Cloned Hard Drive or SSD Won’t Boot - How to Fix?

January 31, 2019

There are two general situations when cloned SSD or hard drive cannot boot. You can follow this guide to fix it and troubleshoot.

Problem: Cloned HDD or SSD won’t Boot

Have you ever been annoyed that your cloned hard drive won’t boot? When you try to upgrade your hard drive to a new HDD or SSD while do not want to reinstall Windows and all the previously installed programs, you’d prefer to choose clone hard drive. After that, you can boot from the cloned hard drive directly without reinstalling. However, unfortunately, you may meet the problem that the cloned HDD or SSD won’t boot, and you need to make the cloned drive bootable.

Here we provides two ways to make cloned drive bootable in two different situations. You can choose the solutions based on your own situation.

Situation 1: clone one hard drive to another on the same computer

If you are cloning hard drive to another hard drive on the same computer, but the cloned hard drive won’t boot later, you can try the following ways to make cloned drive bootable:

1. Check the startup settings.

> Press a specific key, usually Del for desktop and F2 for laptop, to enter BIOS settings.

> Under Boot tab, make sure the cloned drive is first boot order.

* If your cloned drive is a GPT disk, make sure the UEFI boot mode is enabled, and if it is an MBR disk, then set it to Legacy boot mode. If your computer does not support UEFI boot mode, you need to do a GPT to MBR conversion  before you can boot from the cloned drive. As you may know, some software allows you to clone MBR to GPT disk  or back without disk conversion. The computer is not using the correct boot mode is one of the reasons why cloned SSD not booting.

2. Use repair option via a Windows System Repair Disc .

> Boot from the repair disc, and try the first option, Startup Repair.

> If it doesn’t work, you can try Bootrec.exe, which can is available in Command Prompt to fix cloned HDD won’t boot. Open the last system recovery option, Command Prompt, and enter the following command in order:

bootrec.exe

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

bootrec.exe /fixboot

bootrec.exe /scanos

bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

3. If you have neither a repair disk to repair cloned hard drive won't boot in Windows 7, or recovery drive to fix Windows 8 or windows 10 cloned SSD won't boot, you can use the third party software AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro to create a bootable media, and boot from it to use one of its features Rebuild MBR for making your cloned HDD or SSD bootable.

 Make Bootable Media

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Situation 2: clone disk from one computer to another

1. Check the startup settings as in situation 1.

2. Check the connection mode. If the original computer uses IDE mode, the destination computer has to use IDE mode. If the source is AHCI, then the target AHCI mode.

3. Use the bootrec.exe tool as in situation 1.

4. Use Dissimilar Hardware Restore. Back up the source HDD onto an external storage device using AOMEI Backupper. Then create an AOMEI bootable media to boot the target computer and restore the backup to the destination HDD with Universal Restore option enabled. 

Usually, Bootrex.exe tool can fix the cloned hard drive won’t boot problem, but when you install the cloned drive to another computer with dissimilar hardware, the bootrec.exe tool may not be able to enough because the different hardware requires different drivers. In this case, you can use AOMEI Universal Restore.