Question Dual-Boot Installation - 2 copies of Windows

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nickeh1

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@USAFRet I don't think I missed anything.
I copied the exact contents of the old drive, including all partitions.

It completed.
I checked in macrium and it shows all the same drives correctly.
Removed old drive
Booted up
Changed boot order to new ssd first
Then I get this error. Boot device not found.

It is hp laptop. I made the drives NTFS and GPT (not MBR).

Hmm... No idea where to go with this?
 

USAFRet

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The laptop has 2 drives (ssd 256gb and hdd 1tb).
I would surmise that the HDD was connected when the install was originally done ont he SSD.
Resulting in the boot partition residing on the HDD.
Remove that HDD, and no boot for you, even if you grabbed ALL the partitions from the SSD.
 

nickeh1

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@USAFRet No, the hdd was removed. The hdd was just additional drive with no windows anyway.
It is the ssd 256gb which was cloned to the 500gb ssd.
I had to remove the hdd for the 500gb ssd to fit.
 

nickeh1

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I used Macrium Reflect. I tried it again. I formatted the drive and did another clone, again it failed.

Nevermind, i ended up manually backing up the files, formatting both drives with 2 new fresh installs of windows.

Working fine.

However, I find it a bit of a nuisance to go into bios every time and change the boot order to load the other windows on the other drive.

Is there a simpler way for me to bounce between one to the other?

I saw an app that did something as such, but can't remember the name.

I did read online that when you have 2 installations of windows, the system automatically gives you the option of which one you want to load on boot up, but mine doesn't do this. It just loads whatever is first on the boot order in bios.
 

USAFRet

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How to choose which depends o how you installed them.

If you install with only one drive connected each time, then you must interrupt the boot process, or let it go to the default first one.
Doing it like this has the benefit of two individual drives. Take one out, and the other still boots up just fine.


If you install one, then leave that drive connected and install one on a second drive...then you get a menu to choose from. Or let it go to the default first choice.
This can have issues because the whole boot partition lives on the first drive. Take that out, and no boot for the second drive.


But either way, you need to reboot to invoke the choice of which.
 

nickeh1

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Ok thanks @USAFRet - so theres no application that will allow you to switch easily between the two drives of windows (if separate drives)?

Another question, I have another laptop with an M2 SSD. How can I easily clone the windows from this laptop to another drive on another laptop?

Bearing in mind, I am cloning from another M2 SSD to another. Both laptops only have one slow for an M2 SSD.
 

nickeh1

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@USAFRet We use the 2 laptops to run servers at events. They are not identical but both hp. Why would they need to be identical?
Is there any possible way to clone the 1st laptop to a file/folder. Then copy the clone backup to the 2nd laptop and unload the clone there.

Is there an app that does something like this?
 

USAFRet

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@USAFRet We use the 2 laptops to run servers at events. They are not identical but both hp. Why would they need to be identical?
Is there any possible way to clone the 1st laptop to a file/folder. Then copy the clone backup to the 2nd laptop and unload the clone there.

Is there an app that does something like this?
Windows is very picky about the hardware.
Moving an OS between two different systems is usually full of fail. Either moving the physical drive, or a clone of it.

And then of course the Windows licensing comes into play.

An OS really needs to stay with its original system/motherboard.
We can swap it between drives, in that same system. But wanting to move an OS between system often/usually results in tears.
 

nickeh1

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Windows is very picky about the hardware.
Moving an OS between two different systems is usually full of fail. Either moving the physical drive, or a clone of it.

And then of course the Windows licensing comes into play.

An OS really needs to stay with its original system/motherboard.
We can swap it between drives, in that same system. But wanting to move an OS between system often/usually results in tears.
So it is pretty much impossible to take all the data installed on one laptop and copy it to another?

The reason for this is that the drive I want to copy contains server installations which takes many hours to install manually. I don't want to pay developer to do this again for us to run the server on another laptop.
Ideally I want to copy the existing one.

It would be great if we can find a work around for this. Any suggestions?
 

USAFRet

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USAFRet

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No.
That is no different than any of the other current cloning tools.

A clone is a clone is a clone.
Again, moving that clone to different hardware is no different than moving the physical drive.

A Windows install insinuates itself at a deep level with its installed hardware. Specific hardware ID's, etc.
Moving that to new hardware has 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks.
I've seen all 3. I've seen it fail between 2 almost identical HP/Compaq laptops. I've seen it work between a Pentium G840 and an i3-8100 based system, with motherboards of 2 different manufacturers.
 

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