Question Removing an SSD from my PC stops it from booting from m.2

DJ-Specter

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Dec 10, 2009
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Hi everyone,

I'm hoping this is the right place for this question - wasn't sure if it was a Storage or Mobo matter.

I had windows freshly installed on a new SSD. I then bought a m.2 drive last week, booted from a usb stick and freshly installed windows onto the m.2 drive. All went well, and I can clearly see both drives in This PC. When I boot with this configuration, I'm served a brief option for which Windows instance to boot to, so it clearly recognises that there are two windows drives available.

I then unplugged the SSD to put it in another machine, but now whenever I boot up, it goes straight to BIOS every time. Plugging the SSD back in, fixes the problem and windows boots fine, from the correct drive.

In the BIOS, the m.2 drive is visible and at the top of the boot priority order. Windows is also definitely installed to the m.2 drive.

I was wondering whether somehow I'd inadvertently linked the two drives together somehow, but this feels like a bit of a stretch :/

Motherboard: Z390 AORUS ULTRA
Windows 10 version: 10.0.19041 Build 19041
i7 9700KF - 32GB RAM - GTX 980ti

Cheers in advance!
 
Jul 23, 2020
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Maybe you have to select the drive to boot from in your BIOS , or select the new bootloader, if that doesn't help I think that your bootloader is installed on the SSD you removed, so basically you do have a full copy of Windows on the M.2, but no way to boot it without the SSD. You could use the windows install disc to try and 'repair' windows, this might help by installing a bootloader onto the M.2 (do this with the SSD unplugged). Another way is to format the M.2, make a backup of any data on there, and reinstall windows onto the M.2 (also with the SSD unplugged).
 

USAFRet

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Unless the SATA SSD was physically disconnected when you installed the OS on the M.2...that is exactly what happened.
The boot info for the new install was simply merged into the old one on the SSD.

Since this is a brand new install, just redo it.
With ONLY the M.2 drive connected.


 
Reactions: digitalgriffin
Unless the SATA SSD was physically disconnected when you installed the OS on the M.2...that is exactly what happened.
The boot info for the new install was simply merged into the old one on the SSD.

Since this is a brand new install, just redo it.
With ONLY the M.2 drive connected.


USAFRet is correct. The boot loader went to your SATA SSD and your windows install went to your NVME. You need the bootloader to start the system.

It's only a few milliseconds more load time to have the boot loader on the SATA SSD.
 

DJ-Specter

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Wow, thanks for the super quick responses guys!

I had no idea that was even possible. I'll try the windows repair with the ssd unplugged suggestion and get back to you.

Cheers!
 
That no longer works like that.

Clean install.
He's right. The boot loader exist on a separate partition. You'll have to repartition your drive and set it as the primary boot. There are articles online on how to do this, but it can be an epic pain. And if you mess it up, you have problems. Clean reinstall is the best bet without the SSD attached.
 
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