Installing fresh Windows 10 on a separate drive


  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Home
       #1

    Installing fresh Windows 10 on a separate drive


    I'll try to cut my story short.

    The Acer I bought almost two years ago comes with no-brand M.2 SSD. It broke after a while so I bough Crucial MX500 2.5 SATA, that's because at that time I didn't even look inside and thought my laptop still runs on Sata. Anyway I connected it externally, somehow copied the system using WinToUSB and it still works (though I get a lot of blue screens)

    Now I finally bought a proper M.2 drive to go inside the laptop.

    That's when problems started. All I wanted is to install a fresh and clean Windows 10 from scratch so that I can phase out my old one.

    Things I tried:

    1. I have USB stick with microSD card (32GB) and try to make it a bootable device. Microsoft Media Creation tool fails.
    1a. I copied Windows 10 ISO files onto that stick and forced it to be bootable (using EasyBCD). I could get into the installation but it gives me an error 0xC0000005 after few seconds of installing
    2. I tried copying boot files onto the actual drive and make it bootable MBR disk. I get confused here as my external one is GPT and it's running fine
    3. My new drive is seen in BIOS etc. but when I make it bootable I only get "no bootable device"

    Honestly I never thought it would be so difficult to do such a simple task. Unfortunately I don't have CD/DVD in my laptop and the only thing I have is that usb port with microsd card reader.

    Can anybody help me or guide me how to do it?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 26,968
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #2

    I would get a proper USB stick (dirt cheap) and make bootable USB with Macrium WinPE (or dl Kyhi's rescue disk here)) on it.

    Start laptop from USB, and let Macrium rebuild your boot sector. That's, if you want to keep your Windows install.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 17,252
    Windows 11 Pro
       #3

    Yep. In your case you need a real USB flash drive, not an SD card. The easiest way to create the windows installation files on it is to just let the MCT tool do it for you.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 26,968
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #4

    NavyLCDR said:
    Yep. In your case you need a real USB flash drive, not an SD card. The easiest way to create the windows installation files on it is to just let the MCT tool do it for you.
    Agree, only that I prefer Rufus.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 17,252
    Windows 11 Pro
       #5

    AndreTen said:
    Agree, only that I prefer Rufus.
    I can't recommend Rufus, especially to less experienced users. Way too many threads on here about installation failures due to users not setting the options in Rufus correctly.

    Besides, no options at all are required to make a standard Windows 10 installation flash drive. MBR partitioned with a FAT32 partition marked as active will boot in any mode; legacy BIOS, CSM, or UEFI. So why even present the user with needless options? IMHO.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #6

    The second hard drive is new and empty so I'm not worried about overwriting anything.

    I will try Rufus to create bootable and see if my microSD card will work then.

    Theoretical question - could I use a separate small partition of my current external hard drive to act as bootable device?
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Okay I created a bootable device with Rufus, MBR and then used EasyBCD to force the booting from that device but after a while of "Loading files" I'm getting "Windows failed to start. File: \Windows\system32\winload.efi", which I don't understand since it's supposed to load from the device..

    UPDATE:

    I created the bootable device as GPT and completely cleaned the destination drive.

    My microSD card was detected correctly! I went into the Windows Setup, chose the disk, all good - and then few seconds after starting file copying I get an error "0xC0000005". Anybody knows what it is?
    Last edited by edga; 22 Oct 2018 at 14:05.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 13,933
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503
       #8

    These are the steps to create a bootable flash drive that will work on a UEFI or MBR system. @NavyLCDR posted them awhile back and I saved them. I used them last night to create a 4GB USB flash drive of Windows 10 Home X64 1803. I was then able to boot it on my Lenovo UEFI/GPT system and my HP BIOS/MBR system so this is truly a universal Windows 10 installation flash drive and should boot on any computer that supports booting from a USB Flash drive.

    1. Use the Media Creation Tool to download and save the Windows 10 ISO file to your hard drive.
    2. Insert your USB flash drive.
    3. Open a Administrator Command Prompt and enter: diskpart (if it isn't an administrator command prompt, it will ask for administrator permission).
    4. list disk
    5. select disk # <- replace # with the actual disk number of the USB flash drive
    6. clean <- this will erase the disk selected above, make sure you selected the USB flash drive!
    7. create part pri <- create a primary partition
    8. format fs=fat32 quick <- do a quick format of the partition as fat32
    9. active <- make the partition active
    10. exit
    11. exit - and if the first Command Prompt was not an Administrator Command Prompt, exit that one too.
    11. Mount the ISO file saved by the Media Creation Tool. If you are using Windows 8 or 10, you only have to right click on it and click on mount. If you are using Windows 7, then you must use a program like WinCDEmu to mount the ISO file: WinCDEmu - the easiest way to mount an ISO. And more...
    12. Copy all the files and folders from the mounted ISO file to the USB flash drive.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 17,252
    Windows 11 Pro
       #9

    edga said:
    Theoretical question - could I use a separate small partition of my current external hard drive to act as bootable device?
    Yes you can. Create a small FAT32 primary partition. Mount the ISO file and copy all the files and folders from the ISO file to the FAT32 partition. That's all that is needed to boot it in UEFI mode.
      My Computer


 

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