What to do if your PC chooses a HDD boot instead of SSD

by Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Windows & Software Expert
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies... read more
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hdd boot instead ssd

If your PC has both an HDD and an SSD, sometimes you can experience a situation where your PC chooses an HDD boot instead of SSD every time you’re starting it. Strangely, the problem occurs even when you’ve have installed your SSD successfully and configured your system to boot from the SSD.

So, why is this and how can you correct this annoying inconvenience in Windows computers? Let’s start by answering why this issue appears.

Possible Reasons Why your PC launches an HDD boot instead of SSD

Plenty of reasons may be forcing your machine to prioritize an HDD boot rather than starting from SSD.

  • Disk error: Internal errors in your SSD usually blocks SSD boot attempts.
  • Windows problems: It may be that your machine is having difficulties reading the Windows installation.
  • Update Issues: If you’ve recently updated your operating system, one of the system update files may be interfering with the regular SSD booting.
  • Cloning related error: Other times, cloned SSDs just flatly refuse to boot depending on the settings.
  • Incorrect Boot Order: Your computer will not boot if your boot order doesn’t put SSD first. Also, failing to activate other required BIOS settings will prompt your laptop to act weird.
  • Hardware problem: There might be a severe challenge on the motherboard messing the retrieval of boot data from the SSD.

How to boot from SSD instead of HDD Windows 10

  1. Connect The SSD using a SATA cable
  2. Correct The Boot Order(BIOS)
  3. Enable AHCI Mode
  4. Carry out a clean Windows Installation

1. Connect The SSD using a SATA cable

Additional SSD disks don’t boot seamlessly when on a USB cable. And so if you’ve used a USB cable to link the SSD to your motherboard, replace it with a SATA data cable and see if things will change.

2. Correct The Boot Order(BIOS)

boot options hdd boot
Here you’ll set your Windows installation to boot from your SSD device in BIOS. Remember to ensure that your SSD drive is on a working SATA cable (instead of USB) as we explained in the previous solution.


  1. Power on your PC.
  2. Continuously press the applicable keyboard key to enter BIOS (typically F12, F2, F8, Esc, Del).
  3. Using the arrow keys, move up/down the displayed Boot Options until you set the cloned SSD as the number 1 booting device.
  4. Exit while saving the changes and then proceed to boot.

This may remove the HDD boot instead of SSD mishap.

3. Enable AHCI ModeAHCI enable

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We recommend installing Restoro, a tool that will scan your machine and identify what the fault is.
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If the above steps don’t succeed in overcoming the HDD boot instead of SDD issue, try enabling the AHCI mode in Windows 10. For starters, AHCI (Advance Host Controller Interface) is a technology standard that provides advanced support to the SATA (Serial ATA) standard and may help solve your issue once enabled.

Now, to initialize it, you’ll need access to the registry. And since your PC boot from HDD instead of SSD, just allow it to start using the HDD to be able to execute the procedure.

  1. Press Win+R on your keyboard. This opens the run dialogue box.how to boot from ssd regedit
  2. Type regedit and click OK.
  3. Click/tap Yes if prompted by the UAC. The Registry Editor will appear.
  4. From the left pane of the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following location:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorV
  5. Double click the Start DWORD (on the right pane). It becomes editable.
  6. Type 0(zero) and select OK(as shown).hdd boot instead of ssd iaStrorV
  7. Now again navigate to this new location(from the left pane):
  8. Locate the StartOverride key then tap on the shown 0 DWORD(right pane). Enter 0 (zero) as the Value Data then click OK.
    startoverride registry editor HDD boot
  9. Now head to this new key location:
  1. Look for the Start then click it.
  2. Type 0(zero) as previously for the AHCI standard and tap OK.storahci registry editor
  3. Moving on, access the following path and see if the StartOverride DWORD is there. If it isn’t, close the Registry Editor:
  1. If the StartOverride key is present, double-click it and ensure it reads 0 (zero) then click OK.
  2. Then close Registry Editor.

Now change the BIOS settings:

  1. Restart the PC and press the correct key to enter your BIOS/UEFI firmware settings.
  2. While in BIOS/UEFI firmware settings, look for and enable AHCI from the options.
  3. Save and exit to save changes.
  4. Windows will automatically install the essential AHCI drivers.
  5. When done, select Restart Now to restart once more.

Please note that you’re supposed to select startup repair your Windows if you encounter an error when rebooting after AHCI installation. Your system will work smoothly after the recovery.

4. Carry out a clean Windows Installation

If the clone won’t function at all and the system is still persisting with the HDD boot instead of SSD, it’s best to carry out a clean install of Windows on your SSD.

Remember to back up any data you had saved there before commencing the clean reinstall.

There you go, these are some solutions that you can try if you’re having a hard time booting Windows 10 from SSD.


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