Cloned drive will not boot  

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  1. Posts : 18
    Windows 10 64-bit

    Cloned drive will not boot

    Hi guys

    I'm a little embarrassed to ask for help from a cloning operation, being an IT guy...but this one has me stumped.

    Short background: Bought a inexpensive Acer laptop (R 15) Seemed like a great deal for under $499, great screen, good video, Intel i5. But got it home and discovered it had a SLOW 5400 rpm hard drive. I should've returned it but read it had m.2 slot for SSD and figured I would upgrade it later.

    Tonight, I installed the m.2 and ran Samsung Magician. Files copied fine.

    Reboot, still on HDD, noticed in Disk Manager "Disk signature collision" errors and the drive showed as offline. Made it online. Viewed the drive....content all there.

    Removed HDD.

    Booting to the SSD, I just get the logo and a dark screen.

    I dug out my Windows 10 USB boot drive and it can't repair it. I did get to the command prompt and I can see it there as C drive and view the contents.

    Showing my age here...I am wishing I had fdisk handy and activate the partition.

    What can I do to activate the drive? I seem to be stuck at this step!

    Thanks, gents!
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 18,319
    Windows 11 Pro

    Missing a lot of info to help you.

    Is it UEFI computer or legacy BIOS? If it is new enough to have an m.2 slot then it is probably UEFI. If it is UEFI, it should have an EFI System Partition that is formatted as FAT32. There is no active partition on UEFI. More than likely you either did not clone the EFI System Partition over, or it lost it's ID as an EFI System Partition and you need to set the partition ID as EFI System.

    If it is a legacy BIOS computer, it probably had a System Reserved Partition. Either you did not clone the System Reserved Partition, or as you elude to it is not marked as the active partition.

    Diskpart has replaced FDISK (for many years now). Diskpart can be used to both set the EFI System Partition ID on a UEFI computer and set a partition as active on a legacy BIOS computer.

    Sometimes when you clone a disk the unique partition identifier of the partition containing the OS will get changed so it no longer matches what is contained in the BCD.

    I would start by downloading Kyhi's Recovery Tools:
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - - Windows 10 Forums

    Create a bootable USB flash drive or DVD of it and boot the computer from it. In his tools is a program called Macrium Reflect. In the restore menu of Macrium Reflect is a utility to Fix Windows startup problems. That utility will fix a lot of boot problems when other methods fail - if there is an EFI System Partition or boot files on another partition to start with.

    If you can boot from the old hard drive and "see" the SSD in Windows, you can post a full screenshot, with the data columns widened so we can see the data, of the disk management screen and we can tell more about what is missing:
    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of - Windows 10 General Tips Tutorials
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 18
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for your response.

    It's a 2 month old laptop (Aspire R5-571T | Laptops - Tech Specs & Reviews - Acer)

    Has UEFI

    I went through DISKPART and verified the volume is there. I should snap some photos this evening when I am home.

    The old drive, believe it or not, was failing and upon loading it into a USB external drive caddy, I can't see the contents.

    The good news is that the new laptop has nothing on it, just the Acer bloatware.
    The bad news is these guys don't ship the Windows 10 media for a re-install anymore.

    But if the existing image can be fixed, using those tools you mentioned, that is worth a shot.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 18,319
    Windows 11 Pro

    You can make a Windows 10 installation USB flash drive or DVD to boot the computer from and re-install Windows 10:
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10 - Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 18
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Will it prompt for reg code and the like?

    I mean, it should see all those folders in the C drive

    (Of course, perhaps there's a decal on the bottom of the Acer?)
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 18,319
    Windows 11 Pro

    The product key for Windows 10 is stored in the UEFI firmware and Windows 10 should not ask for it during the install. If it does, you are probably attempting to install the wrong edition of Windows 10 (such as Single Language Edition when you need just plain Windows 10).
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 18
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Now using that link last night, I did make the Windows 10 USB boot drive.
    In the CMOS, I made the USB first in the boot order (otherwise you sit and nothing happens)

    I thought I did option one and Windows couldn't install. But maybe I did something wrong in what I downloaded
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 18,319
    Windows 11 Pro

    What error are you getting?
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 18
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    I got this message but upon reboot, nothing happened
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cloned drive will not boot-img_6536.jpg  
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 18,319
    Windows 11 Pro

    You are the second person to get that error. I'm going to have to check that out more. What I would suggest you do is follow my quote in the middle of the OP here:
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - - Windows 10 Forums

    Download Kyhi's Recovery Tools. Mount the ISO file. Copy the boot.wim from the \Sources folder of the mounted ISO file to the \Sources folder of the Windows 10 USB installation drive. You can rename the existing boot.wim file before you overwrite it if you want. Then the flash drive will boot into Kyhi's recovery tools.

    Once there, you can use AEOMI Partition Assistant to delete all the partitions from the installed hard drive or SSD. (or you can use diskpart in a command prompt as well). Then from Windows Explorer run setup.exe from the USB flash drive to start Windows setup again.

    Are you even getting to the point in setup where it asks you if you want to upgrade or custom install? You should be selecting custom install at that option screen.
      My Computer


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