Question Cloning Samsung SSD to Samsung M.2

Borracho

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Quick one, I want to clone my current old Samsung Sata III Evo drive to a 980 M.2 drive. It's been years since I last did this, so I wanted to confirm a few things:

  1. I slot the M.2 in the motherboard
  2. Boot up, let Windows 10 'see' it and load up any necessary drivers
  3. Use Samsung Data Migration to clone my current C: drive on to the M.2
  4. Power down the computer, disconnect the old C: drive
  5. Boot, go to BIOS, set the new C: as primary boot
  6. Pray
  7. Go into Windows, verify that everything works.
Now for the tricky part. Once I verified that it all works as it should, I want to format my old C: drive and use it as storage. Can I just hot-plug it and format it during the same session or am I going to get BSOD upon BSOD for my nerve?

Thanks for helping a mostly retired builder out!
 

USAFRet

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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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Borracho

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Thank you both!

I currently have two drives hooked up : main OS C: and an ancient HDD SATA3 trooper.

Now with the M.2 drive it's impossible to connect it to 'the same SATA3 cable that the previous C: drive' was on, so I'm assuming that it'll 'just work'?

Also, I'll change motherboard & CPU a couple of weeks after this operation, the new one should automatically pick up the system drive, with no extra horrors attached?
 

USAFRet

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Thank you both!

I currently have two drives hooked up : main OS C: and an ancient HDD SATA3 trooper.

Now with the M.2 drive it's impossible to connect it to 'the same SATA3 cable that the previous C: drive' was on, so I'm assuming that it'll 'just work'?
Ignore that line in my text.
That was for SATA -> SATA.

But DO disconnect the old drive before you power up the first time.
And DO have only the relevant drives connected. Disconnect all others.
 
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Borracho

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One more question, after I successfully boot from the cloned drive, is it OK to hot plug the old drive and format it in the same session?

Or am I looking at nightmare BSOD's the second I hot plug it?
 

USAFRet

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One more question, after I successfully boot from the cloned drive, is it OK to hot plug the old drive and format it in the same session?

Or am I looking at nightmare BSOD's the second I hot plug it?
Don't hotplug.

If the boot order is correct, the system won't try to boot from it. You can wipe all partitions on it no problem.
 

Borracho

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But I was under the impression that once I'm done with cloning, I power down the PC, disconnect the old drive (that still has Windows installed and everything) and boot from the new one. So after I verify that everything is correct and works as intended, I should just power down, connect the old drive, boot up again, go into Windows and format the old main drive? Won't it still be called C: and won't it cause some sort of terror with the new drive?
 

USAFRet

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But I was under the impression that once I'm done with cloning, I power down the PC, disconnect the old drive (that still has Windows installed and everything) and boot from the new one. So after I verify that everything is correct and works as intended, I should just power down, connect the old drive, boot up again, go into Windows and format the old main drive? Won't it still be called C: and won't it cause some sort of terror with the new drive?
There is one and only one C. That is the OS that the system boots from.
Any other drive and partition will be a different drive letter. No matter what it used to be or what is on it.
 

Borracho

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Perfect, if I don't post on here for 48 hours or longer, I'll be busy chewing on SATA cables and M.2 sockets in a soft, padded cell.

Fingers crossed, many thanks for all the help!
 

Borracho

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OK, I installed the M.2 drive, haven't cloned anything yet, it's blank. BIOS sees it, Windows don't. Now I opened Disk Manager, it saw it and it asked me to assign a something to it. Then it sees it as unallocated. Should I go ahead and format it as MBR before cloning? Windows Explorer does not see it at all, but Samsung Data Migration sees it and offers to clone on it.

I also tried running the Samsung Nvme utility but it said that no Samsung Express devices could be found.
 

Borracho

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That works, it sees it, I'm a bit worried that it's not properly initialized though and the cloning job will be botched. Am I being too paranoid?
 
A bit paranoid, yes.
The process leaves the original C drive unchanged.
The process can fail if the C drive has problems, but it will not change the C drive.

The copy process will take some time. Perhaps an hour or two.
That is because lots of writes will soon overwhelm the target drive buffers.
That is normal and to be expected.
You will get a progress indicator.
At the end, it will look like nothing is going on; that is the utility doing a final check comparing the original drive to the the target. You should see the drive activity light on your case working hard.

At the end of the procedure, power off and disconnect the original C drive. Just the sata data cable is enough. Then boot. This is to verify that the new copy is valid and that you are not somehow booting from the old drive.
When you know all is good, power down again and reconnect the old ssd and also set the boot priority to the new m.2 ssd.
You can do what you wish with the old drive. You can delete the windows folders or you can delete all partitions and reformat the drive.
 

Borracho

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OK, operation performed in mere minutes. I copied an 850 Samsung Evo SATAIII to a Samsung 980 Pro M.2 drive. Booted back in to Windows all good.

Just one problem : when I start Samsung Magician, it says that no Samsung SSD is connected and it cannot optimize it. All options are locked. Device Manager normally sees it as a Samsung 980 Pro, all good. I have no idea what is going on :D
 

Borracho

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Ack never mind, apparently I had an ancient version of Samsung Magician installed (4.0) and even though every time I ran it checked for updates, it appears that there was Magician 6.2 out in the wild all along. That did the trick, everything works as intended now.

Many thanks to all for the invaluable advice!
 

Borracho

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Final report, it all worked out like a charm.

Samsung Data Migration completed the cloning within minutes, no problems at all with booting and formatting the old drive. All ready to meet the NVMe PCIe 4.0 future now :D
 

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