How to Fix [New Hard Drive Won’t Boot] in 4 Ways

New hard drive won’t boot? Try the given 4 solutions, you can easily fix new or cloned hard drive not booting issue.


By Irene / Updated on October 13, 2023

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User case: New hard drive won’t boot!



I installed an extra hard drive today. Operating system drive same as it always was. When I fired it back up it booted fine, but the new hard drive wasn't showing up. So I opened it up again, double checked that everything was installed correctly, and then closed it and fired it up again. But the new hard drive still won't boot. What could have caused this? How do I fix it? Thanks.

- Question from Reddit

When you purchase a new hard drive or upgrade the hard drive by cloning with the expectation of achieving lightning-fast performance for gaming and operating system tasks, the most unfortunate thing would be the new hard drive won’t boot. But worry not, here is the right place for you to deal with adding new hard drive now PC won’t boot.

Why does my new hard drive won’t boot?

When your are not able to boot from new SSD, the possible reasons might be:

1. The SSD isn't set as the primary boot device in the BIOS.
2. The system partition isn't marked as active.
3. If your cloned drive uses the GPT format and your computer doesn't support UEFI mode, the SSD won't boot after cloning.
4. The Master Boot Record (MBR) on the cloned SSD is damaged.
5. The boot sector wasn't copied correctly, so it's essential to ensure that all partitions were successfully copied.

Now, with these potential causes, let’s try to fix hard drive won’t boot with the following solutions.

4 solutions for new hard drive won’t boot

To fix new hard drive won’t boot, you can try the following 4 solutions.

Solution 1. Confirm the new hard drive is set as the primary boot device.

If you cloned a hard drive but the cloned hard drive not booting, the problem may be the boot order are not changed timely. Follow the steps and try to fix that.

Step 1. Restart the computer and press one of the function keys (Esc, Del, F10, F2, F8, or F12) to access the BIOS.

Note: Since the keys to access the BIOS vary among computer brands, if you cannot enter the utility by pressing the keys, you can try to use UEFI/BIOS Boot Options Manager.

Step 2. Go to the boot tab and modify the boot order by placing the hard drive in the top position.

change boot order

Step 3. Save the changes and exit the BIOS. Afterward, reboot your computer.

Solution 2. Remove hardware or peripheral device

If you've recently installed new hardware on your computer, it could lead to compatibility problems with your existing hardware. To address the issue of Windows not booting from the hard drive, you can remove any recently installed hardware components and then restart your PC to check if the issue is resolved.

Besides, peripheral devices like USB keyboards, flash drives, external hard drives, and others can sometimes interfere with the booting process. Consider disconnecting all peripheral devices from your computer. Afterward, restart your PC to see if it can boot up normally.

peripheral devices

If the problem is resolved, you can reconnect the devices one at a time to identify the one causing the issue. In case a similar problem occurs in the future, you'll know which device to replace.

Solution 3. Perform Startup Repair

The Startup Repair tool is an integrated feature in Windows that serves to resolve various common issues and even tackle more intricate startup problems. Consequently, when you encounter difficulties booting from your hard drive, you may want to consider running the Startup Repair tool. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1. Force your computer to shut down abruptly on at least 3 occasions to access the "Automatic Repair" screen.

Step 2. Once you've accessed the "Advanced options", navigate to "Troubleshoot" and then choose "Advanced options."

Step 3. In the "Advanced options" menu, opt for "Startup Repair".

start up repair 11

Step 4. Windows will initiate the repair process and subsequently reboot your PC.

Solution 4. Rebuild MBR

If your Windows operating system is unable to boot from the hard drive despite trying all the previously mentioned methods, your next focus should be on restoring the Master Boot Record (MBR). The MBR determines whether the computer can boot successfully. An MBR error can be the decisive factor leading to hard drive boot failures. Therefore, repairing the MBR is an effective solution for resolving boot-related issues.

Here we recommend using a robust disk management tool called AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to perform this task with ease. Compared with traditional methods like preparing a repair disk or a recovery drive, this tool allows you to directly create a bootable WinPE media and then boot the computer from it to rebuild the MBR.

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Note: Before creating the bootable media, your computer should contain the pre-installed AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 1. Download Windows installation media from the official website and plug a USB flash drive into a working Windows PC.

Step 2. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Click "Tools"> "Make bootable Media" and hit "Next" to proceed.


Step 2. Choose your USB flash drive after ticking "USB Boot Device". Click on "Proceed" to continue.


Step 3. Then, you'll be promoted that the operation will format the USB. Click on "Yes" to move on.


Step 4. Wait until the media creation process is completed. Then unplug the bootable USB.


Step 5. Insert the bootable USB into your problematic PC, change the boot order in BIOS, and boot from it. Then, AOMEI  PA will launch automatically. Right-click the system's primary hard drive and select "Rebuild MBR".



When encountering new hard drive won’t boot, the shard 4 solutions can be helpful. If they are not as effective as expect, it is recommended to try functions like Clone Disk to clone all boot sectors to the new hard drive by AOMEI Partition Assistant as well.

Once succeed, you can also rely on it for daily computer management, such as cleaning PC, finding duplicate files or recovering lost data. For Windows Server systems, we recommend the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, which specializes in Server systems environments.

Irene · Staff Editor
Irene is an Editor of AOMEI Technology. She devotes herself in giving insightful thoughts on common computer problems with simple and clear guidance. Irene loves to help people solve problems and explore more solutions on relevant issues. She loves reading, singing and travelling.