Moving / Cloning old Windows 10 Pro Drive to new Windows 10 Pro Computer issues

I have a new Windows 10 Pro Dell Computer. Replacing an older computer running Windows 10 Pro. I cloned the old drive and put it in the new computer - but got the error "No Bootable Device Found". I called Microsoft and they told me, "It should work - try another brand of cloning software" So I decided before I did that, I would just place the SSD drive from the old computer  into the new Dell computer. Still getting "No Bootable Device Found". Called Microsoft again and they said that it should work. But, it's not.
Could this have anything to do with the new computer using uefi and the old computer was using bios?
Any thoughts or ideas?

Almost resigning myself to moving files manually and reinstalling software, but hoping to not have to do that.

I used some of the ideas from this thread to attempt move the data from the old computer: https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29080627/Copying-files-and-programs-to-a-new-computer.html#a42459677
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CompProbSolvCommented:
I have used Paragon Software's Drive Copy to successfully fix driver and other issues when cloning a drive.  I've not been successful at turning a BIOS drive into a UEFI drive, though someone else here may be able to give you guidance on that.

Keep in mind that your Windows license may not permit you to do what you wish.
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McKnifeCommented:
Yes, UEFI booting needs to be disabled and set to legacy booting.
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
CompProb: Thanks for the response. Microsoft told me the license issue was no problem. Just change the activation code to the one that came with the new computer.

McKnife: MS Did not mention that even though I posed the question. That is something I would like to try. I'm going to search for how to do that - but if you can direct me to a foolproof tutorial that you know about, that would be very much appreciated.
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McKnifeCommented:
Look, these are bios essentials. There is no tutorial, since there are so many manufacturer's and their bios' look different. There will be a "boot" section and there will be a choice between UEFI and legacy. It could be, that you need to deselect the option "secure boot" to get to the legacy boot option.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
you need to boot from installation media (windows 10 suggested), select repair options and get to a command prompt run the following, now try booting from the cloned disk

from the cmd prompt
bootrec /FixMbr
bootrec /FixBoot
bootrec /ScanOs
bootrec /RebuildBcd

Open in new window

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McKnifeCommented:
I never ever had to use these command when repotting installations, David - why would he?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
he may not have cloned the drive but only partitions and went by his error message  "No Bootable Device Found"
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nobusCommented:
Since you put the old - working drive (i assume) in 2 pc's and got the error, this means that it does not see your drive, as you know.
that is usually caused by the bios settings in Boot priority
you access boot priotity with the F2 key, and Bios with F12 key
if unsure, post a picture of what the bios shows , and the SSD drive model too
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
After McKnife's posts about 'UEFI switch to Legacy', and 'no tutorial for changing the Bios setting between UEFI and Legacy', I contacted Dell support on the issue.  The tech told me how to get into the bios (F2 on a Dell) and to select General>Boot Sequence>Switch to Legacy. Then go to 'Advanced Boot Option and select 'enable legacy option roms'.....in that order.  However, I found the option 'Switch to Legacy' to be grayed out and could not select that.  After some fiddling around I discovered that you must select 'Enable Legacy option roms' Before you can select 'Switch to Legacy'.  Doing so opens the 'Switch to Legacy' options. The odd thing about that is the option to 'Enable Legacy Option Roms' is found in a separate menu section below 'Switch to Legacy'.
At any rate, I was running out of time so I just used the drive from the old machine, installed it in the new Dell and she booted! Everything worked. Next was getting Microsoft to activate the registration. I found I couldn't use the activation code that came with the new Dell. It was OEM-just would not take it. I couldn't just change it to that reg number. I had to jump through some hoops there. I talked to 4 different people at Microsoft who mostly tried to tell me it couldn't be done. I pleaded my case that the license we are moving was a 'purchased'' Windows 10 license, not the free edition, and that we surely would not be using the old machine again. After a number of times pleading that case (and being very friendly and nice throughout, of course :) , as were they ) and being told it couldn't be done, telling me to go to Dell, go to the volume license dealer, etc, etc, etc...one guy finally switched me to an MS tech who did a remote session to the machine and change the activation. Whew! Felt like it was a marathon! The next time I am at that work site I will clone the current working drive and see if I can get the new drive back in that machine. I think it will work.  Thanks to everyone here again for all your contributions. Much appreciated!!
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
There was one other thing that kind of amazed me. I was making this move from an old HP desktop running Win 10 Pro to a Dell desktop running a newer version of Win 10 Pro. Even though I made a back up of the drivers on the Dell desktop, I found that I did not have to reload a single driver! Everything just worked!
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CompProbSolvCommented:
The involved (and not completely obvious) method that was required to allow legacy boot is likely the exact reason McKnife's comment.  If you've worked with this sort of thing before you know how to recognize what needs to be changed but can't easily tell someone else the exact steps.

As far as the drivers go, the new system's hardware (primarily the main chipset) is close enough to the old system's, so it was able to boot.  You were lucky!

I'm amazed that Microsoft both told you that there wasn't a licensing issue (originally) and that a tech actually accomplished the activation for you.  The HP license is not only specific to HP, it's specific to that actual computer.  You're not allowed to transfer it to a different computer, even if the old one will be retired.  It may not seem reasonable, but those are the terms under which OEM licenses are sold.

It makes sense to me that if you have a Dell with a Windows 10 Pro license you should be able to put a drive from an HP with a Windows 10 Pro license and be able to activate it.  Microsoft doesn't usually see it that way.  Nevertheless, you succeeded!
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TechNDAuthor Commented:
Right. I understood the reason McKnife could not point to an article or instructions on making that change. It wasn't a problem. His pointer was much appreciated. Been there, done that many, many times my self.

I'm glad I got lucky on the drivers. I needed some luck at that point!

I had read conflicting accounts, on this forum, regarding moving Windows 10 and more relaxed activation policies. Some suggested it had worked for them without having to call MS at all, and I don't doubt that.  So I was ready for anything. The person I talked to at Microsoft in the morning phone call I made thought it wouldn't be a problem. It seems one can get conflicting responses on a given issue from Microsoft depending upon who you talk to, and perhaps their particular understanding of the situation.
There is some confusion in your remarks on the OEM license you mention. The 9 year old HP had Windows 7 Pro when it shipped and, as I had mentioned, was later upgraded via a Paid upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. We did not get the 'free' windows 10 as we were not early adopters. So the OEM license regarding the old HP was out of the picture at that point, which may perhaps be why they decided in my favor after all.  The only OEM license left was the one that shipped with the new Dell unit.

I agree with you on your last point. I'll just add that this license/activation craziness could all be avoided if MS, or a third party, provided an easy way to transfer all data and applications to a new computer with the same/similar/recent operating system. It really could be much simpler, less time consuming, more automated, more user friendly to the end user(s), but they just simply haven't designed it that way for whatever reason. I shared this perspective with the last MS rep (before the activation tech)  and he was very sympathetic on that point.

Anyhow, very grateful to the EE community. I couldn't have done it without you, once again. Cheers!
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CompProbSolvCommented:
I misunderstood where the original Windows 10 license originated.  The paid upgrade is likely treated like a regular retail license, which does have some transfer rights.  That is, you have the transfer rights if you find the right person at MS!
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