Question Configuring Samsung M.2 NVMe with existing 850 EVO

Mar 17, 2019
I just upgrade my pc to an MSI 970pro mb, Ryzen 5 2600 and added an M.2 NVMe 500gb. Windows 10 is currently installed on my existing 850 EVO 500gb drive. My goal is to migrate windows 10 to the M.2 and convert the 850 to storage/app expansion. I've found posts videos for using Samsung's data migration tool, but my questions are mostly what comes after that.

1. I'd like to do a fresh windows install on the M.2 using a pen drive, but with 3 hours average time to reinstall each game X 8 games that is 24 hours of continuous downloading. What is the current thought on Cloning versus fresh install? Is using the migration tool ok?

2. Both the new M.2 and the 850 EVO are 500gb. The 850 is currently full. If I clone the 850 over to the M.2, it will be full. My thinking is to keep my two favorite games on the M.2 and install the rest on the 850 EVO. Is this correct thinking?

3. If yes, would I clone the drive over and then uninstall the games (from the M.2) that I want to have on the 850 EVO, wipe the 850 EVO and then install the games to the 850 EVO?

4. Is there a guide video that will hold my hand step by step through this process? (paste links please) : )

5. If the above is not the best way to do this, what should I do?

Thanks, -G


Migration from old drive to new drive is generally no problem.
The Samsung Data Migration tool would almost certainly work well for this.

But for 500GB -> 500GB, the source drive must be below 400GB actual consumed space.
Everything from the old drive goes to the new drive.

After the migration operation, your best way forward is to wipe the old drive completely. All partitions, leaving it one blank space.
Then you can install whichever games you desire on the old 850 EVO.
With Steam games, you can move them over reasonably easily.

To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Local Files
Move Install Folder

For the actual migration operation:
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
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.

Also, read this for going from a SATA drive (your 850 EVO) to a new NVMe drive:
I am a big fan of the Samsung ssd migration tool.
I have used it many times with good success.
Here is a link to the app and the instruction manual.

1. I see no problem using the ssd migration aid. The result will be exactly what your windows now looks like.
The aid is a windows C drive mover, not a clone which is a bit for bit copy.

2. Running the migration tool, it will calculate how much space you will need.
If, for some reason you do not have sufficient room, you will have two options.
You could delete or clean up the source drive.
Or, you can exclude some large folders from the move. The process leaves the source drive untouched.
Later, you can access any data folders left behind.
Reinstalling games is a pain and I would do so only if necessary. Perhaps, your new m.2 could be a 1tb drive and eliminate the issue??

3. It will make very little difference if your games are on the sata or the nvme drive from a performance point of view. If all your current games fit , then I would simply install new ones on the old 850 EVO.

4. Google is your friend, but the process is trivially simple.
The big caveat is to be certain that you do not mix up the source and target drives.

5. I found it useful to first download the Samsung nvme driver when installing the new pcie m.2 drive.
I needed to do this first when I converted from a 2.5" to a m.2 pcie drive.
Mar 17, 2019
Thank you very much for your thorough reply!
I needed to install the M.2 when I did the pc build/upgrade, so it is already installed on the MB. The M.2 is 500gb like the 850 EVO, because I got a great deal on it during the holidays. Originally, I was not planning on getting the M.2 at this point. I have Samsung's migration tool installed. I think I am going to uninstall the three games I play the least and do some other house cleaning to free up some space and get the 850 EVO down to 400gb for the migration. Then everything I install after this will be to the 850 EVO. I need to read up on how to move my Windows Music and Documents folders to the EVO drive, as they are not performance needy yet take up a lot of space.
Thanks again,

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