I purchased an SSD and replaced the hard drive in my HP laptop. I then took the old HDD and installed it onto a caddy to my CD drive.

When first booting up, my computer was able to recognize the other Windows partitions installed in the HDD. However, as soon as I installed Windows 8 to my SSD, I can no longer see my HDD's OS's in the boot menu.

Using Windows recovery does not help. My computer just recognizes it as removable storage. There is also no option to switch the boot order in my bios, there is only one "Notebook Hard Drive" selection in the boot menu.

Is there anyway I can boot into my old OS partitions again while keeping my current data and setup?

  • Question: do you have Windows 8 or Windows 7 on the HDD. And also "when you first booted up" - from where did you boot and which OS. – whs Apr 23 '15 at 4:46
  • I have both Windows 7 and Windows 8 dual booting on the HDD already. When I first booted up after installing the two drives, I saw the menu where I could selected which OS. However, I went straight to installed a new Windows to my SSD. – A C Apr 23 '15 at 5:07

I realized there is a F-key during the splash screen of the boot that I can press and it will show an actual menu with two hard drives and I can select which one to boot to. I just had to be quick in pressing the key or else it will not register in time.

  • It is actually possible to add old windows to the boot menu by editing the boot.ini file. – SilverWarior Apr 29 '15 at 17:52
  • I've been wondering if the exact same thing were possible! That would make life a lot easier. Any tips on how to do so? – A C May 5 '15 at 15:38
  • Actually Windows Vista and newer no longer use boot.ini file for boot configuration. Now you need to use BCDEdit tool in order to modify the boot configuration. You can find one example of its usage here: superuser.com/questions/511582/… – SilverWarior May 5 '15 at 18:58
  • Excellent, thank you. Will be sure to try it out. – A C May 5 '15 at 19:04
  • If possible I would suggest you first try thin in a virtual environment like running a windows installation inside WMWare or Virtual PC. Why? If you screw up you could end up with unbootable computer. That is how I was first learning about modifying the boot.ini etc. – SilverWarior May 5 '15 at 19:07

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