to Device Manager and did a refresh on the Domain Controller and the Hard Drive items.  Again, still not recognized.

    *I gave up. I left the 2nd HDD plugged into the SATA 2 slot.

    *A full 24 hours later, I was on my machine, I just happened to open up Windows Explorer and what do you think I found????  It was now recognizing that 2nd Hard Drive in the SATA 2 as WELL as recognizing the ODD in SATA 1.  

    So what made the difference?  Multiple re-boots along the way from when I gave up and when it was finally recognized?  But combined with the hard drive re-partitioning?  Did the Device Manager refresh has ANYTHING to do with it? Does time heal all??

    I cannot tell you for sure.  Weird. Wacky.  Wonderful only in that I now have a functioning 2nd HDD without losing access to any other attached drive. Not wonderful, in that, I had to move everything off and wipe it clean.

    So BruceU, my suggestion:  that 2nd HDD has to be "clean" to start with.  If you are able to do so, give it a whirl and let us know.

All Replies
  • Hi pfs2000,

    I request you to check if the drives are detected in the BIOS. To go to BIOS restart the system and at Dell logo keep tapping the F2 key every two seconds. In the BIOS screen, click on BOOT and check if the drives are detected.

    Also I suggest you to check in the Disk Management window. To open the disk Management window press ‘Windows’ logo key and ‘X’ key together. Form the list that pops up click on Disk management and check the status of the Drives in the window. Please reply to this post with the status to assist you further.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Sujatha K
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US / India . For Dell support videos click here.

  • Sujatha,

    The BIOS always shows the drives and dvd, even when I switch the 2nd hdd and dvd around.  The BIOS shows the correct SATA slot just fine.  However, Disk Management does not always show the 2nd hdd.

    Basically if the dvd is in slot SATA 2 or 3, the BIOS can find it but Windows cannot.

    If the 2nd hdd is in SATA 2 or 3, the BIOS finds it but Windows never finds it. If it is in SATA 1, the BIOS finds it and Windows finds it 50% of the time.

    THe 2nd hdd is a seagate barracuda 7200.12 750 GB.

  • I have the same issue, but Windows 8 never finds the seconf 1TB drive.  If I put the DVD in another SATA port, the BIOS recognizes it, but Windows won't until I plug it back into port 1.  I put my second drive in, and tried a Windows 8 refresh, and it lock up during the process and wouldn't boot anymore.  I unplug the second drive, and it boots fine.

  • Mike,

    is your second 1 TB drive a BRAND New drive or is it older?  Mine is about three years old and I suspect there is something about older models that Win 8 does not like.

  • They are both WD drives.  One is couple years old, and one I bought in June 2011.  I also tried putting in a video card from my old system, but it did not show up in Windows 8 and there is nothing in the BIOS to disable the internal video card.  That card is older, and I thought I would tackle one problem at a time.  They might be related though.  I am going to put the drives back into mu old Dell and verify they still work, then I will put in a repair order.  I think the computer is whacked.

  • Did you try a Windows refresh?  I read somewhere else that you might need to do it.  IT did not work for me, but Windows never sees my drive.  

  • seems silly though to do the refresh, the PC is brand new!  Though I do know where you are coming from...

  • Hi pfs2000,

    Since the drive is getting detected in the BIOS screen, there is no issue with the system or the SATA slots. In case the HDD is old, you may check if there is latest firmware available and update if available.

    I also request you to post the screen shots of the disk management to assist you better.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Sujatha K
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US / India . For Dell support videos click here.

  • I have the same problem as the original poster, a Dell Inspiron 660 with Windows 8 Pro 64-bit.

    The primary disk is 2TB (ST2000DM001) at Sata 1 with a GPT (GUID Partition Table) layout.  I'm trying to add a second 2TB disk (WD20EARX) at Sata 3 (or 4) that has a MBR disk layout.  Both the UEFI and Legacy BIOS see the disks properly but Windows 8 will only see the Sata 1 volume.

    I called the Dell Support Line and the only explanation offered was that the second Disk was very old and didn't support the SATA-II or SATA-III protocols. The Western Digital disk I'm adding (WD20EARX) is about a year old and is SATA-III, so that explanation was wrong.

    I booted the system with the Legacy BIOS, the original GPT disk unplugged and the new MBR disk plugged into the Sata 1 port. Windows 7 Pro 64-bit installed without complaint and I successfully upgraded that with the Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Upgrade DVD, so the disk I'm trying to add is fine and Windows 8 has no problems with it. Then I reenabled the UEFI BIOS and booted from the primary Win 8 disk.  Both disks appear in the BIOS (SATA 1: primary GPT disk, SATA 2: DVD, SATA 3: new MBR disk). After the Dell logo screen the message "Prepairing Automatic Repair" appears but nothing ever happens.

    I think there are (at least) 2 posibilities:

    1. SATA ports 3 and 4 have a problem passing the correct device information to the Windows 8 operating system

    2. The EUFI BIOS doesn't support mixing GPT and MBR layout disks  

  • Does the second disk show up in the Device Manager? In Disk Management?

  • Windows 8 only sees the primary GPT disk.  It does not see the second MBR disk.

    - Disk Management only shows "Disk 0" and its partitions.  There is no "Disk 1".

    - File Explorer shows the volumes found on the primary GPT disk, and none that would be on the secondary MBR disk.

    I didn't mention that when I booted a disk partitioning tool in Legacy Mode (Partition Wizard 7.6.1 Home Edition), both disks, their type and all the partitions on them can be seen.

  • Followup tests to add a second SATA drive:

    TEST 1

        SATA Port 1: HDD / 2TB WD20EARX disk, MBR Layout, Win8 Pro 64-bit in bootable partition
        SATA Port 2: ODD / PLDS DVD+/-RW DH-16ACS H
        SATA Port 3: Empty
        SATA Port 4: HDD / 2TB ST2000DM001 disc, GPT Layout, Win8 Pro 64-bit in one of several partitions

    a) With Legacy BIOS enabled, the system successfully boots the Win8 OS on the MBR disk. Windows 8 sees all the partitions on both hard disks (DISK 0 and DISK 1) and it sees the DVD/CD drive.

    b) With the UEFI BIOS enabled, the system boots far enough to display the Windows 8 logo before shutting down the system.


    TEST 2

        SATA Port 1: HDD / 2TB ST2000DM001 disc, GPT Layout, Win8 Pro 64-bit in bootable partition and other partitions
        SATA Port 2: ODD / PLDS DVD+/-RW DH-16ACS H
        SATA Port 3: Empty
        SATA Port 4: HDD / 2TB WD20EARX disk, MBR Layout, Win8 Pro 64-bit in one of several partitions

    a) After swapping the SATA Ports of the hard disks and enabling the UEFI BIOS, I again see "Prepairing Automatic Repair" after the Dell logo screen.  The system is locked up at this point with nothing happening.


    POSSIBLE SOLUTION

       - enable the Legacy BIOS permanently.
       - attach a MBR Layout disk on SATA Port 1.
       - put the second disk after SATA Port 1, either MBR or GPT Layout.
       - reinstall Windows 8 64-bit to a bootable partition on the MBR disk (DISK 0 on SATA Port 1).

    • install from DVD because a recovery won't be possible
    •      [Bonus: this removes all the 'extras' in the vendor build of the OS]
    • reinstall and reconfigure all my applications
    • restore all my data from backups

       - curse the gods that inflicted the UEFI BIOS on me :-)

  • Ok, let me tell you the results of my saga with this issue.  I DID get my machine to recognize the drive, that is  the good news.  The bad news: not sure I can tell you WHICH item along the way fixed the problem.  I know I know, I should only test one thing at a time.  But when you are in the pit of frustration, you just begin to do everything at once with the hope that something will work...

    I had read on Win 7 forums about various problems with UEFI and 2nd hard drives. (I know we are dealing with Win 8 here, but so little has been written in the forums as of yet). One astute poster mentioned that adding a drive with multiple partitions might prove to be difficult or impossible.

    So here is what I did.

    Since I could get the machine to recognize the HDD into the SATA 1 slot (this of course left me without my ODD...see original post above).  I moved ALL the data from this 2nd HDD to the 1st HDD.  

    Then, I deleted ALL the partition (three) that I had on the 2nd HDD.  

    *I unallocated the entire drive.  I put the ODD back to SATA 1 and put the 2nd HDD into SATA 2.  Not recognized.

    *I switched the 2nd HDD back to SATA 1.  I created a single partition on the hard drive.

    *Again  I put the ODD back to SATA 1 and put the 2nd HDD into SATA 2.  Not recognized.

    *This time however, I went to Device Manager and did a refresh on the Domain Controller and the Hard Drive items.  Again, still not recognized.

    *I gave up. I left the 2nd HDD plugged into the SATA 2 slot.

    *A full 24 hours later, I was on my machine, I just happened to open up Windows Explorer and what do you think I found????  It was now recognizing that 2nd Hard Drive in the SATA 2 as WELL as recognizing the ODD in SATA 1.  

    So what made the difference?  Multiple re-boots along the way from when I gave up and when it was finally recognized?  But combined with the hard drive re-partitioning?  Did the Device Manager refresh has ANYTHING to do with it? Does time heal all??

    I cannot tell you for sure.  Weird. Wacky.  Wonderful only in that I now have a functioning 2nd HDD without losing access to any other attached drive. Not wonderful, in that, I had to move everything off and wipe it clean.

    So BruceU, my suggestion:  that 2nd HDD has to be "clean" to start with.  If you are able to do so, give it a whirl and let us know.

  • More tests with a second SATA drive all configured as:

        SATA Port 1: HDD / 2TB ST2000DM001 disc, GPT Layout, Win8 Pro 64-bit in bootable partition and others
        SATA Port 2: ODD / PLDS DVD+/-RW DH-16ACS H
        SATA Port 3: Empty
        SATA Port 4: HDD / 2TB WD20EARX disk with varied configurations


    TEST 1

        SATA Port 4: HDD / 2TB WD20EARX disc, MBR Layout, one partition

    I deleted all partitions, except the first which I moved to the beginning of the disk.  Before Windows 8 came up the message "Scanning and repairing drive (\\?\Volume<...})" came up.  The progress went to 41% and would go no further.


    TEST 2

        SATA Port 4: HDD / 2TB WD20EARX disc, GPT Layout, no partitions

    Using Partition Wizard 7.6.1, I deleted the one remaining partition and reconfigured the disk with a GPT Layout.  Booting Windows 8 it came up with the message "Automatic Repair/ Windows couldn't load correctly/ System Restore?" to which I replied 'CANCEL' because I didn't know what it might restore/overwrite.


    TEST 3

        SATA Port 4: HDD / 2TB WD20EARX disc, MBR Layout, no partitions

    Again with Partition Wizard 7.6.1, I reconfigured the disk with a MBR Layout.  This time Windows 8 booted successfully _AND_ Disk Management saw the 2TB Disk 1 as a '1863.02 GB Unallocated' volume.  Success -- well sort of, anyway.


    CONCLUSIONS

    • I can report that the experience of PFS2000 is repeatable.  But it means the documentation about EUFI BIOS is wrong -- or is it just on an Inspiron 660?
    • From here, I should be able to use Disk Management in Windows 8 to reconfigure the second disk to a GPT Layout and create multiple partitions.  [NOT tested]
    • A EUFI BIOS and Windows 8 is very particular about what will work and the recovery/repair tools are lacking.
    • I feel strongly that over the lifetime of this Inspiron 660, as I change storage devices and repurpose the machine in my home network, that running on the Legacy BIOS permanently will steer me clear of future hassles like this one.  Moving hard disks with data from system to system and booting occasionally from an optical disk shouldn't require changes to the BIOS -- where's plug'n'play?


    Finally, has anyone else seen the system clock jump ahead by exactly a century over a reboot?  It's happened to me three times on this machine.  Networking stops functioning and Windows Updates fail in the year 3012.  It's simple enough to correct but not easy to diagnose the first time.

  • Well I got mine to work if you leave port 2 (labeled 1 on MB) open and use 1=HDD, 3=ODD and 4=HDD #2.  I think the 2 port is bad.  When I get a chance, I am going to try the ODD in port 2 and HDD'a in 1, 3 and 4.