By Jessie / Last update November 3, 2022

User Case

   
   
   
       

Windows 7 started to give error messages about imminent hard Drive failure so I thought to buy a new hard drive and clone the old one to it. However, after I finish the cloning process, I got the blue screen ("a problem has been detected") when booting from the new drive. Any suggestions to fix the issue? Thank you!

       

If the cloned hard drive won’t boot in Windows 7 and appear a blue screen, there may be bad sectors on the disk. Or you don’t set the cloned disk as the first boot disk in BIOS. You can continue reading to learn more possible causes and how to fix it.

Reasons for Cloned Hard Drive Won't Boot in Windows 7

There are many reasons why a cloned hard drive won’t boot in Windows 7, and here I conclude some common reasons for you:

  • Source disk contains bad sectors: This will directly cause the cloned disk to be unbootable.
  • Other devices: If you have more than one device, it may affect the cloned hard drive to boot properly.
  • Incomplete clone: You may not clone the complete system, because your system disc may have a system reserved partition or an EFI system partition.
  • Disk Type and Boot Mode Mismatch: If you have an MBR disk, you must boot from Legacy mode. If you use GPT disk, you need to boot from UEFI mode. Otherwise, the cloned drive won’t boot.
  • Incorrect boot order: You don’t change the boot order in BIOS, the system may still boot from the old boot disk.

How to Fix Cloned Hard Drive not Booting

After understanding the reasons, next, I will introduce you 5 simple solutions to fix cloned hard drive not booting. You can read on and follow the specific steps below.

Method 1. Connect Hard Drive to Your Computer Internally instead of Externally

If the cloned hard drive does not boot, you need to check whether your drive is properly connected to your computer. If not, reconnect the hard drive to your computer internally instead of externally so that the disk can be organized by the computer correctly.

Method 2. Set the Cloned Hard Drive as the First Boot Drive.

You need to check if you have set the cloned hard drive as the first boot option in the BIOS, especially when you have multiple hard drives on your computer. The steps are below:

Step 1. Restart your computer press the required key (F1, F2, F10, F12, Delete, etc.) to enter BIOS settings.

Step 2. Find the boot menu and set the cloned hard drive as the first boot option among all the devices.

Change Boot Order Bios

Step 3. Press F10 to save the settings and exit.

Method 3. Convert Disk to MBR/GPT and Reconcile Boot Mode

Different partition styles and incorrect boot modes can also result in the drive being cloned but won't boot successfully. 

The source and target disks must be the same type. For example, if your source disk is an MBR then the target disk must also be an MBR. You can check the disk type by following the steps.

Step 1. Insert the target disk into your computer.

Step 2. Open Disk Management, right-click on the source disk, and select Properties.

Step 3. Check the partition style of the source disk and target disk in turn.

Disk Partition Style

MBR and GPT correspond to different boot modes. MBR is for Legacy boot mode, while GPT is for UEFI boot mode. The cloned drive will not boot in the wrong boot mode. You can follow the steps below to set the correct boot mode.

Step 1. Restart your computer and then constantly press the F2, F8, F12, or Del to enter the BIOS settings.

Step 2. In the startup screen, choose Boot > UEFI/BIOS Boot Mode. Then press Enter

Step 3. Next select Legacy or UEFI according to your partition style.

UEFI BIOS

Step 4. Finally, save the settings and restart your computer.

Method 4. Repair Boot Records

A corrupted boot record can also interfere with the normal booting of the cloned disk in Windows 7. In this case, you can repair the boot record to solve this problem. Here are the specific steps below.

Step 1. Press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts. Then enter the Advanced Boot Options menu.

Step 2. Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt and then press Enter.

Step 3. Type the following commands and press Enter after each command line.

  • bootrec /fixmbr
  • bootrec /fixboot
  • bootrec /scanos
  • bootrec /rebuildbcd

Rebuild MBR

Step 4. Exit and restart your computer.

Method 5. Directly Clone Hard Drive with A Reliable Cloning Software

In addition to the above methods, you can also clone your disk with safe and reliable disk cloning software, such as AOMEI Backupper Professional. After cloning, you can boot the computer from the coned disk successfully. Thus, you don’t have to worry the cloned hard drive won’t boot. It also has the following advantages:

Support multiple forms of clone: In addition to disk clone, you can also use it for system clone or partition clone.
Support cloning different disk types: It supports cloning GPT to MBR without converting partition styles, and vice versa.
Sector by sector cloneThis feature will clone all sectors on your disk, including a system reserved partition or an EFI system partition.
Intelligent clone: Under the default mode, it will clone hard drives by skipping the bad sectors. So, you can clone hard drive with bad sectors.
Different system: It supports Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista, etc.

You can follow the graphic tutorial below:

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install and launch it, click Clone > Disk Clone.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Choose Disk Clone

Note:

Professional edition supports cloning both data disks and systems disks from MBR to MBR/MBR to GPT, or GPT to  GPT/GPT to MBR. If you only want to clone data disks, you can pick the complete free Standard edition.

Step 2. Select the original hard disk as the source disk. Then, click Next.

Choose Source Disk 2

Step 3. Select the new disk as the destination disk. Then, click Next.

Choose Destination Unallocated HDD

Step 4. Confirm your operations and click Start Clone.

Disk Clone Preview Align SSD Checked

Notes:

  • Edit Partitions: If the partition on the target disk is large, this function can help you to resize it, including add unused space to all partitions or manually adjust partition size. 
  • SSD Alignment: If you use the SSD, you can tick this option. It can accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD.
  • Sector By Sector Clone: If the target hard drive is equal to or larger than the original disk, you can tick this option.

Summary

You can use the five methods described in this article to fix cloned hard drive won't boot. I prefer to use AOMEI Backupper, because it can clone disk directly and ensure secure boot.

In addition to cloning used partitions by default, the Sector By Sector Clone feature can help you clone both the used and unused sectors which avoids incomplete clones. It also has great compatibility with Windows systems.

Furthermore, it is a great backup and restore software that can help you backup your important files to keep your data safe. You can download this software to enjoy these features.