Question Cloning M.2 NVMe to internal SATA SSD on laptop

EAPellow

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I'm getting a new laptop to tide me over until I can settle down with a nice tower setup down the line, and was wondering about cloning and back up solutions.

It is a Lenovo Legion Y740-15IRHg with a PCIe NVMe drive. I left the 2.5" SATA bay empty in the build as I have some SSD's that I can use. I don't have any experience with NVMe drives, and it's been a long time since I've even dealt with multiple drives as my last tower died when XP was laid to rest.

Can I install a SATA drive and, instead of just using it to expand storage like a sane person, clone the NVMe drive to it? I imagine I could then boot from the SATA drive to make sure it actually works instead of cloning it to a 2.5" drive enclosure and hoping that, in the event I actually need to swap, that the clone actually worked. I could disable the SATA drive in bios settings and just periodically turn it on for newer clones.

I don't entirely need the internal SATA bay for extra storage, so I'm wondering if this makes any sense. I've only had to deal with backing up and cloning with my current laptop's internal SSD to external SSD's and HDD's. I've never had any issues, but I've never had any complicated situations or fatal disk failures that would cause me to actually find out if I did anything correctly.

Thanks for the help in what is probably a stupid question, but I can really only find info on cloning from 2.5" SSD's to M.2 or M.2 to M.2, and don't entirely want to buy a whole new M.2 if I can do with the SSD's I have. Any suggestions are welcome. And yes, I know the idea of having your cloned backup drive in an easy to steal laptop isn't the brightest way of securing data; assume I'll have external redundancies.
 

EAPellow

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I'm a bit confused as to what you're actually trying to do.
(but I'm pretty sure 'cloning' is not what you really want to do here)

What drive is the OS on?
The NVMe drive is the boot drive and the only drive currently installed.

Since I have some 2.5" SSD's, I want to use some for incremental backups, and have one as a clone. Instead of having to verify the clone by taking out the NVMe and installing the 2.5" SATA SSD, I wanted to know if it was feasible to just have both installed and clone to the 2.5" while both drives are installed in the laptop.

And yes I do mean clone so I would have a drive I can swap in the event of a disk failure and to give me more options other than the incremental backups.
 

USAFRet

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IMHO, a full clone gives you fewer options than a series of Incrementals, but if that works for you, go for it.

You should be able to interrupt the boot process, and choose the other drive to boot from.
Try it with your specific hardware, and see what happens.
 

EAPellow

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IMHO, a full clone gives you fewer options than a series of Incrementals, but if that works for you, go for it.

You should be able to interrupt the boot process, and choose the other drive to boot from.
Try it with your specific hardware, and see what happens.
I like to have both just in case. The only time I've needed to actually use a cloned disk was during upgrades, but it's nice to have a "known good" working duplicate with which I could then restore from the incremental backups. Mostly, I've had bad luck with windows updates and system restore issues and rescue media not always working when it should, so having the option to just swap the drive and forego the headaches of "what the frick is this doing" is too tempting to pass up.
 

USAFRet

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A few months ago, I had to reconstruct after a completely failed (secondary) SSD.
Full+Incremental, click click done.

But yes, during a major hardware upgrade? a full clone just before you start can be very useful.

System Restore in Windows? Agreed - ewwww....no thanks...;)
 

EAPellow

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While I've used cloned drives before, I've never actually HAD to restore from backups, thankfully. I think I just keep the clone in case I find out the hard way I didn't know how to use the backup software. Not that Macrium and EaseUS are difficult to navigate.

What backup software do you use? I'm thinking of switching to Acronis.

Thanks for the help btw.
 
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EAPellow

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A few months ago, I had to reconstruct after a completely failed (secondary) SSD.
Full+Incremental, click click done.

But yes, during a major hardware upgrade? a full clone just before you start can be very useful.

System Restore in Windows? Agreed - ewwww....no thanks...;)
I run a quarter million dollar XP machine where I work (Quality Control) and windows update ran at 4am and failed, and system restore had been shut off. The company we got it from had to remotely connect from Belgium and do a full reinstall, and then spend all day (well, all night for them) rebuilding a MySQL database.

I ordered this laptop with win10 pro just so I can delay windows updates.
 

USAFRet

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While I've used cloned drives before, I've never actually HAD to restore from backups, thankfully. I think I just keep the clone in case I find out the hard way I didn't know how to use the backup software. Not that Macrium is difficult to navigate.

What backup software do you use? I'm thinking of switching to Acronis.

Thanks for the help btw.
I use Macrium Reflect. Paid version on my main system, free on the others in the house.

Nightly either Full or Incremental, depending on the system.
Each system and drive saves that Incremental to an individual folder tree on my NAS box.
C drive at midnight, D drive at 01:00, E drive at 02:00, etc.

My recovery was from a suddenly and completely dead 960GB SanDisk SSD. Secondary drive, 605GB data on it.
Poof, it died. Nothing I did could make it come back to life.
Fire up Macrium, click, click...all 605GB recovered exactly as it was at 4AM that morning when that drive ran its nightly Incremental.

My whole QNAP box and backup routine justified itself with that one recovery.

And the good thing about regular Incrementals...if it was a different issue like a virus or ransomware that I didn't notice for a day or two...recover from the day before that happened.

Clone or Images...given the choice of one or the other, I'd do the Images.
Doing both can't hurt, but a full clone consumes a whole other physical drive.
A system with multiple drives (like mine), that can get REAL expensive an unwieldy.


For a single drive expensive production machine? I'd absolutely do both a routine full clone, and a series of scheduled Incrementals.
And know how to recover from either. Tested documented procedures for 'how'.
 

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