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I have purchased an SSD and installed it - in addition to my existing SATA drive.

I want to use the SSD to contain my Windows and programs, leaving my data on the SATA drive.

I have cloned the Windows partition to SSD and set it as Primary and Actve, but when I boot, with priority set to the SSD in BIOS, I get "boot loader not found" (or similar, please forgive me, but I did not note the exact error message; however, that was the gist of it - boot sector).

By overriding boot disk order I can still boot into my SATA disk, but now I am afraid of bricking my laptop (the SSD sits in a caddy which replaced my CD/DVD optical drive, so it won't be easy to recover if I brick it).

Can anyone please point me at a step by step to boot from the new SSD? Thanks in advance.

I want to boot from SSD and delete the Windows partition on the SATA, using it for data.

[Update] [This is useful]1 and, if you can afford $19.99 I think that this is the best solution.

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The partition Windows is installed on isn't necessarily the partition with the boot loader. There's often an additional 100 MB partition at the start of the drive which contains the boot loader. You would need to copy that over as well, or configure the boot loader on the existing drive to boot your Windows installation on the SSD. – Oliver Salzburg May 31 '13 at 9:00
up vote 1 down vote accepted

First things first: you should avoid cloning a regular Harddrive to SSDs. Reinstalling (especially with windows) most often improves performance, because it does activate some switches in the OS to properly handle SSD features (Trimming and so on).

Anyway, what Tool have you used for cloning? I have experienced good results with (its free), just boot onto your "old" System install it, make a live copy and change the boot order in BIOS/EFI. Worked for me numerous times


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+1 and thank you. I did not know that reinstalling would adjust settings. Hmmm, is there any tool to do that post facto? Otherwise I have to borrow an external CD drive & boot from that. I used EASUS partition manager & copied the partition. Please let me know if I can avoid reinstall. It looks like you are getting the answer here, thanks. – Mawg May 31 '13 at 11:12
There are tools for doing this. Usually this is just more time intense, hence my recommandation for reinstallation. :-) this has some pointers – Alessandro May 31 '13 at 11:14

You don't mention if you have an original OS CD/DVD and the key. If you do, what is best is to remove both drives. Attach the SSD in place of the original HDD, reinstall the DVD drive, boot from the OS DVD and go through a complete new install to the SSD. Then confirm it is bootable. Once that is done, reinstall your programs. Remove the DVD drive and install the original HDD in the caddy. Once you are comfortable with the installation, go ahead and format the HDD.

Assuming you DON'T have the OS and programs CDs/DVDs, then cloning is your only option, but it is generally recommended against. As mentioned by others, cloning won't properly initialize parts of the OS to deal with the SSD. In addition, there was something about cloning sometimes not dropping the sectors on correct boundaries and hurting performance. Sorry - didn't pay too much attention to that part of it.

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