[SOLVED] Upgrading my OS NVMe M.2 drive - advice on replacement and how to upgrade

Maracles

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Nov 28, 2014
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My Alienware Aurora R7 currently runs a Toshiba 256GB NVMe M.2 as the OS drive (Model: KXG50ZNV256G).

This is now too small for the gaming, video editing and 3D work I do on my PC. Can someone recommend a good mid-range drive that would be a recommended replacement? I'd want a minimum of 1TB. Currently I'm looking the Samsung 970 Evo Plus drive. £200 GBP is my upper limit to spend.

Also, is there an 'easy' way of doing the upgrade. There is no second m.2 slot, but I have a secondary 1TB sata drive installed, is there anyway to utilise this to clone my current OS installation somehow and port it to the new drive? I've only ever done clean installs which I want to avoid.

Thanks!
 
Reactions: LeighPing

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Thanks for the confirmation. As for the ‘gotchas’ lol, what would they be... you’re keeping me in suspense!
Actually, going from NVMe->NVMe, not much problem.

If you have sufficient free space on any other drive, we do it with an Image in Macrium Reflect. Nothing else need to be purchased.

Just like this:
  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.


If you were going from SATA to NVMe, and only the one M.2 port, there would be an issue about the Samsung NVMe driver.
Read through here:

Does not apply to your situation, but a gotcha...
 
The samsung 970 evo plus is a very good choice.
As to the easy way to make the conversion, try this:

Buy a samsung 860 evo 2.5"ssd of sufficient capacity to hold the current used contents of your current m.2 plus some.
likely 256 gb or more.
Install it and run the samsung ssd migration app to move your windows C drive to the ssd.
Remove the original m.2 and boot to the 860 to confirm that the process worked.
Then install the 970 evo+ in the m.2 socket.
Install the samsung pcie nvme driver. and run the ssd migration app a second tome to copy the C drive to the m.2.
When you are done, you will have an aux ssd in you laptop and a 1tb HDD that can be used as a external backup device.
Keep the original 256gb ssd as a backup or in case you ever need to reset the pc to factory condition.
Download the app and driver here:
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
137,235
6,963
166,190
21,067
Thanks for the confirmation. As for the ‘gotchas’ lol, what would they be... you’re keeping me in suspense!
Actually, going from NVMe->NVMe, not much problem.

If you have sufficient free space on any other drive, we do it with an Image in Macrium Reflect. Nothing else need to be purchased.

Just like this:
  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.


If you were going from SATA to NVMe, and only the one M.2 port, there would be an issue about the Samsung NVMe driver.
Read through here:

Does not apply to your situation, but a gotcha...
 

Maracles

Honorable
Nov 28, 2014
9
1
10,515
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Thank you both for the two different solutions, I think I'm going to go for @USAFRet 's this time, as it seem a little simpler and no need to buy an additional drive. Appreciate both options though!
 

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