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Windows 7 computer: Can I exchange the SATA cables of two drives without needing to re-install Windows? this computer only runs windows 7.

what's happening is that i have some backup software that has a bug. the bug is that it gets confused about two identical drives and sometimes backs up the wrong drive. it seems to "prefer" Disk 0 as listed in the "Volumes" page in the device properties dialog. my thought is that although the backup software's developers are looking into this problem, i may be able to make this problem go away by making the boot drive to be the first disk device.

Clarification: my thought is to unplug both drives and connect drive C where D was connected and D where C was connected. i really, really don't want to "break" windows.

any thoughts?

thank you!

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SATAs Cables have no influence on the Data. Check on your disk if you have some "pins", if yes, check who is master and who is slave. In all cases, you can "force" the boot device in the BIOS. – bZezzz Jan 13 '12 at 19:16
but may it influence the drive's "address" used by windows. i'll clarify my question. – X-Ray Jan 13 '12 at 19:18
If you have only One OS installed on ONE HDD, you can mark the other as "non-active". – bZezzz Jan 13 '12 at 19:22
Why do you have Windows installed on the second disk(1) instead of the primary( 0 ). If both drives are identical what you describe will do nothing. Use a program like Clonzilla to clone your current drive onto the secondary drive. You do a horrible job of explaining the problem. – Ramhound Jan 13 '12 at 19:29
@bZezzz, SATA devices don't have "master" or "slave" modes. – grawity Jan 13 '12 at 20:06
up vote 2 down vote accepted

No it wont affect your Windows installation .

It should boot normally.

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It is completely safe to do this. As a matter of fact, you could even do it when the PC is on, SATA is hot-swappable. Though, I wouldn't unplug the disk with Windows, when the PC is turned on. This is because the Windows disk also contains your page file and other crucial files, which will probably make your PC crash when unplugged. (I need confirmation on this one, it's an assumption)

The following only applies to systems with more then one bootable medium (dual boot, boot CD, boot USB, ...):

When you turn on your PC, you will see a screen displaying some shortcuts to your BIOS and other menus. Press the button for "boot order". It's F8 on my PC, it could be different on yours. It can even be located in the BIOS menu. Then change this so that your Windows disk is the first to be read.

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Actually, while SATA officially supports hot-swapping, very large number of PC motherboards does not implement hot-swapping support. – AndrejaKo Jan 13 '12 at 22:43

For security, you can open a cmd and type:

bcdboot X:/Windows 

(where X is your Windows disk) to (re)copy boot files.

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