Can't make new drive bootable even with EasyBCD. Why?

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  1. TKW
    Posts : 21
    Windows 10
       #1

    Can't make new drive bootable even with EasyBCD. Why?


    The PC isn't near me, so it's a bit harder, but here's the story:
    We had a PC with Win10 32bit on a HDD.
    We added a SSD and installed Win10 64bit on it. We wanted both to be bootable, with SSD being primary. Mistakenly, we installed with both drives present and BIOS priority set to the SSD -> It does dual boot, but the HDD came out as the boot drive. It's a problem as the HDD isn't always detected in time by the BIOS.
    Mobo is ASRock H61M-HVS, it is set to IDE (not AHCI) and claims to be UEFI, but I see no setting for UEFI/legacy in the BIOS.
    Both drives use MBR.
    We created a small second partition on the SSD and using EasyBCD we tried several times moving the system partition. EasyBCD claims to do that, but the SSD still won't boot without the HDD, as first.
    Using Win10 install, with just the SSD, and choosing to fix startup problems > it tries but fails. It does change boot options like interface and wait time.
    We thought converting first to GPT/UEFI may work better, but it won't convert it, as it claims it is not a system drive.
    Why are we not able to make the SSD bootable?
    Is there a reasonably safe way doing that?
    I hope for something that does not include reinstalling everything as I have limited time there.
    Thanks in advance!
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  2. Superfly's Avatar
    Posts : 3,337
       #2

    Why are you setting IDE when the SSD uses SATA?
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  3. Samuria's Avatar
    Posts : 6,117
    windows 10
       #3

    Is the partition set as active?
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  4. TKW
    Posts : 21
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Superfly said:
    Why are you setting IDE when the SSD uses SATA?
    The BIOS has an option for IDE/AHCI. That's what a saw there.
    I believe switching to AHCI now may be a problem, wouldn't it?
    Last edited by TKW; 15 Sep 2017 at 14:43.
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  5. TKW
    Posts : 21
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Samuria said:
    Is the partition set as active?
    I can only check tomorrow. I am not sure. I imagine so.
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  6. TKW
    Posts : 21
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    I will try changing to ahci with the registry edit. I hope the dual boot won't be a problem.
    But I don't believe it would help with the boot.
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  7. TKW
    Posts : 21
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    TKW said:
    It does change boot options like interface and wait time.
    Correction: This line relates to EasyBCD
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  8. Plankton's Avatar
    Posts : 2,078
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    Why are we not able to make the SSD bootable?
    By default, windows 10 is set to GPT if doing a clean install.

    This is because; when installing a 2nd drive with a 2nd OS the first drive must be removed. If not the BIOS sees it (as you stated) and then loads the MBR for the 2nd drive on the the 1st drive. Which as you know is a dual boot setup. What you want is a multiboot setup.

    For a multiboot setup this is what I suggest you do is; format the SSD, then power down and remove HDD, then install SSD and do a clean install of your 64 bit OS making sure that you use AHCI and either UEFI or UEFI/Legacy BIOS. Once this is up and running, shut down and remove SSD and add HDD and power up, then do a clean install of that 32 bit OS doing following the same outlined steps. Now you have a multiboot setup and with that, at start you you can pick what drive you want to boot from by pressing F2 depending on mobo vendor. This will bypass the BIOS load up and load up the boot menu order....then just select your prefered drive and hit enter.

    At least this way you know you won't have any issues with corruption of the MBR from both drives on your HDD.
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  9. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,590
    Windows 10 Pro
       #9

    If you want everything to work the way it is supposed to, and in the most efficient manner, you need to convert the drives to GPT, use UEFI booting, and SATA mode set to AHCI.

    To change the SATA mode to AHCI - you first go into device manager and uninstall the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, including the check box for uninstalling the driver, if available. Then you hold down the shift key when you click on Shutdown. Then restart the computer, but make sure to enter UEFI ("BIOS") setup and change the SATA controller mode to AHCI. When Windows 10 loads it will pick up the new AHCI controller and load the driver for it.

    In your UEFI settings, you might not see an option that says UEFI booting. You might see an option only to turn on CSM (legacy BIOS emulation). If CSM is enabled, the computer will boot MBR partitioned drives with active partitions. If CSM is disabled, then the computer will ONLY boot in UEFI mode, which is GPT partitioned drives with a FAT32 EFI System Partition.

    The easiest way to convert a drive to GPT and to make it boot your existing Windows is to create an image of the Windows partition on it with Macrium Reflect Free (or some other imaging program, but Macrium works well). Save the image to a different drive. Boot the computer from a Windows 10 USB flash drive in UEFI mode (CSM disabled). Delete every partition on the drive, and install Windows to the unallocated space. Windows will set it up as GPT partitioning and create the EFI System Partition. Then you boot the computer from the Macrium Reflect rescue USB flash drive and restore the image of your old Windows right over the top of the newly created Windows partition. Then you might also have to run the Fix Windows boot problems utility from the restore menu of Macrium Reflect.

    On my dual boot systems, I like to have each drive completely self contained with it's own EFI System Partition. But each EFI System Partition has entries in the BCD for the other drive/OS, so no matter which drive I boot from, it has the dual boot menu.
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  10. TKW
    Posts : 21
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Thanks. I'll see what I have time for, with both drives...
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