Why Won’t My SSD Boot Without an HDD?

windows not booting after change hdd to ssd resolved

Did you just removed your HDD or installed a new SSD and Windows stopped booting? Don’t worry in this post we will explain you the reasons why your PC is not booting and also how to fix it.

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Reason Why Your PC is Not Booting

When Windows is being installed, a small partition is created along with the main. That partition is used to store boot files and is generally hosted on a second drive. Take that drive out, and Windows won’t boot.

This is a common issue on Windows installations with two drives so don’t worry.

Fix if you still have the HDD data

Option A. “The emergency fix”

Just reinstall the HDD and Windows will boot as ever.

emergency fix to windows not booting after change hdd to ssd


Option B. Clone the HDD partitions to the SSD

Here is a complete guide to clone HDD to SSD >

Important! Be carefull with the size of the image. You won’t be able to clone a 500GB HDD to a 256GB SSD. If that’s your case just reduce the main partition size before making the image.

Fix if you have erased/formatted the boot data on the HDD

PC not booting without HDD


That is a mess, but there is still a couple possible fixes.

Option A. Try to repair the installation using Windows Recovery

1. Get Windows ISO http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery

2. Create a bootable USB http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-usb-dvd-download-tool

3. Repair your Windows installation using Windows Recovery

repair windows boot files after remove HDD using windows recovery

Option B. Reinstall Windows completely with only the SSD connected

This fix is a bit drastic, but it will make your PC boot without doubt.

The reason behind install Windows with just one drive connected is avoid Windows creating once again the boot partition on the secondary drive.

Once you have Windows installed this way you will be able to change drives as many times as you want without boot problems.

fix windows boot after install a ssd solid state drive