Question Trying to boot Windows 7 from NVME drive.

Jun 13, 2021
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I decided to install an NVME drive (Samsung EVO 970 Plus) to install Windows 7 on to get more speed. I have an existing Windows 7 installation that runs fine. I installed the Samsung NVME driver, and Windows recognized it. I can do everything with it EXCEPT boot into Windows from it. I did a lot of reading on how to modify my BIOS to recognize the NVME drive, and I succeeded in doing so. I converted the NVME drive to GPT. I cloned my Windows 7 installation to the NVME drive (I HATE the idea of having to install Windows on the NVME drive from scratch). The BIOS sees the drive, and also sees Windows Boot Manager in the boot priority list. When I choose Boot Manager as first priority, the computer ignores the NVME drive and goes straight to the preexisting Windows installation. No Boot Manager menu appears. I tried simply disconnecting the old drive, and got a missing boot disk error. What do I need to do to boot to the NVME drive??? What drives me crazy is that I did the same thing a few years ago, except I cloned Windows from a small HDD to a larger one (GPT) and it worked perfectly. I can't remember how I did it.
 
just cloning Windows onto another disk is not going to force the system to use that disk to boot.
Windows already has it's boot parameters in place on the previous drive's system partitions.

all you have done is make a copy of your existing Windows partition without changing how it is supposed to operate.
 

USAFRet

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What motherboard is this on?
what tool did you use to clone this?
At the end of the clone process, did you physically disconnect the old drive, and allow the system to try to boot from only the new? (this is not optional)
 
What drives me crazy is that I did the same thing a few years ago, except I cloned Windows from a small HDD to a larger one (GPT) and it worked perfectly. I can't remember how I did it.
The nvme is a different controller which makes windows look like a completely different installation, if both disks are the same cloning is much easier.

No Boot Manager menu appears. I tried simply disconnecting the old drive, and got a missing boot disk error. What do I need to do to boot to the NVME drive???
You have to partition your nvme drive with a primary and bootable partition, you can use the whole disk for this although microsoft suggests a small boot partition.
The cloning you did was not a sector based one that clones literally everything resulting in a 100% clone including the target being the same size as the source which is why many people don't choose this option.
 
Jun 13, 2021
19
1
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What motherboard is this on?
what tool did you use to clone this?
At the end of the clone process, did you physically disconnect the old drive, and allow the system to try to boot from only the new? (this is not optional)
ASUS P9X79. I modified the BIOS to recognize the NVME drive. I cloned with AOMEI Backupper. I tried disconnecting the old drive, but I got a "missing boot disk" error.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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ASUS P9X79. I modified the BIOS to recognize the NVME drive. I cloned with AOMEI Backupper. I tried disconnecting the old drive, but I got a "missing boot disk" error.
Even with a modified BIOS (How?), booting from an NVMe on those boards is iffy.
Even if it does eventually work, you'll see little if any difference vs a SATA III SSD.

Put the system back to original condition.
Does it work?

And a screencap of the Disk Management window, please.
 
Reactions: kanewolf
Jun 13, 2021
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The nvme is a different controller which makes windows look like a completely different installation, if both disks are the same cloning is much easier.


You have to partition your nvme drive with a primary and bootable partition, you can use the whole disk for this although microsoft suggests a small boot partition.
The cloning you did was not a sector based one that clones literally everything resulting in a 100% clone including the target being the same size as the source which is why many people don't choose this option.
If I do a sector based clone, does the target disk need to be as large as the source disk? The source is 2 TB, the target is 500 GB.
 
If I do a sector based clone, does the target disk need to be as large as the source disk? The source is 2 TB, the target is 500 GB.
yes but in your case it would still not work because the source is sata and the target is nvme, they are not the same so they can't boot in the same way.

What you have to do is to make the nvme drive bootable by partitioning it like I said before. and creating a bcd store on it.
 
Jun 13, 2021
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Even with a modified BIOS (How?), booting from an NVMe on those boards is iffy.
Even if it does eventually work, you'll see little if any difference vs a SATA III SSD.

Put the system back to original condition.
Does it work?

And a screencap of the Disk Management window, please.
Modifying the BIOS was quite a rabbit hole, but it works. The BIOS sees the NVME drive, and lists it in the boot priorities. Not sure what you mean by returning the system to the original condition. There's no need to. Everything is working fine. I just want to boot from the NVME drive.
 
Jun 13, 2021
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yes but in your case it would still not work because the source is sata and the target is nvme, they are not the same so they can't boot in the same way.

What you have to do is to make the nvme drive bootable by partitioning it like I said before. and creating a bcd store on it.
OK, I need to figure out how to do that.
 
Jun 13, 2021
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rather than going through all this,
why not just format and make a fresh install of Windows?
you've already spent much more time than the simple install would've taken.

is there data you want to keep in place that is the issue?
I consider that a last resort. It took eight days to configure Windows just the way I want it (installing programs, drivers, etc.) A HUGE hassle.
 
OK, I need to figure out how to do that.
Starting a fresh install with only the nvme connected.
On a fresh drive it should create a small boot partition and the rest with windows.
After that and after confirming that it boots into windows you can use the last option from the picture, the partition clone tool to clone only the windows partition from the old drive to only the windows partition of the new drive.

Of course for this to work the old installation will have to be with a separate boot partition as well.
 
Reactions: Robert3750
Jun 13, 2021
19
1
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Starting a fresh install with only the nvme connected.
On a fresh drive it should create a small boot partition and the rest with windows.
After that and after confirming that it boots into windows you can use the last option from the picture, the partition clone tool to clone only the windows partition from the old drive to only the windows partition of the new drive.

Of course for this to work the old installation will have to be with a separate boot partition as well.
OK, that sounds like a plausible approach. Let me see if I can do that. One issue I will have to deal with is how to install W7 on a GPT drive, since an NVME drive can't boot from an MBR drive.
 
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