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Blinking Underscore When Booting From Different Hdd

This is a discussion on Blinking Underscore When Booting From Different Hdd within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. When I boot from the hard drive the computer came with, it boots with no problems. When I boot from


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Old 06-02-2018, 04:02 PM   #1
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When I boot from the hard drive the computer came with, it boots with no problems. When I boot from a hard drive from my other computer onto this one, it just shows a blinking underscore. The hard drive works fine on the other computer but not this one. It is installed properly and shows up in the bios. Help?
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Old 06-02-2018, 04:42 PM   #2
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Did you change the boot order when in the bios?
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Old 06-02-2018, 04:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
When I boot from a hard drive from my other computer onto this one
A HDD that had Windows installed on another computer is not going to boot in a different computer. When Windows installs, it installs drivers specific to that motherboard, chipset etc. If you remove the drive and place it into a different computer, when the drive boots, it will look for that other hardware, and not find it, and it will fail to boot.
If you just want to view the files off of that drive, then attach it as a secondary drive, boot into Windows with the primary HDD that came with the computer. the secondary drive should come up as another drive in This PC/Computer. You then can open that drive, view the files, and copy them over to the Primary HDD if you like.
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Old 06-02-2018, 04:51 PM   #4
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Thanks Spunk. Just remembered that. Ate too much at an Indian Restaurant. Brain asleep.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
A HDD that had Windows installed on another computer is not going to boot in a different computer. When Windows installs, it installs drivers specific to that motherboard, chipset etc. If you remove the drive and place it into a different computer, when the drive boots, it will look for that other hardware, and not find it, and it will fail to boot.
If you just want to view the files off of that drive, then attach it as a secondary drive, boot into Windows with the primary HDD that came with the computer. the secondary drive should come up as another drive in This PC/Computer. You then can open that drive, view the files, and copy them over to the Primary HDD if you like.
So how do i get that hard drive to work on this computer? The reason i'm doing this is because the one i'm using right now is slow and the one i'm trying to get working is much faster
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corday View Post
Did you change the boot order when in the bios?
Yes and when I boot I get a blinking underscore with a black screen
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needhelpman View Post
So how do i get that hard drive to work on this computer? The reason i'm doing this is because the one i'm using right now is slow and the one i'm trying to get working is much faster
You need to replace the Windows installation on that (faster) hdd with a fresh clean one, that is, format it and install Windows afresh, while it is connected to THIS computer.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:01 AM   #8
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You need to replace the Windows installation on that (faster) hdd with a fresh clean one, that is, format it and install Windows afresh, while it is connected to THIS computer.
would i need to buy a whole new windows key?
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
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would i need to buy a whole new windows key?
No, just use the same one that's on the slower drive.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:18 AM   #10
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Now would be a good time to tell us what version of Windows you've got on the slower drive of this pc.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:38 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Stancestans;7682954]Now would be a good time to tell us what version of Windows you've got on the slower drive of this pc.[/QUOTE


Windows 10. I don't have the key to it so when i format it and use it again will it just start installing?
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:57 AM   #12
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[quote=needhelpman;7682992]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
Now would be a good time to tell us what version of Windows you've got on the slower drive of this pc.[/QUOTE


Windows 10. I don't have the key to it so when i format it and use it again will it just start installing?
Take a look at Reinstall Windows 10 Without Losing Activation License
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:44 AM   #13
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What is the Make and Model# of the computer or motherboard?
With the Faster HDD in the computer, boot to your Windows 10 Installer disk. Choose your language. Then choose Custom install. Here Delete All partitions on the HDD so the whole drive is Unallocated Space. Go Next. Windows will create partitions and format them during the install. If it asks if you have a product key. click the link that says you do not have one at this time. Windows 10 will install. Many times, it will automatically activate. If not, then if you have a name brand PC it will have a sticker on the top in the back with the product key, type that in to activate.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:32 PM   #14
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It may seem like a dumb question but why lose the use of the one laptop over a $50 replacement hard drive, which is all it would cost you to replace the drive and you still have to install Windows 10 again anyway do no extra work involved and still better performance.
The bios will retain the installation license so all you need to do is download the April Update media creator dvd to install Windows 10 from here anyway:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...load/windows10
use "Download Tool Now"
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:55 PM   #15
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Usually in my experience, a blinking cursor means no bootable OS found?
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:00 PM   #16
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Easeus has solutions for all these type problems.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich-M View Post
... The bios will retain the installation license so all you need to do is download the April Update media creator dvd to install Windows 10 from here anyway:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...load/windows10
use "Download Tool Now"
What bios stores a Windows (or any other OS) license key?

Also, you can use a partition manager to duplicate the existing drive (the new one should be larger capacity) and the license will be transferred with it. I like AOMEI Partition Assistant. They have a free version that does everything you'll need. It's straight forward to use. Most of the alternatives are similar.

Before investing any time in using the old one, use a program to check the condition of the hard drive. Most fail in 3 to 5 years. SSDs (solid state drives) are now cheap to buy, and are much faster than a mechanical HDD. You might want to consider that.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:56 PM   #18
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If your motherboard supports UEFI Bios, it stores the Windows Product key in the UEFI Bios rom chip. You can change HDD's or install new versions of Windows and it will automatically activate Windows using your stored key.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:17 AM   #19
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Copy this (below) into a text file, name it NewProductKey.vbs then run it on your desktop by clicking it - and your Windows 10 key will pop up:

Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead("HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId"))

Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
i = 28
Chars = "BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789"
Do
Cur = 0
x = 14
Do
Cur = Cur * 256
Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
Cur = Cur Mod 24
x = x -1
Loop While x >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
If (((29 - i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
i = i -1
KeyOutput = "-" & KeyOutput
End If
Loop While i >= 0
ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:24 PM   #20
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lol--quite the script for a product key - can't you get it through WMIC? But I digress and I haven't even started yet.

If you have a UEFI BIOS you need to clear the secure keys from the boot process and change the boot order to the HDD you want to use as a boot deice and then reinstate the secure keys.

Diferent steps for different motherboards/BIOS's so you'd need to search google for your motherboard/BIOS and "change boot device" (that should give you about 5 gazillion hits)

Also, you CAN change HDD without reinstalling when using an updated version of windows 7--it should fill in the missing driver blanks enough to boot--you may or may not have an internet connection, depends on the nic. If you have internet it's easy from here-just download all the missing drivers and install them. If not you'll need to get the nic driver to this PC via USb stick I suppose is easiest. Install the nic drivers and continue onward.

If you search google for "Windows 10 OEM install key" or "Windows 10 generic install key" you will again get a buch of hits--use one of the OEM keys to reinstall windows 10 (if you decide to go the reinstall route)and after install windows 10 will try to activate itself and when it see's you've already activated using a different key it will use that key and activate you (beauty of being on the cloud--it's not ALL cons ya know).

As others have stated--I would simply reinstall windows 7 or windows 10 for that "fresh small registry size" that keeps winblows snappy.

I am not sure if changing the hdd will cause winblows to think this is a new PC(probably not)but if it does you'll need to contact microsoft to explian you only changed HDD. I beleive you need to change something major or two or three smaller components in order for winblows to complain about this being a different system and you needing another key to activate it-but who knows? I've never run across it myself.
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