By Delia / Last update September 8, 2021

Need help: How to make drive bootable in Windows 10 

Searching make drive bootable Windows 10 online, you may find an interesting scenario, some users want to make the cloned drive bootable, saying the cloned SSD won't boot in Windows 10,  while others want to create a bootable USB in Windows 10. Anyway, you will learn all of them in the following. Below is an example taken from answer.microsoft. 

"My computer is running Windows 10. Yesterday, I cloned C drive to G drive(SSD) via a third-party clone software. However, when I try to boot from G drive, I find that the cloned SSD is not bootable. What should I do to make the cloned G drive bootable just like C drive? Can you give me some suggestions? Thanks in advance."

Why cloned SSD won’t boot and how to solve it?

There are some common reasons that may cause SSD won't boot after clone, you can refer to these reasons and try to solve your problem:

  • Set the wrong drive to boot from. You need to get into BIOS and change the boot order. Then, press F10 to save the change you did and boot from the cloned SSD.

  • The system may be corrupted during the cloning process. This problem may be caused by the clone software. You need to choose a professional software.

  • Lack of the “system reserved” partition.  You need to choose a professional clone software that can completely clone all partitions including "system reserved" partition.

  • GPT/MBR conflict. If you cloned the GPT HDD to MBR SSD or cloned the MBR HDD to GPT SSD, it is necessary to change the boot mode from UEFI to Legacy or from Legacy to UEFI.

Actually, there are a lot of reasons would cause the SSD won’t boot after clone, and we may not be able to check and resolve the issue sometimes.

At this time, you could try bcdboot command, which allows you to copy critical boot files to the system partition and create a new system BCD store. 

1. Type cmd in the search box and run as administrator.

2. Type bcdboot /? to get details if you not familiar with this command.

BCD Get Details

3. Then, type bcdboot c:/windows /s f: and hit Enter. It's able to copy boot files from C:/Windows folder to G: drive, and usually the G: drive is a USB flash drive or second disk. 

BCD Copy Boot Files

In addition, you use a reliable clone software to make cloned drive bootable in Windows 10 easily. It not only allows you to avoid booting problems, but also including everything on the original disk or system partition. Please continue to see below.

How to choose reliable bootable clone software

There is a large amount of clone software on the market, how to choose a reliable kind? You can refer to the following standards:

  • Professional and safe: The cloning software is able to make disk bootable in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista after cloning, and won’t mix up your disk.

  • Easy to use: Clear interface and user-friendly design are important for cloning software. With these advantages, you can figure it out quickly even for the first time.

  • Strong compatibility: Good clone software should be compatible with different versions of the Windows system, such as Windows 10/8.1/8/7, XP and Vista.

  • Provides useful features: Besides the basic standards, a great clone software still provides users useful features to make the cloning process simple and easy. For example, clone all sectors of a hard drive with Sector by Sector Clone, improve computer performance by accelerating the writing and reading speed of cloned SSD disk, etc.

Then, which one is the reliable yet professional disk clone software, I highly recommend you AOMEI Backupper Professional, which fully meet the standard mentioned above. 

And it even helps you can even clone large HDD to smaller SSD (using Intelligent Clone feature) and ensure you can boot your computer from it successfully. You are able to clone hard drive to larger drive without leaving unallocated space by its Edit Partition feature. 

 In addition, you still can use it to create bootable media to boot different versions of Windows when your computer can't boot normally. If you want to boot multiple computers simultaneously, you could use its PXE boot tool(supported by the workstation edition).

How to make a drive bootable in Windows 10 easily 

To make a drive bootable in Windows 10, clone is the easiest way, it's able to copy all the necessary boot files required to start Windows. You can choose to clone entire disk with Disk Clone or directly clone OS only with System Clone, it all depends on the size of the target disk and the items you want to move.

You can follow the detailed steps below to clone and make hard drive bootable in Windows 10. These steps are applicable to make internal and external hard drive bootable in Windows 10. Before that, you need to make some preparations: 

  • Connect the prepared drive to your computer and make sure it can be detected.

  • Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install and launch it. If your system is Windows Server, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download Free Trial Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. In the main page of AOMEI Backupper, select the "System Clone" option under the "Clone" tab.

System Clone

Step 2. Here, you just need to select your prepared drive as the destination path and then click "Next". The software will automatically select system and boot-related partitions for you.

Choose Destination Partition

Note: The software will automatically detect if the target disk space is sufficient for the total things on the C drive you're migrating. If not, the software will prompt you to change for a larger one.

Step 3. In the operation summary window, tick "SSD Alignment" if the target disk is an SSD disk. Then, confirm the operation and click "Start Clone" to perform the system clone and make disk bootable in Windows 10.

System Clone Preview Nochecked

How to make a bootable USB in Windows 10

Except for making drive bootable, some users still want to create bootable USB in Windows 10 so as to boot computer when it fails. Here we will show you the entire process to make partition bootable in Windows 10 using Diskpart. 

Step 1. Open cmd with administrator priority. Then, type diskpart and hit Enter.

Step 2. Type list disk, you will see all the available disks on your computer. Then, find your USB drive by its drive letter or disk size. 

Step 3. Type select disk m to select your USB drive, where the m is the drive letter of your USB drive. Then, hit Enter.

Step 4(optional). Type clean to delete all the data on the USB drive.

Step 5. Type create partition primary to create a new primary partition to store the boot files. Then, hit Enter.

Step 6. Type select partition 1 to select the previous created primary partition. Then, click Enter. 

Step 7. Type format fs=ntfs quick or format fs=fat32 quick to format the USB storage for reuse. Then, hit Enter.

DiskPart Create Boot Partition Windows 10

Note: If your computer is legacy BIOS based, format file system as NTFS. If your computer use UEFI, you need to format the file system as FAT32. 

Step 8. Type active and then hit Enter. After that, you can exit this window and try it.

Frequently asked questions: make a drive bootable in Windows 10

1. How do I make an ISO file bootable?

The ISO file you download on the Microsoft official site contains all the Windows installation files, to make it bootable, you just need to follow the on-screen guide to create bootable CD/DVD or USB with it. 

2. How do I know if a disk is bootable?

To check if a disk is bootable, the simplest and safest way is to let Windows boot from it. To make it, you need to enter the BIOS, set this disk as the first boot option, save changes and reboot.

3. Does cloning a drive make it bootable?

Cloning a hard drive is to make an exact copy of original disk, including the operating system, system reserved partition or EFI system partition, system drivers, etc. Thus, the cloned disk is bootable as usual.

Verdict

Whether you want to make drive bootable in Windows 10 or just create bootable USB, you can read this article for help.

To clone system drive while ensuring secure boot, it's suggested to use a reliable clone software like AOMEI Backupper. It makes the cloning process simple and effective, and provides you more advanced features, such as, clone larger drive to smaller SSD with Intelligent Clone, improve the writing and reading speed of SSD disk with SSD Alignment, etc.

Also, it still supports creating bootable USB so as to restore Windows 10 image to new hard drive when your computer fails to boot. Of course, you can manually create boot partition with DiskPart command line tool.