HDD upgrade issues

I have an old machine I bought for less than $100, when I got it I added a video card, more memory and a larger HDD, and was using it to test my USB install drives. I was able to install and run different distros from 10 different USB drives and everything worked great.
The other day I switched to an even bigger HDD and went to install and it would not read the USB drives I had previously tested. It did read the UEFI drive I had made for installing to my other old machine.
My question is why would changing the HDD impact the ability to read a USB at the BIOS startup menu?

Guess that would depend on the MB, possibly knocked the USB cable loose when connecting a drive? I find it good practice to use only the hardwired USB on back(a pain I know) vs the front panel cables models anyway.

From what i gather this is also good practice if you de-Google phones as well.

I am starting to think it is a bios setting, my daily driver and the test machine are both the same vintage HP mother boards and have the same bios version. I put the smaller HDD back in but it still does not recognize my bootable USB. When I first converted to Linux I had to use the Yumi UEFI version to load on this machine. I was actually surprised that the legacy version worked on the test system. I did make some changes before the last build but I forgot what exactly I changed.

I decided to do a factory restore defaults for the bios as I could not find the setting switching one at a time, and I am back to seeing my legacy bootable USB drives.
The learning never stops.