[SOLVED] Can't boot off new SSD Disk (I've tried lots of things...)

GMHague

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Apr 23, 2014
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Hi everyone, I've run out of ideas. I've done a fresh install of Win 10 Pro 64 on (as it turned out) a WDC 5400 rpm HDD partitioned into two partitions with all my DAW programs, etc, and the second partition is used for storage. I always had the intention of cloning the C Drive partition over to an SSD when everything was up and running... (yes, bad idea, I should have installed the SSD in the first place).

Anyway, for my C Drive Partition, which is only using 60GB, I now have a Gigabyte SSD 240GB disk. I've apparently successfully cloned my C Drive using AOMEI Backupper, but when I remove all other drives it wouldn't boot, so I also used EasyUD Todo, and again although it successfully cloned, it won't boot. I also tried the Windows Backup/Restore to create an image, but when I try to install the image onto the new SSD Windows won't let me because it's an "Active" drive. I've used both my Windows DVD and a Repair Disk that the Backup/Restore created to run Startup Repairs, but the process results in not being able to repair anything and recommends "Advanced options" which are just an endless loop of reinstall processes.

Various threads talk about changing the Boot Up Mode from Legacy to UEFI (or vice-versa) or disabling "CSM" in BIOS, however my mobo, a Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3, has no such options in the BIOS.

In Device Manager, the SSD is listed as having an MBR sector (or is MBR ... can't quite remember the terminology, but it's MBR, not GPT). And I've gone through the Boot Priority to ensure the SSD is prioritised -- although with nothing else connected, there's no choice anyway. When I disconnect everything, and only have the SSD, I make sure it's connected to the Master 0 SATA connection (same as the WDC when it's in place).

At the end of it all, I get a black screen with a cursor blinking after "Loading OS..." It won't do anything more. Reinstalling the WDC HDD works fine. So there isn't a problem with the actual Windows install or, I assume, the cloning process. I just can't get the SSD to boot. At this point, I'm retrying processes that haven't worked before. The one thing I haven't done, because the Storage partition is too large, is cloning the entire WDC disk rather than just the C Drive partition, but that doesn't seem to be the issue...

Cheers for any advice! Graeme.
 
I've noticed in my Disk Management that the H Drive partition we created is listed as "Healthy, Active" but it doesn't have that "Boot" listing that C Drive does. If it has those boot files created on it, should they be mentioned in Disk Management?
Those descriptions are a bit of counter-intuitive.
Bootloader partition will be described as "System". Currently used windows OS partition will be described as "Boot".
Logically those descriptions should be swapped around, but this is the way, it has always been.

At this point in time I'm tempted to start afresh.
Try rewriting bootsector of SSD first.
bootsect /nt60 H: /force

If that still doesn't help, then re-clone.
 
Execute from elevated command prompt. With regular command prompt you'll get error on last step.
(https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-open-a-windows-10-elevated-command-prompt/ )
If you get any errors executing this, then stop immediately.

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1
list partition
select partition 1
shrink desired=500
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick
active
assign letter=H
exit
bcdboot E:\windows /s H:

After this is done, disconnect all other drives, remove dvd, leave only SSD and boot from it.
 

GMHague

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Apr 23, 2014
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Execute from elevated command prompt. With regular command prompt you'll get error on last step.
(https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-open-a-windows-10-elevated-command-prompt/ )
If you get any errors executing this, then stop immediately.

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1
list partition
select partition 1
shrink desired=500
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick
active
assign letter=H
exit
bcdboot E:\windows /s H:

After this is done, disconnect all other drives, remove dvd, leave only SSD and boot from it.
Thanks for this! Late in the night here now, so I can't tackle this until tomorrow. I'll let you know!
(Can I copy and paste all the above into the command line?)
 

GMHague

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Apr 23, 2014
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ah heck .., thanks for your help again. I typed in the commands and got no error messages, and everything apparently went well, but it didn't work. Still no boot. On a whim, I tried System Repair afterwards and got a message (paraphrasing) "It could take up to an hour to apply repairs", but it closed down the PC within a minute and again refused to boot from the SSD.
The only minor point is that I didn't have the USB stick inserted, but the SSD was still labelled "E Drive" (I checked) and H was still an unassigned letter.
Dang! Just to vent for a moment (sorry!) it's got to be all there ... if we can only make it boot up once I'm assuming Windows will sort it out. Alternatively, if I was to go down the torturous route of reinstalling everything again from scratch, I'm not convinced the system will accept the SSD.
Cheers again for your thoughts. If you were in Oz, I'd buy you a very large pint of beer!
 

GMHague

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Apr 23, 2014
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Hi Sky, I just get the response "Boot files successfully created." This is in the "system32" root folder, correct?
Trying to boot up, I just get a flashing cursor.
In the BIOS (from memory here) there are options to delay the boot up by a factor or milliseconds. Is the SSD too "fast" for the BIOS ( a bizarre theory). I've made sure the Boot Priority is set to "Hard Disk" - there's no option to choose a particular HDD or SATA port.
By the way, I haven't mentioned that when the SSD is connected, the PC sees it fine - Explorer displays all the files and folders, no problem.
Thanks again, you're spending a lot of thought and time on my behalf.
 

GMHague

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Apr 23, 2014
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Hi Sky, I definitely disconnected the HDD, but I DID forget to take the DVD out of the DVD drive. However, it didn't attempt to boot off the DVD at all ... just gave me the option (hit any key...) which I didn't do. Is it worth recloning the C Drive anyway? It wouldn't take long.

Cheers
 

GMHague

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Apr 23, 2014
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Howdy Sky, no second monitor connected. I just tried an experiment, mounting the SSD into a USB 3 external caddy and trying to boot through USB. It didn't work, but at least I got a "Boot Failure, Insert System Disk" message.
I've noticed in my Disk Management that the H Drive partition we created is listed as "Healthy, Active" but it doesn't have that "Boot" listing that C Drive does. If it has those boot files created on it, should they be mentioned in Disk Management?
At this point in time I'm tempted to start afresh. Meaning, format the entire SSD, Clone my C Drive partition to it, then go through the process again of creating that H Partition and the boot files on it before I even attempt a first boot, then strip out everything but the SSD and try again. It kind of gets us back to square one, I guess. What do you think?
 
I've noticed in my Disk Management that the H Drive partition we created is listed as "Healthy, Active" but it doesn't have that "Boot" listing that C Drive does. If it has those boot files created on it, should they be mentioned in Disk Management?
Those descriptions are a bit of counter-intuitive.
Bootloader partition will be described as "System". Currently used windows OS partition will be described as "Boot".
Logically those descriptions should be swapped around, but this is the way, it has always been.

At this point in time I'm tempted to start afresh.
Try rewriting bootsector of SSD first.
bootsect /nt60 H: /force

If that still doesn't help, then re-clone.
 

GMHague

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Apr 23, 2014
19
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Sky, is it possible the problem lies in the fact my C Drive I've cloned is a partition, not an entire disk? I kind of assumed you knew that after seeing the Disk Management screenshot, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
And I haven't tried running the various Bootrec fixes through the Command Prompt (via the Windows DVD Repair process). Worth it?
 

GMHague

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Apr 23, 2014
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FIXED! HURRAY! I'll run through the process for anyone else looking for help. And a huge thanks to SkyNetRising for all the help.

Okay, so I started from scratch. I deleted all partitions on my SSD and reformatted it, then using the free version of AEOMI Backupper I cloned my C partition (a partition, not complete drive) to the SSD. Next, without even trying to reboot, I went through Sky's instructions above that create a small H Drive partition on the SSD and installs boot files. Next, I disconnected everything but the SSD and rebooted.
Nothing ... didn't work (bear with me).
So next I used a Windows DVD to boot the machine and get into a Command Prompt. From there I tried to run all the Bootrec functions and facilities. However, whenever I tried Bootrec.exe /fixboot I got an "Access denied" message, and Googling that only gave me some pretty nightmaring procedures to try and get around it.
AEOMI offers a downloadable bootable media that apparently has an MBR Repair tool. So I downloaded this (it took forever) and booted from the DVD only to discover the MBR Tool didn't exist - I'm guessing it's only available for the Paid version. In fact, I first thought the AEOMI GUI was just a mimic of the real Windows Repair DVD environment, but it did provide a Shell ... AEOMI's own Command Prompt window based on the WindowsPE model (whatever that is).
On a whim I tried to run the Bootrec functions in this shell and voila! The "Access Denied" message didn't occur and I was able to run the full gamut of Bootrec functions. Interestingly, the Bootrec Scanos reported "0" Window installations present on the disk. Still, again not really expecting anything to happen, I continued on to Win 10 and it booted! I had to check twice my original HDD wasn't still connected, I was so surprised.
So possibly being able to run the Bootrec.exe fixboot solved the problem ... I'm not sure, and if you can make this happen without the AEOMI bootable media it's worth a try. I actually don't know where I'm booting from - either the cloned SSD partition or Sky's added H Drive partition, but I won't poke that bear.
Sky might be able to explain in more technical terms what I inadvertently achieved here...
And I don't know how to to edit the thread heading with "solved".
Thanks SkyNetRising! Even though I kind of stumbled on the solution, you prompted me to think in the right directions.
 

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