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I have a computer with 4 SATA disks connected, 2 to the motherboard and 2 to a PCI-card.

I've moved all the disks from other computers so 2 of them already has windows installed, the other 2 has just had data on them.

I know one of the windows installations works and i want to use this install. If i only have this disk connected the computer boots fine.

The problem is that when i boot with all 4 disks connected i get an error message about not being able to boot. This message is in swedish(the wrong windows installation is swedish) so it has to come from that installation. Ok, that means it is trying to boot from wrong disk, i try to pull out that disk but then i get the same error in english. I pull out the fourth disk instead I get another error about NTLDR not being able to load.

If i disconnect all drives except the one with the correct windows installation, windows boots fine and i can also connect the other drives while windows is running and browse around in them without any problems.

I have no clue what to do. In my BIOS setup i can only select SATA as boot-option, not the order of the disks. I also tried to remove what's left of windows on the other disk by simply deleting everything in explorer(got hidden- and sytstem-files visible).

Both windows installations are XP btw.

Edit: I switched the cables around and now it magically works. :)

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Which motherboard do you have? On mine, I can specify in the BIOS the order of the disks. – Snark Sep 13 '09 at 11:18
the motherboard is abit nf7-s – kire Sep 13 '09 at 11:21
May I suggest writing your solution as an answer, and then approving it, to close the question correctly? – user3463 Sep 14 '09 at 18:02

All other things being equal, SATA drives boot up in order of their ports. So SATA1 boots before SATA2, SATA3 boots before SATA4, etc.

When you switched the cables, you likely put the "good" windows install at a lower SATA port than the bad install.

Most motherboards will allow you to set the boot order on SATA drives though, so this behaviour can usually be over-ridden in the bios.

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