Issues with cloning boot drive — Micro Center

Issues with cloning boot drive

NateDZDNateDZD New Jersey

I recently purchased an Inland Premium 1TB SSD (3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4). I cloned my boot drive (C:) to it using Macrium Reflect, but when I attempt to boot off of it, I'm unsuccessful. I noticed that one of my other drives (A:) contains Windows system files, so I tried testing the boot capability of each of my drives, and to my surprise, it looks like my system can't boot without including my A: drive in the boot priority list in BIOS. It doesn't appear to matter which order, but without it, my system won't boot.

To make things even weirder, my system can boot with only the A: drive in the boot priority list, but when I physically disconnect the C: drive (rather than simply removing it from the boot priority list in BIOS), the system is unable to boot to Windows. I'm assuming this is because several years ago I had wanted my system to house all my user files and folders on my A: drive (larger capacity HDD), but to boot Windows from my C: drive (it's a 2.5" SATA SSD). Unfortunately I don't remember what I did to make that happen.

Is there a file I should be looking for on my A: drive that is needed in order to boot? Is it possible to clone both my current C: and A: drive to my new NVMe drive, and if so, would that fix my problem?

Sorry if these are noob questions/ideas; I'm a bit of a novice in this area.

I'm using Windows 10 Pro Version 1909. A: contains my user folders and files and is an HDD, C: is my boot drive and is a 2.5" SATA SSD, E: is a simple storage drive (HDD), and G: is the M.2 NVMe that I'm trying to clone my boot drive to.


Comments

  • TSTonyVTSTonyV admin
    Are you trying to clone your drive because there's software you are unable to reinstall on a new installation of Windows, or were you trying to clone it just to make things a little easier and not having to spend time reinstalling everything? Personally speaking, I would probably just do a clean install of Windows on the new NVMe, manually transfer my data over and redownload any software I need. 

    One thing you could try would be splitting your NVMe into two separate partitions, then cloning each of your drives to one partition each on the SSD. To do that you would need to cut down the size of the Storage partition on your A: drive so the total would be less than 1TB altogether. I can't guarantee this method would work though.
  • NateDZDNateDZD New Jersey
    TSTonyV said:
    Are you trying to clone your drive because there's software you are unable to reinstall on a new installation of Windows, or were you trying to clone it just to make things a little easier and not having to spend time reinstalling everything? Personally speaking, I would probably just do a clean install of Windows on the new NVMe, manually transfer my data over and redownload any software I need. 

    One thing you could try would be splitting your NVMe into two separate partitions, then cloning each of your drives to one partition each on the SSD. To do that you would need to cut down the size of the Storage partition on your A: drive so the total would be less than 1TB altogether. I can't guarantee this method would work though.

    It's probably closer to the second, that it would be more convenient not having to reinstall everything. The one complicating factor is that my gaming rig is doubling as my work computer right now since I'm working from home, and I had quite a few issues getting it to recognize the network drives at my office. It wasn't quite as simple as just connecting to my company's VPN. If I can avoid going through all that again, that would be nice, but if all else fails, I'll probably end up going that route anyway.

    I'll give your second option a try. I'm not optimistic, but hell, it can't hurt to try, right?

    Thanks for the suggestions! Hope you're staying safe and healthy during this time.

  • TSTonyVTSTonyV admin
    You too! Hopefully option #2 works for you, let us know if you have any more questions. 
  • NateDZDNateDZD New Jersey
    TSTonyV said:
    You too! Hopefully option #2 works for you, let us know if you have any more questions. 
    Realized I never came back to this thread! Sadly, option #2 didn't work, so I just went with a clean install of Windows. What's weird is that even after a fresh install of Windows onto my NVMe drive, I discovered a month later (while transferring my build into a new case) that my system won't boot without my original SSD. Short of another fresh installation, I'm not sure what to do at this point.

    I mean, nothing is functioning incorrectly, my NVMe drive is (apparently) working just fine as my C: drive, and given the fact that I'm basically just gaming and working (which includes very lightweight 2D graphic design, email, minor website maintenance, and email), I don't know if I'd even notice the difference between a 2.5" SSD and an NVMe Gen3 drive.
  • TSTonyVTSTonyV admin
    edited June 16
    Sounds like somehow your boot sectore got attached to the secondary drive? But it's hard to say for sure. For the sake of my own peace of mind and organization I'd personally want to make it so I could boot solely off my main drive, but that's just because it would annoy me if I knew my boot sector wasn't in the "right spot." 

    In terms of performance, you won't really notice a difference between an NVMe and SATA SSD unless you're specifically doing a lot of high volume data transfer. NVMe SSDs have better sequential read/write speeds, but that doesn't matter when you're booting the system, loading applications, web browsing, etc... It only matters if you are actually moving a file from one drive to another, and even in those cases you're limited by your slowest component, so you'd have to be transferring to another device capable of those really high read/write speeds as well. 
  • NateDZDNateDZD New Jersey
    TSTonyV said:
    In terms of performance, you won't really notice a difference between an NVMe and SATA SSD unless you're specifically doing a lot of high volume data transfer. NVMe SSDs have better sequential read/write speeds, but that doesn't matter when you're booting the system, loading applications, web browsing, etc... It only matters if you are actually moving a file from one drive to another, and even in those cases you're limited by your slowest component, so you'd have to be transferring to another device capable of those really high read/write speeds as well. 
    Thanks for fleshing that out for me. I suspected this was the case, but your breakdown was actually quite helpful.
    TSTonyV said:
    Sounds like somehow your boot sectore got attached to the secondary drive? But it's hard to say for sure. For the sake of my own peace of mind and organization I'd personally want to make it so I could boot solely off my main drive, but that's just because it would annoy me if I knew my boot sector wasn't in the "right spot." 
    It does kind of annoy me too. I think I'll try using a bootable USB and going into Command Prompt to set the correct disk as the boot drive. Hopefully this works. If it doesn't, do you know if it's possible for me to take my PC to a local Micro Center and have the someone there take a look at it? And if so, would it matter if it's a computer I built myself?
  • You're always welcome to bring it to our service desk for evaluation, but personally speaking I wouldn't in this case. 

    The ultimate fix would be: disconnect any other drives except your primary drive, make sure your BIOS is set to its default settings and AHCI for storage mode (to make sure there's no weird RAID stuff happening) then reinstall Windows on the main drive. After that, you could erase and reformat any secondary drives to ensure there's no weird Windows boot sector stuff going on with it if it's still causing trouble. 
  • NateDZDNateDZD New Jersey
    edited June 18

    I hope I can fix it in Command Prompt. But if not I'll follow your suggestion. Just gotta wait till after I finish a few editing projects so that I don't have to go through the hassle of redoing all my settings.

    Seriously, thank you for all your help. I'll try to remember to come back here and update the thread on whether it worked for me or not.

  • Of course! Happy to be of assistance. Let us know if you have any other questions. 
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