My wife's win-8 laptop has a bad hard drive. I'm trying to get her a new SSD.

I set up the new disk, cloned (not copied but clonezilla) the four partitions from the old disk to the new disk, and everything works great except the machine will not boot off the new disk.

I have tracked my problem to here:

DISKPART> select disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> attr disk
Current Read-only State : No
Read-only  : No
Boot Disk  : Yes
Pagefile Disk  : Yes
Hibernation File Disk  : No
Crashdump Disk  : Yes
Clustered Disk  : No

DISKPART> select disk 1

Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> attr disk
Current Read-only State : No
Read-only  : No
Boot Disk  : No
Pagefile Disk  : No
Hibernation File Disk  : No
Crashdump Disk  : No
Clustered Disk  : No


How can I change the "Boot Disk", "Pagefile Disk", "Crashdump Disk" flags from "No" to "Yes"?

DISKPART will not do it. BCDBOOT c:\windows /s f: did not do it. BCDEDIT might do it, but I can't find a flag to select a specific disk to operate on, only the current boot disk. Some people have told me to do it in the computer's BIOS, but I cannot find any settings in her BIOS (hp pavil g7 2340dx) to specify which disk to boot from, only a yes/no on the internal disk.

  • It looks like you don't understand the Boot Disk Attr actually means. – Ramhound Nov 10 '15 at 11:53
  • ...and you're not going to tell me either? – hymie Nov 10 '15 at 12:51
  • Alright; The reason the partition(s) do not have the Boot ATTR on any of your physical system partitions currently is because your working in I presume the WinRE from a bootable environment (disk/usb) – Ramhound Nov 10 '15 at 15:35

If the computer came with Windows 8, it almost certainly used the GUID Partition Table (GPT) and booted in EFI mode. This has certain implications that you haven't addressed in your question, but that you should check:

  • The cloned disk must also use GPT. You can check this with most partitioning tools. If the clone uses the older Master Boot Record (MBR) system, you must change the boot mode from EFI to BIOS/CSM/legacy (which is difficult but not impossible), re-do your clone operation, or convert the disk from MBR to GPT. The latter can be done with my gdisk utility, as described here.
  • Unless you've cloned to MBR and want to boot in BIOS/CSM/legacy mode, you must ensure that all the original partitions have been cloned, including the FAT32 EFI System Partition (ESP). If it's not been cloned, resize your partitions (if necessary) and clone it.
  • Every GPT partition has a unique GUID value as a serial number. Every GPT disk also has a GUID value as a serial number. These numbers are stored in NVRAM along with the filename of the boot loader as a way of telling the computer what boot loader file to launch when the computer starts. Depending on how you cloned the disk, these GUID values might or might not have been replicated. If not, the computer might not boot the backup, since the NVRAM entries will point to a disk that no longer exists. You can fix this problem either by replicating the old GUID values (you can do this with gdisk, but this requires using obscure options and manual cut-and-pasting of values) or by re-installing your Windows boot loader, as described here.

The last of those points is the one that's almost certain to be an issue. The easiest solution is likely to be re-installing the Windows boot loader. The preceding two issues might or might not be problems, but if they are problems, they must be dealt with before you re-install your Windows boot loader, so it's best to at least check them before you attempt a repair.

Note that EFI-mode booting is completely different from BIOS-mode booting. There's tons of documentation on the Internet about repairing Windows boot problems, and most of it is BIOS-specific. Worse, most of those pages don't even identify their bias, because they were written before EFI-mode booting became common. Thus, you must be cautious when researching your problem. Don't waste time on a BIOS-mode solution unless you're certain that your system uses BIOS mode to boot. Given that you're using Windows 8, my assumption goes the other way -- but of course, I could be wrong in that assumption, too. Checking the partition table types of both your disks (as described here) will help clarify the matter.

  • Yes, the cloned disk has GPT. Yes, I cloned the EFI partition. Yes, the GUIDs match. I will try reinstalling the boot loader tonight. Thx for the pointer. – hymie Nov 10 '15 at 15:27
  • Thank you for the tip. It didn't resolve my problem, but I no longer know if this is my problem or not. – hymie Nov 10 '15 at 22:44

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