I have a Dell XPS 15 and have been using it for some time with the factory HD. I got an SSD to be the primary drive (I have installed in the HD bay) and moved the factory HD to the optical bay. When I start it up it boots from the SSD, as expected, but I had a question:

Is it possible for me to choose to boot from the "old HD" currently installed in the optical bay?

New SSD has Win8 and old HD has Win7.


Update 1: I had tried different options in the bios boot menu, but HDD, SATA and CD/DVD, all boots from the SSD. Perhaps, as said in the comments, the caddy I am using does not allow to boot from it... (?)

Update 2: Apparently this caddy I bought has an issue with booting (http://www.amazon.com/review/R2C6PA7PLAHRRD/ref=cm_srch_res_rtr_alt_3).

  • 2
    Normally your BIOS bootup screen should offer you a "boot menu" key, or you can set your hard drive boot order in your bios settings. – Satoh Apr 27 '13 at 1:19
  • Alternately, you could edit the Windows boot menu - superuser.com/questions/511582/… has a lot of discussion on it; Some people report booting Windows 8 and 7 doesn't work nicely without forced shutdowns: social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itprohardware/… – TessellatingHeckler Apr 27 '13 at 1:44
  • 1
    Change the boot device order in your BIOS as mentioned above, else use EasyBCD (GUI alternative to bcdedit if you don't like the command-line) to add the Win7 entry to Win8's boot menu. Of course, I've seen some hard drive caddies that didn't allow booting for some weird reason, so the only option was to try other caddies or use the old drive as a data drive only. – Karan Apr 27 '13 at 2:32
  • Satoh, thank your for your answer. I had tried different options and have updated my question to reflect those. – Gus Cavalcanti Apr 27 '13 at 17:01

Indeed as others have noted almost all PCs should have a boot order which is set in the BIOS as well as a boot menu (a one time selective change to the boot order).

For HP's its usually the F10 or del key.
For Dells I think it might be F12 or esc

You know your old HDD can be booted from, so obviously its possible. As for installing it in the CDROM bay, did you use some different electrical adapter or is it still pretty much the same cord (SATA, probably). To prove it to yourself that it can boot, simply disconnect one of the cables from your new drive & boot normally (if that doesn't work try the boot menu)

| improve this answer | |

As noted in the update, the caddy I purchased does not allow booting from it.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.