Fix SSD Not Recognized as Boot Device Easily [Full Guide]

You will get the possible reasons for SSD not recognized as boot device and 6 effective solutions to fix this issue. You will also get reliable cloning software for bootable disk cloning.


By Jonna Updated on December 25, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

User Case: My SSD Not Recognized and PC won't Boot


Hi, I am facing some issues with the Windows clone in my new SSD. I tried to make a clone from my HDD to the new SSD, but it was not recognized as bootable. I am desperate, please help!

In the realm of storage, SSDs outshine traditional HDDs in terms of performance, leveraging speed and functionality. However, when cloning HDD to SSD, SSD not recognized as boot device, like M.2 SSD not detected in Windows 10, is a common issue. Also, there may be other problems such as SSD recognized but not booting. On this page, we will explore tips and tricks for troubleshooting SSD not recognized as a boot drive.

Why is My SSD Not Recognized as a Bootable Drive?

Various reasons may cause SSD not detected as boot device, mostly underlying in problems of SSD and BIOS setting problems. The following are some potential causes:

  • BIOS setting problems
  • SATA driver not properly installed
  • Faulty SSD with connection or technology-based issues
  • System corruption during the cloning process
  • GPT/MBR conflict, etc

How to Fix SSD Not Recognized as Boot Device

If you encounter the situation of BIOS not detecting SSD, don't worry. This article will share six practical solutions with you. And you can choose any one of them to solve the problem easily. Each solution comes equipped with detailed graphic tutorials, ensuring even those new to the process can learn it quickly.

👉 Solution 1. Check if SSD Shows up in BIOS🔥
👉 Solution 2. Change Your Boot Mode🔥
👉 Solution 3. Make Sure Your SSD Is Initialized Properly🔥
👉 Solution 4. Update Storage Controller and Disk Drivers
👉 Solution 5. Run Startup Repair
👉 Solution 6. Run Bootrec.exe

AOMEI Backupper

Clone HDD to SSD and make sure SSD bootable with the most reliable disk cloning software.

Solution 1. Check if SSD Shows up in BIOS

To fix SSD not working as boot drive after cloning, you need to first check if your SDD actually appears within the BIOS. If the BIOS fails to detect it, Windows won't see it either. You can do the following:

Step 1. Restart your computer. As the boot screen appears, keep pressing F2, F12, or DEL to enter the BIOS.

Step 2. Through the right arrow key, go to Startup and then press Enter on Boot.

Startup Boot

Step 3. In this section, you can check the bootable devices. Your SSD should be shown here.

Then, you can set the new SSD as the first boot option and press F10 to save and exit. Your computer should boot successfully now. If the issue persists, proceed to the subsequent solution.

Solution 2. Change Your Boot Mode

If your SSD is a GPT disk, then you need to make sure the EFI/UEFI boot mode is enabled to fix SSD not showing up in BIOS boot priority. Navigate to the BIOS Setup and configure it to enable EFI/UEFI boot mode. Failure to do so will impede SSD booting unless it undergoes conversion to an MBR disk.

If the SSD is an MBR disk, you need to adjust the boot mode to Legacy. Alternatively, you need to convert MBR to GPT disk to facilitate successful SSD booting.

Solution 3. Make Sure Your SSD Is Initialized Properly

Once you get a new SSD, you need to initialize it to use it in Windows. An uninitialized SSD won't appear in File Explorer or the Disk Management utility. You can initialize your SSD with the guide below:

Step 1. Search for Disk Management in the Start menu, and select Run as administrator.

Step 2. Right-click the SSD that is not being recognized and select Initialize Disk.

Initialize Disk

Step 3. Within the Initialize Disk dialogue box, choose the SSD disk for initialization and select the partition style. Then, click OK to begin the disk initialization process.

Step 4. After completion, return to Disk Management, right-click on your SSD Volume, and choose New Simple Volume.

New Simple Volume

Step 5. Follow the on-screen instructions to assign the SSD volume and drive letter.

Solution 4. Update Storage Controller and Disk Drivers

An outdated driver can cause devices to malfunction, and it might be why SSD is not recognized as boot device on Windows. To update the storage controller drivers:

Step 1. Type Device Manager in the Windows Start menu and open it.

Step 2. Locate the Storage controllers and expand the group. Right-click on the storage controller and select Update driver.

Update Driver

Step 3. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software.

Search automatically for updated driver software

Step 4. Expand the Disk drives option and locate the SSD option. Repeat the Update driver steps for update.

Solution 5. Run Startup Repair

Sometimes, you need to get into Windows recovery environment (Windows RE) to repair Windows Startup if the SSD not recognized in BIOS. It can help fix some boot errors and boot Windows up successfully.

Step 1. Boot from the Windows installation disc. Select Repair your computer.

Step 2. When you get into the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Startup Repair (Windows 11/10/8). Then, it will start to repair the startup problem.

Startup Repair Advanced Options

Solution 6. Run Bootrec.exe

If Windows Startup Repair doesn’t work, you can use Bootrec.exe to fix SSD not detected in Windows 11/10/8/7.

Step 1. Boot computer from Windows installation disc. Select Repair your computer -> Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Command Prompt.

Step 2. In the pop-up command prompt, type the following commands one by one:

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


Quick Fix: Make Cloned SSD Bootable with Reliable Disk Cloning Software

Fixing SSD not recognized as boot device can be time-consuming. Is there any way that can help users clone HDD to SSD without booting problems? Of course, it's highly recommended to use the best cloning software for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It comes with multiple cloning features, including disk clone, system clone, and partition clone, and ensures a Secure boot after cloning.

  • The software uses Intelligent Clone by default, which means you can easily clone larger HDD to smaller SSD. Sector by sector clone is also available to copy all sectors of a disk.
  • It supports to Clone MBR to GPT disk without converting partition style, and vice versa.
  • It offers SSD Alignment to accelerate the target SSD and prolong its life span.
  • It is widely compatible with various types of HDD (PATA, SATA, SCSI) and SSD (SATA, NVMe, PCIe, M.2, U.2).

You can follow the graphic tutorial below to learn how to use this cloning software to clone HDD to SSD without boot issue.

Step 1. Connect the SSD to your computer and ensure it can be detected. Download and install AOMEI Backupper Professional. Open the application and navigate to Clone > Disk Clone.

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

Choose Disk Clone

If you only want to clone the Windows operating system, utilize the System Clone feature.
The Professional edition offers support for cloning both data disks and system disks, between MBR to MBR, MBR to GPT, GPT to GPT, or GPT to MBR. If you only want to clone data disks, the free Standard edition is available at no cost.

Step 2. Designate your old HDD as the source disk.

Choose Source Disk-2

Step 3. Choose the connected SSD as the destination disk.

Choose Destination Unallocated HDD

Step 4. Ensure SSD Alignment is selected. Confirm your operations and initiate the cloning process by clicking Start Clone.

Disk Clone Preview Align SSD Checked

You can utilize the Edit Partitions feature to change the partition size automatically or manually.


If you meet SSD not recognized as boot device, you can try any of the 6 methods mentioned in this article. To clone HDD to SSD without boot problems, you can directly use AOMEI Backupper Professional for disk cloning or only system cloning. Moreover, it provides you with powerful backup and restore options, including system backup, disk backup, file backup, etc. If you want to know more about the software, download and explore it by yourself!

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.