Question Clone NVME SSD, keep original, 2 slots

Mar 26, 2020
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Hi,

I currently have a Gigabyte Aorus Gaming K3 motherboard which has a 500gb M2 PCIe NVME SSD installed in the M2Q_32G socket. This is the system / boot drive, all works fine. The motherboard has a second M2 slot, which can take another PCIe M2. The PC is running Windows 10.

I've bought a 1tb M2 PCIe NVME SSD. I would like to clone the original (500gb) SSD and use the new (1tb) SSD as the system / boot drive.

There are plenty of guides / info about how to clone an HD / SSD but..... I would like to retain the original SSD as an additional drive.

Most guides are quite specific in removing the old SSD once it has been cloned 'to' the new one, to prevent issues with WIndows refusing to boot. Can anyone please advise what should the process be to clone the old SSD to the new one and retain the old SSD? If the old one is wiped clean that's ok although I would prefer to initially keep it as-is if possible.

I have a NAS which has plenty of space available and which could hold an image of the SSD. Would creating an image and a bootable usb with one of the backup tools available, wiping both nvme and then restoring the image to the new M2 be the way? Or is there a method which avoids having to wipe both?

Thanks in advance!!
Richard
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Similar process, including removing the old drive before the first boot up with the new drive.
Yes, it is somewhat more of a pain with NVMe drives. But it still must be done.

Reconnect the old one later.

Or your Image concept would work as well.
Still have only the one drive connected at each step, though.

Image the old drive.
Remove the old drive.
Apply that Iage to the new drive.

later, reconnect the old and wipe it.

Similar to this:
Assuming you have another drive with sufficient free space to hold the entirety of your current m.2 drive:

  1. Download and install Macrium Reflect
  2. Run that, and create a Rescue CD or USB (you'll use this later). "Other Tasks"
  3. In the Macrium client, create an Image to some other drive. External USB HDD, maybe. Select all partitions. This results in a file of xxxx.mrimage
  4. When done, power OFF.
  5. Swap the 2 drives
  6. Boot up from the Rescue USB you created earlier.
  7. Recover, and tell it where the Image is that you created in step 3, and which drive to apply it to...the new m.2
  8. Go, and wait until it finishes.
  9. That's all...this should work.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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For a standard direct clone process:

-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
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)
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
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
No cable swapping needed here, but still disconnect 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.
-----------------------------
 
Mar 26, 2020
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Hi,

Thanks very much for such a quick reply!

When the old SSD is reinstalled (after the image is applied to the new drive and its finished / has been booted from) will Windows be happy having two identical drives?

Best regards
Richard

Similar process, including removing the old drive before the first boot up with the new drive.
Yes, it is somewhat more of a pain with NVMe drives. But it still must be done.

Reconnect the old one later.

Or your Image concept would work as well.
Still have only the one drive connected at each step, though.

Image the old drive.
Remove the old drive.
Apply that Iage to the new drive.

later, reconnect the old and wipe it.

Similar to this:
Assuming you have another drive with sufficient free space to hold the entirety of your current m.2 drive:

  1. Download and install Macrium Reflect
  2. Run that, and create a Rescue CD or USB (you'll use this later). "Other Tasks"
  3. In the Macrium client, create an Image to some other drive. External USB HDD, maybe. Select all partitions. This results in a file of xxxx.mrimage
  4. When done, power OFF.
  5. Swap the 2 drives
  6. Boot up from the Rescue USB you created earlier.
  7. Recover, and tell it where the Image is that you created in step 3, and which drive to apply it to...the new m.2
  8. Go, and wait until it finishes.
  9. That's all...this should work.
 
Mar 26, 2020
6
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10
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So far so good...…. Image is applied to the new nvme (with the old one removed).

Apart from..... The boot order is 1) CD/DVD, 2) New NVME. If I turn on / restart the PC and let it boot itself it refuses, I get msg on black screen about inserting bootable drive.

If I go into the BIOS and choose to boot there & then from the NVME it does so without any problems.

Any idea what the issue there could be please?

Best regards
Richard

Edit to add: If the NVME is the only boot device it works fine. If the NVME is first and the CD/DVD is second then it also works

As long as you're booting from the new drive, no problem.
But, you DO need to fully wipe the old drive, to prevent any confusion issues later.
 
Last edited:
Mar 26, 2020
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The 'Storage Boot Option Control' and 'Other PCI Devices' are both set to UEFI.

The bootable device available for selection are

P2: ASUS BW-16D1HT
WIndows Boot Manager (Sabrent Rocket Q)
P0: ST3000DM001-1ER166



Best regards
Richard

What specific boot choices do you see in the BIOS?
One that references UEFI will be the one you want.
 
Mar 26, 2020
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Many thanks!

It does indeed boot ok with Windows Boot Manager first (see edit above). It just seems strange that with the previous NVME it was fine either way. Maybe its easiest not to try to figure that out :)

What did you do in the USAF? Former (civvie) Loadmaster here

Best regards
Richard

'Windows boot manager' should be first.
 

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