Problems with booting windows after trying to replace hard drive

By NHollen
Jul 19, 2016
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  1. I have a custom built windows computer that had windows 10 installed on an ssd and games and other stuff on a 1tb hdd. I recently got a 3tb hdd to replace my 1tb. I thought I wouldn't have to clone since this wasn't my os drive, so I simply copied my files from my old 1tb to my 3tb and then disconnected my 1tb. When I booted up again I was told that my "boot configuration data is missing" even though I didn't alter my SSD. After tons of trial and error I decided to disconnect my SSD and just clean install Windows onto my old 1tb, so I could atleast boot it up and then maybe reinstall on my SSD (which hadn't been working). I installed windows 8 fine and then went to upgrade it to 10 only to find that my serial number only worked for upgrades and not clean installs. Great. Well, I reconnected my SSD and turned my computer on and was prompted with a choice between windows 8 or 10. Confused, I chose 10. And I found out that suddenly my old SSD windows was working fine. Thinking the problem was solved, I turned off my computer and removed my old 1tb hdd. But when I turned it on, I got the missing boot configuration error again. I shut down, reconnected my old 1tb hdd that now had windows 8 on it, booted and suddenly my windows 10 SSD install is working again. And now here I am, stuck with an old hard drive I want to replace that apparently has some valuable boot data on it even though windows 10 is on another drive.

    2 other things:

    1. I checked disk management and it appears that while my SSD is set as boot and active, my old 1tb is set as system and active.

    2. I tried changing the boot order in bios and if I force it to boot my SSD or st it first in the boot order, I get the boot configuration missing message again.

    Sorry if any of this is unclear, im stressed out and typing on my phone. I will post screenshots or more info if needed.
  2. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 863   +204

    I propose the following solution:
    1. Download ProduKey and grab your Win10 Serial for activation.
    2. Backup your SSD and all other important files.
    3. Format all drives you want to be used in your system.
    4. Perform a clean install of windows 10 on your SSD, and attach other drives after the fact.
    5. Begin to restore files to their rightly place.
    A couple things...
    For windows 10 activation, you technically do not need the serial key anymore. You can just skip that portion and instead it'll activate itself based on your motherboard. This is the only real way to cleanly install windows 10. With that said, using ProduKey should also grab that key for you, to hopefully avoid that step. Now, It's clear that your SSD/HDD setup is acting a little wacky, but it seems there is a configuration that allows you to access those files on your SSD? If so, I'd say just back them up using whatever software /service you're most comfortable with. You want to get those files to a safe place, as the most straightforward solution would be formatting all drives and doing a clean install.

    I hope this helps.
    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
  3. NHollen

    NHollen TS Rookie Topic Starter

  4. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 863   +204

    Or that works too! I figured there was a way to fix the missing boot data, but I didn't know off the top of my head. Glad you were able to get it fixed. Make sure to back up that important data! You never know when your drives may decide to act up again.

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