New Laptop Drive Won't Boot

I am trying to upgrade the hard drive in a Thinkpad x60 laptop. I have a WD 120 gb SATA drive that I have tried to install with the Data Lifeguard tools. This does give you an option of installing the new drive as the new boot device, which is what I used. I did the installation with the drive attached to a USB port and an external enclosure.

I have done this before with desktops without any problems. For this go around, the files seem to be copied correctly but the drive won't boot. I just get a blinking cursor.

The drive is recognized when I attach is as an external drive.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

11 answers Last reply
More about laptop drive boot
  1. You can not boot to an external USB HD and load an OS system and use it as a boot drive.
  2. Ok, so what should I do?
  3. You can format your USB external drive as a storage drive. Then you can buy a new internal HD for your notebook and install it as the boot drive with the OS or system disk that came with the laptop. You can also download needed drivers and system tools from your laptop online product page if you do not have a system disk.
  4. Why would I buy a new internal drive?

    The drive I have is a new internal drive (2.5" SATA) that I am connecting to the computer as an external drive in an enclosure just so that I can format it.
  5. So you are having a problem formatting it as a boot drive when you have it installed as a usb external device? Like I said, an external usb drive can not be used with your Windows OS installed on it as system boot drive.
  6. No, I attached it as an external drive to format it and transfer disk contents then installed it as the internal drive in the laptop. It won't boot as the internal drive.
  7. This is a bit dated, but read over it. Have you tried setting up the hard drive in Disk management when it is recognized as an external drive? How about the jumpers?
  8. As Badge indicated, The partition has to a active Primary partition vs a extended partition and you may not (not sure) be able to do this as a external USB. My not sure is a question of weather the BIOS supports booting from a USB device. Badge, correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'm about to do the same, I'm odering a new HDD for my toshiba. I have two options (1) install the disk and use the supplied restore DVD or (2) thinking of installing XP, but then need to find all the drivers. That way if I want to use vista, I can just swap disk.

    PS Talking to Toshiba laptop support is like talking to an individual with a one word vocabulary , and that being - Dah
  9. Yeah, retiredchief. I was going to suggest just installing the HD in the laptop and use a Windows XP disk to partition, format and load the OS.
  10. knobbus,
    did you ever get this problem figured out?
    I'm having a similar problem, I have been using Partition magic for years, backing up and restoring images.
    Recently a customer of mine gave me an HP laptop with XP SP2 and simply wanted a newer hard drive installed. I ordered a new 40GB hard drive, created an image of the old drive, restored it to the new drive and now when I try to boot off the drive I just get a blinking cursor. But I can attach the drive via USB connector to another machine and all of the contents are there. And I can still boot off of the old drive just fine which is the same size 40GB.
  11. I just found this forum via Google for a similar problem after installing a large HD into my Dell i9300. If your PC worked fine for "a while" then all of a sudden became unbootable, the problem is likely the 137GB limit in the BIOS. Image your drive with Acronis TrueImage or whatever. Partition your large HD so that the active (OS) partition is 135GB or less. It might solve the problem.
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