I have an HP8530 laptop that currently has two 250GB drives in a RAID 0 configuration. I'm trying to replace these two drives with a 250GB solid-state drive plus a 500GB drive (with no RAID of course).

I've installed Windows on the SSD, and I can connect it via E-SATA and boot from it. But if I replace the two internal drives with the two new drives, I get "Invalid startup drive".

In the BIOS, I've tried switching SATA Device mode from RAID to AHCI or IDE, but no dice.

I'm guessing that the RAID controller isn't happy about having two differently-sized disks - any thoughts how I can make this setup work?

(HP RAID documentation here, FWIW)


which version of windows? if XP, i suggest, using IDE as RAID controller settings. makes it easier. Vista/7 should both supprt AHCI.

then make sure to connect the SSD internally (not via eSATA) so it shows up in the BIOS as first SATA drive. then install windows again. Windows Setup should now show both drives according their order in the BIOS.

if you're still having trouble, disconnect the platter HDD and run windows setup without it.

  • The RAID disks have Vista installed; the SSD has Win7. – Herb Caudill Oct 25 '09 at 18:31
  • Definitely put the new drives in place, then re-do the windows install. That will probably help quite a bit. – Michael Kohne Nov 9 '09 at 22:13

This could be something as simple as going in to the BIOS and setting the correct Boot Order, it looks like you are trying to boot from the wrong drive / one with no active partitions on it.

USB and Esata usually take boot priority over the internal drives, so it looks to me like everything is working but it is just looking at the wrong drive.

  • As far as I can tell, the boot order is right - it's set to boot from the internal hard drive, and that's what it does when the RAID disks are installed. – Herb Caudill Oct 25 '09 at 18:30
  • Internal hard drive is one thing, but there should be a separate option saying hard drive order.... If you cannot find this, try simply swapping the hard drives around as this will do the same thing – William Hilsum Oct 26 '09 at 1:38

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