Anyone here successfully upgraded system drive sata SSD > m.2 yet?

chrisr

Senior Member
This was last under discussion back in may, at which point it seemed like no board members had successfully yet cloned their sata SSD system drive to an m.2 one.

It's still something that I'd like to do. So, I'm interested to hear of any success stories, if anyone around here has now made the upgrade?

best,
Chris
 
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dreamawake

Member
Chris,

First question is - what are you trying to upgrade? A desktop or a laptop? I'm asking because it is possible but it really depends on what you're trying to do.

If your system has an 2.5" SSD in it already, then upgrading to another 2.5" SSD is a piece of cake. If you wanted to upgrade or swap it out to an M.2 SSD then you can but you would need to choose B or B+M keyed M.2 SSD since those are SATA compatible and put the M.2 card into an adapter that would allow it to sit in the 2.5" slot you currently have - you need the adapter since the pinouts for the M.2 aren't compatible with a regular 2.5" SATA slot..but totally doable and you can clone them as you would a regular hard drive.

But if you were looking at the newer and faster PCIe/NMVe M.2 SSDs then that won't work. Currently those require a PCIe slot/port for them to work and unless your laptop already has a slot for one (Dell XPS 13/15, for example) then you wouldn't be able to make it work on a laptop. On a desktop you could, but you would need an adapter card, a cable and a PCIe adapter card. Some users will point to just using the adapter card into a PCIe slot but I've had some hit and miss luck doing that. I used the whole 3 piece set from a company called Addonics and that's been very stable and solid for getting those drives to work in any desktop.

Hope this helps.
Dreamawake
 
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chrisr

chrisr

Senior Member
Thanks Dreamawake...(I figured this thread was out for a duck like my last thread!)

So I want to clone the 850pro sata ssd system drive on my x99 desktop to a 970pro nvme m.2 stick, that will reside either in the boards dedicated m.2 slot, or in a pcie adapter card (an asus one which came with the board). I don't mind which.

I want to do this to enjoy the vastly greater iops and bandwidth of the nvme device so a sata adapter is a non-starter in that regard.

It would on the surface seem to be a straightforward a process as cloning/updating any other system drive but a glance through reports online would suggest otherwise! Hence keen to hear of any success stories hereabouts...

best,
Chris
 

dreamawake

Member
Chris,

Cloning a 2.5" SATA SSD or HDD to a M.2 SSD is a straightforward process..it's just like cloning any other drive..that's not really the issue. The issue you'll face is that when you then try to boot off the M.2 SSD some systems don't recognize it or won't boot from it - hence my mentioning why I've had trouble with using an adapter into an existing PCIe slot and not always working. When I've used the Addonics set (because the system drivers were then updated to recognize) I had no problems booting from an M.2 where I was previously booting from an HDD or SSD.

Since your ASUS x99 already has an onboard M.2 slot (just make sure it supports the PCIe/NMVe type) or using the PCIe adapter, it should recognize the drive and have the ability to boot from it although you will most likely have to reconfigure the BIOS to see that drive/slot in the boot process and clear the CMOS.

Dreamawake
 
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chrisr

chrisr

Senior Member
Thanks Dreamawake,

I had no problems booting from an M.2 where I was previously booting from an HDD or SSD.
That's great to know - you're the first person I've 'met' who has actually stated that they've successfully done this! Others seem not to have been able to successfully boot from the new drive.

I looked at the Addonics website and saw their adapter cards (eg https://www.addonics.com/products/adm2nvmpx4.php ) - but I can't see how that would be different to my Asus supplied card? (https://www.asus.com/uk/Motherboard-Accessory/HYPER_M2_X4_MINI_CARD/)

You mentioned a "3 piece set" - what's that, and do you have a link to the product?

Thanks for your responses! :)

Chris
 

dreamawake

Member
Chris,

What you have for your ASUS mobo is the same as the Addonics add-on that I mentioned before. The reason I had mentioned me using them was because I have found that to even recognize an M.2 PCIe SSD just using an adapter card with an existing PCIe slot didn't always work for me - wouldn't see it half the time. The only solution I was able to find that worked for 100% of the time regardless of what system I was putting it into was that Addonics set. Your ASUS mobo has that "system" built in from what I can tell so you don't need any extra adapters or cards. You can use what you have.

I've used the Addonics card to have older systems recognize the M.2 card so I could use it as extra storage or clone it for another system. And I've used it in new systems to actually have it boot from the card. Though from my experience not every system was able to recognize it was a boot drive to be able to start from. The older the system, the less luck I had. The newer systems had better luck as I found the BIOS for the newer systems allowed for the ports/cards/drives to be recognized as boot drives.

Your ASUS x99, from looking at the specs, seems perfectly capable of doing just that. Though after a quick search I did find some people mentioning they had to make a few BIOS changes to make it boot from the M.2. Those Samsung 970pro NVMe drives keep dropping in price. WD makes an M.2 black version that is usually around $90(US) for a 250GB version - I know they're not as fast as the Samsung ones but you could always give your system a try with one.

When using an M.2 NVMe SSD as the main boot drive, I've found most success with 2 things -
1- making sure the system BIOS was up to date and making a few changes to the BIOS (SATA OPERATION or MODE set to AHCI, Secure Boot set to DISABLED and Compability Support Mode (CSM) set to DISABLED).
2 - if you were installing a clean version of Windows 10 to it, make sure you have a separate extracted copy on USB of the INTEL RAPID STORAGE TECHNOLOGY file to use if the system can't load it's own drivers)

Dreamawake
 
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chrisr

chrisr

Senior Member
Thanks a ton for your detailed responses Dreamawake, I really do appreciate it!

Great idea about testing with a lesser m.2 model. I actually have an old xp941 in the m.2 slot that i use for a few samples. Those samples would stream just as well from a sata ssd for all practical purposes, so you've given me the idea to just repurpose that drive as a test pilot for the system clone and see if my machine will boot from it, thanks! Hadn't even occurred to me to try that...

Best,
Chris
 

dreamawake

Member
You're welcome...give it a try.

If for some reason you run into any problems and it still won't boot or you have some weird issue...let me know and I'll help you figure out what the issue may be.

Dreamawake
 

Michelob

Pouet pouet !
Hello,

I know I'm a bit beside the subject, but : keep in mind that if things go really wrong, it's probably possible to start a new config from scratch within a daytime. I did so last week with my 2 PCs. I had (and I still have !) backups of essential things, and it took a few hours each.

So my point is : for any such delicate handling, having some good backup is probably a good idea.