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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009
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    Secure Boot, UEFI, SSD - Migrating an old PC

    Yay, it's new computer time.
    Boo, want an SSD like the old PC but that makes a new laptop expensive.
    Answer, buy one with the right CPU, memory and price and move the old SSD (what could possibly go wrong?).

    Old Machine
    Non-UEFI (BIOS/MBR), slow CPU, not enough memory, shiny newish SSD that makes it an acceptable machine.

    New Machine
    UEFI with Secure Boot (mandatory on a new OEM Windows PC), fast CPU, plenty of RAM.

    Time to swap the disks.
    • Back up the new hard disk and old SSD to an external disk with Aomei Backupper.
    • Put the SSD in the new box and nothing - no boot device.
    • Change to Legacy (non-UEFI) mode, which disables Secure Boot, and hey presto, Windows 10.

    Now I've got 2 options, leave it as is or return it to Secure Boot. Leave it as is is tempting as I don't have to keep the user off it - easy life. As I'm an old techie I had to take option 2 and live with the consequences. This was not the piece of cake I expected it to be.
    • I have a backup of the original disk so it's restore time. Luckily Backupper has a "create UEFI recovery USB" option.
    • Create a recovery USB.
    • Change the boot mode to UEFI - mandatory Secure Boot.
    • Reboot to Backupper.
    • Restore the disk image from the new hard disk to the installed SSD. Make sure you tick the box to align the data for SSD. (I like Backupper, it has easy to understand and useful options.)
    • Reboot to Windows, nothing.

    What went wrong there? Restore disk from image is a no brainer, right?
    • Reboot to Windows 10 USB.
    • Go to advanced install mode and fire up a Command Prompt.
    • Run DISKPART to check the disk status, but it's not GPT?!
    • Check the backup, it says GPT disk.

    No worries, I'll convert the disk from MBR to GPT using DISKPART. Nope, not while it has data on it.
    Never mind, I'll just re-create the disk as GPT and then restore.
    • Use DISKPART to clean the disk and create an EFI partition.
    • Reboot to Backupper and restore the new disk partitions.
    • Reboot to Windows, "your disk has boot problems". At least it boots Windows in Secure Boot mode.
    • Try a bunch of fixes, including booting from the W10 USB image and attempting a repair. Nothing.

    This is getting silly so it's off to search the internet to see if there is an easy fix. There is a fix, but calling it easy is a relative term - I wouldn't wish it on a non-seasoned techie.
    I've been attempting to get this thing running for over a day now and I'm not going back, so it's plough on time.
    • Boot to the Windows 10 installation USB.
    • Go to advanced install mode and replace everything on the disk with new W10.
    • Check that it boots in Secure Boot mode, yay, it does!
    • Stop the install process, hard power off.
    • Boot to the Backupper rescue USB.
    • Restore the old SSD data partition. Make sure not to touch the other 3 partitions.
    • Reboot to Windows 10. "Your installation is broken, we'll try and fix it". This isn't looking good!
    • "We have fixed your problems, reboot?". Why not, nothing else seems to have worked.
    • "Welcome to Windows 10".

    Windows is now back as it originally was, but this time it's in Secure Boot mode. So why did it take this long?
    A little searching brings up a note that Backuppper doesn't create the disk as GPT when doing a restore. (Maybe I don't like Backupper so much now.)
    Unfortunately the new laptop makes disk swapping difficult - 23 screws to remove before the back cover comes off - so I can't really justify spending more time working out an alternative method. Besides, someone wants to use the laptop and I need a coffee and lunch down the road.

    If anyone else has a similar experience or more time / hardware to play with I'm all ears.

    cheers, Paul

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Polk County, Florida
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    There's this thread, and this thread. This thread might be useful info as well.

    This link is also in the second thread above. It's a thread at superuser, and the first answer from Alex contains some priceless information for repairing boot issues with UEFI. It references Windows 8 but the same process works with Windows 10 as well.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2016-05-30 at 09:32.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  3. #3
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    I knew I should have searched here first!

    cheers, Paul

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