I have Windows 8 installed on a hard drive and I have just purchased an SSD drive that I'm going to slap Windows 8 onto as well, with the view to chuck the old hard drive out.

I have installed the SSD into the PC and I have formatted the drive.

I put in the W8 disc and proceeded to install W8 onto the SSD.

So I now have a dual-boot system going. I turn my PC on and get the W8 logo then it asks me to pick a volume.

If I pick volume 1 I'm into the SSD and if I pick volume 3 I'm into my 'old' Windows 8 on the HDD.

So then I took the HDD out and tried to boot to the SSD, only it comes up disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter.

Have I done something wrong?


The boot loader is on the old HDD and that's why you can't boot. Insert the Win8 DVD and select the repair options and let Windows recreate the bootloader on the SSD:

Insert a Windows 8 DVD, or a flash drive with the Windows 8 installation files on it, into your computer.

Tip: You can borrow someone else's Windows 8 disc or other media if you need to. You're not installing or reinstalling Windows 8, you're just accessing Advanced Startup Options - no product key or license breaking required.

Boot from the disc or boot from the USB device, whatever your situation calls for.

From the Windows Setup screen, tap or click on Next.

Tap or click on the Repair your computer link at the bottom of the window.

Advanced Startup Options will start, almost immediately.

Here run the automatic repair or run the command prompt and type this:

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

enter image description here

Source: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows-8/a/open-advanced-startup-options-windows-8.htm


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  • This only worked for me (after cloning OS to an SSD in windows 7) if I had the old drive physically disconnected while doing the repair. This also ensures that it the bootmgr is created on the new drive (nice if the old one is removed permanently or ever fails). Original drive can then be re-connected after repair is complete. – crokusek Oct 11 '13 at 8:19

The problem is that the MBR (Master Boot Record) is on your hard drive. The computer needs this MBR to boot Windows. When you remove your HDD, there is no MBR and Windows can't boot. You would need to install Windows on the SSD while there is no other drive with a MBR on it. So remove the HDD and re-install Windows on your SSD.

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  • 1
    Since this is Win8, technically speaking there's probably no MBR as it's likely using GPT . . . – ernie May 16 '13 at 19:13
  • Yeah, you're correct. – Conn Darcy May 16 '13 at 19:20

Yes, you skipped an important step. The boot loader only gets installed on one disk usually, and from there it can boot any partition. For you, the boot loader was installed on the HDD because it was the first disk in the boot order when you performed your initial installtion. The second installation simply detected that a boot loader already existed, and added itself on the end of it.

Check out this answer for a guide on restoring the boot loader onto the SSD.

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