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Cloned SSD Won't Boot | How to Make HDD/SSD Bootable Windows 10

Updated by Daisy on Mar 12, 2021
Written by Jean

More and more Windows users are trying to upgrade the old HDD to SSD for getting better performance. To avoid OS reinstallation, they usually choose to clone HDD to SSD. However, another serious problem arises, that is cloned SSD won't boot in Windows 10. The user below is experiencing the cloned SSD not booting problem.

"I have a Dell T-5400 workstation with a 1TB HDD running Win10. I installed a 256GB SSD and cloned HDD Windows 10 to the new SSD with Macrium Reflect. After cloning, I can't get Windows to boot from the SSD no matter what I try. Is there any way to make cloned SSD bootable?" 

If you're also struggling with the same problem and don't know how to make SSD bootable, you've come to the right place. This post explains why cloned SSD won't boot and has all effective solutions to solve SSD not booting after clone. Read in-depth.  

How to Fix Cloned SSD Won't Boot Issue and Make SSD Bootable

The following methods are bound to resolve SSD not working after cloning for particular reasons. Follow the step-by-step guides to make the cloned SSD boot normally.

Method 1. Make a New Clone of HDD to SSD with EaseUS Todo Backup

Incomplete clone or clone failure will cause the cloned SSD won't boot problem. Besides, if you haven't cloned the boot partition, the cloned hard drive will not be able to boot either.

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To avoid these problems and ensure the cloned hard disk bootable, you can re-clone HDD to SSD with a reliable and simple-to-use Windows backup tool - EaseUS Todo Backup.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Todo Backup, expand the menu and choose "Clone" from the feature list.

choose clone to clone drive to ssd

Step 2. Which drive do you want to clone? Choose this entire hard disk or simply a single partition on it as the source disk. Click "Next".

choose the hard drive as source disk

Step 3. Since you're going to clone the selected drive to an SSD, choose the SSD as the destination disk. Also, tick the option "Optimize for SSD" within "Advanced options" to achieve a better SSD performance after clone. Click "OK" and then click "Next".

choose the ssd as the destination disk

Step 4. Preview the disk layout and click "Proceed".

preview disk layout and click proceed

Method 2. Check and Fix BCD Error

After the clone, if you see the error message: "Your PC needs to be repaired. An unexpected error has occurred. Error code: Oxc000000e." when booting your computer from the cloned SSD, you need to check and fix the BCD error to resolve cloned SSD not booting issue.

Step 1. Start your computer from the Windows installation disc. Select "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "Command Prompt".

Step 2. In the pop-up command prompt, type the following commands and press Enter after each line.

bootrec.exe
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot
bootrec.exe /scanos
bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

fix cloned disk won't boot

Method 3. Add Necessary Drivers to the Cloned SSD

Some SSD may need the necessary driver support if you want to boot from it. Add the necessary device drivers after you have finished the disk cloning process. The SATA controller will either be embedded on the motherboard or a SATA add-on card. SATA add-on cards are more likely to prompt for an additional driver. In either case, if the operating system setup does not recognize the drive, you will need to supply a controller device driver.

The SATA controller driver can usually be found on the system's CD or website, motherboard, or SATA controller card manufacturer.

If the SATA controller is recognized during Setup without special drivers, then you can complete the installation.  After the initial setup, check for driver updates from the OS or controller manufacturer.

When performing a new installation from the DVD of Windows 8/7/Vista, the system will ask you where you want to install Windows. If the SSD is not displayed, click the Load Driver option.

Method 4. Change the Boot Order in BIOS

If the cloned SSD is not set to be the first boot option in BIOS, your computer won't boot from it. If there are two or more hard drives on your computer, you need to access BIOS and change the boot order to boot from the cloned SSD. 

Step 1. Restart the PC.  When the startup screen appears, constantly press F2/F12/DEL to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Next, use the arrow key to choose the Boot tap and select the cloned SSD as the first boot option. 

Step 3. Save the settings and restart your computer. 

fix cloned ssd won't boot windows 10

Method 5. Set System Partition an Active Partition

The system partition should be set as the active partition. If the system partition is not set as an active partition, Windows 10 can't boot from cloned SSD. You can set the system partition as an active partition with an easy-to-use partition manager in the WinPE environment by creating a bootable disk.

Step 1. Download and launch EaseUS partition manager software.

Step 2. On the disk map, right-click the desired partition and choose "Set Active". The software will automatically execute the operation and create an active partition for you.

set active

Method 6. Correctly Connect the SSD to with a SATA Cable

Use a SATA cable instead of a USB to connect the SSD to the computer. The disk clone software does not guarantee that the external disk can boot smoothly when using a USB cable. It is best to connect devices to a computer via SATA.

connect the ssd with SATA

If the notebook can't connect two disks simultaneously through SATA, select the Create a Portable USB option when you are using EaseUS Todo Backup.

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Does Your Computer Boot from Cloned SSD Properly 

SSD not booting after clone or cloned SSD won't boot with black screen is really a tricky problem for many users. You can first follow the detailed instructions in the above tutorial to fix the issue by yourself. After these attempts, if your cloned SSD still cannot boot, you can contact EaseUS's technical support team and let them help you via 1-on-1 remote assistance as soon as possible.

Do You Need Specialized Services for System Boot Issues?
EaseUS also provides 1-on-1 remote assistance to fix the boot issue. If the solution above does not work for you, please contact our professionals via Email or LiveChat on this page. To ensure our professional assistance works, you can connect the unbootable system drive to a healthy computer when getting connected with us.

Find Out the Causes of Cloned SSD Not Booting

There are a lot of reasons that would cause the SSD won't boot after clone. And here we conclude part of them for you.

  • The source disk can't boot. That is to say, if the source disk you cloned has bad sectors, it may cause the cloned SSD won't boot. 
  • The cloned SSD is not set as the boot disk.
  • You connect the SSD to a computer with a USB.
  • The SSD needs specific drivers.
  • There are some errors during the cloning process.
  • Incomplete clones, such as missing boot partitions.
  • Other reasons...

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy has been working as a technical writer for eight years. She specializes in making the complicated easy. She believes that technology should bring users satisfaction, not annoyance, so she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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