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Computer Problems --typically

I've been having some computer troubles lately.
After several hours of fixing and running chkdsk several times and fixing errors, I've found that I can boot my computer if I have only of my two hdd's connected.

While only one hdd is connected then windows boots normally however as soon as I plug in my second hard-drive it won't boot into windows -> on startup the bios fires, the quick winxp bar goes across the screen then the windows xp loading screen with the scrolling blue bar appears, but after that screen the computer freezes in the one second between the loading screen and getting a mouse cursor (stays on the black screen).
With the 2nd hdd connected I can't boot into safe mode either.

I haven't been able to test the 2nd hdd on another computer but if I start from the winxp cd it recognises it. I don't really think that the 2nd hdd is stuffed... it's a relatively new 80GB seagate. I need the computer working perfectly by Friday and I'm willing to format but I'm wondering if it would really fix it.
It's odd, the thing just freezes one day and won't start. Don't you just love computers when they stop working for no apparent reason!

Any ideas?

I don't know just can't work it out.

Just clarifying-

Primary HDD: 20GB barracuda.
Secondary HDD: 80GB barracuda.

Primary (only) connected - computer boots normally.
Primary and secondary connected - windows appears to be frozen (stays on black screen) immidiately after the windows xp loading screen.

Just double checked- when I have both primary and secondary hdd's connected I cannot boot into safe mode either. It goes through all the drivers and after displaying the last one 'agp' or something it just stays there in dos with all the drivers all over the screen and never loads the windows interface.

However the bios recognises both hard-drives, and both are displayed if I boot off the xp cd.

What else can I do to make this work? I really need to boot with both.

Thanks for the help,
Remove the hard drive that doesn't have XP on it and try booting up. If that doesn't work, you should try installing XP on the other hard drive and taking out your original one.

This thread caught my eye because I had a hard drive go bad on me last night. I have three of them, so I removed them one by one, finally figuring out which hard drive was plugged in that made Windows screw up. I took out the hard drive I found to be the problem. Then I put my XP CD in, chose "Repair Installation", and everything works fine now. Fortunately, my Western Digital is under a three-year warranty.

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