GPT/EFI vs MBR/BIOS and Win8
I'm having a heck of a time installing Windows 8 Pro on a new SSD.
My previous (until today) configuration was Win8, apps, and some data on a 120GB SSD and various data partitions on a 1TB HDD, both drives using MBR.
I have a bootable Win8 installation USB thumb drive (which I used to install Win8 on my old SSD using MBR) and I can only get it to install on the fresh new drive as GPT. I don't mind that, but when I then plug in the MBR HDD and reboot, I either get an endless boot loop or a Windows Repair routine that fails. Ditto if I try to boot up with on the new GPT SSD and have the old MBR SSD connected.
On my system I can NOT mix MBR drives with a boot Win8 GPT drive for some reason.
If I set the "BIOS" back to "Legacy" -- i.e. not EFI, but old fashioned BIOS -- I cannot boot from the Win8 installation USB stick.
The most irritating part of this is that I had this same problem before when I first installed Win8 on the old SSD a year ago, but found some workaround, and now I've forgotten what it was. Any ideas?
I recall when I posted on some earlier thread people assured me that a Win8 GPT installation can coexist with and read MBR drives, but that is NOT my experience.
So, how can I install Win8 fresh on my new SSD and still have my old HDD and SDD be usable and readable without converting them to GPT and losing over 1TB of files in the process?
I want a fresh Win8 installation as some strangeness has crept into my setup, and I'm overdue for my annual computer housecleaning anyway. But, if need be, I'll clone the old SSD which is configured as MBR.
PS: In case it's not clear, I'm installing Win8 from the USB stick with only the new SSD connected. The old SSD and the HDD are disconnected during the Win8 installation process. It's only after Win8 is completely installed and I've rebooted that I then try to boot with either, or both of, the old MBR drives connected.
i3-3225, 3.3GHz w/stock HSF, GigaByte H77M-D3H
2 x 2GB + 2 x 4GB Kingston RAM = 12GB, no discrete graphic card (just IGP HD4000)
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD | Intel 520 120GB SSD | 1TB WD Green HDD
Silverstone Temjin TJ-08E case | CoolerMaster eXtreme Power Plus 460W PSU
Dell U2312HM 23" LCD | Samsung 171N 17" LCD | Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
Location: Thailand (several hours south of Bangkok)