Windows 10: Windows 10 Boot manager removal for dual OS on SSD and HDD

  1.    07 Dec 2017 #1

    Windows 10 Boot manager removal for dual OS on SSD and HDD


    I'm looking for some guidance on Windows 10 boot manager installation. Here's my scenario: I have an SSD with windows 10 and I wanted to have a separate HDD with windows 10 also, I want to keep for various projects and trying new software out. Ideally, I wanted to swap between the drives using the BIOS (F12) and keep the SDD start up time to a minimum.

    I have installed Win 10 on the HDD but the Windows Boot Manager now controls which image I boot into, either the SSD or HDD. I have set the default to the SDD so it boots up in around 30 seconds, prior to the boot manager install it was more or less instant. It wouldn't be a problem with two HDD but I've paid for a fast SSD and it's back to slow start up times.

    So two questions:
    Is there any way I can keep the boot partitions separate so I can choose which drive I want to use via the BIOS and keep the PC really fast for the image I use most on the SSD?
    If it's too complex is there a way I can remove the boot manager and just go back to a single image on my SSD? I'd format the other drive and use it as storage.

    BTW - I have two licenses
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    08 Dec 2017 #2

    Run > Msconfig, delete entry you don't want to be in the menu.
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    08 Dec 2017 #3

    The way to make it so you can boot from either, switching in bios is to disconnect SSD and reinstall Windows 10 on HDD is to it has its own system reserved or EFI partition rather than sharing one on SSD.

    More tricky if you want to keep installed version on HDD i.e. you will need then copy the EFI partition from SSD (or system reserved partition) to HDD before disconnecting SSD. If a system reserver partition, you will need to make it active as well. Minitool Partition Wizard Free is good to copy partition.

    Once copied then disconnect SSD and boot from HDD and delete boot entry for SSD from MS config. This is not needed if you clean installed to HDD.

    Finally, replace SSD and boot from that and remove boot entry using MS config.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    08 Dec 2017 #4

    Shrink the OS on the HDD by about 150MB. MiniTool Partition Wizard Free is very good for that. Then open a Command Prompt or PowerShell and run diskpart.

    Once in diskpart the commands are:
    list disk
    select disk # <-replace # with the actual number for the HDD
    create part efi
    format fs=fat32 quick
    assign letter=t

    Then in a command prompt (admin) or "run as administrator" command prompt run:

    bcdboot C:\Windows /s T: /f all

    Note - the drive letter in red needs to be the Windows installation on the HDD. If you are booted into the OS on the HDD, it should be C:. It might be E: or F: or something else if you are booted into the OS on the SSD. Just make sure you do the above commands all from the same OS.

    That should make the HDD bootable by itself. When you are done, and it is booting from F12, you can remove the drive letter T: from the EFI partition, and remove the dual boot menu from the SSD by using the msconfig command.
    Last edited by NavyLCDR; 08 Dec 2017 at 12:42.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    08 Dec 2017 #5

    Great, thanks for the replies. I will take a look at the weekend and report back :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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