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I had a Windows 2003 Hard Drive on my server and it went bad so I installed a new clean hard drive and installed Windows 2008 R2 on the new clean drive. I moved the old 2003 drive to be used only for general storage on the same computer.

It usually boots into Windows 2008 upon a restart, but just sometimes it starts trying to boot the old 2003 drive and causes boot issues(NTDLR Bootloader, and other errors), even though the order of boot preference is set to boot 2008, and NOT 2003.

I need to know how to remove any old code that keeps this old drive as a bootable drive. I still want to use it as a secondary drive just dont want to have any boot code on it.

Hopefully my situation is clear for everyone to get a good response.

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3 Answers 3

Generally, what you want to do is to wipe out the first 512 bytes of the hard drive. That will make it unbootable. You can use a tool to do it, it's described here.

Alternatively, you could temporarily solve this by re-arranging the boot order of your drives in BIOS. Just make the desired drive appears "before" the one you don't want to boot from.

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Thanks I will try this and then read the other forum to resolve this, –  DevCompany Oct 13 '12 at 21:15

Another option - install the grub2 bootloader. Grub controls which partition to boot from (and is the reference for multiboot os's).

Ideally install grub on a disk that you do not want to install windows on. Windows overwrites grub. If this occurs just re-install grub and it will discover the partitions and MBR's on the drives.

Once Grub is installed you can then also install additional OS on the system.

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Grub can't directly boot a Windows installation. It would chainload it, making it a useless piece of complexity that doesn't need to exist. It literally adds nothing of value to the OP's setup. Please try to stick to answering questions where you're sure that you know the technology involved. –  MDMarra Oct 13 '12 at 23:09
    
Sorry for that I work only with Linux and you with Windows, so the solution would not be correct for the OP. –  Gary Jun 3 at 1:34

I feel like there are a lot of things that need to be addressed other than your question itself. Please bear with me, you'll come out better in the end.

I had a Windows 2003 Hard Drive on my server and it went bad so I installed a new clean hard drive and installed Windows 2008 R2 on the new clean drive.

You should have backups for any production system. This should be a #1 priority.

In addition to that, you should use some level of hard drive redundancy. RAID 1 will take two disks and make them mirrors of each other. If you have two 300GB hard drives in a RAID 1, you'll only have 300GB of space available, but if a hard drive dies, your system will continue to function until you replace the drive. Keep in mind that RAID is not a substitute for a backup. You should have both.

This question has a lot of good information about RAID, what it is, what it does, and what it's good for. I really recommend reading it.

I moved the old 2003 drive to be used only for general storage on the same computer.

When adding disks to an existing install, which is basically what you're doing here, you should wipe them if they previously had an OS partition on them, precisely so that you avoid hiccups like this.

I need to know how to remove any old code that keeps this old drive as a bootable drive.

Windows server 2008 and later use BCD instead of boot.ini. You'll likely need to use the BCD commandline tools to remove the 2003 server from the boot order. The documentation for bcdedit.exe is here. It has everything that you need to find, enumerate, and remove the 2003 Server entry from the boot menu.

I still want to use it as a secondary drive just dont want to have any boot code on it.

You should really consider adding it as a mirror (RAID 1) of your current OS drive.

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Ok, Let me see if I can answer some questions –  DevCompany Oct 15 '12 at 0:29
    
(1) I do have a baremetal backup and Acronis with Universal Restore. (2) Looking into the RAID link you sent, thanks! (3) I did not wipe it and I should have, can I format it using Disk Management? (right-click format) There is nothing of importance on the drive. (4) Thanks for the BCDLink Thanks (5) To make it a RAID 1, do I need to be physically at the machine? My server is co-located about 500 miles from me (not easily accessible). –  DevCompany Oct 15 '12 at 0:38
    
You can format the disk via disk manager, that's fine. You shouldn't need to be at the machine to mirror a drive. You can do this in Windows Server using disk management, but a hardware solution is preferred. How you do this depends on the brand of your server and whether or not it has a RAID card. –  MDMarra Oct 15 '12 at 0:44
    
If I right-click and select Format on the secondary drive (E) that still has lingering boot code, that should clear it out right? –  DevCompany Oct 15 '12 at 5:00
    
You will still have to use bcdedit that I linked to. –  MDMarra Oct 15 '12 at 10:29

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