Can’t Boot PC

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PressABToStart

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So I built my computer a while back, and being the first computer I ever built, I was dumb and installed Windows to my HDD instead of my SSD. Recently my computer has gotten cluttered and what not so I just wanted a fresh start, so I migrate all of my important files to my HDD, then formatted my SSD so I can install windows properly this time. I find my windows product key and write that down, download the media creation tool to a usb so I can install windows, and I thought I’m off to the races right? Wrong! I unplug all drives so all I have is the SSD, and the USB. Media creation boots, and I’m met with three problems.
1. I type in my product key and it isn’t valid, leading me to believe I must have jotted the key down wrong. I thought no big deal, I haven’t formatted my HDD so I can still get the key. I’ll just install windows without it and add the key later.
2. The SSD has a notification that windows cannot be installed onto it, and I don’t understand why. The drive is formatted correctly, plus I formatted the drive a second time inside the media creation tool, and it says it isn’t able to install (Solved: Drive must be a GPT drive, mine is MBR I guess). Again, I thought no big deal, I’ll boot up my old drive and just look things up and figure it out.
3. I cannot get my system to boot. My BIOS recognizes my HDD, it’s selected as boot priority, and it won’t boot. Always takes me straight to bios without even attempting to boot. This brings me to an interesting topic I don’t understand - I know for sure that windows was installed on the HDD, not the SSD, and when I formatted the SSD obviously windows didn’t break cause there weren’t any important files on there. Honestly all I migrated from that drive was some steam games and adobe software. However, prior to doing all this, my computer only booted when I selected the SSD as the boot priority despite it not having windows installed on it. If I unplugged my HDD with windows on it, the SSD was not enough to boot alone, and if the SSD wasn’t in the HDD wasn’t enough to boot alone (Edit: all of this is especially weird now knowing my SSD isn’t even able to have windows on it). I figured this wouldn’t be an issue cause I thought I’d be able to just install windows on the SSD and forget about that ever being a problem, but here it is haunting me. Does anyone know what I can do? Please ask for any details that could help you help me, I’m not tech illiterate, but I am tech inexperienced I guess.

Recap: I have a formatted SSD that won’t let me install windows (solved), I have an HDD with windows installed that won’t boot, and my windows product key isn’t working (likely because I simply wrote down one of the 25 freaking characters wrong), and I have no way (to my knowledge) of retrieving the product key without booting my HDD.

Side note: I do have other computers in the house that I can use to plug the HDD or SSD into if need be. Can I retrieve the product key from my HDD if I plug it into another computer that is booting from a different drive? (Edit: I've been told I can use my Microsoft account instead of a product key, but it looks like I might have needed to link that manually in order for it to work).
 
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PressABToStart

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
4
Update: I’ve tried using the media creation tool to repair my drive, however I can’t seem to do anything with that. I can get into a command prompt but the stuff I was trying to follow online didn’t work. I found out it has all of my files on the drive still so not sure why it can’t boot.

When I try to install
“Windows can’t be installed on drive 0 partition 1. (Show details)” and the details say

“Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, windows can only be installed to GPT disks.

Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. Windows must be installed to a partition formatted as NTFS.”

the drive is formatted as NTFS, however idk what the MBR, EFI, or GPT stuff means. I’m assuming it’s impossible to install onto an MBR drive, so I’ll have to buy a GPT SSD if I wanna use the SSD for boot, however how do I get my HDD back online in the meantime?
 
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PressABToStart

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Joined
Nov 28, 2020
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I tried a new SSD. I formatted it on someone else’s computer, and in the formatting it let me choose between GPT and MBR, so I chose GPT. I formatted it is NTFS, and tried installing windows on it. This time it told me there wasn’t an available partition to install windows, so I followed a YouTube tutorial on creating a partition using the command prompt, and it worked, however then it told me that I can’t install on an MBR drive again even though I specifically chose to make it GPT?! In other words no progress was made.
 
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