Solved Cloned SSD Does Not Boot

Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Dreyfus2006

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
11
Hello,

First, let me mention that I'm fully aware that there was a thread about a very similar issue created just yesterday. There are several parallels, but I have a few additional questions that may or may not be relevant to that person's issue. I tried to clone an old HDD onto a new SSD, but the SSD does not boot on its own. I always feel like there are a million complications in everything I do, so to avoid any issues, please allow me to explain my situation (I apologize for my wordiness):

For the last five years I have been using an HP All-in-One TouchSmart desktop that I received as a gift from my mother. It was either refurbished or used, but in either case what is important is that I do not have any sort of installation disk or product key for the Windows Vista OS it was originally running. Since then, I have upgraded all the way to Windows 10, but exclusively digitally, so I don't have any sort of disk associated with those upgrades (although I did use a Media Creation tool provided by Microsoft on a USB to install the Windows 10 upgrade). I swear Microsoft informed me of a product key for Windows 8.0 when I upgraded to that from Windows Vista, but I must have lost it because the only one in my records is for my laptop. Windows 10 was activated via digital endorsement by Microsoft, not via a product key, so the important thing here is that re-activation of my Windows 10 operating system onto the SSD does not appear to be an option for me.

Anyway, this summer I built my own PC for the very first time and it has replaced my All-in-One system. It is running three drives: a 1TB SSD plugged into SATA 0, my All-in-One's 1TB HDD (a newer one from maybe two or three years ago after its original HDD failed) plugged into SATA 1, and a DVD Reader/Burner plugged into SATA 2. I've read many suggestions about and agree with the idea of having the Windows 10 operating system and any programs on the SSD while storing personal documents/pictures/music on the HDD. Yesterday, I defragmented my HDD and ran EaseUS Todo Backup Free to clone the HDD (Drive C) onto the empty SSD (Drive B). The cloning was successful, except for that I cannot boot from the SSD. EaseUS Todo Backup Free (as well as many forum posts on the internet) suggest to unplug the HDD immediately after the computer shuts down following the cloning procedure. My desktop tower's location right now makes it awfully inconvenient to access the side panel where I can manipulate the SATA cables, so instead of unplugging the HDD I went to the BIOS screen and disabled SATA Port 1. Today I spoke to somebody at Best Buy's GeekSquad and they confirmed that that should be functionally the same as unplugging the HDD from SATA Port 1, so I assume I did not mess that step up.

Here are the complicating issues:

- If there were any Windows Vista installation disk included with the All-in-One system, it is long since gone and was never presented to me with the system. The Windows 10 upgrade was activated via digital endorsement by Microsoft, not via a product key. I did use a Media Creation tool to put the Windows 10 installation files on a USB drive, which was what I booted from after I built my system to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. My point though is that I can't do anything requiring a re-activation, or at least I'm paranoid about it.

- Speaking of being paranoid, my last back-up (really it was a System Restore Image) was on my Windows 8.1 OS right before removing my HDD from my All-in-One system. I decided today before working with the command prompt (see below about that) I should back-up my Windows 10 system, so I deleted the System Restore Image from my external drive to make space for the new one. However, to my horror, Windows 10 does not appear to have an option to back-up programs and system files--or otherwise make a System Restore Image--so now I'm paralyzed to do any big step at all until I have talked to a professional. However, it is worth noting that all of my personal documents have been removed from my computer and are sitting on the external drive waiting patiently for me to format the HDD, so they are not at risk of loss.

- Some have suggested using System Repair on the SSD from the installation disk (I used the aforementioned USB drive). System Repair failed. I tried this step multiple times, once or twice after each attempted solution to my problem. Sadly, System Repair has not succeeded.

- I checked my Disk Management window, and the SSD was listed as a "Primary" partition, but not an "Active" partition. I made it an Active partition, but that did not solve the issue. The HDD, by the way, was the drive listed as having a "System, Boot, Active, etc." partition.

- Checking my BIOS menu, all drives are set to the same mode (IDE or otherwise); they are all set to the one that starts with a "U" (UDEF or something? I can't remember; not IDE or RAID though). IDE is not an option for my motherboard apparently, as the only choices are the U one and RAID. To my knowledge I do not have a RAID set-up, so the U one must be appropriate.

- When I went to Best Buy today, the person I spoke with suggested repairing the BCD. I did not know how to do this, so I looked online and found that somebody with a similar issue solved their problem by opening the command prompt and typing "bcdboot c:\windows /s b:". The command prompt responded by saying that boot files were successfully created on the SSD (or something like that). Progress was made: my SSD still failed to boot, but instead of my BIOS telling me that there was no boot media, a screen similar to the Windows 10 repair screen on my Windows 10 installation USB appeared. I can't remember off the top of my head what it said, but the bottom line was that Windows 10 failed to boot and I still needed to insert some medium for it to boot from. Plugging in the USB and pressing "Enter" does not make this screen go away. I had to reboot twice (once to attempt System Repair, and once again after that to reactivate SATA Port 1).

- I continued looking for solutions on the internet. Several suggested to use "MiniTool Partition Wizard." I guess it resolves the issue, or clones the HDD in a way that makes the SSD bootable. That's great, except all those solutions have a feature that my problem does not have. They all make mention of a "System Reserved" partition on either the HDD or the SSD following cloning. I have attached a screenshot of my Disk Management screen below. There is nothing that says "System Reserved." Also, notably, since checking Disk Management yesterday, something has changed: the SSD now is listed as a "System, Active, Primary Partition" instead of an "Active, Primary Partition," and the HDD is now no longer includes the word "System" in its listing. I am sure the change is either due to some behind-the-scenes stuff after rebooting a few times or due to my tinkering with the BCD earlier today. The SSD still does not boot when SATA Port 1 is disabled.

- It should be worth noting that up until yesterday I had no idea what a partition even was. Any drive partitions that exist were either created by the cloning process or existed before I did any tampering, with the exception of the single, simple partition that I created on the SSD so that Windows 10 would allow me to access it.

Thank you for reading all of that; I know it was lengthy and wordy. I've never built a PC before and really have no idea what I am doing. I wouldn't know if I was failing to account for some previous action I performed, so to in case any of that changes what the solution is I felt it worth putting everything on the table.

So, we now arrive at my questions. My intuition is to format the SSD and start over using MiniTool Partition Wizard, especially because that seemed to help other people. However, there does not appear to be anything called "System Reserved" on my drives, so I am not sure if my situation is the same as other peoples'. I am concerned that because the SSD is now labeled as being a "System Partition" and not the HDD, I would be making a grave error in wiping the SSD and starting a new cloning process. Like, I'm worried that because the HDD is not a "System Partition" anymore, wiping the SSD will make there be NO System Partition on my PC at all. I'm sure that characteristic is important. Should I be worried about that, or is it safe to try redoing the cloning process?

The person at Best Buy suggested I pursue three different possible solutions: the System File Checker, something called "DISM online," and rebuilding the BCD. Since some progress was made with the BCD, I wanted to follow up on rebuilding the BCD, but everything online talks about a "System Reserved" partition. Should I concern myself with that distinction?

I was thinking that another solution might be to move the "Boot" description from the HDD to the SSD, since "System" is already where it should be. Is there a way to do that?

Lastly, if you look at the screenshot, the HDD seems to have a separate "Recovery Partition" that also was not transmitted to the SSD. Should I be concerned about that?

Thank you so much for everything. I don't want to install or save anything on my desktop (other than small things like cloning software) until all my programs are on the SSD and I can format the HDD. I really want to get this taken care of, but that self-imposed pressure is putting me into a bit of a panic since I don't know anything about what I am doing. I've been stressing out every step of the way, and I finally decided I just can't progress until I talk to somebody more knowledgeable and give them all the details. I appreciate your patience and any suggestions you can provide.

Using the SysInfo utility, here are my computer's specifications:

Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6600K CPU @ 3.50GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 94 Stepping 3
Processor Count: 4
RAM: 16333 Mb
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, -1 Mb
Hard Drives: B: Total - 953416 MB, Free - 569119 MB; C: Total - 953416 MB, Free - 563364 MB;
Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd., Z170XP-SLI-CF
Antivirus: COMODO Antivirus, Updated and Enabled

Here is a screenshot of the Disk Management window ("Solid State Drive" is the SSD, "OSDisk" is the HDD):

upload_2016-7-31_18-6-13.png
 

texasbullet

Ramon
Joined
Jun 11, 2014
Messages
2,987
Just by looking at the picture and not completely reading your post, I see that you have your SSD as B drive and the other one as C drive. I think if you reverse the connections into your hard drives to make your SSD into C drive it may work to boot up.
 

Dreyfus2006

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
11
Should I also switch around the boot order? As in, should I have SATA 1 (SSD after the switch) have priority over SATA 0 (HDD after the switch), instead of the current boot order of SATA 2 (DVD-RW) -> SATA 0 (SSD) -> SATA 1 (HDD)?
 

Dreyfus2006

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
11
Sorry, that was a stupid question. Boot order won't matter until after we know if it worked or not, because the HDD will be unplugged anyway.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
1,157
1) The license for Windows 10 came from a Microsoft server over the internet and you are PERMANENTLY activated on that PC. You can freely reinstall Windows 10 to your hearts content and it will ALWAYS ACTIVATE (period).
2) Your PC is setup rather oddly because that "Recovery Partition" probably contains the boot loader.
3) Every hard disk drive has a unique ID and Windows created a completely different one for the SSD. Often, you can fix the booting problem by booting the Windows 10 installation DVD/USB and choosing Repair which will (sort of) straighten out the ID issue and let the drive boot. If you do that; though, you still will need to fix the System Protection problem where it tries to save all of the system restore's to the old HD's ID.
4) If you really want to clean it up, boot to the Windows 10 installation, choose Advanced when it asks you what to do, DELETE all of the partitions on the SSD, and choose next. Windows will automatically create the missing System Reserved partition and use the rest for Windows. This would best be done with the old HDD disabled or unplugged.
 

Dreyfus2006

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
11
1) The license for Windows 10 came from a Microsoft server over the internet and you are PERMANENTLY activated on that PC. You can freely reinstall Windows 10 to your hearts content and it will ALWAYS ACTIVATE (period).
Very good to know! Thank you.

2) Your PC is setup rather oddly because that "Recovery Partition" probably contains the boot loader.
Is there something I can do about that? Right-clicking on the Recovery Partition doesn't provide me a list of options like the other partitions do, instead the only option that comes up in the menu is "Help." I can't help but feel like the Recovery Partition has some role to play in all of this. I don't think it actually showed up on the Disk Management screen until after I performed the cloning process. I was surprised after cloning to notice that the HDD had two partitions rather than one, but I may have just missed it before hand. That second, empty partition on the SSD is weird too.

3) Every hard disk drive has a unique ID and Windows created a completely different one for the SSD. Often, you can fix the booting problem by booting the Windows 10 installation DVD/USB and choosing Repair which will (sort of) straighten out the ID issue and let the drive boot. If you do that; though, you still will need to fix the System Protection problem where it tries to save all of the system restore's to the old HD's ID.
I have not had success with System Repair, unfortunately.

4) If you really want to clean it up, boot to the Windows 10 installation, choose Advanced when it asks you what to do, DELETE all of the partitions on the SSD, and choose next. Windows will automatically create the missing System Reserved partition and use the rest for Windows. This would best be done with the old HDD disabled or unplugged.
I will try that if switching the drives doesn't work. I feel like that will not solve my initial goal of moving the system files, OS, and program files to the SSD. The system files and OS will probably be there, and hopefully the boot partition too, but wouldn't I have to format the whole thing again anyway to clone my program files onto the SSD? I mean, I can re-install them in a worst-case scenario, but some of the more important ones have their disks in storage halfway across the country right now since I moved to a smaller apartment in a new state last year, so I want to avoid that necessity if possible.

Looking at what you wrote again, though, did you mean that Windows will automatically create two partitions? As in, a System Reserved partition for the OS and booting, and a second empty partition that I can clone onto using the "Partition Clone" function? If so, that might just be my ticket out of this mess. Let's see what happens, I'm going to switch the two drives and if that doesn't work I'll delete the partitions using the Windows 10 installation USB.
 

managed

Allan
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
15,494
The computer is booting from B then running the OS on C. You need to do the cloning again but as soon as the cloning finishes switch the computer of, remove the HDD then move the SSD onto the same data cable the HDD was using, then switch the computer on. It should boot into the cloned OS, if it does switch off and connect the HDD to the data cable the SSD was using during the cloning. Now you can switch on and use both drives.

It's vital that the first boot of the clone SSD is done with the HDD disconnected, otherwise you will get the same problem you have now where it's booting from the SSD drive but running the OS on the HDD.

(In Disk Management Micro$oft use 'system' to mean the drive/partition containing the boot files and 'boot' to mean the drive/partition containing the OS files. Exactly the opposite of everyone else ! ).
 
Last edited:

Dreyfus2006

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
11
Switching the drives on its own didn't work, but doing a clean install of Windows 10 on the SSD did the trick! I am typing now having booted off of the SSD! I installed all the essential drivers, and I have access to my HDD. I believe there is now a System Reserved partition; it is not named that, but it is otherwise identical to pictures of the System Reserved partition on the internet. For the record and future reference, Windows 10 told me why it could not install boot files on the SSD during the installation process before I deleted the partitions. It goes back to when I set up the SSD in the first place. I set it up as a MBR(?), since I didn't know what the computer was talking about and the internet said that most new drives should be set up as MBR. However, Windows 10 as EFI software cannot put boot files on MBR drives, only GPT drives.

Now we progress to the next stage of the transfer: moving my programs from the HDD to the SSD. Can I clone the Primary Partition of the HDD to the Primary Partition of the SSD, or is it more complicated than that?
 

Dreyfus2006

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
11
Actually, I'm going to move this into a new thread. The point of this thread was the booting issue, so I'll mark it as solved. Thank you!
 
Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Staff online

Top