Windows won't boot without its install drive (once done)!

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  1. Posts : 164
    Windows 10 x64
       #1

    Windows won't boot without its install drive (once done)!


    Hello, so i installed Windows 10 on my laptop disk #2 which already had one on disk #1. Issue is it won't boot without it install drive plugged in, error otherwise! I tried "fixing" with easyBCD but no luck. This is UEFI by the way. and EFI partition is on disk #1. This disk #2 is MBR but i'm sure it's not the issue.
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  2. Posts : 6,963
    windows 10
       #2

    It will have put boot files on disk one if you left that in when you installed. Is disk 2 set to active?
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  3. Posts : 2,829
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #3

    Hi,

    When disk #1 is removed then disk #2 won't boot as the boot files are on disk #1. (@Samuria beat me to it).
    If you want two independent Windows installations then you should install with disk #1 disconnected.

    Cheers,
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 17,344
    Windows 11 Pro
       #4

    Make sure the UEFI firmware is set to boot in UEFI mode only (legacy mode or CSM disabled) and Disk #1 (which might be 0 in UEFI settings) is set to the top priority. Mixing GPT drives (UEFI booting) and MBR drives (legacy BIOS or CSM mode booting) can be a problem when connected together.
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  5. Posts : 164
    Windows 10 x64
    Thread Starter
       #5

    BIOS is set to UEFI only and there is only 1 Windows entry since only one disk has EFI partition.. I said it won't boot without its install drive, which means USB flash drive. Both disk are always connected. Yes, logically the entry should be added to the EFI windows boot manager that's on disk 1. It is, however it won't boot without that said USB drive..
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  6. Posts : 2,829
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #6

    Hi,

    So, in essence the laptop does not boot at all then.
    Can you try to disable disk#1 in UEFI (that's the one you call disk#2) and see if it boots ?

    Cheers,
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 3,677
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 21H2
       #7

    Since you just installed to Disk #2, I would start over again.
    Unplug Disk #1. With only Disk #2 plugged in, Boot off of the Windows 10 installer and choose your Language, then Custom Install. In Where to install Windows, delete ALL Partitions, so Disk #2 is Unallocated Space. Then go Next, Windows will create new partitions and format them during the install. After Windows is installed, you can plug in Disk #1 again.
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  8. Posts : 2,829
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #8

    Hi,

    If not mistaken this is a laptop wich makes it hard to actually electrically disconnect a drive without removing a ton of screws.

    Disabling it in UEFI\BIOS seems the only reasonable alternative. But if I read TS correctly neither drives boot now.


    Cheers,
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 17,344
    Windows 11 Pro
       #9

    The easiest way for you to fix it is going to be to make a bootable USB flash drive of Kyhi's Recovery Tools:
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums

    Read my quote in the middle of the OP of that thread about how to convert an existing Windows 10 installation USB flash drive into one that boots into Kyhi's recovery tools. Then boot into Kyhi's Recovery Tools and run Macrium Reflect. Under the restore menu will be a utility to fix Windows boot issues. Run that utility.

    The biggest question is why did you install Disk 2 in legacy BIOS mode and MBR type partitioning, when the system is set up to boot from a GPT partitioned drive in UEFI mode?
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  10. Posts : 164
    Windows 10 x64
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Hello, you're quite correct : it's HARD (or maybe even impossible actually) to remove the main drive. And sadly, i CANNOT disable it in BIOS.. I tried installing at least 10 times, different Windows.. Same story, i cannot boot if i don't keep the usb install drive plugged in.. Which is crazy. But i'm sure it's not hard to fix.. Hope you'll confirm with a fix ^^
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