By Cherry / Last update August 2, 2021

Case: Cloned SSD won’t boot

"Help. Upgrading my Windows 10 hard drive to a newly purchased SSD, both 1TB in size, but the SSD won't boot after cloning. Just black screen. Followed the guide of some third-party software. Can anyone help me, or is there any trusted free cloning software?"

Most of people know that the SSD (solid state drive) has better performance than traditional hard disk drive (HDD). Compared with HDD, SSD runs faster and smoother with less noise. Thus, many Windows users would like to upgrade old HDD to SSD. 

How to do that? Considering the complexity of reinstalling OS, it seems like an easier solution to clone HDD to SSD. However, many people have spent time, effort and even money trying to clone hard drives, only to find that the cloned SSD won’t boot in Windows 10/8/7. It may show you this message:

Windows fails to Start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then, click “Next”.
3. Click “Repair your computer”.
If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
Info:The Boot Configuration Data for your PC is missing or contains error.

Why cloned SSD won’t boot in Windows 10/8/7?

There are lot of reasons would cause the SSD won’t boot after clone. And here we concluded part of reasons:

1. If the source disk you cloned has bad sectors, it may cause cloned SSD won’t boot.

2. The system is corrupted during cloning process, therefore the cloned disk won't boot.

3. Missed cloning the “system reserved” partition.

4. Set the wrong drive to boot from.

5. The drive letter may have changed while you change HDD to SSD. And this progress may cause boot files missing, which cause the cloned SSD won’t boot in Windows 10/8/7.

6. GPT/MBR conflict causing the cloned disk won't boot.

Fix Windows fails to boot after cloning HDD to SSD

As for there are different reasons that caused cloned SSD won’t boot problem, here we provides you different ways to solve the problem.

Method 1. Setting BIOS to boot from UEFI or Legacy

If you cloned the GPT HDD to MBR SSD, or cloned the MBR HDD to GPT SSD, it is necessary to change boot mode from UEFI to Legacy or from Legacy to UEFI. The wrong boot mode will cause the SSD won’t boot after clone.

To change the boot mode, you can refer to the following to configure it:

1. Continuously press a specific key (usually F2, F8, F12,Del) to enter BIOS Setup.

2. Then, use the arrow keys to select Boot tab. Here, you can select UEFI/BIOS Boot Mode as Legacy or UEFI.


3. Press F10 to save the settings and then exit, restart your computer from the cloned SSD.

*If your computer only supports for Legacy boot mode, you can convert GPT to MBR, and then your disk can boot successfully in Legacy boot mode.

Method 2. Change boot order to boot from the cloned SSD

Wrong boot device could also cause the cloned disk won't boot. If there are more than one hard drive on your computer, you'd better get into BIOS and change the boot order to boot from the cloned SSD.

Method 3. Repair Windows Startup from Windows RE

Sometimes, you need to get into Windows recovery environment (Windows RE) to repair Windows Startup if the cloned SSD won’t boot in Windows 10. The Windows Startup repair will fix some errors and help you boot successfully.

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

When you get into Advanced options, select Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Automatic Repair (Windows 10/8). Then, it will start to repair the startup problem.

Method 4. Run Bootrec.exe

If Windows Startup Repair doesn’t work, you can use Bootrec.exe to fix cloned SSD won’t boot in Windows 10/8/7.

Boot computer from Windows installation disc. Select Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Command Line. In the pop up command prompt, type the following commands to fix the Windows 10 fails to boot after clone HDD to SSD.

  • bootrec.exe

  • bootrec.exe /fixmbr

  • bootrec.exe /fixboot

  • bootrec.exe /scanos

  • bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

How to clone HDD to SSD without booting problems?

Is there any way that can help users clone HDD to SSD without booting problems? Yes, and it is highly recommend you to use the best free cloning software AOMEI Backupper Standard, which allows you to clone HDD to SSD with simple steps. And you can boot from the cloned SSD successfully. The AOMEI Backupper is suitable for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download


  • If you are cloning MBR system disk to GPT or vice versa and the target disk is a blank disk, this disk clone software will remind you whether you need to convert the target disk or not . 

  • AOMEI Backupper allows you to clone large HDD to smaller SSD as only as the destination disk is large enough to store data on the source disk.

  • Compared with SATA SSD disk, NVMe SSD has faster reading and writing spped. Thus, it's suggested to clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD or clone NVMe SSD to NVMe SSD.

Step by step clone:

Step 1. Connect the SSD to your computer and make sure it can be detected. Free download AOMEI Backupper, install and launch it. Click Clone -> Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the HDD as the source disk.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Select SSD as the destination disk.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Here you will move to the final page. Check the box of “SSD Alignment” and click Start Clone.

Start Clone


* If you only want to clone system, you can upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to unlock the System Clone feature and more advanced features.

* If you are trying to clone disk from one computer to another, you can use Dissimilar Hardware Restore. Backup HDD to SSD using AOMEI Backupper. Then create an AOMEI bootable media to boot the target computer and restore the backup to the destination SSD with Universal Restore option enabled.

* To clone disks on any computer, please use AOMEI Backupper Technician or Technician Plus to create portable version

With the help of HDD to SSD cloning software AOMEI Backupper Standard, you can easily clone HDD to SSD and ensure your computer can boot from it successfully. More so, it allows you to further accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD disk as well as prolong its lifespan. You could download it and try yourself.