Cloning a boot drive (PCI nVME ---> SATA SSD)

TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The DjinneratorAt the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
I currently have a 2 TB nVME boot drive (Samsung 970 PRO), running over PCIe via m.2 slot on my motherboard. This SSD has been replaced multiple times, and each time that I do it, it lasts a few months, and then begins to die again. As the SSDs themselves do not seem to be the issue, it's looking like that particular m.2 slot on the motherboard is just dying (Note that I have active cooling and a heatsink on the SSD, so I don't think it's a heat issue). I have another SSD in a second m.2 slot on the motherboard, and it has been fine for almost two years now.

The PCIe speeds are nice, but stability on the boot drive is better. I'm hoping to clone the boot drive to a standard SATA SSD, and boot from there instead of the m.2 slot.

How can I best approach cloning a boot drive to a different drive on a different interface? I'm wondering if I can do that smoothly without having to reinstall my OS, or if it's going to make things freak out. What software ought I to use to achieve this migration most smoothly? I presume I can't run whatever cloning software I'll need from my boot instance (as I'll be cloning that), so what's the best way to run it? I also presume I'll need to futz with the BIOS, but should it be as easy as pointing the new BIOS toward the freshly cloned SATA SSD, or are there any other things I should look out for?

Thanks much in advance for any help.

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  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    I currently have a 2 TB nVME boot drive (Samsung 970 PRO), running over PCIe via m.2 slot on my motherboard. This SSD has been replaced multiple times, and each time that I do it, it lasts a few months, and then begins to die again. As the SSDs themselves do not seem to be the issue, it's looking like that particular m.2 slot on the motherboard is just dying (Note that I have active cooling and a heatsink on the SSD, so I don't think it's a heat issue). I have another SSD in a second m.2 slot on the motherboard, and it has been fine for almost two years now.

    The PCIe speeds are nice, but stability on the boot drive is better. I'm hoping to clone the boot drive to a standard SATA SSD, and boot from there instead of the m.2 slot.

    How can I best approach cloning a boot drive to a different drive on a different interface? I'm wondering if I can do that smoothly without having to reinstall my OS, or if it's going to make things freak out. What software ought I to use to achieve this migration most smoothly? I presume I can't run whatever cloning software I'll need from my boot instance (as I'll be cloning that), so what's the best way to run it? I also presume I'll need to futz with the BIOS, but should it be as easy as pointing the new BIOS toward the freshly cloned SATA SSD, or are there any other things I should look out for?

    Thanks much in advance for any help.

    The interface shouldn't matter; the size of the drives are going to matter more. If the new drive is the same size or larger its fairly simple. I just did it using Macrium Reflect and it took about ~30 minutes to clone a 250 GB 2.5" SSD -> 500 GB M2 SATA SSD. Once I was done, I unhooked my old 250 GB boot drive, set the BIOS to point towards the 500GB one, and it booted up with zero issues. I had to expand the partition to fill the drive afterwards, but that took seconds. Overall it was very painless.

    If the boot drive is larger than the drive you want to clone onto, you are probably going to need to move stuff off of it, and shrink the partition to smaller than the new drive to be able to clone the boot drive.

    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    Current Drive is 2 TB, and I plan to replace it with another 2 TB SSD. The drive is currently less than 50% full, so with any luck the cloning should be pretty painless.

    And thanks much for the info! I use Macrium for my backups currently, so that should be a quite painless operation. With regard to using Macrium to clone, did you clone your boot drive while running off the boot drive? Or did you boot off a Live CD or USB stick? I'm just wondering if booting from the drive I'm trying to clone will cause any issues.

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  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    Current Drive is 2 TB, and I plan to replace it with another 2 TB SSD. The drive is currently less than 50% full, so with any luck the cloning should be pretty painless.

    And thanks much for the info! I use Macrium for my backups currently, so that should be a quite painless operation. With regard to using Macrium to clone, did you clone your boot drive while running off the boot drive? Or did you boot off a Live CD or USB stick? I'm just wondering if booting from the drive I'm trying to clone will cause any issues.

    While it was running. Didn't cause me any issues, but I was also cloning a much smaller drive. A live USB might be a good idea for a larger drive.

    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
    TetraNitroCubane
  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    Sounds like a good idea. Thanks tremendously for the help. Hopefully this will be a painless process.

    I really appreciate the input!

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  • TelMarineTelMarine Registered User regular
    edited September 30
    Check out CloneZilla. It clones block by block so it doesn't matter what's on your drive, it's a 1 to 1 copy. It cannot go from a bigger to a smaller drive, but transferring to the same size or bigger works. You cannot use your computer while the clone operation is running, however.

    TelMarine on
    3ds: 4983-4935-4575
    Shadowfire
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    I use a 2 drive setup. Boot drive and storage, but I used paragon drive copy to make a boot disk to restore the backup from the storage drive.

  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    Thanks everyone for the help. I really do appreciate it, and these are some great options to consider. Sadly things went bad real quick for me before I could use any of them.

    Last night my boot drive essentially underwent cascade failure right before my eyes. I've never seen so many errors happen so quickly in the S.M.A.R.T. monitor. There were 9 "media and data integrity errors" yesterday morning, which was a disturbing increase from the day prior. By the time I was trying to clone the drive last night, hundreds popped up.

    It's been essentially impossible to clone the drive due to Macrium and other cloning software encountering those disk errors while attempting to duplicate the drive, sadly. But fortunately, I was able to restore an image I made on Sunday to the new drive. Unfortunately, even after restoring the image successfully from an external USB HDD to the new SSD, my system refuses to boot from the new drive - The BIOS recognizes it as a bootable partition, but when it goes to boot, I just get a blue screen saying "A required device isn't connected or can't be accessed". Windows Startup Repair from a bootable USB wasn't successful either.

    There's apparently a Macrium Reflect Recovery option that has a "boot repair" function, so that's what I'll be trying next.

    What a nightmare this has been! Anyone reading this: Make sure your backups are current. Like NOW.

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  • TelMarineTelMarine Registered User regular
    ...

    What a nightmare this has been! Anyone reading this: Make sure your backups are current. Like NOW.

    Definitely. I had my Samsung EVO970 NVMe fail a month or so ago (less than 2 years old), but thankfully it wasn't totally immediate. I was able to copy all the files I wanted to save from it (via Windows Repair command prompt), but the last backup I had was from Dec. 2018, so I had to do some updating and reinstalling. I immediately created a new full image backup after I fixed everything and then set up an incremental backup using Duplicati (uses duplicity in the back to make encrypted backups). My drive was running super hot (58C) even idle and hearing that you've had to replace it multiple times...yeah it's not my main drive anymore. I luckily had a different 2TB SSD (Corsair MP600) that I had purchased a couple months ago so I was able to get back up and running within a day or 2. So yeah, set up a good backup plan and try to make it fairly frequent.

    3ds: 4983-4935-4575
  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    TelMarine wrote: »
    ...

    What a nightmare this has been! Anyone reading this: Make sure your backups are current. Like NOW.

    Definitely. I had my Samsung EVO970 NVMe fail a month or so ago (less than 2 years old), but thankfully it wasn't totally immediate. I was able to copy all the files I wanted to save from it (via Windows Repair command prompt), but the last backup I had was from Dec. 2018, so I had to do some updating and reinstalling. I immediately created a new full image backup after I fixed everything and then set up an incremental backup using Duplicati (uses duplicity in the back to make encrypted backups). My drive was running super hot (58C) even idle and hearing that you've had to replace it multiple times...yeah it's not my main drive anymore. I luckily had a different 2TB SSD (Corsair MP600) that I had purchased a couple months ago so I was able to get back up and running within a day or 2. So yeah, set up a good backup plan and try to make it fairly frequent.

    No freaking way. My failing drive is a Samsung EVO 970 NVMe as well. It lasted a little less than a year.

    And it's a replacement for a different Samsung EVO 970 NVMe that failed me about year ago!

    Glad I'm kicking over to oldschool SSD at this point. Those drives must just run too hot for comfort.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    ...

    *stares at EVO970 boot drive*

    DON'T YOU DIE ON ME.

  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    .....you can get heatsinks for NVMe for like 9 bucks

  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    edited October 2
    Mugsley wrote: »
    .....you can get heatsinks for NVMe for like 9 bucks

    I had a heatsink on mine. It still got to like 55-60 °C on the regular, and died regardless.

    So! I managed to, I think, recover my boot drive. My process had to be as follows: Restore from an external backup to a new SATA SSD using Macrium Reflect. This was mercifully possible despite the degradation of the boot drive. However, it would not boot from the new drive. I couldn't get my system to boot from a Macrium Rescue USB (Important note: You have to make the rescue media ON the system that you want to boot. Otherwise it can be a no-go, because it installs specific drivers for your system). The solution wound up being burning a DVD with the Macrium Rescue media. Once in the recovery environment, there's actually a button that says "Fix Windows Boot Problems". Clicked that, and thankfully everything started up from the new SATA SSD. Just putting this here in case anyone googles their way to this page in the future - That Macrium "Fix Windows Boot Problems" button in the recovery environment eluded me for a long while.

    Hopefully everything is solved now, but I admit I still am bracing myself for everything to explode spontaneously.

    Thanks everyone for your input and your help!

    TetraNitroCubane on
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    H3Knuckles
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