A second installation of Windows won't boot

I recently bought a 10TB external drive, a WD Elements. I set up ESP and boot partitions and cloned my existing Windows to the boot partition, but I'm unable to boot off of it. When I restart my computer and press F12 to get to the boot device selection list, I'm presented with a list that includes two entries for the new drive. One specifies UEFI WD Elements and the other omits UEFI, specifying just WD Elements.

If I select the latter, my computer simply boots into my original Windows. If I choose the former, I get a message that "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to be restarted."

I'm sure that I should be providing additional information, but I'm not sure what, so I'll wait for questions.

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Clarification Request
Windows on USB?

That only works with the rare expensive Windows To Go version. So nope, Windows on USB isn't supposed to work. If you found an article about how to do this, please share so I can check it out.

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Good to hear from you!

You are aware that there are plenty of programs around that do just that? One example is WinToUSB by Hasleo.

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Sounds like a crack to me.

And if such, no help here as it's against forum policies.

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I've seen many such over the years.

If that fails you have to ask them why. For folk here you have to stick to standard installs. Any hacks and you may not find an answer. Mine is "nope, isn't supported and known to break as Windows updates."

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No idea

I don't know if it's a hack or not. Is it possible that Microsoft would let it slide if it were a hack?

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This is what Google says.
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The cracks are for Hasleo's program!

They're not referring to a crack of Windows.

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Way I look at it.

Hasleos crack software is to get Windows to do what it shouldn't. To me that's a Windows crack.

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I'm not disagreeing

But I do repeat my question: Wouldn't Microsoft go after them?

(I'll be back either tom'w. or sometime during the weekend.)

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Late here, talk soon.

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Let's stay on topic.

This is something of a hack. Since it's from a company you need to use their support system or find forums that get into this app. Here the view is that if it's a hack or not supported then you can't expect it to work as Windows changes (even Cool over time so these sorts of hacks are almost always unreliable.

What works better if I need to run an old version of Windows or even DOS, Linux, etc. is to use Virtual Box.

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Now who's off-topic?!

Who said anything about wanting to run an old version of Windows or another OS? (Just giving you a hard time, Bob.) Happy

We weren't really off-topic. Clarifying whether we're dealing with illegal software or not would determine whether I could get help here or not. As must be obvious, I had no idea that most editions of Windows aren't meant to be booted off a USB device. After chatting with a Microsoft rep, I'm now clear on the issue. So I've begun the process of copying my files from my other SATA drive to the new drive so that I can redo that SATA drive and migrate my OS to it.

That brings this thread to a close.

Thank you, both of you, for making me aware.

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God no.

I didn't get into any legal zone here. For the most part I try to stay out of the tar pits.

The WinToUSB method is fine if it works but when it doesn't then my bet is finding support is rare since it's a hack. Nice hack but hacks are known to work then not.

This is why I try to avoid them and never give anyone the idea I can support such.

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Actually, before I knew of the legal ramifications, I was trying - unsuccessfully - to get WinToUSB to work, and despite the fact that the giveaway version of the program that I had didn't include support, they were very helpful. We'd made a lot of progress and were almost there when this thread interrupted it.

All moot now.

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Good to read.

Sorry if this thread was an interruption. My note about staying on topic was an attempt to avoid the legal areas.

What fixed it?

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Nothing fixed it

As I wrote in the post titled "Now who's off topic?!" I abandoned the effort and I'm working on clearing out my other SATA drive so that I can migrate my OS to it.

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Question about boot files

Here's my hard drive setup. I have 2 SATA drives, 2TB and 3TB. I've backed up all files from both drives to my new external driive. Since those 2 drives contain 15 logical drives (long story and not relevant), I'm going to delete all partitions and create just one partition on each drive. I will then restore my backed up Windows to C:.

For reasons I no longer recall, the system partition is on physical drive 2 and the boot partition is on physical drive 2. After I've created the new partitions, the system and boot partitions will be the same partition. What files do I need to save from the current system partition and place on the new system / boot partition so that after I restore Windows, the system will boot?

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Re: restore Windows

I would play safe and reinstall Windows and all your applications, and then only restore your data (including part of your Appdata folder). I realise this is not an answer to your question.

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Thank you

I appreciate your taking the time to reply. If something goes wrong, I can always implement your suggestion, but I'd lose some programs that I wouldn't be able to reinstall (for reasons not worth going into - but I emphasize that they're legal copies).

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This should be easy

In my post 3 posts up, I asked a question that ought to be easy to answer for the knowledgeable folks here. As far as I can tell, I need to have the Boot folder and the files bootmgr, bootnxt and bootsect.bak. Can anyone confirm that I don't need any other files?

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Nope. Most of the boot process are not files.
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Too long. Just don't have the time to watch it.

How does the following sound? I delete all partitions, create one partition on each of the two SATA drives, install Windows from scratch on C:, and then restore my current Windows to C:.

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While that will restore C:

It shouldn't result in a bootable Windows. You are missing all the boot information that the YES IT"S DEEP AND BORING VIDEO covered.

This really floors folk that want some easy way to get Windows working again or do odd things like I read above.

What wipes them out are the items that are not files as well as the new other than C: partitions NT (all versions), Windows Vista, 7,8,10 create that must be restored.

This is not a trivial task or one you can dismiss the boring long videos about how Windows boots. If you skip all that you are left wondering why it doesn't boot and the explanation by me pales compared to MSDN videos.

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Why wouldn't it result in a bootable Windows and why would I be missing all the boot information? Installing Windows from scratch would also install all the necessary boot information, and restoring my current Windows after that shouldn't remove any of that boot information.

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Answer to "Why?"

I gave a video that goes deep into how Windows boots. Many have tried to "install Windows from scratch" then restore C: and Windows fails to boot.

Where are you going with this? It sounds to me you are trying stuff, stuff fails and are not really interested in "Why?" The "Why?" is out there. Fixing Windows not booting might be done by booting our Windows install and repair DVD or USB and trying it's repair tools.

But here's the problem, you are never sure it will be fixed. The more you do this the more you insist folk backup the entire drive and not just a partition or tell them to install Windows and then restore apps and data.

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I hear you

It's honestly not that I'm not interested. If the video were 5 minutes, I'd certainly watch it.

And by the way, backing up both my SATA drives in their entirety is something I just did. And until I can accomplish what I'd like to, I'm manually mirroring.

Bob, you've always been there when I needed help, and you're willing to tell it like it is. I'm grateful.

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Final update

You may recall from a different thread that I was in the States a few months ago and returned home near the end of January. I did make time in that other thread to post a speccy report, but due to multiple deadlines, which are now past me, I didn't have time to work on this issue. Just wanted to let you know that yesterday, I repartitioned my 2 SATA drives and restored an image of my Windows to the new C: and everything works. Thanks again to all who helped in this thread and are reading this.

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"boot sector" and then you will understand.

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Still don't understand

But again, time is the issue here. Maybe if I'd followed more links, I'd understand. At any rate, as I wrote in another post, I believe you, Bob, even though it doesn't make sense.

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