Cant get windows to boot without installation media

  1. Posts : 2
    windows 10

    Cant get windows to boot without installation media

    I had an issue with my dvd rewriter and
    So i made a install media using another hard drive i had. The install completed and the pc boots fine giving options to boot into windows or to run setup.

    If i remove the install media drive my computer says there is no boot device present. I formatted the partition i installed on the first attempt and had this issue. I now formatted it again and installed again and the issue persists.

    Its almost like its writing the boot record on the install media drive and there is nothing on the actual windows partition.

    If i run msconfig it shows 2 entries under boot. The first is c:\windows(current os) and the other is /windows setup. I ran bootrect /bcdrebuild as suggested on a forum. I also rand /fixmbr and /fixboot but fix boot shows access denied. None of the troubleshooters on windows were any help and i am not at my wits end.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another attempt was to rebuildbcd and it searched all drives for a windows installation which it finds 1. It adds an entry for windows 10 home and yes this one is on the installation media as well. I also tried running bootrect /nt60 c: like i did with he install media hoping it would work but no luck either
    Last edited by clintonb; 15 Sep 2019 at 03:23. Reason: error
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 35,589
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, welcome to tenforums.

    Try booting your PC from Macrium Reflect's bootable medium.

    There is a useful Fix boot utility on that.

    Run that making sure the only disk in or attached to your PC is your system disk.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 17,371
    Windows 11 Pro

    When you run Windows setup, it looks for an existing system partition on an installed HDD or SSD. If it finds one, then it will add the new Windows installation to that boot menu instead of creating a new system partition. Since you installed Windows 10 from a bootable HDD, it added the new Windows 10 installation to the existing boot menu in the system partition on that HDD instead of creating a new one on the target HDD. This is why we advise disconnecting all other HDDs and SSDs other than the target drive. In your case, you can't do that because you are installing Windows 10 from a HDD, so you can't disconnect it.

    From all indications, it appears as if you are booting MBR drives with a legacy BIOS and you want to make your C: drive partition the system partition the computer boots from. You need three steps, and you accomplished only one step:

    The C: drive partition must be marked as active. This is done in diskpart. You need to select the disk the partition is on. Then you need to select the partition itself. Then you need to use the active command. Your disk and partition numbers may be different than what is below, so change them as needed, but the command sequence would look like:
    list disk
    select disk 0  <may need to change 0
    list part
    select part 1  <may need to change 1
    Then the MBR needs to contain the boot code. That is accomplished using the bootsect command. I assume in your OP you meant that you ran bootsect and not bootrect. If you ran the bootsect command correctly, then the MBR has the boot code.

    The final step is to create a BCD on your system partition. Assuming in your command prompt environment that the Windows partition is C: drive and did not get assigned another drive letter, the command would be:
    bcdboot C:\Windows /s C:
    With all three of those steps completed, you should now be able to boot the computer in legacy BIOS (or CSM mode) from your C: drive partition.

    If your computer is booting in UEFI mode, then you will have to shrink the C: drive partition and create a small (100mb) FAT system partition to boot from.

    Macrium Reflect fix boot utility will likely not work in this case because, to my knowledge, Reflect will only fix an existing system partition, it will not create a new system partition. In this case currently the only existing system partition is on the HDD the install was done from so it will only repair that partition rather than creating a system partition on the target permanent HDD.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 2
    windows 10
    Thread Starter

    You are awesome! I was considering 3d printing a bracket to just leave my laptop hard drive in.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 17,371
    Windows 11 Pro

    clintonb said:
    You are awesome! I was considering 3d printing a bracket to just leave my laptop hard drive in.
    Glad it worked out for you! Keep in mind, however, that a non-standard partition layout such as yours could interfere with future semi-annual feature upgrades. When I do a clean install using a HDD as the install media, I create a 100 MB partition for the system partition at the front of the drive. Then I do the clean install to the unallocated space after the partition I have "reserved" for the system partition. Then I use the steps above to make the 100 MB into a real bootable System Partition.
      My Computer


  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:40.
Find Us

Windows 10 Forums