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I had two physical drives in my laptop: a SSD and a HDD. I've had Windows 10 installed on SSD drive, and later I've installed Ubuntu on HDD with dual boot. Now I wanna replace that HDD with another SSD and do fresh installation of Ubuntu there. I've unplugged the HDD but I can't boot to Windows now - it says boot device not found. If I plug the HDD back I can still boot from there. How can I restore normal Windows booting, to make my laptop operable without that HDD, and then install Ubuntu with dual boot to a brand new drive? I've tried creating recovery USB drive, booting from there, running bootrec.exe/fixmbr and bootrec.exe/fixboot but it had no effect. bootrec/rebuildbcd said that it found windows installation but couldn't find some needed device (I guess it means that HDD, since it looks like it's a boot device now) How can I get rid of that dual boot consequences and fix Windows booting?

UPD: Looks like the bootloader and the uefi patrition are physically on that HDD: enter image description here

So it's impossible to boot without having it. How can I fix it?

  • This is why with UEFI, you need to include an ESP - efi system partition as first partition on every drive, even if not currently used. And only use gpt partitioning. UEFI/gpt partitioning in Advance: askubuntu.com/questions/743095/… – oldfred Jun 25 '16 at 3:35
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I’m not 100% certain about this but have you checked the BIOS to see if it will even try to boot from the existing SSD? I had a similar problem and had to change the boot order in the BIOS to convince the machine to start there and not even try the other boot options.

  • it checks, looks like the problem is in another thing. See my update plz – Tristan Tzara Jun 24 '16 at 22:03
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I've found the answer. If it could come in handy to someone - the thing was to create EFI partition on the drive where the Windows was installed. It looks like after installing dual boot Ubuntu it moved that partition to the partition where GRUB and Ubuntu were installed and I had to bring it back home.

It can pretty easily be done with diskpart utility, the main steps are listed here

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