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HP DV7-1210ed boot from 2nd HDD

Yesterday I installed a SSD drive in the 2nd HDD bay of my HP Pavilion DV7-1210ed laptop. Installation of Windows 7 went fine and after I had moved all important data from the original HDD I decided to format that disk so I could use all of its storage space. But as soon as I did that I was unable to boot into Windows that was installed on my SSD (2nd HDD bay).

I was getting errors about winload.exe and something about an incorrect digital signature for the file. Turns out it was loading the bootloader from the recovery partition from the HDD in bay 1, which was actually for the old Windows installation.

Looking into the BIOS of this laptop I couldn’t tell it from which disk to boot first. With Acronis Disk Director I was able to make the SSD bootable by setting the active-flag on it. When booting the laptop I could press F2 and then F9 to select from which HDD to boot. It would boot into Windows 7 again. This still wasn’t a solution, as it requires you to interrupt the boot sequence every single time you fire up the machine.

Again with Acronis Disk Director I decided to flag the recovery partition on the HDD in bay 1 as active. Then I booted into the Windows 7 recovery console using the installation disc and ran the following command.

bcdboot d:\windows /s c:

In this example d:\windows is the location of the installed Windows 7 on the SSD in bay 2. The flag /s c: tells it to install the boot files into the c: partition, which was the recovery partition on the 1st HDD.

Just to be sure everything will boot again also execute the following commands.

bootsect /nt60 ALL /force
bootsect /nt60 ALL /force /mbr

Hopefully this helps you out when removing Windows from the HDD in bay 1 as it’s impossible to change the HDD boot order in the BIOS of the HP Pavilion DV7-1210ed. I later found out about EasyBCD which seems to make this a lot easier to do.

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