Question Cannot switch booting from M.2 NVMe to SATA SSD any more

Jan 28, 2021
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Hi


I just bough a new machine

On my previous Windows 10 I was able to have simultaneously connected two SSDs, with the same system - copied to it with Acronis True Image. If I wanted to use the other [backup] one I could just tell BIOS to boot from it- without touching the cables. And both drives were SATA SSDs. And that was it- it was that simple

But now my main drive is a brand new M.2 NVMe. I copied image of the system [installed from scratch] from it to that old [second] SATA SSD. And it worked like in the past: but only once. Because now all I get when I tell BIOS to look for the system on that SSD is a prompt [>>_<<] sign flashing. [Booting from NVMe is performed without a problem]


I have not tried to disconnected the NVMe drive, which probably would take care of the problem- because that is not how I want to operate: I cannot be dismounting my GPU and unscrewing the main drive every time I need to use the second drive / system. But nevertheless: should in theory be there no problem with moving operating system from one kind of drive to another?
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
With Windows 10 being very picky about it's work environment, I'm surprised you managed to operate off of a cloned drive.

Which BIOS version are you on for your motherboard? In retrospect, I'd advise you to use one OS as opposed to a dual boot when you are working with Windows 10 alone and to stay clear of any cloning.
 
Jan 28, 2021
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[...]
I'd advise you to use one OS as opposed to a dual boot when you are working with Windows 10 alone and to stay clear of any cloning.
Such approach takes out half of the usability of an image based backup system

I create images to be able to revert to a stable version. And to be able to be operating as quick as possible and with minimum hustle in case the system drive failure. Thus not having a ready to use system drive now will make things worst in the future [in case of a failure]



You're trying to move this clone to a whole new system?



That is unlikely to work. It is no different that moving the actual physical drive.
No

I said that I installed from scratch; and then copied that new system from new drive to old drive. But to my surprise- prior to that the old Windows 10 did run of that old drive on the new motherboard. I did not make thorough tests but moving around in the system seemed to be stable. But yes- the previous time I did it [old old system to the then new but now old motherboard] it was unstable / buggy from the get go
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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No

I said that I installed from scratch; and then copied that new system from new drive to old drive. But to my surprise- prior to that the old Windows 10 did run of that old drive on the new motherboard. I did not make thorough tests but moving around in the system seemed to be stable. But yes- the previous time I did it [old old system to the then new but now old motherboard] it was unstable / buggy from the get go
Oh, OK.

At the end of the cloning process, did you physically disconnect the old drive and allow the system to try to boot up from the new one by itself?
That is a needed step, and I cannot understand why all the cloning tools neglect to tell you to do this.
 
Jan 28, 2021
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At the end of the cloning process, did you physically disconnect the old drive and allow the system to try to boot up from the new one by itself?
[...]
Sometimes after inserting system into such backup drive I do run it and sometimes I do not. This time I do not remember- but I did managed to boot once from backup at some point

And long story short: on previous system I did have some problems with having two drives connected to the system at the same time when both of them had the operating system on them. I deemed it then almost impossible to do - but that was when I was using SSD + HDD [and so I simply kept the backup offline]. But after switching to SSD + SSD and after some time passed [maybe because of Windows updates] I was able to have both of them online- with a slight peculiar bug: FreeComander was showing that hidden backup volume in my main system [run from the main drive] as drive "B" - but only when navigating in FC to the "This PC" level. Please do not ask me for details on that]



Well, I will copy a newer image of my system to that backup drive and immediately after it try to boot from it
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
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Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
If you are cloning from a SATA drive to PCIe/NVMe, install the relevant driver for this new NVMe/PCIe drive.
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
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Jan 28, 2021
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OK, I think I know how my current machine works


System drive A [main] is a M.2 NVMe

System drive B [backup] is SATA SSD


After each restoration of image to B I need to boot from it manually in the next boot cycle- but it will not work. Then I just let it re-boot automatically- and the B system kicks in. The A in meantime is inactive. In order to use once again the A, I have to physically remove B and boot [automatically] one time from A. From now then the A will always be picked. And this kind of logical

Unfortunately it seems that I cannot switch again to B- and so I have to restore system to B from scratch. Maybe I would remove physically the A drive, then the machine will switch to using B


And one more thing: the volume with B is hidden in A [i.e. it does not have a later assigned]. But [the C volume of] A will show up in B. This is ideal I think- because when working on A, the space for B system [and probably also the B system itself] is protected from involuntary / accidental tampering - but is still accessible [after a letter assignment]. So the B is ready to be implemented [because if A fails then there is space ready for B], as the B has also another volume on it which holds images of the operating system
 
Jan 28, 2021
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I am sorry but for me the problem is solved

I cannot spend my whole spare time on tweaking the operating system and hardware


What I described works - and I put in simple words so that so that the other users could learn from it
 
Jan 28, 2021
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Please show us a screencap of your Disk Management window.

(probably more questions to follow)
But If you were referring to concerns about EFI hidden volumes - then yes: I always copy them and load them up whenever I make an image of the system drive. I learned that way back on Windows 7 - that an old EFI left out on as it is will just not work with a different image



As for
OK, I think I know how my current machine works
[...]
It also seems that if I choose on that post-BIOS-boot-up-screen [all whatever it is called] that B drive / system in a form of Windows Boot Manager version [all whatever is the exact name of it] then I can go back and forth between A and B

So I think I have achieved what I wanted: two version of the same system working on the same machine, with an option to choose either; and a certainty that if both fail then I will be able [one way or another] to restore system form an image
 

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