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I have an old PC from 2005, just for nostalgia purposes. After adjusting the partition map of its main HDD and rebooting, the whole system locked up at the POST process. Even pressing Delete in order to get to the detailed POST log did not even work.

After rebooting once more, I managed to get into the "American Megatrends" POST log. I found out that the process stopped at the moment the main HDD (the one Windows is installed on) is detected.

I tried booting the PC with the Molex power cable disconnected from the disk. Lo and behold, it booted successfully to the secondary HDD I have installed, even if it does not have a bootloader installed (it at least showed that there was no boot media present). And no, it's not faulty RAM, I checked that too.

I have encountered POST processes being stopped due to faulty RAM, incorrectly installed expansion cards, faulty power supplies, but have never had a hard drive stop the process. I checked this post (mine may be a duplicate, but I highly doubt it) because the OP seemed to have a very similar problem. He stated there that he had to connect the HDD to another PC and rebuild the MBR. Is this what I have to do in order to get this HDD working again?

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    There is a problem with that hard drive remove it.
    – Moab
    May 8 '20 at 19:32
  • @Moab It's unplugged at the moment. Thankfully I installed GRUB on the working HDD and Ubuntu is bootable.
    – na-no.
    May 9 '20 at 20:08
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If the hdd has problem, try to recover the files, preferably by connecting it to an external USB HDD case or adapter/usb cable (same thing) and running data recovery software/utilities.

If the problem is with MBR, try to make a full image backup. If this can be done, then restore it (first in another hdd just to check that the drive works and boots) without restoring the old MBR (usually there is an option for that). Of course all this assuming that the hdd you want to save has an OS and the broblem is with MBR.

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  • I think that the problem is with the MBR, since I've changed the partition table on that drive so many times without re-creating it. As for the data, I don't really care since it's a fresh Windows Vista install, and the drive is installed in an old 2005-era PC, just for nostalgia purposes
    – na-no.
    May 12 '20 at 18:38

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