[SOLVED] Dell boot sequence in bios

Oct 17, 2020
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I've recently cloned my HDD to my new SSD, and would like to change my boot process in the BIOS, as is seemingly "easy" according to everywhere on the internet. Dell's BIOS however doesn't have a simple dropdown menu with a C: and D: to choose from. I have called Dell's customer support only to be told it is impossible to do this without reinstalling windows completely on my SSD? Anybody have a clue how to help me? The drive is already cloned, and seemingly in perfect condition. I see no boot sequence at all in the BIOS, under the boot sequence menu. (Not one that my new butt understands).

Thanks in advance guys.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Dell has told me that cloning and changing boot process is impossible because Windows is running, and the only way is to reinstall Windows on my SSD after watching a youtube video. They did not however provide me a youtube video. Are they correct? Any chance anyone has the appropriate video?
That person is wrong.

Cloning a running Windows instance is done daily. (see specific tools and steps below)
Changing the boot order happens before Windows boots up.

You don't do it all at once.
Clone, power off, disconnect the old drive, boot up and check the BIOS boot order, adjust if needed, continue.



-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
If you are cloning from a SATA drive to PCIe/NVMe, install the relevant driver for this new NVMe/PCIe drive.
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
-----------------------------
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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At the end of the clone process, the FIRST thing you needed to do was power OFF, disconnect the old drive, and attempt to power up from only the new drive.

What tool did you use for this clone?
What drives are involved?
 
Oct 17, 2020
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Sheesh. I used EaseUs....thanks for being so fast, I am going bonkers over here.
I now have 2 seperate drives, identical to eachother. a C: HDD and D: SSD
 
Oct 17, 2020
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And it should automatically boot to the SSD? I am pretty new with hardware, that is frightening. Worst case, just plug the old guy back in and reboot again? lol ....and once I'm booted to the SSD if I am in fact successful...Do I then get to plug my HDD back in, and the SSD will be my permanent boot drive, or how do I go about making that the case?
 

USAFRet

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And it should automatically boot to the SSD? I am pretty new with hardware, that is frightening. Worst case, just plug the old guy back in and reboot again? lol ....and once I'm booted to the SSD if I am in fact successful...Do I then get to plug my HDD back in, and the SSD will be my permanent boot drive, or how do I go about making that the case?
Will it boot up? Probably.
You still need to go into the BIOS and see what is going on regarding the boot priority.
 
Oct 17, 2020
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Hmm..see that is what frightens me. I dont understand why my bios doesnt just have a boot sequence menu (or feature) like everyone elses? I have watched countless videos, and followed EaseUs' instructions to a tee, but they all lead to a dead end once I'm required to access my boot sequence, because my boot sequence has no option to choose between any drives at all. I'd rather not disassemble my computer and unplug the HDD just to boot to the SSD once...only to find out that my BIOS is still strange. Is Bell's bios just silly, or am I missing something? Everyone else does this incredibly easily it seems. Thanks alot for stickin with me here, I'm not trying to be a pain, I'm scared silly is all. I changed 1 setting in the boot sequence area of my bios, hoping it was correct - and sure enough I got the orange light of death for a bit, I couldnt boot at all. Luckily it fixed itself minutes later, but not fun.
 
Oct 17, 2020
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Ok thanks alot. I will report back. Unfortunately I have no way of taking pics of the BIOS until my lady gets home with the camera, so I'm on my own in that regard, and I've poked around eevvverywhere, it's written in code language or something. It's not a simple C: D: dropdown menu, that's for sure.
 
Oct 17, 2020
68
2
35
0
Dell has told me that cloning and changing boot process is impossible because Windows is running, and the only way is to reinstall Windows on my SSD after watching a youtube video. They did not however provide me a youtube video. Are they correct? Any chance anyone has the appropriate video?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
131,041
5,594
165,040
20,202
Dell has told me that cloning and changing boot process is impossible because Windows is running, and the only way is to reinstall Windows on my SSD after watching a youtube video. They did not however provide me a youtube video. Are they correct? Any chance anyone has the appropriate video?
That person is wrong.

Cloning a running Windows instance is done daily. (see specific tools and steps below)
Changing the boot order happens before Windows boots up.

You don't do it all at once.
Clone, power off, disconnect the old drive, boot up and check the BIOS boot order, adjust if needed, continue.



-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
If you are cloning from a SATA drive to PCIe/NVMe, install the relevant driver for this new NVMe/PCIe drive.
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
-----------------------------
 
Oct 17, 2020
68
2
35
0
My king returns. Thanks alot. I have done almost all of that, but when I disconnect and try to boot from the solo SSD connected, I get that "No bootable drives" message...Should I try with the C: cords, instead of the spare drive cords, as you suggested as well?
 
Oct 17, 2020
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And my old C: should be alot more empty than my new drive? Do I accomplish this by simply deleting things I no longer need, or things that have been successfully cloned anyways? That is no problem...
 
Oct 17, 2020
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Also, the bios boot order doesn't display as I feel it should....I see no drive letters anywhere, it just says Windows Boot Manager. Any ideas? Sorry to harass you, I'm quite confused is all. I'm not a total flop on the PC.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Also, the bios boot order doesn't display as I feel it should....I see no drive letters anywhere, it just says Windows Boot Manager. Any ideas? Sorry to harass you, I'm quite confused is all. I'm not a total flop on the PC.
You won't see drive letters.
Windows Boot Manager, as noted above, is what you should see.

However, the fact that it fails to boot up from only the SSD means something went wrong.
Time to start at the beginning.

Put it back together, in original config.
We're going to want to see a screencap of the Disk Management window.
 
Oct 17, 2020
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With the HDD disconnected, no sir. It stops and says No Bootable Drives I believe, no bootable disks maybe, but no, it doesnt. Once I plug it back in it's all fine and dandy...and I can browse and see everything on the D: (ssd) so it's installed properly..
 

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