Windows XP can’t see second SATA drive, BIOS can…

Just a heads-up on a small problem that I’ve seen people struggling with and that I ran into recently…

I had a working Windows XP MCE system in the lab that used a SATA drive for C:. I added a second SATA drive that I had laying around. All drives appeared in the BIOS, but Windows XP would not show anything about the second drive – hardware manager, disk management, scan for hardware, nothing.

Turns out that the second hard drive’s partition was marked as Active. When I booted from a floppy, ran FDISK on the second drive and removed the active status, then Windows magically was able to see the drive.

This wasn’t a problem under Linux – it saw both drives with no problems even though both had active partitions.  Go figure.

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