Question Trouble cloning a failing M.2 SDD to a new HDD because of SMART error ?

Apr 20, 2023
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Hello,

I'm writing here due to some frustration I have had trying to clone my failing M.2 SSD to a new disk after I received a SMART error saying my drive is prone to failure. I am sure you are all aware of these errors, but I have not been able to successfully clone this drive to a spare HDD that I had. My plan was to take this M.2 SSD and take a basic cloning software and clone all the files and windows data to my old HDD that I had. However, my first attempts with AOMEI backupper and MiniTool Partition Wizard seemed to not transfer the windows files right and I was getting a registry error every time.

I decided to try a Macrium Reflect, however, I am now getting an error saying that it has failed to create volume snapshot (0x8004230c). I am not the greatest with this stuff but I have tried many different methods to no avail. I have also tried many ways of taking this drive out of read only in hopes of this fixing the problems, but have not been successful. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

NOTE: attempting to transfer data from Samsung Evo 970 1TB to WD Blue 1TB so they are the same size.
I've only have had the M.2 SSD for a year and 10 months yet it's already failing :/
 

Misgar

Notable
Mar 2, 2023
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According to this web page, you can set Macrium Reflect to ignore bad sectors when creating an image or cloning. Whether or not this is advisable remains to be seen. If the errors are not in the Operating System files but in unimportant data or free space, you might get away with it.

https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Imaging+disks+with+bad+sectors

You could try their suggestion to run CHKDSK C: /R to see if you can fix the errors before cloning. Also, try SFC /Scannow from the Command Prompt with Admin rights. It might help.

In addition, Macrium allows you to clone between disks different capacities, i.e. you don't need both disks to be exactly the same size. Rather than issuing a blanket "clone disk" command in Reflect, drag and drop individual partitions from the source drive to the destination drive, one at a time. You can then shrink or expand each partition as required on the destination drive. I only resize visible partitions, e.g. the C: drive in Windows.

If you have, say, 400GB of data on your C: drive (excluding free space) and the hidden partitions on your source drive do not exceed 100GB in total, you could clone a 1TB SSD to a 500GB disk with room to spare.

To clone to a larger drive, I drag and drop the first hidden 100MB EFI Windows partition from the source drive to the empty destination drive.

Next I drag and drop the C: drive partition from the source drive to destination drive. If there is not enough room inside the destination drive, Macrium will automatically shrink the size of your C: drive, provided there is enough available room on the destination drive.

Then, I drag and drop any additional hidden partitions (Recovery) to the destination drive and use the "Flush Right" command to move the second/third hidden partitions to the end of the drive.

Finally, I use the "Fill Unallocated Space" command if necessary to increase the size of the C: drive on the destination drive, to fill up any remaining free space. Alternatively, you can resize the C: drive after cloning in Windows Disk Manager.

If your source drive is failing, I recommend backing up up all your importatant data files, photos, documents, videos, etc., on a separate drive or USB memory stick, before continuing with any cloning. If you get things badly wrong, you could wipe the source drive by mistake and lose all your vital data.

Although it's a pain, when a drive develops ECC errors and all cloning attempts fail, it doesn't take me more than 30 to 45 minutes to reinstall Windows on a new SSD. Another 3 to 5 hours and all my favourite programs are back in place. I keep most of my data on separate hard drives and backups on LTO4 tape, so failure of the Operating System drive is not a disaster.

As for "early" drive failures, 1 year and 10 months isn't bad, even if the warranty is 3 years. I've had cheap Kingston SATA SSDs die on me in the first few hours of operation. Check the internet for known problems with your dying M.2 drive. Some brands/models of NVMe drives have accelerated wear problems and yours might be one of them. Reflashing to newer firmware might fix the problem, or totally "brick" the drive. Backup first and good luck.
 
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I received a SMART error saying my drive is prone to failure.
However, my first attempts with AOMEI backupper and MiniTool Partition Wizard seemed to not transfer the windows files right and I was getting a registry error every time.
Can you show screenshot of the error?
(upload to imgur.com and post link)
I decided to try a Macrium Reflect, however, I am now getting an error saying that it has failed to create volume snapshot (0x8004230c).
Try creating drive image with macrium first (not direct clone disk to disk).
Then restore image to target drive.

Note - first boot from cloned drive has to be done with old drive physically disconnected.
This step is important and can not be skipped.
 
A clone operation is a bit for bit process.
If the source is damaged somewhere, you can expect to fail.

Instead, since you seem to be able to access your data files, why not try to copy/paste the desired folders to the HDD.
You will then know what data you might have lost.

I am not enough familiar with the Samsung magician utility.
But, once you have recovered what is recoverable, Magician may be able to fix the ssd.
 
Apr 20, 2023
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wait. are you try to boot from the clone?

use the clone just for your files
do a fresh os install.
Yes, I am. Sorry, I may be coming across very dumb, lol. So, if I were to wipe what I have now that was cloned to my HDD, install windows on it, then transfer all the data I would be good? I feel like you would lose some of the functionality no? I hoped that I would be able to move the old windows and everything from my failing drive.
 
Apr 20, 2023
13
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According to this web page, you can set Macrium Reflect to ignore bad sectors when creating an image or cloning. Whether or not this is advisable remains to be seen. If the errors are not in the Operating System files but in unimportant data or free space, you might get away with it.

https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Imaging+disks+with+bad+sectors

You could try their suggestion to run CHKDSK C: /R to see if you can fix the errors before cloning. Also, try SFC /Scannow from the Command Prompt with Admin rights. It might help.

In addition, Macrium allows you to clone between disks different capacities, i.e. you don't need both disks to be exactly the same size. Rather than issuing a blanket "clone disk" command in Reflect, drag and drop individual partitions from the source drive to the destination drive, one at a time. You can then shrink or expand each partition as required on the destination drive. I only resize visible partitions, e.g. the C: drive in Windows.

If you have, say, 400GB of data on your C: drive (excluding free space) and the hidden partitions on your source drive do not exceed 100GB in total, you could clone a 1TB SSD to a 500GB disk with room to spare.

To clone to a larger drive, I drag and drop the first hidden 100MB EFI Windows partition from the source drive to the empty destination drive.

Next I drag and drop the C: drive partition from the source drive to destination drive. If there is not enough room inside the destination drive, Macrium will automatically shrink the size of your C: drive, provided there is enough available room on the destination drive.

Then, I drag and drop any additional hidden partitions (Recovery) to the destination drive and use the "Flush Right" command to move the second/third hidden partitions to the end of the drive.

Finally, I use the "Fill Unallocated Space" command if necessary to increase the size of the C: drive on the destination drive, to fill up any remaining free space. Alternatively, you can resize the C: drive after cloning in Windows Disk Manager.

If your source drive is failing, I recommend backing up up all your importatant data files, photos, documents, videos, etc., on a separate drive or USB memory stick, before continuing with any cloning. If you get things badly wrong, you could wipe the source drive by mistake and lose all your vital data.

Although it's a pain, when a drive develops ECC errors and all cloning attempts fail, it doesn't take me more than 30 to 45 minutes to reinstall Windows on a new SSD. Another 3 to 5 hours and all my favourite programs are back in place. I keep most of my data on separate hard drives and backups on LTO4 tape, so failure of the Operating System drive is not a disaster.

As for "early" drive failures, 1 year and 10 months isn't bad, even if the warranty is 3 years. I've had cheap Kingston SATA SSDs die on me in the first few hours of operation. Check the internet for known problems with your dying M.2 drive. Some brands/models of NVMe drives have accelerated wear problems and yours might be one of them. Reflashing to newer firmware might fix the problem, or totally "brick" the drive. Backup first and good luck.
Hi, I have tried running the chkdsk command but I am not able to, since the drive is write-protected. One of my main problems is that I cannot get past this and I have tried many of the possible methods for this. I could also try the method of ignoring the possible errors as the write protection may be throwing off some of the initial tests that Macrium runs. I could also try dragging and dropping the individual partitions to see if that does anything different. Thank you for the info!

The drive that I want to clone is 1TB and the destination drive is also 1TB so I shouldn't have any problems in that regard. Unfortunately, my drive that is failing is a Samsung 970 Evo Plus, which I have not known has any problems with accelerated wear, but I could be wrong.

I have also already contacted Samsung and received an RMA ticket, so I am not worried with getting a replacement, it is just a matter of getting this data off of the drive, wiping it, and sending it in.
 
Apr 20, 2023
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Your ssd will still be under a 5 year warranty.
So after recovering what you can, return it to Samsung for a RMA replacement.
Yes, already contacted them and just waiting to get things fixed and data recovered before I go through with the RMA. It should easily be under warranty.
 
Apr 20, 2023
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Can you show screenshot of the error?
(upload to imgur.com and post link)

Try creating drive image with macrium first (not direct clone disk to disk).
Then restore image to target drive.

Note - first boot from cloned drive has to be done with old drive physically disconnected.
This step is important and can not be skipped.

Below is the screenshot from what it is showing when I try to boot normally. I have not been successful in creating and image of the disk either. It seems like no matter what method I use, I run into some sort of error. I might just attempt to copy any paste all of my data over and see if that works. I have no other ideas.

View: https://imgur.com/a/Y9yqTVV
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
I have not been successful in creating and image of the disk either. It seems like no matter what method I use, I run into some sort of error. I might just attempt to copy any paste all of my data over and see if that works. I have no other ideas
Did the Macrium process give a fail during the Imaging or Cloning?
 
You are using the wrong tools.

For a start, never run CHKDSK against a failing drive. Microsoft cares more about the consistency of the file system than it does about the integrity of your data, so CHKDSK will often sacrifice your files to achieve that end.

Secondly, never clone then same section of your storage device more than once. As soon as you can read a particular sector on the source drive, save it to a destination device -- you may not get a second chance. This is why tools like Macrium are inappropriate for this job. Instead you should be using ddrescue or HDDSuperClone. These tools will not thrash aimlessly at difficult sectors. Instead they will make one read attempt and then move on. In this way they clone the easy sectors on the first pass and then attempt the more difficult sectors on subsequent passes. Both tools maintain a log so that they can continue after an interruption.
 
Apr 20, 2023
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That speaks to an error on the Source drive.
It appears too far gone to 'clone' or 'image'.
Are there any repair tools or apps that allow you to see what failed to cause the SMART error? Is there any hope of possibly fixing it by putting a bandaid on the issue until I can get the data off and onto another drive?

It is also important to note that my BIOS does not show this drive and windows occasionally doesn't either. Could be a sign its too far gone, like you said :/
 
Apr 20, 2023
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You are using the wrong tools.

For a start, never run CHKDSK against a failing drive. Microsoft cares more about the consistency of the file system than it does about the integrity of your data, so CHKDSK will often sacrifice your files to achieve that end.

Secondly, never clone then same section of your storage device more than once. As soon as you can read a particular sector on the source drive, save it to a destination device -- you may not get a second chance. This is why tools like Macrium are inappropriate for this job. Instead you should be using ddrescue or HDDSuperClone. These tools will not thrash aimlessly at difficult sectors. Instead they will make one read attempt and then move on. In this way they clone the easy sectors on the first pass and then attempt the more difficult sectors on subsequent passes. Both tools maintain a log so that they can continue after an interruption.
Thank you for the info, if you think it is still worth trying at this point, which one do you recommend from those 2? Appreciate it! Also, arent these for Linux?
 
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DSzymborski

Curmudgeon Pursuivant
Moderator
I don't know why you're messing around with clones and CHKDSK. If your data is important, since it appears you did not keep proper backups, the *first* and *only* priority should be to get the data copied off the drive, ideally to multiple places to remedy the lack of a backup to begin with. Backing up data properly is a very basic part of responsible PC ownership, no different than changing the air filter in your furnace or the oil in your car.

The OS install is meaningless, worthless. Wasting time and risking your important data so that you don't have to reinstall Windows, a basic exercise that everybody should be prepared to do at any time, is getting your priorities precisely backwards.
 
Apr 20, 2023
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I don't know why you're messing around with clones and CHKDSK. If your data is important, since it appears you did not keep proper backups, the *first* and *only* priority should be to get the data copied off the drive, ideally to multiple places to remedy the lack of a backup to begin with. Backing up data properly is a very basic part of responsible PC ownership, no different than changing the air filter in your furnace or the oil in your car.

The OS install is meaningless, worthless. Wasting time and risking your important data so that you don't have to reinstall Windows, a basic exercise that everybody should be prepared to do at any time, is getting your priorities precisely backwards.
Cool. I have no <Mod Edit> idea what im doing.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Are there any repair tools or apps that allow you to see what failed to cause the SMART error? Is there any hope of possibly fixing it by putting a bandaid on the issue until I can get the data off and onto another drive?

It is also important to note that my BIOS does not show this drive and windows occasionally doesn't either. Could be a sign its too far gone, like you said :/
Yes, it is too far gone.
Windows tools, Linux tools...stop trying to "clone" this thing.

This is when you do a full OS install on some other drive, and recover your data from the backup you made before this happened.
 
HDDSuperClone has a Live CD and a GUI. That should take the pain out of Linux. A Windows based tool is hampered by Windows' error recovery, whereas Linux enables the software to get much closer to the hardware.

I understand that you want to recover your files rather than cloning the drive, but cloning is the approach recommended by data recovery professionals. Of course, the actual approach that you choose would depend on the number of files you wish to recover. Be aware that the $MFT (the metafile which contains one record for each of your files) usually resides at the 4GB point in an NTFS file system, so a clone would guarantee that this extremely important file is one of the first to be saved.
 
Apr 20, 2023
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Yes, it is too far gone.
Windows tools, Linux tools...stop trying to "clone" this thing.

This is when you do a full OS install on some other drive, and recover your data from the backup you made before this happened.
Only had one drive installed unfortunately. Looks like I am out of luck then.
 
Apr 20, 2023
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HDDSuperClone has a Live CD and a GUI. That should take the pain out of Linux. A Windows based tool is hampered by Windows' error recovery, whereas Linux enables the software to get much closer to the hardware.

I understand that you want to recover your files rather than cloning the drive, but cloning is the approach recommended by data recovery professionals. Of course, the actual approach that you choose would depend on the number of files you wish to recover. Be aware that the $MFT (the metafile which contains one record for each of your files) usually resides at the 4GB point in an NTFS file system, so a clone would guarantee that this extremely important file is one of the first to be saved.
So I am getting very conflicted things here on this thread. Honestly, I am not sure that there was anything so important on this drive that I am willing to pay someone to recover it for me. I was just trying my best to possibly get this data back on my own as it would make my life a lot easier. Although, it seems to have only made it harder. I figured the whole point of SMART tech is to notify you of possibly failure so that you can then quickly recover your files on that drive and get a new one, but maybe I am mistaken.