I cloned Windows to a new SSD but now I can't use the old drive


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Odd problem.

 

I bought a new 1TB NVMe and cloned my 250GB drive over to the new drive using Macrium Reflect, which kinda sucked because it failed to set the new drive's drive letter to C, so after faffng about I learned that I had to use diskpart to set the new drive to C and then it booted fine, and I've been working in Windows all weekend.

 

Today I put the old 250GB NVMe in an expansion card because I want to use it for dual booting Windows 11. Windows 10 was still on it, but I assumed that since I have assigned the new 1TB drive to C all will be fine, not so. My computer booted into the Windows on the smaller 250GB drive which was now assigned C again.

 

I spent half an hour effing around in Diskpart setting all the letters back to the 1TB drive, but my PC refuses to boot to the new Windows drive with the card and old NVMe attached. I even deleted all the partitions on the smaller drive with Diskpart. Only when I remove the expansion card with the old drive, which now has no partitions on it, will Windows boot properly.

 

What have I overlooked here? Both drives were not encrypted.

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Did you use the diskpart clean command on the old drive or just delete the partitions?

 

 

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Enter your BIOS.

 

Remember the BIOS will opt to the first drive with a bootable OS.. so go into the Boot options, and disable every port/option listed (all of them) other than the single NVMe port you want to boot from.

 

All my systems are like this. It was the only way I could boot to a new drive with an older one connected, and then wipe that drive. 

 

It's easier when the drive is IDE or SATA as you can just attach them to USB and wipe them.

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On 26/07/2021 at 18:34, Joe User said:

Did you use the diskpart clean command on the old drive or just delete the partitions?

 

 

I did not, I will look up how to use this. I have a feeling the drive is somehow marked active.

 

On 26/07/2021 at 18:38, xMorpheousx416 said:

Enter your BIOS.

 

Remember the BIOS will opt to the first drive with a bootable OS.. so go into the Boot options, and disable every port/option listed (all of them) other than the single NVMe port you want to boot from.

 

All my systems are like this. It was the only way I could boot to a new drive with an older one connected, and then wipe that drive. 

 

It's easier when the drive is IDE or SATA as you can just attach them to USB and wipe them.

Mine is a Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Wi Fi Pro I don't think I can turn off the ports, but I might be able to disable all the boot options except the intended drive.

 

As a side note the old drive is in a PCIe expansion card.

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does booting even work with PCIe expansion cards? I've never used one myself but I'd imagine they wouldn't generally be usable until booted into something just like PCIe USB expansion cards are like this from my experience. Unless that has changed since I last had that issue with a friends PC like a decade back lol

 

not to continue rambling though, my thought is maybe there's an issue with the expansion card causing issue with POST/UEFI? are you still able to get into your BIOS? if so then yeah I'd do as mentioned and double check the new drive is the first on the bootlist.

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On 26/07/2021 at 11:43, Steven P. said:

I did not, I will look up how to use this. I have a feeling the drive is somehow marked active.

 

Mine is a Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Wi Fi Pro I don't think I can turn off the ports, but I might be able to disable all the boot options except the intended drive.

 

As a side note the old drive is in a PCIe expansion card.

It's pretty straightforward.

 

First select the drive you want to completely wipe clean

Then type clean

 

so assuming disk 1 is your disk to erase.

 

diskpart

select disk 1

clean

 

That will remove everything on the drive. Including all partitions and identifiers that your system is using to boot from that drive. Just a note, there are no warnings.

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On 26/07/2021 at 18:48, Joe User said:

It's pretty straightforward.

 

First select the drive you want to completely wipe clean

Then type clean

 

so,

 

diskpart

select disk 1

clean

 

That will remove everything on the drive. Including all partitions and identifiers that your system is using to boot from that drive.

Thanks I will try this after dinner and report back.

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On 26/07/2021 at 11:43, Steven P. said:

Mine is a Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Wi Fi Pro I don't think I can turn off the ports, but I might be able to disable all the boot options except the intended drive.

Shown below, is my main system.

 

The drive on the left (D), used to be the main boot SSD. When I upgraded the system from an SSD to NVMe, the BIOS and Windows still has that SSD tagged as Drive 0 because it's on a SATA port, not the NVMe PCI-E slot. Since I didn't bother with a completely new OS installation, (did exactly as you did, used Macrium to clone the boot drive) all I did was turn off every boot option other than that NVMe. The system sees it as Drive 6, (as shown in Crystal Disk to the far right) but boots directly from it. Not sure why NVMe ports are not listed similar to SATAs in the BIOS.. but.. here we are. :)

 

Hope all this helps.

Untitled.jpg

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Thanks everyone @xMorpheousx416's suggestion to turn off all other boot options worked and now I will run @Joe User's suggestion to clean via diskpart on the drive. 

 

Look what I found in the BIOS, apparently I can disable booting from PCIe cards (where the old drive is).

 

20210726_201328.jpg

20210726_201305.jpg

 

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SNAG-0000.png

 

I think turning off boot for PCI set the drive as Disk 3 because before that it was Disk 1 (The HDD on SATA has always been Disk 0 in this system)

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Just to add madness to my reason (context)... I see it this way.

 

We only need one boot port, or slot for the system to check. Haunted from the days of 98SE and XP, to fine tune even the small things, just to gain a second or two. This tip was a favored one.

 

If that drive should fail, most are gonna think.. eh, just pop in that USB Linux boot drive and off we go. I simply enter the BIOS and turn on a new port or device when needed.

 

Glad that worked out for you bossman... :)

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There's an easier fix to this that im surprised no one brought up. Just rebuild your bootloader and it'll point to the right drive. Right now the bootloader knows the hard path to the old drive and so it will keep booting to that.


You shouldn't have to wipe your old drive, just wipe the boot partition off the old drive and rebuild the boot partition on the new drive and you are good to go.


Here are the instructions to follow: https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-us/000124331/how-to-repair-the-efi-bootloader-on-a-gpt-hdd-for-windows-7-8-8-1-and-10-on-your-dell-pc

I've had to do this anytime i've installed windows onto a new drive while my old boot drive was plugged in and had to do this on my razer book when I moved to a bigger NVMe and it wouldnt boot anymore. Rebuilt the bootloader and boom it was good to go again.
 

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Hello,


One thing you might want to consider if that if you are going to be working more with NVMe SSDs in the future, a USB to NVMe adapter might be helpful for things like cloning drives, clearing them using DiskPart, using them for fast external storage and so forth.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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On 26/07/2021 at 21:48, Sikh said:

There's an easier fix to this that im surprised no one brought up. Just rebuild your bootloader and it'll point to the right drive. Right now the bootloader knows the hard path to the old drive and so it will keep booting to that.

I am not knocking your input to this situation.. but rebuilding a bootloader on a drive you do not want to boot from, would be an incorrect assessment and solution.

 

The bootloader belongs ON the drive itself, and not the BIOS. The BIOS searches for the first available boot drive.. and in this case, was the PCI-E slotted drive. If you repaired the bootloader on this, to point to the new drive, and then removed said drive or reformatted it, you would lose the boot loader and possibly get the following error (if the BIOS failed to find the newer drive):

"No Boot Device Available"

 

You cannot have two boot drives in a system.. as the BIOS will only allow you to boot from one or the other. If you wish to keep them, and then boot from one or the other... than you can use your technique to add the second drive as a choice during start up. :)  

Otherwise known as a dual boot system.

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On 27/07/2021 at 04:48, Sikh said:

There's an easier fix to this that im surprised no one brought up. Just rebuild your bootloader and it'll point to the right drive. Right now the bootloader knows the hard path to the old drive and so it will keep booting to that.

I tried this several times also with Macrium Reflect which has an option to repair the bootloader, I selected the new drive with Windows on it and it "repaired" the bootloader but the PC still tried to boot the wrong NVMe, even when there were no partitions on it. When I did F12 to go to BIOS select Boot disk and I selected the new Windows 10 bootloader on the new NVMe, Windows would bluescreen and it wasn't even possible to enter recovery.

 

Also other suggestions about the drive id or port it was using caused it also makes no sense at all, because I literally removed the 250GB NVMe, and added the new 1TB NVMe in the same slot and cloned the 250GB drives image (which I had backed up to the HDD) to the new one, so even if my PC decided that it should be booting from that same slot, why did it then try to boot from the old 250GB I added back later in a PCIe expansion card in the PCIe x4 lane on my motherboard?

 

Also what infuriates me more, is how my PC or Windows decides to change every drive letter when one disk change is made, like in this instance, adding the expansion card with the old 250GB NVMe which changed every drive letter of all my drives.

 

My PC is scaled like this currently.

 

NVMe slot 1: 1TB Samsung 980 C drive (disk 1)
NVMe slot 2: 1TB Intel 660P D drive (disk 2)

SATA port 1: Toshiba 3TB HDD E drive (disk 0)

SATA port 2: BluRay Writer - F drive

PCIe 3.0 x4 lane:  expansion card with 250GB Samsung 970 Evo Plus (no partitions or drive letter assigned) (disk 3)

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On 27/07/2021 at 15:51, Steven P. said:

I tried this several times also with Macrium Reflect which has an option to repair the bootloader, I selected the new drive with Windows on it and it "repaired" the bootloader but the PC still tried to boot the wrong NVMe, even when there were no partitions on it. When I did F12 to go to BIOS select Boot disk and I selected the new Windows 10 bootloader on the new NVMe, Windows would bluescreen and it wasn't even possible to enter recovery.

 

Also other suggestions about the drive id or port it was using caused it also makes no sense at all, because I literally removed the 250GB NVMe, and added the new 1TB NVMe in the same slot and cloned the 250GB drives image (which I had backed up to the HDD) to the new one, so even if my PC decided that it should be booting from that same slot, why did it then try to boot from the old 250GB I added back later in a PCIe expansion card in the PCIe x4 lane on my motherboard?

 

Also what infuriates me more, is how my PC or Windows decides to change every drive letter when one disk change is made, like in this instance, adding the expansion card with the old 250GB NVMe which changed every drive letter of all my drives.

 

My PC is scaled like this currently.

 

NVMe slot 1: 1TB Samsung 980 C drive (disk 1)
NVMe slot 2: 1TB Intel 660P D drive (disk 2)

SATA port 1: Toshiba 3TB HDD E drive (disk 0)

SATA port 2: BluRay Writer - F drive

PCIe 3.0 x4 lane:  expansion card with 250GB Samsung 970 Evo Plus (no partitions or drive letter assigned) (disk 3)

Welcome to windows and making logical decisions as far as changing a drive changes everything. Some will say "technically this isnt windows fault, you cloned the drive and blah blah blah" which isnt wrong but the cloned drive isnt the UUID thats saved in the bootloaders config or the registry keys.

You have to repair the bootloader / do the steps with all drives disconnected unfortunately. I've done it successfully with drives still plugged in but its very hit and miss and also a pain in the ass having to constantly reboot and see if it works. Now I just unplug all my drives. I wanted to find a way without doing so cause I think its absolutely stupid you have to and also I dont want to have to remove a NVMe drive but since I myself never put windows on a NVMe, its doesnt bother me much. If I have to do it for someone else, they have to deal with taking apart their entire computer just for this.

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On 27/07/2021 at 15:51, Steven P. said:

lso what infuriates me more, is how my PC or Windows decides to change every drive letter when one disk change is made, like in this instance, adding the expansion card with the old 250GB NVMe which changed every drive letter of all my drives.

Oh yeah.

 

I have some USB drives that I have had, or had to change constantly.. to drive letters way down the list to keep them from colliding with temporary drives I use. Using drive letters T thru Z... but.. if you reinstall Windows, or in some cases repair Windows.. it renames all connected drives and clears it's cache. So that "Z" drive is now the next in succession when you plug it back in.

 

It is frustrating.

 

However.. now, with Windows on the NVMe, and UEFI boot (thanks Windows 11!) .. it not only boots extremely fast, (the BIOS splash screen is combined with the Windows circles animation).. it removed my F8 boot options... so instead of fighting the little things, I'll just use msconfig if I need Safe Mode. Bad enough the new 11 upgrade has once again fried some of my custom Explorer options.. then to have to go thru that long ass list in my head of customizations and have them all erased again because of a simple change.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i think next time you should try using mini partition tool so you can check and validate the drives before doing something. you can do bootrec as well.

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