Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 Pro migration to external SSD

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Windows 8.1 Pro migration to external SSD


    I am newbie at installing windows. From my previous experiences I hate to touch it, because eventually I always find something not working how I would suppose it should or I spend hours finding the right workaround, if I am lucky. When I am not lucky enough I end up making a clean install, then installing every single program one by one for hours and checking if I copied everything I had before as the final solution, which is the more frequent scenario.

    The story

    I was using Win7 on my older PC. I built a new one and installed Win8.1 on the newer HDD and kept the Win7 too, in case I would like to stop using Win8.1 and switch back. Last week, I got an external SSD, thus I set up the following goal: clone/migrate my win8.1 installation from the HDD to the new SSD in order to boot up and load programs in faster, while keeping the older version of the OS on the HDD in case the SSD would stop working. Because I still have plenty of space left on the HDD anyway, I could easily afford it.

    I started to go for it with user-friendly programs (eg. AOMEI) and tried simply cloning my OS. It didn't work, I couldn't boot in. I suspected that my system reserved partition may be the problem and tried to fix the installation with my win installer (from an usb pendrive) and also tried to run BCDboot from the cmd prompt. Both werent successful.

    I returned to solidify how my installation should look like in the end, without the SSD. This means that I deleted win7 and the system reserved partition that was still located on the oldest HDD. With my installation "disk", I fixed booting from the newer HDD (win8.1). It works fine now, however theres no system reserved partition anymore (not a visible one from disk manager). Then I tried to clone/migrate my OS again with programs unsuccessfully again.

    Losing all hope, I tried a clean install, but the installer said that it doesnt support my external SSD. This way I read about that only enterprise editions support it. But I was not let down by this, because I still havent found an apparent reason for Pro not supporting, so I kept looking for a workaround. Indeed, I found some threads where users installed win7/8 on external HDD/SSDs without mentioning if it was enterprise edition.

    Lately, I followed the steps that I merged from these two sources (superuser, technet), without success. I used the current ADK instead of imagex and wim installer.

    The current state

    I have an HDD with 2 partitions, one for the system and one for data. It works flawlessly on its own with win8.1 despite I read about users who had to reinstall after getting rid of a system reserved partition.

    And I have an external SSD, which right now has a system reserved partition and a partition where I deployed the image of my current OS partition. Both were prepared how my previous 2 links stated them to do.

    I get the usual error:

    "Your PC couldn't start properly

    After multiple tries, the operating system on your PC failed to start, so it needs to be repaired.

    Error code: 0xc0000001

    You'll need to use the recovery tools on your installation media. If you don't have any installation media (like a disc or USB device), contact your system administrator or PC manufacturer."

    I can choose to restart or change settings, although both lead to a single retry of booting in by win and then restart.
    I have tried unsuccessfully fixing with my "installation disk" as it was suggested eg here.

    I suspect that the boot info thats hidden somewhere on my partition messes up with the new boot information I am trying to implement. Therefore, I am about to create a fresh win8.1 install on my oldest HDD and then deploy its image on the SSD to see if it works.

    Questions

    Are you sure about that I cant manage to get my external SSD work as a bootable drive? I don't see any physical reason not allowing it.
    The data transfer speed through usb3 would be about the same as with my sata3.
    Its stated it can be made working with the enterprise edition.
    I saw threads about making it work under win7 and win8 (where enterprise version wasnt mentioned)

    If you have any valuable suggestions about what I should try, what I have missed, own experiences regarding this issue, please share.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    I would use Macrium Reflect to clone your win 8.1 to your SSD.
    Remove all other drives Clone 8.1 hard drive to New SSD either New or Cleaned by Diskpart
    With Macrium Reflect use the Deploy to different hardware feature.
    After the clone shut Down. Remove the 8.1 Hard drive, leave your SSD installed to the same port that the 8.1 hard drive was plugged into. Install your other hard drives and you should work just as you are now but much faster with SSD
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sounds like polarka wants to run the SSD as a external USB connected hard drive, not replace an existing internal hard drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Clintlgm View Post
    ...Remove the 8.1 Hard drive, leave your SSD installed to the same port that the 8.1 hard drive was plugged into...
    Thats exactly what I should have done in AOMEI too. The problem is that the HDDs are plugged in via SATA and the external SSD is plugged in via USB. The SSD's case isnt manufactured for easy removal, it says I lose warranty if I'd do that.

    I suppose, theres a problem with switching comm interface that win cant resolve on its own. Maybe if I knew what files it uses that should be modified manually...

    PS: I am getting the same error after experimenting to migrate a clean win8.1 install from my oldest hdd.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by polarka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Clintlgm View Post
    ...Remove the 8.1 Hard drive, leave your SSD installed to the same port that the 8.1 hard drive was plugged into...
    Thats exactly what I should have done in AOMEI too. The problem is that the HDDs are plugged in via SATA and the external SSD is plugged in via USB. The SSD's case isnt manufactured for easy removal, it says I lose warranty if I'd do that.

    I suppose, theres a problem with switching comm interface that win cant resolve on its own. Maybe if I knew what files it uses that should be modified manually...

    PS: I am getting the same error after experimenting to migrate a clean win8.1 install from my oldest hdd.
    I don't have a answer, however an eSATA external will boot windows. I don't think a standard windows install will boot through USB. Perhaps a Mobile version, I don't know about them.

    This thread seems to have solve the problem How to Run a Portable Version of Windows from a USB Drive
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    From what I've read, including the link in post #5, the only version of Win8 that will run from an external drive is the Enterprise version; I don't believe you can do that with the Pro version.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Yes you can, see here: Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk

    I've done this and it works well. Needs a USB 3 flash drive. Some work, some do not.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I have managed to install a clean win8.1 by following the steps in this video.

    It seems like its conceptually the same as in Ztruker's previous comment.

    Edit: I wasnt able to clone my existing OS.
    Last edited by polarka; 15 Nov 2014 at 15:15.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Windows 8.1 Pro migration to external SSD
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