I have an Acer notebook and wanted to upgrade an SSD. So I created a bootable USB, took the old HDD out and the new SSD into the primary slot. Installed Windows 8.1 on the Samsung EVO and started the PC to try it. It worked perfectly, but because I still need all the data from my old HDD I cannot clear it. So I plugged it into a second slot, and now the problem is the PC keeps booting from old HDD, even though I told the boot menu to use SSD first.

Then again looked into boot menu and it automatically set old HDD as first and doesn't even list the SSD anymore. But I see the SSD in the explorer.

Can you help me so my laptop will simply boot from the SSD without deleting the old HDD?

  • Did you set the boot menu in bios or on the SSD? Would setting the boot menu on the HDD to default to the SSD help?
    – jdh
    Mar 9, 2015 at 18:08
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    In the bios. I set the SSD as first, but it automaticly got rid of that. Is it possilbe to deactivate the ability to boot from the hdd but still keep all data?
    – Hannes
    Mar 9, 2015 at 18:18
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    Use a boot manager like grub? Mar 9, 2015 at 18:32
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    Why? Isn't that was the bios boot order is for? Is there now way of just deactivating the hdd as bootable?
    – Hannes
    Mar 9, 2015 at 18:38
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    Yes you can effectively disable the hdd booting and keep all the data. When the hdd boots next, run 'msconfig" and go to the boot tab. Instead of deleting all entries, just set it to boot the SSD and remove the HDD. Next time it boots, if the HD boot manager starts up, it will jump over to finish booting on the SSD.
    – jdh
    Mar 9, 2015 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


You have to press the hotkey when you see the BIOS splash screen before Windows even begins to boot to get into Setup. Often the key is F1 or F2, but sometimes it is the Delete key. Somewhere in those menus you need to change boot order in BIOS to boot the SSD instead of your hard drive.

I recently did that with my laptop. I installed Linux with its boot loader on an mSATA SSD card, then set BIOS to boot that instead of Win7. However, if it is a Windows 8/8.1 computer it might be using UEFI with secure boot instead of legacy BIOS and you might also need to disable "secure boot" in Setup. But I cannot be certain of that because I do not have any Win8 computer at home and have not modified the drive on my work PC (but did try a live Linux system on it booted from USB memory stick).

  • Alternatively to just check temporarily: F8 is the key for most BIOSes to JUST select the boot option. Whatever you choose here is lost with the next restart but if you just want to test out that X can still boot thats a good option as well
    – Hobbamok
    Apr 6, 2021 at 11:44

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