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Laptops can't boot from optical HDD\SSD caddy :-(

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#1
Hello
I have been investigating *a lot* and trying to boot a 2015 year HP Pavilion DV7 17-f076no (Serial: J1X05EA#UUW) from a Chinese Ebay optical drive HDD\SSD caddy:
Read multiple forum questions that had the same problem as I: ( Bios can't find a bootable SSD inside optical caddy )
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo...find-caddy-SSD-in-BIOS-boot-list/td-p/3278964
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-2059129/bios-recognize-hdd-hard-drive-caddy.html

Startup:
  • Cloned a 1000gb HDD containing 100/1000gb of Windows 10 Home 64-bit to a 500gb SSD with a EZ Gig IV 4.6.2 cloning software and a USB-SATA transfer cable.
  • Original 1000gb HDD is still inside the laptop.
  • DVD-drive replaced with a 500gb SSD caddy.
So far:
  1. The SSD (=2018 Samsung 860EVO 500gb) can be used and seen inside Windows 10. ( As a storage only )
  2. The 2015 Bios F.43 Rev.A American Megatrends Inc. can not see the SSD from the BIOS boot order. Windows Boot Manager sees only the original HDD.
  3. UEFI Legacy boot-mode is disabled. I don't think enabling it would help since I'm starting up Windows 10.
Solutions:
  1. Faulty caddy ? Chinese sellers sell many multiple variations of different 9.7mm thick caddys with different micro switches. This one had only a 1 pc of micro switch with 2 position choices.
  2. Bios is just not flexible enough. Open the 20+pcs of laptop screws and put the SSD to the place of the original HDD.
  3. UEFI Legacy mode ?
  4. Modding the caddy. Someone said the caddy is in a "power saving sleep mode" when inside BIOS and it is therefore unseen and shortening some pins would help ? Any experience in soldering the caddy electronics so that it is constantly awake ? This sounds believable ?
  5. Cloned the HDD twice to minimize errors but no help I doubt it is because of the cloning process and if it is it is because the HDD and SSD were not the same size 1000gb and 1000gb and the partitions don't match or so...?
Laptops are not easy...
 
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#2
Put the SSD in place of the original HDD. Leave the optical drive caddy out for now. If the cloned OS on the SSD will boot to windows, use it. If not, it's a bad image, you'll have to do a clean install of Windows on the SSD. Windows can't recognize two drives with the same OS installed on them - I think you have to secure erase the HDD using a different PC before you laptop will be able to use it (all traces of the old OS must be removed). Then you can put the HDD in the caddy and use it for storage.
 
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#3
"Windows can't recognize two drives with the same OS installed on them"
With my other 2011 HP DV7-6117so Windows 7 64-bit: ( Has a easy no screws service hatch for maintenance: placing RAMs, HDDs, WIFI-cards,... )
- With it I could place 2pcs of hard drives inside of it. I placed a cloned SSD (HyperX Savage 480gb) to the "1st master place" and the older HDD to "2nd slave place". Both contained the same files of bootable Windows 7 but then I didn't have to use any caddyes or such ?

This 2015 HP DV7 17-f076no has more than >20pcs of screws because the whole bottom must be removed and 2pcs of the screws have broken thread nuts that just spin and don't open (= I have to use some innovative methods in opening them)

I now have because of this difficult laptop a large collection of long 160-300mm needle pliers, scissors, forceps and hemostats, you name it... which I try to grind\file to make them thinner so they can fit in to the laptop's small gap of 4mm.
 
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eidairaman1

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#4
"Windows can't recognize two drives with the same OS installed on them"
With my other 2011 HP DV7-6117so Windows 7 64-bit: ( Has a easy no screws service hatch for maintenance: placing RAMs, HDDs, WIFI-cards,... )
- With it I could place 2pcs of hard drives inside of it. I placed a cloned SSD (HyperX Savage 480gb) to the "1st master place" and the older HDD to "2nd slave place". Both contained the same files of bootable Windows 7 but then I didn't have to use any caddyes or such ?

This 2015 HP DV7 17-f076no has more than >20pcs of screws because the whole bottom must be removed and 2pcs of the screws have broken thread nuts that just spin and don't open (= I have to use some innovative methods in opening them)

I now have because of this difficult laptop a large collection of long 160-300mm needle pliers, scissors, forceps and hemostats, you name it... which I try to grind\file to make them thinner so they can fit in to the laptop's small gap of 4mm.
Drill the screws out gently.
 
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#6
If it's like all the other HP's I've taken apart, the keyboard clips in to the palm rest.
 
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#7
I just try to clone again this time with Samsung Data Migration -software (since it is Samsung's SSD =860evo :rolleyes:). I read that when cloning a source HDD(1000gb:used space=100/1000gb) bigger than the destination SSD(500gb) it will cause errors. That is why I doubt if EZ Gig IV 4.6.2 was any good at cloning in this situation.

Some sites suggested also this cloning software: Renee Becca https://www.reneelab.com/data-backup ?

Kingston's Acronis® True Image™ did not work for me or I didn't know how to use it. It said "computer must be restarted" and did some weird boot up and nothing was cloned in the end.

If unsuccessful I'll try again to open the laptop's spinning thread nuts.
 
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#8
Kingston's Acronis® True Image™
There's your problem, Acronis False (see what I did there? ;)) Image has been a piece of crap for years. How that company is still in business I just don't know.
 
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#9
If it's like all the other HP's I've taken apart, the keyboard clips in to the palm rest.
https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03584185/
The majority of H.P. laptops have simple and easy to remove keyboards that take seconds when you know what you are doing, but you can ignore my posts and continue your struggles, or I may be wrong and your laptop is in the minority and the design is different. :rolleyes:
I'll add that removing the keyboard will not give you access to the spinning nut or any other internal component.
 
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#10
Ok. I finally succeeded and opened carefully those laptop's spinning nuts with the help of those hemostats: 250mm long, thickness 4mm.
+ Hard part was also to use a plastic bonus card with "modded" beveled edges to slide open those tiny plastic retaining clips.
Took me 2 months to get tools&skills to open this laptop.

Now 500gb 860EVO SSD read/write is= 500/470mb/s:):):)Sata 6gb/s.
Old 5400rpm Hitachi HDD 1000gb=was just 70/60mb/s.
Now more than >5x faster.

I used the Samsung Data Migration -software in the end. It was super easy. :love:

Caring1
This model really has an integrated keyboard to the top cover. So you have to change the whole top cover like in those new Lenovo laptops.
The keyboard is plastic riveted to the top case cover. See photo below of the underside of the top cover with keyboard:
keyboar424.jpg

dadads.jpg
 
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#11
This model really has an integrated keyboard to the top cover. So you have to change the whole top cover like in those new Lenovo laptops.
Eww. Sounds like replacing a keyboard can get quite expensive.
 
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