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Move Windows to an SSD but also a fresh install, without install CD?

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KatGamer    10

I want to move my windows installation to an SSD but I also want to do a fresh windows installation. 

 

My setup: My C drive is a 1TB HDD which I originally had installed Windows 7 on but upgraded to 10. Then I have my E drive which is a 3TB media drive containing my music, videos, etc. 

 

I want to put in a new 512GB SSD and then use what is now acting as C as an additional media drive.  

 

I don’t have my Windows 7 CD anymore (the computer is 8 years old) - is there any way to do a fresh installation of Windows 7 or 10 on the SSD, without the install CD, or am I stuck just cloning the old drive to the new?

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+Eternal Tempest    799

Would creating a bootable usb with the windows 10 installer be an option?

 

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-create-windows-10-usb-bootable-media-uefi-support

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

 

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Jim K    13,493

^ that...and I believe you can still enter your Windows 7 key to activate a Windows 10 license.

 

If not, you can download 7 here...

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7

 

But I would try the 10 route first....

 

If you don't know your 7 key...you can use NirSoft

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

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techbeck    6,908

I don't think you need to use an install key as long as you installed Win10 on the old HD and activated it on that system.  I reinstalled Win10 many times on systems who  already had it and did not have to enter a key  again.  During the install, I skip the key part and when Windows loads, it is activated.

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KatGamer    10

Yeah that would be great if it will let me do a fresh install, thanks! I do still have my key.

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techbeck    6,908
2 minutes ago, KatGamer said:

Yeah that would be great if it will let me do a fresh install, thanks! I do still have my key.

Just as long as you activated Win10 on your old HD successfully, you should be able to install Win10 again without an issue.   You can get the latest Win10 ISO here.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

 

And again, I do no think you need a key as long as it was activated and working on the old HD.  Just skip past the key input if setup prompts you for it and then check to see if Win10 is activated after the install.  If not, you can always input the key after the install.

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KatGamer    10

This is not going well. I cloned my old hdd to the SSD using HowTo Geek’s guide here.  I unplugged the old hdd, plugged in the SSD in its place, and I get the first screenshot attached about this pc needing to be repaired because something is missing. 

 

I made that bootable USB as well as a recovery CD. Using either one gives me the second screen. If I choose System Image Recovery it can’t find one. If I choose System Restore, I get the third image. I’m not getting an option to choose an operating system, though, so I don’t know where I’m supposed to go. Using Startup Repair just says that first error again and gives me the option to go back to the second screen or shut down.

 

Okay, so I googled the error code. I found this on Microsoft’s site and followed the directions. It didn’t find any windows installations. Here is a screenshot (sorry it’s on imgur, I ran out of upload space for images.)

 

Next I googled about why it can’t find any installations and found this on Microsoft again which said I needed to run bcdedit. Resulted in The store export operation has failed - the requested system device cannot be found.  (That second link is another screenshot.)

 

Back to The Google, it seems this happens when Windows can’t recognize the USB port. I have 4 ports on my PC, 2 are USB 2.0 and 2 are USB 3.0. I tried juggling them all around and still get the same error. At that same link it suggested my drive was registered to another letter. I remembered when I’d plugged it in before it was listed as G. But I tried the command on that page - 

bcdboot.exe G:\Windows /s C:

and all I got was “Failure when attempting to copy boot files.” Just for good measure I tried subbing in drive letters C, D, E, and F too. Same error. 

 

And here we are. I’m at a loss. What do I try next?

D18BD933-6F0A-4E70-ABD2-68D1D87FA1B3.jpeg

61CBB9FA-BE2D-4206-9E16-2B27F2800CB0.jpeg

ACE4D06E-90F4-4115-B360-54B2378FF454.jpeg

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KatGamer    10

One more thing, continuing with the methods at that same last link, I tried 

bcdedit /store c:\Boot\BCD /import c:\boot\bcd.temp

with all permutation of drive letters and got “The store import command is invalid.”

 

Apologies for for the double post. It took me over an hour to do everything in that first post and I wanted to get it up already. 

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goretsky    1,049

Hello,

 

As @techbeck noted, your computer already has a Windows 10 license through digital entitlement, which you received when you upgraded from Microsoft Windows 7 to Microsoft Windows 10.  So, you should have no trouble using the Create Windows 10 Installation Media tool to create a bootable flash drive (or DVD) with Windows 10 on it to perform a clean install of the operating system to the SSD.

 

I would suggest that you unplug the 1TB and 3TB hard disk drives (plus any other hard disk drives) and just have the SSD connected when you perform a clean installation of Windows 10 in order to avoid any scenarios where the boot loader is accidentally installed onto one of the hard disk drives.

 

Once installation is finished, reconnect the hard disk drives, and you can copy any data over from them to the SSD that you need, as well as install any software to the new SSD.

 

If you have any trouble with activating Windows, the troubleshooter should give you a toll-free number to call.  You can call that, explain that Windows 10 is installed only on one computer, and that you replaced the drive in it, and they should give you a code to activate it.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

15 hours ago, techbeck said:

Just as long as you activated Win10 on your old HD successfully, you should be able to install Win10 again without an issue.   You can get the latest Win10 ISO here.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

 

And again, I do no think you need a key as long as it was activated and working on the old HD.  Just skip past the key input if setup prompts you for it and then check to see if Win10 is activated after the install.  If not, you can always input the key after the install.

 

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KatGamer    10

The problem is I’m not getting any option to do a clean installation of Windows. I just get those blue screens I posted above. 

 

I temporarily have all 3 drives (HDD, SSD, media drive) plugged in, at the cost of losing my DVD-ROM (not enough power cables to go around.) I was going to try re-cloning the drives. I can unplug the HDD and media drive and do as you suggested but I’m not sure I’ll get anything different. 

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KatGamer    10

Welp, I guess I completely broke it. I was certain it was still booting off the larger hdd because this morning, I temporarily put some files on the hdd, that would not have fit on the ssd, while I converted my media drive from MBR to GPT. The computer booted fine after that. So I formatted the ssd on order to clone the drive again. And then restarted. Now it won’t boot at all. It won’t boot off the hdd with the ssd disconnected. It won’t boot off the ssd with the hdd disconnected. It won’t boot with both drives connected.  It won’t boot from the USB recovery drive. It just hangs at Loading Operating System. Pressing F8 does nothing. 

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Mando    5,117

grab windows 10 setup media online, create a boot usb and do a clean install.

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

 

 

you can then install to SSD from the media you create, then use disk manager in the clean install to initialise your big drive.

 

Create a primary partition in it after reinstalling the clean copy of windows, 10 will activate with a digital entitlement when it goes online.

 

job done :)

 

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KatGamer    10

My friend, that’s what I spent all day yesterday trying to do. It wouldn’t give me any kind of option to do a clean install. I tried using a USB drive and a CD.  It only wanted me to do a system restore but then couldn’t find a restore point. And then today it just completely stopped booting. It wouldn’t boot off either drive nor would it boot from the recovery media. 

 

I gave up in frustration and took it to a local repair shop. I have never had any kind of problem like this before and I’ve replaced several hdds with ssds (6 by my count). But all in laptops, never in a desktop. Not that that should have made any difference.

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+warwagon    13,118
42 minutes ago, KatGamer said:

My friend, that’s what I spent all day yesterday trying to do. It wouldn’t give me any kind of option to do a clean install. I tried using a USB drive and a CD.  It only wanted me to do a system restore but then couldn’t find a restore point. And then today it just completely stopped booting. It wouldn’t boot off either drive nor would it boot from the recovery media. 

 

I gave up in frustration and took it to a local repair shop. I have never had any kind of problem like this before and I’ve replaced several hdds with ssds (6 by my count). But all in laptops, never in a desktop. Not that that should have made any difference.

Sounds to me like it's not booting into the installation media but instead into the recovery of the old install.

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Anibal P    2,055
21 hours ago, warwagon said:

Sounds to me like it's not booting into the installation media but instead into the recovery of the old install.

 

This, check boot order in BIOS, make sure you have CD or USB before the HDD/SSD 

 

Or, in most systems F8 should get you to a boot menu and select the correct option 

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ThaCrip    605

This is what I do to create bootable USB media...

 

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 (click the 'download tool now') and download the ISO then use Rufus (i.e. https://rufus.akeo.ie/ ) to create your bootable USB media using that ISO file. this works great for me on my UEFI system booting from a USB card reader on a 4GB SD card. if you don't have a UEFI system simply select 'MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI' then select FAT32 for file system and where it shows 'Create a bootable disk using' switch that to 'ISO image' and then click the icon to the right and guide it to the Windows 10 ISO you downloaded and then click 'start' and sit back and wait and that's that, your done. if you do have a UEFI system you can select 'GPT partition scheme for UEFI' on Rufus. Rufus is straight up better than the Microsoft stuff which don't seem to work properly which is why I always do this method (i.e. download ISO using official MS tool and then use Rufus to make the bootable USB drive) to get a bootable USB drive. another thing... while my primary PC, which is basically what I described here, works fine on basically all of my USB stuff, it seems my 10 year old laptop (HP DV5-1002nr) is much more picky on what USB media it will boot from as the only USB thumb drive I got that works is a 64GB Sandisk USB v3.0 flash drive of which I use YUMI ( pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/ ) which allows booting from multiple ISO's on the flash drive instead of just one thing like Rufus (although generally speaking I would stick with Rufus for the typical person) as it's nice and handy so I can boot Windows or Linux or Clonezilla etc.

 

on my ASUS motherboard, pressing F8 on my main ASUS BIOS screen when powering on PC is what loads up the boot menu and then you simply select the USB device and it should boot no problem. either way, it's simply a matter of finding your computer model (or motherboard if it's custom built) and then finding how it boots from media and then should be pretty easy after that as you can skip the cd key stuff during installation as it should automatically activate Windows 10 since it appears your already running Windows 10 on your current system.

 

and like mentioned already above... you might have to tweak your boot order a bit to.

Edited by ThaCrip
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+warwagon    13,118
20 minutes ago, Anibal P said:

 

Or, in most systems F8 should get you to a boot menu and select the correct option 

1

I wish that was the case. I also wish the OEMS would decide on a god damn boot menu key

 

On HP it's F9 and on Dells it's F12 and my Pipo X9 is F7, Not sure which ones are F8.

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KatGamer    10

I did choose to make it boot from the USB drive and the CD (I tried both options) and still got taken to the same non-functional error screen. (F12 in my case.) It’s a moot point now as I dropped it off at the repair shop. I spent two days troubleshooting it. I’ve cloned and swapped drives before and never had any problems so I don’t know what went wrong this time. 

Quote

I made that bootable USB as well as a recovery CD. Using either one gives me the second screen. If I choose System Image Recovery it can’t find one. If I choose System Restore, I get the third image. I’m not getting an option to choose an operating system, though, so I don’t know where I’m supposed to go. Using Startup Repair just says that first error again and gives me the option to go back to the second screen or shut down.

ThaCrip, I’ll keep Rufus in mind for the future, thanks. 

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KatGamer    10

The repair shop called. They said they tried every boot sector repair tool they had and none worked. They’re going to wipe the SSD for me and reinstall Windows. So it wasn’t just me. 

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goretsky    1,049

Hello,

 

Glad to hear the issue was resolved.  For future reference, here's how to wipe the beginning of the SSD yourself:

 

  1. Start the computer as you normally would from the Windows installation media.
  2. When you get to the first screen, press Shift+F10 to open a Command Prompt in the Windows installer
  3. Start DiskPart (filename: DISKPART.EXE), the command line disk partitioning tool. The DiskPart program will appear.
  4. At the DISKPART> prompt, type "LIST DISK" (without quotes) and press enter. A list of currently-mounted disk drives will be displayed.  Your SSD will show up with number like 0, 1, 2, 3 and so forth in front of it, and be listed by its size.
  5. At the DISKPART> prompt, type "SELECT DISK n" (without quotes), where n  is the number assigned to the SSD and press enter.  The SSD will now be selected as the drive on which to perform operations.
      (Note:  For this reason, it is recommended you start the computer with other drives disconnected to avoid confusion about drive numbering.)
  6. At the DISKPART> prompt, type "CLEAN" (without quotes) and press enter. This tells DiskPart to zero-out (write 0's) across the beginning of the disk, overwriting the boot record, partitioning and some of other information stored at the beginning of the drive.  On a SSD, it should just take a couple of seconds to run.
  7. At the DISKPART> prompt, type "EXIT" (without quotes) and press enter.  You will now be back at the Windows installation screen.
     

At this point, you can continue installing Windows as normal.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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KatGamer    10

Thanks Goretsky. I appreciate all your help. I am familiar with DiskPart but since the repair shop already has it and I’m A. really busy this week and B. I got really frustrated with it, I told them to go ahead and fix it. 

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Mando    5,117
On 5/5/2018 at 9:15 PM, warwagon said:

I wish that was the case. I also wish the OEMS would decide on a god damn boot menu key

 

On HP it's F9 and on Dells it's F12 and my Pipo X9 is F7, Not sure which ones are F8.

Asus are F2 or Del, both work on uefis Lenovos usually F12 or Del or blue think vantage button if its older.

1 hour ago, KatGamer said:

Thanks Goretsky. I appreciate all your help. I am familiar with DiskPart but since the repair shop already has it and I’m A. really busy this week and B. I got really frustrated with it, I told them to go ahead and fix it. 

itll be like a sparkly new machine when you get it, hopefully they pop 1803 on for you :) if its your sig machine, the ssd will give it a new lease of life.

I still use a 2008 era Lenvo x201 as aportable with 8Gb and ssd on sata 2 it flies in W10, when not at my sig rig :)

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