How to Boot From a Secondary Hard Drive

Booting to a second or slave hard drive can be a necessity. If your operating system is not functioning properly, booting to your secondary hard drive could be your only solution. You can use the second drive to run a virus scan, use the computer or try to fix your main drive. However, you need an operating system on the drive to be able to boot. If you are unsure, the computer will boot or state, “Insert a Disk.”

Step

Boot to the BIOS. Turn on or reboot your computer. Watch the screen closely for a “Setup” or “BIOS” instructions. You will need to press a key to enter Setup. This is commonly Del or F2. Your specific computer may differ. Other keys may include F10, Esc or Ins.

Step

Search for “Boot Sequence” or “Boot Order.” Use the arrow keys to navigate through the information tabs at the top. Then use the up and down arrow to move through the options.

Step

Change the boot order for your hard drive. The boot sequence usually is master drive, CD drive and then slave drive. Use the arrow keys on the first boot device. Change to “Slave Drive” or “Secondary Master Drive.”

Step

Press F10 to save adjustments. Your computer will automatically reboot. Wait for the PC to boot up normally.