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I have an old IDE drive with windows 7 installed on it. I disconnected that drive, and installed a new windows 7 to a new drive (SSD).

I want to extract data from the old drive. However, the problem I am having is, when the drive is connected to MoBo, windows wants to boot from this drive. The BIOS is crap, and doesn't allow me to arrage the order of the various hard drives on the system.

I want to stop this drive from booting.

Can I erase the booting information on its partitions, or on or near the MBR. I, like many people, struggle to repair the windows booting information, not destroy it.

I know I "could" use an external enclosure to read its data. But this is a good way to learn something new. I am familiar with GNU/Linux, so if there is a known method of using it to solve my issue, that will be fine.


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Boot to a Win7 installation disc or Startup Repair disc. Open a Command Prompt.

Run diskpart, then the following commands:

list disk - lists the drives in the system
select disk # - selects the drive to operate on
list partition
select partition #
inactive - marks the partition inactive.

If you're unsure which partition to select, you can list volume to see what is marked with a Boot flag.

note: On most Windows 7 installations, there will be a ~95mb partition on the drive, which is what you'll want to mark as inactive.

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+1, good solution. – Diogo Mar 7 '12 at 17:06

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