TL;DR: BIOS update solved Windows 7 boot problems following SSD installation.
2018 update: Samsung's 850 EVO and 860 EVO SSDs appear less compatible with older systems. On a Dell Studio XPS 7100, Windows 7 refused to boot from an 860 EVO, but had no trouble with a Crucial BX100 SSD; on a Dell Inspiron 3847, Windows 7 would not boot from an 850 EVO, but worked just fine on a WD Blue 3D NAND SSD.
Installed a 960GB SanDisk SSD into a Dell Latitude E5510 and tried cloning the previous hard drive to it:
The SATA mode was never changed from its original setting (AHCI). At this point, RAID and ATA/IDE modes were attempted to no avail.
Next, a clean install of Windows 7 was made to the SSD. It booted once, but after some Windows updates were installed and the machine rebooted, would not start again (back to the same issues in #3 above.)
Contacted SanDisk on the off-chance that it was the drive or the firmware; they kindly sent a brand new (not refurbished) replacement in an unopened retail box. Tried a clean install to the new SSD; same result as before.
Finally it dawned on me ("One more coruscation, my dear Watson -- yet another brain-wave!") to try updating the BIOS. Sure enough, after updating from A05 to A10 and then A16, Windows booted up just fine. Cloned the old HDD with Paragon Drive Copy and that too worked perfectly.
In hundreds, if not thousands, of drive cloning operations over the years, it was the first time I had encountered a situation in which Windows would boot once and then fail on subsequent attempts. It was also one of the few times I had seen a BIOS update solve anything (UPDATE: Claus and Matt kindly inform me that they've found BIOS updates to be especially effective at resolving knotty problems, even those not typically associated with the BIOS). Lesson learned! May this pitiful account save some other soul time and toil.
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."
If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.
/windows | Oct 18, 2015
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