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Installing NVME M.2 Samsung 1tb ssd

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by recDNA, Feb 24, 2017.

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  1. recDNA

    recDNA Thread Starter

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    I have read about 100 different explanations of this process all fraught with scary changes to BIOS and difficulties installing windows from scratch on the card from a sd card. I have a Dell xps 8910 with built in m.2 slot in mb. Currently using slow hdd.

    I wanted to ask if this procedure would work.. Please correct my errors

    1 Boot into safe mode from MSCONFIG. Hit f2 and go into bios and change from RAID to AHCI. Continue to boot into safe mode. run MSCONFIG again and set to normal boot. Now reboot computer. It should now be AHCI ready for ssd.

    2 Shut off everything and unplug all peripherals then install the M.2 card in the empty M.2 slot. (BTW, is there already a screw in the hole on the MB so I can screw down the card after installation) Will I have to open the interior metal "cage" to access the m.2 slot)?

    3 Boot back into Windows using the HDD as the boot disk. Will the SSD be recognized as present and empty? I hope.

    4. Use the free Intel data migration tool to clone the ssd from the HDD. Shut down.

    5 Open up the computer again and unplug the HDD leaving it in place but unplugged from power and sata.

    6 Boot up computer. The SSD should be recognized as the boot disk right? or do I have to do something in Bios?

    7 Assuming steps 1-6 work shut down and plug the HDD back in.

    8 Boot into windows 10 again the ssd should now be the boot disk.

    9. Format the HDD so I can use it to store old data.

    10. Install faster Samsung driver for SSD.

    Now do I smile or cry? Will above steps work? What have I forgotten to do?

    The problem is I can't simply clone the ssd by plugging it into a cable that connects to usb. I don't think any such cable exists. It does for the encased ssd but not the bare NVME M.2

    Thanks so much for your help. I know there are other threads. I have posted in some but gotten no answers and what I want to do is different. This may well mean it won't work. I'm a noob.

    One poster told me he just installed the ssd. Did nothing else at all. And now computer won't even recognize it is there.
     
  2. storage_man

    storage_man

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    Before I start, is this a Samsung M2 or a Intel M2 ? I looked at step 10 and said ? Since I've never used the Intel tool, but I do know its from Acronis, Intel may lock out any other none Intel M2 drives. And this could be a problem that you want to avoid. If its an Intel M2 no problem.

    In step 6 - You probably will need to change the boot sequence so that the M2 drive is first in line otherwise the system will want to boot from your HDD which is not installed. NOTE: This needs to be done before you replace your HDD.

    Then you should be happy.

    PS: I have not seen a USB to M2 external connection. If you where installing a standard SATA attached SSD, they do make them for that configuration.
     
  3. recDNA

    recDNA Thread Starter

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    Samsung card. NVME M.2 6GB/SEC 1TB.
    I think Samsung has cloning software but I don't know if it comes with m.2 card. I can clone IN the computer right?

    Did I include any unnecessary steps? Obviously I would like the easiest possible procedure. Like do I really have to switch to AHCI?

    Would I be better off with regular ssd in a bracket then installed in an existing 3.5 inch slot? M.2 installation looks easier.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  4. storage_man

    storage_man

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    My question about who's M2 you plan to use, is based on most hardware manufactures that provide utility software, insure that it only works on their hardware. I would recommend that you use the Samsung cloning software.

    Yes a SATA SSD would reduce the # of steps using a USB to SATA connector. The M2 drive is a bit faster but not what you would notice.
     
  5. recDNA

    recDNA Thread Starter

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    The trouble with sata is finding the. right place to plug in the power and sata cords in the. motherboard and making room for the wires so I can shut the cabinet. I had trouble fitting wires in when I replaced the video card.
    Im leaning toward using m.2 and installing windows on the m.2 from usb and just leaving the hdd unplugged. Dell guy said if I ever plug hdd back machine will always try to boot from hdd no matter what I do to the bios settings.
    I also have a LOT of trouble screwing the bracket containing the ssd into the hdd slot. There's no room and the screws are small and I lose them in the motherboard. Pathetic I know.
     
  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Use the samsung data migration tool. It works with all samsung ssd type drives. See this quote from the samsung site
    The data migration tool is just about idiot proof. About 3 clicks with the mouse and the clone is done.
     
  7. storage_man

    storage_man

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    OK - Your steps look good except for changing your BIOS settings to use the M2 drive as the Boot drive and to use the Samsung cloning software.
     
  8. recDNA

    recDNA Thread Starter

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    From what I have read on the Dell Customer Forums there is no way to get a cloned M.2 to boot. Folks have managed to clone them (I don't really see how but they did) and then tried all sorts of things but they would never boot. People tried going to legacy bios and shutting off secure boot and a number of other things. Many claim the M.2 shows up as a data drive but when they try to make it the boot drive it isn't listed as an option.

    Some trying to install Windows fresh (my goal at this point) say that the usb boots but then cannot find the M.2 to install Windows.

    Of course I would know more once I try however I have to shell out almost $400 for the Sammy M.2 so I want to be sure I can get it to work. Often when folks who have been successful list the steps they say hit F12 then do this or that but as a noob I have no idea where to find this or that setting (like boot order) nor how to change it.

    I really appreciate this website and kind contributors who help the likes of me. It does seem like Windows should have an easier more consistent way to install M.2 SSD. I gather it is the BIOS fault rather than Windows yet Windows could be written to simply id a new drive and ask what to do with it as it does with USB drives.

    Another problem I have is despite speaking to 3 dell techs and asking on dell forums nobody can tell me exactly what screw to buy to hold the M.2 in the Motherboard. Dell does not include it and all techs can find is 2.5 mm. What is that? Length? Width? I need a term a guy in Radio Shack or Best Buy would know and hand me the right sized screw. A minor issue unless it is your computer and your card you want to stay in place, especially since you need to open close then open close again if you want M.2 to boot and the HDD to he a data slave... and this assumes I do it right the first time (which nobody on the dell sites claims to have done). Everyone talks about multiple attempts.

    Dell should simply put out a concise series of steps with pictures. Many xps 8910 owners want the same setup I do and it is not an option when you purchase the computer.
     
  9. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Being that this is a dell and not an industry standard motherboard, my guess [and it is only a guess] is that the m.2 socket would need a bios update in order to allow booting. The m.2 interface works with a number of devices; wifi, blue tooth, etc. Again, just a guess however I would think the m.2 socket was included on that board for other devices and not really intended for a ssd drive.

    I think the only one who can tell you for sure, is a dell engineer since this board is not build to industry standard.
     
    recDNA likes this.
  10. recDNA

    recDNA Thread Starter

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    No it is intended to be a data or bootable drive according to Dell. There is another M.2 that has bluetooth and wifi in it.

    Even other brands that have M.2 slot have frustrated customers. BIOS update might be the answer but Dell has nothing to gain by fixing it so I'm not holding my breath.

    Many people have successfully done a fresh Windows install on a M.2 card and it boots fine but they may need to leave HDD unplugged. My beef is the process is so tricky for noobs.

    If u know all the jargon and can figure out the bios it isn't too bad... assuming you store every size computer screw at home.

    Unfortunately, I don't understand the bios.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  11. recDNA

    recDNA Thread Starter

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    Does the M.2 in the xps 8910 have full nvme pcie speed 3200mbps without need of any adapter or only sata speed maybe 500 mbps? I know the 8900 did not have full speed capability.
     
  12. recDNA

    recDNA Thread Starter

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    A guy on Dell Forum informed me that in addition to M2x2.5 screw there is another piece that separates the bottom of the M.2 from the motherboard.. sort of an offset piece. The screw goes through the m.2 then this other piece then the motherboard.

    He knew because his 8910 came with the 32gb M.2 installed and he samsung 960 and needed to use that additional piece to install it properly. Dell sales won't even sell me the screw let alone the piece to keep a space between M.2 and motherboard. I'm all done with Dell. I should have built my own computer.
     
  13. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Every m2 type drive I have ever seen uses the stand off; that is normal. The stand off must come from the motherboard mfg [and is included in the box when you purchase a standard motherboard like asus or gigabyte]
    You can probably pick one up at a computer shop. Note by shop, I mean a real shop that does builds, installs networks, etc NOT a chain store.
     
  14. recDNA

    recDNA Thread Starter

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    What is bad is Dell rep gave me no warning and I was going to buy the M.2 from them. The motherboard is brand new skylake so would any m.2 standoff work or would I need a special one?
     
  15. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You should be able to use any standoff that has the correct thread size. Be sure you have the correct thread size for the board.
    I am just wondering, how did you install the m2 without a standoff and screw or did you not attempt to install the m2 drive?
     
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