What if the cloned drive won’t boot Windows 10/8/7/11? If you are confronted with this annoying issue, you are in the right place and multiple fixes to solve this issue will be mentioned here. Besides, a piece of professional PC cloning software from MiniTool can help you a lot.

Cloned Hard Drive Not Booting Windows 11/10/8/7

To upgrade your disk, you may choose to clone HDD to SSD to get a fast speed rather than reinstalling Windows and all the applications. In this way, you can run the PC directly from the cloned SSD to boot up the Windows operating system without installing everything from scratch. This is an ideal solution.

However, sometimes the cloned drive won’t boot Windows 10/11/8/7. Many users have complained about this situation on some forums. Then, a question comes: why the cloned SSD won’t boot or why is SSD not booting after clone?

  1. The source hard drive has bad sectors, leading to cloned hard drive not booting.
  2. The cloning process encounters an error.
  3. Cloned drive isn’t set to be a boot drive.
  4. Due to a GPT/MBR conflict, SSD won’t boot after clone.
  5. Using a USB cable to connect the SSD to the PC.

No matter which factor is responsible for this frustrating issue, the important thing is to dig out how to make cloned SSD bootable. From the following part, you can find some useful fixes and let’s look through them.

Related post: Cloned Drive Won’t Boot | How to Make Cloned Drive Bootable?

How to Make Cloned Drive Bootable Windows 10/11

Correctly Install the Cloned SSD with a SATA Cable

When using a USB cable to connect the SSD to your computer, the clone software cannot guarantee that the external hard drive can boot successfully. The best solution is using a SATA cable. If you run into the situation – cloned HDD to SSD won’t boot, try to use a SATA cable to connect the cloned SSD to your PC.


Note that if you are using a M.2 or PCIe SSD, the SATA cable is not proper and just choose the proper connector/cable to connect it to your PC.

SATA cable

If the Windows OS can run, congratulations to you! If not, continue the following fixes.

Change the Boot Order in BIOS

After the disk cloning, you may choose to keep both the source disk and target disk on the computer – make the source disk as a data disk and let the SSD as the boot disk. However, if you don’t change the boot order in BIOS, the cloned drive won’t boot Windows 11/10/8/7.

Follow the steps below to set the SSD as the first boot option:

Step 1: Restart your PC and press a specific key to enter the BIOS menu. The key can be Del, F1, F2, F10, F12, or Esc based on the manufacturers.

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Step 2: Find the Boot tab or the similar one and use the arrow key to choose the cloned SSD as the first boot option.

Step 3: Save the setting and Windows can boot from the cloned hard drive.

Set BIOS to Boot in Legacy or UEFI

MBR and GPT are two partition types. MBR supports the Legacy boot mode while GPT supports UEFI boot mode. If the partition type is not compatible with the system boot mode in BIOS, the cloned drive won’t boot Windows 11/10/8/7.

Related post: MBR VS GPT (Focus on Difference and How to Convert Safely)

You should choose a proper mode to eliminate the MBR/GPT conflict by following the guide to make cloned drive bootable:

Step 1: Run your PC to enter the BIOS menu.

Step 2: In the Boot window, change the boot mode based on your MBR or GPT disk.


If your PC doesn’t support UEFI, you need to convert the GPT disk to MBR and then boot Windows from the cloned drive in Legacy boot mode.

UEFI BIOS boot mode

Set System Partition as an Active Partition

As is well known, the system partition should be an active partition to boot the Windows OS. If it isn’t configured to be active, Windows 11/10/8 or Windows 7 won’t boot after cloning hard drive.

Step 1: Boot your PC from the original system disk.

Step 2: Press Win + R, type diskpart and click OK.

Step 3: In the Diskpart window, type the following command lines one by one and press Enter.

list disk

select disk n (n means the disk ID)

list partition

select partition n (n is the system partition)


set partition active

Note that the active command only works on the MBR disk since a GPT disk doesn’t have a concept of the active partition.


In addition to using the Command Prompt, you can set the system partition with a professional partition manager like MiniTool Partition Wizard. Just follow the guide: An Easy Way to Set Partition as Active or Inactive with MiniTool.

Run Bootrec.exe

In addition, you can run Bootrec.exe to repair something when the cloned hard drive won’t boot Windows 10/11/8/7.

Step 1: To perform this repair, prepare a repair disk and change the boot order to let Windows run from it.

Step 2: Navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

Command Prompt in WinRE

Step 3: Run the following commands in turn. Don’t forget to press Enter after each one.

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec /scanos

bootrec /rebuildbcd


In addition to running Bootrec.exe, you can click Startup Repair under Advanced options to perform a repair.

“My cloned drive won’t boot Windows 10. Then, I tried these workarounds and they are helpful to make my cloned drive bootable. Try them and see if they also help you.”Click to Tweet

After trying all the fixes here, Windows should boot up from the cloned SSD. If it was all in vain, the situation – cloned SSD won’t boot black screen still appears, perhaps it is the issue with the cloning software you ever used. Go to try another professional one.

Run MiniTool ShadowMaker to Re-Clone HDD to SSD

If the cloning software you use performs an incomplete disk cloning due to some errors, Windows 11/Windows 10 drive won’t boot after the clone. Or you only clone the system drive but don’t clone the boot partition, the cloned drive won’t boot the operating system. To make sure a successful disk cloning, we recommend using a piece of reliable hard drive cloning software for this task.


If there are bad sectors on the source disk, the cloning may not succeed. You can perform a disk test using MiniTool Partition Wizard’s Surface Test to check if some bad areas exist. If yes, run chkdsk /r to locate bad sectors and recover readable information. Then, start a cloning again.

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MiniTool is devoting itself to offering reliable and professional solutions in PC backup, disk cloning, partition management, and data recovery. Its MiniTool ShadowMaker can help you a lot in backup and cloning.

Although it is a free backup software at first glance for the system, partitions, disks, files and folders, it can also help you clone a hard drive to another disk since it also offers a feature called Clone Disk. This feature allows you to clone the system disk/data disk and clone HDD to SSD.

Everything including system files, settings, registry, files, etc. is copied to another disk. After the cloning, the target disk can be used to boot your operating system. The issue of cloned hard drive not booting won’t frustrate you. Just tap on the following download button to get MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial and start a complete disk cloning.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: After installing this free cloning software on your PC, double-click on it to open and tap on Keep Trial to go on.

Step 2: Click Tools from the left pane and tap on Clone Disk to continue.

MiniTool ShadowMaker clone disk

Step 3: Choose a source disk to clone. Here, we choose the system disk. Then, choose the SSD as the target disk.

Step 4: Click Start > OK. The cloning process will start. The cloning time is different depending on the data size.

choose source and target disk

After completing the cloning, you can remove the original system disk, put the SSD to the original place and then boot the PC from the cloned SSD.

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Further Tip:

If you want to use the cloned SSD on another computer that has dissimilar hardware, the SSD won’t boot after clone since there is an incompatibility issue.

To fix this issue, you can create a bootable USB drive with Media Builder of MiniTool ShadowMaker, boot the PC from USB and run MiniTool ShadowMaker. Then, go to Tools > Universal Restore. Next, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the repair. Then, you can start up your PC from the cloned hard drive.

Universal Restore

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Use MiniTool Partition Wizard to Clone HDD to SSD

To avoid running into the issue of cloned hard drive not booting, you can run another reliable PC cloning software besides MiniTool ShadowMaker. MiniTool Partition Wizard is such a tool.

As a partition manager, it allows you to manage your disk and partitions well, for example, create/format/extend/resize/delete/merge/wipe/split partition, check file system, convert a disk to MBR/GPT, convert NTFS to FAT and vice versa.

Also, it is an excellent SSD cloning software. With its Copy Disk, Copy Partition, and Migrate OS to SSD/HD features, you can clone your hard drive and partition well. To make sure a successful system cloning, run Copy Disk or Migrate OS to SSD/HD. Get MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro or higher for a trial. Note that the free edition doesn’t support system cloning but only data disk copy.

MiniTool Partition Wizard DemoClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Run MiniTool Partition Wizard to its main interface. Then, tap on Migrate OS to SSD/HD Wizard or Copy Disk Wizard from the left pane. Next, follow the on-screen instructions to start the system cloning/migration.

MiniTool Partition Wizard system migration


To know some details about the steps, refer to our previous post - Easily Migrate Windows 10 to SSD Without Reinstalling OS Now.

Tips to Avoid SSD Not Booting after Clone

To save your time and avoid encountering the situation again – cloned drive won’t boot, we collect some useful tips. These tips are also applied if you transfer OS to a new hard drive in Windows 11/10/8/7 via disk cloning.

  1. Use reliable cloning software to clone your system to an SSD or new hard drive. MiniTool ShadowMaker and MiniTool Partition Wizard are your good options.
  2. Make sure your source system disk and target disk are using the same partition type – MBR or GPT. Besides, use the correct boot mode – Legacy BIOS (MBR) or UEFI (GPT).
  3. Make sure all the system partitions for Windows to run are cloned.
  4. Ensure the boot order is the cloned drive.
  5. Use an correct cable (IDE/SATA/M.2/PCIe) rather than a USB cable to connect the SSD to your PC.

If your cloned drive won’t boot Windows 10/11, these tips can also be the fixes, as mentioned in the above part.

Bottom Line

Now we come to the end of this post. How to make cloned drive bootable in Windows 11/10/8/7 if your cloned drive won’t boot? You can find multiple effective workarounds from this article to help you out. Just try them if you are plagued by the annoying issue.

Besides, we appreciate it if you find out some other useful solutions to fix cloned hard drive not booting and leave them in the following comment part.

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