Question Attempting to boot Windows on new SSD without success.

Sep 19, 2020
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Hey guys. I'll try to be thorough but concise.
My lone goal is to boot windows 10 off a new SSD. I have a currently working older SSD that runs windows fine (Crucial BX100).
Important specs -
SSD: Crucial MX500 2 TB
MOBO: Sabertooth Z87
CPU: Intel i7-4790k
As far as I can see, they should be compatible.
I have installed Windows 10 to two separate flash drives. One using the Windows 10 Media Creation tool by itself, the other using Rufus.
The SSD seems to work fine in every way except for booting. I can see it in BIOS, device manager, disk manager and even file explorer. I have tested it by installing several programs to it, trying them, then uninstalling them. I can move files to the drive and access them. I can "see" the windows installation on the SSD. But can't boot to it.
Going slightly insane trying to get this to work. Here's what I've tried so far as far as I can remember.
  1. 2 different installations of Windows. See the rufus/media creation comment.
  2. Multiple cables/sata ports.
  3. Trying with all other drives unplugged, then again with them back in, then without them etc.
  4. Rolling back to previous bios version, testing, then updating to most recent bios version and testing. Read that bios can be "corrupted" and this worked for at least one person.
  5. Resetting CMOS by pin connections.
  6. Running the Windows repair tool on the flash drives.
  7. Setting new SSD as boot drive in priorities.
  8. Converting the drive to MBR/GPT, and using Rufus for the respective installation.
  9. Alternating uefi/legacy settings in bios.
I'll leave this as is-for now and try to edit things in as I go. There have been a lot more attempts, but they've blurred together a bit
 
Last edited:
Sep 19, 2020
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If the original Windows drive is plugged in, it will default to that drive despite being lower in the boot order. If no other drives are plugged in, it will always bring me back to the BIOS - no other screens or error messages are shown.
 
Sep 19, 2020
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Solved. Super rusty on solving these types of problems so I left out what was probably the biggest clue. Cloning the one drive to the other was one of the first things I tried, but the software I tried (from memory, Acronis, Macrium and Easus To-Do) failed because the bytes/sector were incompatible (512 on old vs 4096 on the new) - and I assumed that problem was insurmountable. Then I go spend 15 hours trying to tackle the problem in different ways. No luck from all of the above attempts. Then I realize it the cloning isn't insurmountable, so I find a free software called HDClone that advertised itself as being able to clone in spite of the byte/sector issue. After about 3 hours the cloning was complete. Tested it a few different ways - once without the original SSD, then with the original SSD but a new file on the desktop - but this nightmare is finally over. I'd still be curious for a deeper "why" simply installing Windows itself wasn't working, but I'm content with this, even if I have a lot of cleaning to do.
 

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