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XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details within)

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Hello all,

I have a Dell XPS 8900 machine that I purchased in 2016, it's the standard model with an i7-6700, 16 GB RAM, NVIDIA GT 730 and a single 1 TB hard drive.  I would like to upgrade the machine with a M.2 PCIe x4 NVMe SSD (the Samsung 970 EVO to be exact).  However, because of the x1 speed limitation with the motherboard's native M.2 slot, I would like to get a M.2 to PCIe x4 adapter to achieve the max performance the SSD is capable of.

I've searched forums for many hours trying to find as much information as I can, and many of my questions have been addressed but I can't seem to find a clear answer as to whether or not the 970 EVO can be used as the main (boot) drive on this machine.  Some have reported successful installations of the Samsung 950 EVO, and some mention they had to go through some loopholes to get it working, but there's almost no documentation on the 970.  It would be a huge dealbreaker if it can only be used as a secondary drive, so I would like to confirm before I make the purchases.

Can the 970 EVO, or any recent NVMe-based SSD be used as the boot drive with Windows 10 64-bit, installed in the XPS 8900 with a PCIe x4 adapter, and what would be the correct UEFI configuration if so?

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7 Thorium

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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@Xyspade wrote:

Hello all,

I have a Dell XPS 8900

1. However, because of the x1 speed limitation with the motherboard's native M.2 slot, I would like to get a M.2 to PCIe x4 adapter to achieve the max performance the SSD is capable of.

2. I've searched forums for many hours trying to find as much information as I can, and many of my questions have been addressed but I can't seem to find a clear answer as to whether or not the 970 EVO can be used as the main (boot) drive on this machine.  Some have reported successful installations of the Samsung 950 EVO, and some mention they had to go through some loopholes to get it working, but there's almost no documentation on the 970.  It would be a huge dealbreaker if it can only be used as a secondary drive, so I would like to confirm before I make the purchases.

3. Can the 970 EVO, or any recent NVMe-based SSD be used as the boot drive with Windows 10 64-bit, installed in the XPS 8900 with a PCIe x4 adapter, and what would be the correct UEFI configuration if so?


1. IIRC, that's what some users did when these machines were new. However, not sure it was this exact model (but there was a lot of posts, discussions, and success stories back then).

Also, whether the on-board M.2 slot is mSATA or NVMe is irrelevant in your case:
a. You are not planning to use it
b. There is no existing M.2-SSD to move

2. Yeah, many users have trouble and blame it on the SSD. Even Dell blames certain SSD as incompatible (and then knowledgeable users here prove they work fine).

3. It should work fine.
a. PCIe/NVMe is an industry standard like SATA.
b. XPS-8900 is UEFI based, so booting of NVMe SSDs from a PCIe Addin Card should work.

You can always return the SSD to Amazon, but don't "give-up" to quick.

https://www.dell.com/community/XPS-Desktops/XPS-8930-970-Evo-SSD-RAM-upgrade-instructions/td-p/62069...

 

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.

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3 Silver

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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NVMe PCIe SSD upgrade for Dell XPS 8900

 

I thought I would add to this post in case there is anyone else who, like me, wishes to give their XPS 8900 a mid-life upgrade by fitting an SSD system disk.  I used a Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe PCIe SSD.  The XPS 8900 motherboard will boot from an NVMe PCIe SSD, but I recommend updating to the latest UEFI BIOS first (2.4.0).  The 8900 M.2 NVMe motherboard slot is only PCIe x1, and so it is essential to use a PCIe add-in card for the new SSD in order to benefit from the full PCIe x4 speed.

I wanted to keep the existing 2GB HDD for data, and so did not wish to disturb its SSD cache acceleration (32GB SSD set up as RAID 0 with the HDD in Intel RST).  I therefore left RAID on in the BIOS, as an SSD is plug-and-play with RAID on using the native Windows 10 Intel RST driver.  The only downside is that you cannot use Samsung’s driver or Magician SSD management software (both require the BIOS to be set to ACHI), but in my view this is not a significant issue unless you are a demon gamer and wish to wring out every last drop of performance.

The procedure I used was as follows, derived from a number of different sources:

 

1. Backup the system in every way!
    - create & test a new Macrium Reflect Rescue CD
    - ensure you have a Windows 10 Recovery USB Drive
    - defrag the HDD

2. Fit the SSD card in a PCIe slot:
    - Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe PCIe SSD on Lycom DT-120 add-in card
    - use slot 23 (or 24) on illustration in Dell Service Manual (both are actually wired x4)
    - depending upon clearance from graphics card fan (24 is tight on my machine)
    - (N.B. these slots are labelled 14 & 15 on the illustration posted above)

3. Clone HDD to SSD using Macrium Reflect:
    - Macrium Reflect > “Run as administrator”
    - N.B. disable antivirus & online backup first!
    - also disconnect from network & set power to “High Performance”
    - adjust OS (C: ) partition size, but keep partitions in the same order
    - (the contents of my HDD comfortably fitted onto the SSD, making this straightforward)
    - after cloning put a text file on the desktop of the HDD that says “This is the old HDD”

4. Set BIOS (tap F2 just before Dell splash screen):
    - to make SSD the boot drive C: (the boot drive is automatically assigned C: )
    > Settings > General > Boot Sequence
    > set SSD as 1st Boot device (i.e. above “Windows Boot Manager”)

5. Check system is booting from SSD:
    - desktop text message from 3 above (“This is the old HDD”) will not be there!
    - size of C: drive should be size of SSD
    - as shown in File Explorer, Disk Management (right-click Start), and Macrium Reflect

6. Run for a while to ensure all is well:
    - check TRIM is turned on for SSD
    - also turn on System Restore for SSD

7. Format the HDD when you are sure the SSD is OK:
    - use DISKPART from Command Prompt to clean HDD & remove EFI boot partition
    > use Disk Management (right-click Start) to re-initialise, format & name HDD 😧 as “DATA”
    - this will result in failure to boot!
    > run Macrium Fix Boot Problems from Rescue CD to re-create Boot Configuration Data
    > move data folders to HDD

 

This upgrade has resulted in a terrific increase in the speed and responsiveness of the system, with a much shorter boot time, and is highly recommended!

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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@Xyspade wrote:

Hello all,

I have a Dell XPS 8900 machine that I purchased in 2016, it's the standard model with an i7-6700, 16 GB RAM, NVIDIA GT 730 and a single 1 TB hard drive.  I would like to upgrade the machine with a M.2 PCIe x4 NVMe SSD (the Samsung 970 EVO to be exact).  However, because of the x1 speed limitation with the motherboard's native M.2 slot, I would like to get a M.2 to PCIe x4 adapter to achieve the max performance the SSD is capable of.

I've searched forums for many hours trying to find as much information as I can, and many of my questions have been addressed but I can't seem to find a clear answer as to whether or not the 970 EVO can be used as the main (boot) drive on this machine.  Some have reported successful installations of the Samsung 950 EVO, and some mention they had to go through some loopholes to get it working, but there's almost no documentation on the 970.  It would be a huge dealbreaker if it can only be used as a secondary drive, so I would like to confirm before I make the purchases.

Can the 970 EVO, or any recent NVMe-based SSD be used as the boot drive with Windows 10 64-bit, installed in the XPS 8900 with a PCIe x4 adapter, and what would be the correct UEFI configuration if so?


I wouldn't buy it, that PC doesn't work well with that drive (if at all), your money would be better spent on a sata drive.

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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@546insp wrote:

[…] that PC doesn't work well with that drive (if at all) […].


Is the above misleading, making it harder for those wishing to upgrade to a M.2 NVMe SSD figure out whether they can?

Yep, seems it is:


@Xyspade wrote:

[…] To my surprise it was recognized instantly in the Windows 10 installer, not even any drivers needed, and after installation it booted up every time with no problems […] and am getting almost full specs performance from the drive.  For anyone else looking at using the Samsung 970 EVO (and I'm sure PRO as well) with the XPS 8900, this has been a success story.


Glad you got it working, Xyspade!

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7 Thorium

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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@Xyspade wrote:

Hello all,

I have a Dell XPS 8900

1. However, because of the x1 speed limitation with the motherboard's native M.2 slot, I would like to get a M.2 to PCIe x4 adapter to achieve the max performance the SSD is capable of.

2. I've searched forums for many hours trying to find as much information as I can, and many of my questions have been addressed but I can't seem to find a clear answer as to whether or not the 970 EVO can be used as the main (boot) drive on this machine.  Some have reported successful installations of the Samsung 950 EVO, and some mention they had to go through some loopholes to get it working, but there's almost no documentation on the 970.  It would be a huge dealbreaker if it can only be used as a secondary drive, so I would like to confirm before I make the purchases.

3. Can the 970 EVO, or any recent NVMe-based SSD be used as the boot drive with Windows 10 64-bit, installed in the XPS 8900 with a PCIe x4 adapter, and what would be the correct UEFI configuration if so?


1. IIRC, that's what some users did when these machines were new. However, not sure it was this exact model (but there was a lot of posts, discussions, and success stories back then).

Also, whether the on-board M.2 slot is mSATA or NVMe is irrelevant in your case:
a. You are not planning to use it
b. There is no existing M.2-SSD to move

2. Yeah, many users have trouble and blame it on the SSD. Even Dell blames certain SSD as incompatible (and then knowledgeable users here prove they work fine).

3. It should work fine.
a. PCIe/NVMe is an industry standard like SATA.
b. XPS-8900 is UEFI based, so booting of NVMe SSDs from a PCIe Addin Card should work.

You can always return the SSD to Amazon, but don't "give-up" to quick.

https://www.dell.com/community/XPS-Desktops/XPS-8930-970-Evo-SSD-RAM-upgrade-instructions/td-p/62069...

 

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.

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2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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Thanks so much for the advice.  As it turns out I went ahead and took the risk and purchased the SSD and adapter since I could return it if I had to.  I updated to the latest version of the UEFI, made a bootable flash drive with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, then removed all the old HDDs and installed the SSD in the adapter and into a space PCIe slot.  To my surprise it was recognized instantly in the Windows 10 installer, not even any drivers needed, and after installation it booted up every time with no problems.  I now have the Intel Rapid Storage software, and am getting almost full specs performance from the drive.  For anyone else looking at using the Samsung 970 EVO (and I'm sure PRO as well) with the XPS 8900, this has been a success story.

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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@Xyspade wrote:

Thanks so much for the advice.  As it turns out I went ahead and took the risk and purchased the SSD and adapter since I could return it if I had to.  I updated to the latest version of the UEFI, made a bootable flash drive with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, then removed all the old HDDs and installed the SSD in the adapter and into a space PCIe slot.  To my surprise it was recognized instantly in the Windows 10 installer, not even any drivers needed, and after installation it booted up every time with no problems.  I now have the Intel Rapid Storage software, and am getting almost full specs performance from the drive.  For anyone else looking at using the Samsung 970 EVO (and I'm sure PRO as well) with the XPS 8900, this has been a success story.


Amazing because others have gotten much less than full specs with it.

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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@546insp wrote:

Amazing because others have gotten much less than full specs with it.


Those who added a M.2 to PCIe adapter to the x16 or x4 PCIe slots got full NVMe specs, like Xyspade, since they're PCIe 3.0 and x4 lanes which a NVMe M.2 SSD needs for full speed.

Those who connected a NVMe SSD to the 8900's built-in M.2 slot - which although PCIe 3.0, turns out only has a x1 lane and not x4 - got reduced performance.  Here's a post/thread with that realization back in 2015 - thread ends with users getting full performance via add-in PCIe adapter card.  Here's another post in July of this year mentioning a chat with Dell confirming this as well.

So, to use Samsung as a specific example, if you want a Samsung 970 EVO/PRO NVMe SSD at it's rated performance (up to 3500 MBps or so) you'll need a M.2 to PCIe x4 adapter like Xyspade bought (lots of choices available - I use this one, also available here, plus this heatsink in another machine).  The adapter goes into either the x16 PCIe slot labeled #14 or the x4 PCIe slot labeled #15 in the diagram below.  Both #14 and #15 slots are electrically hooked up for x4 lanes and PCIe 3.0 and will give you full NVMe M.2 SSD performance.

 5672.Motherboard

There's a good (and readably short) thread on the PCIe slot capabilities of the XPS 8900 here on Dell's Forums with Dell going over how many lanes are actually hooked up to each.

If, on the other hand, you think full SATA III SSD performance (up to 550 MBps) is sufficient, you can either add a 2.5" SATA SSD like the Samsung 860 EVO/PRO in one of the 3.5" drive bays, or you could get a Samsung 860 EVO/PRO in M.2 format and add it to the 8900's native M.2 SSD slot (the slot labeled #9 in the diagram above).  You'll get full SATA III performance either way.

But, if you buy a Samsung 970 EVO/PRO and put it in the 8900's native M.2 SDD slot (labeled #9 in the above diagram) you'll only get about 800 MBps.

Be aware, that the small file 4k performance of all the above SSDs are about the same.  Because of this for many real-world situations actual performance of all of them may not be much difference.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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NVMe PCIe SSD upgrade for Dell XPS 8900

 

I thought I would add to this post in case there is anyone else who, like me, wishes to give their XPS 8900 a mid-life upgrade by fitting an SSD system disk.  I used a Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe PCIe SSD.  The XPS 8900 motherboard will boot from an NVMe PCIe SSD, but I recommend updating to the latest UEFI BIOS first (2.4.0).  The 8900 M.2 NVMe motherboard slot is only PCIe x1, and so it is essential to use a PCIe add-in card for the new SSD in order to benefit from the full PCIe x4 speed.

I wanted to keep the existing 2GB HDD for data, and so did not wish to disturb its SSD cache acceleration (32GB SSD set up as RAID 0 with the HDD in Intel RST).  I therefore left RAID on in the BIOS, as an SSD is plug-and-play with RAID on using the native Windows 10 Intel RST driver.  The only downside is that you cannot use Samsung’s driver or Magician SSD management software (both require the BIOS to be set to ACHI), but in my view this is not a significant issue unless you are a demon gamer and wish to wring out every last drop of performance.

The procedure I used was as follows, derived from a number of different sources:

 

1. Backup the system in every way!
    - create & test a new Macrium Reflect Rescue CD
    - ensure you have a Windows 10 Recovery USB Drive
    - defrag the HDD

2. Fit the SSD card in a PCIe slot:
    - Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe PCIe SSD on Lycom DT-120 add-in card
    - use slot 23 (or 24) on illustration in Dell Service Manual (both are actually wired x4)
    - depending upon clearance from graphics card fan (24 is tight on my machine)
    - (N.B. these slots are labelled 14 & 15 on the illustration posted above)

3. Clone HDD to SSD using Macrium Reflect:
    - Macrium Reflect > “Run as administrator”
    - N.B. disable antivirus & online backup first!
    - also disconnect from network & set power to “High Performance”
    - adjust OS (C: ) partition size, but keep partitions in the same order
    - (the contents of my HDD comfortably fitted onto the SSD, making this straightforward)
    - after cloning put a text file on the desktop of the HDD that says “This is the old HDD”

4. Set BIOS (tap F2 just before Dell splash screen):
    - to make SSD the boot drive C: (the boot drive is automatically assigned C: )
    > Settings > General > Boot Sequence
    > set SSD as 1st Boot device (i.e. above “Windows Boot Manager”)

5. Check system is booting from SSD:
    - desktop text message from 3 above (“This is the old HDD”) will not be there!
    - size of C: drive should be size of SSD
    - as shown in File Explorer, Disk Management (right-click Start), and Macrium Reflect

6. Run for a while to ensure all is well:
    - check TRIM is turned on for SSD
    - also turn on System Restore for SSD

7. Format the HDD when you are sure the SSD is OK:
    - use DISKPART from Command Prompt to clean HDD & remove EFI boot partition
    > use Disk Management (right-click Start) to re-initialise, format & name HDD 😧 as “DATA”
    - this will result in failure to boot!
    > run Macrium Fix Boot Problems from Rescue CD to re-create Boot Configuration Data
    > move data folders to HDD

 

This upgrade has resulted in a terrific increase in the speed and responsiveness of the system, with a much shorter boot time, and is highly recommended!

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4 Ruthenium

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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@Martin B wrote:


7. Format the HDD when you are sure the SSD is OK:
    - use DISKPART from Command Prompt to clean HDD & remove EFI boot partition
    > use Disk Management (right-click Start) to re-initialise, format & name HDD 😧 as “DATA”
    - this will result in failure to boot!
    > run Macrium Fix Boot Problems from Rescue CD to re-create Boot Configuration Data
    > move data folders to HDD


You don't need to use Disk Management to re-initialize, format, etc.

Diskpart Clean will remove any and all partitions

Diskpart Format will format and /v option will name (label) a volume

Diskpart Convert will convert MBR to GPT

There are many more commands.

 

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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First – Thank You for the detailed information.

Did you have to do anything to get your system to recognize that an SSD was present in the adapter?

Using the latest 2.5 BIOS and an adapter but BIOS shows the PCI-e and SATA remain empty and that is even with an LED on my adapter on indicating that power is available to the M + B keyed SSD. Although only 2242 I have tested that the crippled M.2 slot recognizes the uninitialized SSD but unwilling to risk leaving the SSD unsecured (the motherboard is set up for 2280 and no space for a 2242 retaining screw and Superglue is out of the question). No option in BIOS to enable or disabled the SATA ports or PCI-e slots. Have switched between the PCI-e slots, SATA ports and even used a different SATA 6 cable. With all of this I have obviously seated and reseated adapter and cables repeatedly.

Thank You to anyone that might have some experience with this. I am trying to contact the manufacturer of the adapter as it possibly could be a lemon.

Tried to click the Kudo but nothing happens.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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Hi leftblank,

I am sorry to hear that you have a problem.

The Samsung SSD was automatically recognised in my system (an SSD is plug-and-play with RAID on using the native Windows 10 Intel RST driver).  It appeared in File Explorer and in Macrium Reflect, so I actually did not check if it showed in the BIOS.

I hope you can find a solution - I suppose it is possible that your Lycom DT-120 add-in card is a dud....

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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Thank You Martin B for the reply and your sympathy for the problems.

I used an adapter from a different manufacturer as I thought that having a heat sink might be a good option just in case (Yateng).

I am asking the manufacturer to try again with their response as they didn’t answer the question about the inability of the computer to recognize the SSD when inserted into their adapter and will go the return for refund route if they can’t (or won't) help. These are simple enough pass-through types of adapters but am slowly becoming convinced that the one that I received is indeed a dud.  I started with the assumption that because these are relatively simple components that there must be something that I was doing wrong or missed.

Thank You

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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Thanks Martin B.  Your step by step worked out great for me.  I'm now booting from a Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB on  the Lycom DT-120 add-in card.

I did the Macrium Fix Boot Problems step on the SSD and wondering why this is needed?

" > run Macrium Fix Boot Problems from Rescue CD to re-create Boot Configuration Data"

 

 

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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Hi Ajond - I am glad to hear that your upgrade went well!

Like you I was puzzled as to why my system failed to boot after cleaning, re-initialising and formatting the old HDD.  I had imagined that the EFI Boot Partition would have been active on the SSD having been cloned across.  However, it seems that if two bootable OS disks are installed the PC will always boot from the HDD by default, and so in order to boot from the SSD the HDD must go (either by temporarily disconnecting it, or by formatting it).  However, I think that the cloned Boot Configuration Data on the SSD must relate specifically to the HDD, and so will not boot the system in the absence of the HDD - hence the need to run Macrium Fix Boot Problems from the Rescue CD in order to re-create Boot Configuration Data for the SSD.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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Hi Martin and anyone else who wishes to comment,
Your posts have been very helpful. I have a slightly different XPS 8900 starting configuration with a drive C Samsung SSD PM 871 M.2 256GB boot drive, drive D 2T HDD for data, and 32GB SSD cache acceleration set up as RAID 0 with I believe the HDD in Intel RST (see attached BIOS images). 
 
For the desired ending configuration, I want to yank both drives and end up with a new Samsung 970 EVO 1T NVMe PCIe SSD on a Lycom DT-120 mounted in a X4 slot and a new high quality 6T SATA HDD.  I want to load a fresh copy of Windows on the new SSD, so I don't need to do the copy steps, which will hopefully simplify things. I use this PC for video and photo editing and no game playing. 
 
Should I keep the 32GB SSD cache, keep RAID on, and will it work with my new 6T HDD with no BIOS configuration on my part? Or should I yank everything, turn on ACHI, and use the Samsung driver and Magician SSD management software? Below is a summary of both options for your review and thoughts. 
 
Assuming I yank everything including the cache. 
 
  1. Backup all data. 
  2. Yank everything. Install the new SSD on the Lycom DT-120 in the x4 slot. Set to AHCI in the BIOS with “Windows Boot Manager” as the first device. Boot with Windows install USB and install Windows on the new SSD. 
  3. Confirm that the PC now boots to the new SSD.  
  4. Turn off the PC and install the new drive D HDD. Boot and confirm windows can see the new drive D 6T HDD. 
  5. Reinstall my apps on the new SSD. Copy the data over to the new HDD from an externally attached drive. 
Assuming I keep the cache. 
 
  1. Backup all data. 
  2. Yank the old SSD and install the new SSD on the Lycom DT-120 in the x4 slot. In the BIOS make the new SSD the boot drive C. Boot with Windows install USB and install Windows on the new SSD. 
  3. Confirm that it boots to the new SSD and that it can still see the old HDD as drive D. 
  4. Turn off the PC and yank the old HDD and install the new drive D HDD. Boot and confirm windows can see the new HDD. I don't know how to confirm that the 32GB SSD cache is still working with the new HDD. 
  5. Reinstall my apps on the new SSD. Copy the data over to the new HDD from an externally attached drive. 
Thank you! 
 
IMG_5336.JPGIMG_5335.JPG
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3 Silver

Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade - boot compatibility

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Hi Mas Alto,

Because you plan a fresh install of Windows your upgrade should be rather simpler than mine, although it may be more laborious as you will need to re-install all your programs (including Intel RST) and restore your data!

My preference would be to keep RAID on and retain the 32GB SSD cache, as this will accelerate your new 6TB HDD and should be especially useful for handling large image and video files: it seems a pity to waste it. The RAID 0 pairing is indeed managed by Intel RST (Rapid Storage Technology). I did not need to disturb this for my upgrade and so I am not an expert in its use. However, you will need to use the Intel RST app to set up the RAID 0 again when you have fitted the new HDD. You should find it in the Task Bar (in "hidden icons"), or else you can access it via Start Menu > Intel > Intel Rapid Storage Technology. This should work without any any BIOS re-configuration, but I advise a little internet research just to check how to set up the new RAID with Intel RST.

You can confirm that the 32GB SSD cache is working with the new HDD in the Intel RST app on the "Status" tab - have a look on your PC as it is now before you start the upgrade.

Good luck!

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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Finally, an understandable explanation!!! You confirmed my suspicions garnered from reading about 50 other chats. Thank you so much.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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I also have the XPS-8900 factory default configuration and am planning  to upgrade to Samsung NvMe SSD also. Could you please if not too much to ask give me the exact link and model number of the Samsung 970 EVO that you bought including the adaptor. Will this SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 1TB PCIe Gen3. X4, NVMe 1.3 64L V-NAND 3-bit MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V7E1T0BW from newegg work as a bootable and data drive?

Also I currently still have no idea how did you update the UEFI like what you’ve said. Is it a straight BIOS update from dell website under download support/drivers? Please help I am new to UEFI BIOS settings and 100% coming from OLD legacy BIOS settings so this is totally new to me.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi Edongzki,

Apologies for my delayed reply - the notification email about your message only arrived this morning!

I purchased the SSD and adapter card from Scan (www.scan.co.uk) here in the UK.  The details are as follows:

  • Lycom DT-120 M.2 NGFF SSD Host Adapter Card, PCIe 3.0 x4, 22x80/22x60/22x42mm:
    -  the purchase link is here and there are useful installation instructions in a YouTube video here
  • 500GB Samsung 970 EVO, M.2 (2280) PCIe 3.0 (x4) NVMe SSD, Phoenix, MLC V-NAND, 3400MB/s Read, 2300MB/s Write, 370k/450:
    -  the purchase link is here (you will see that there is now an uprated model, the 970 EVO PLUS)

UEFI is just the new type of BIOS used in the XPS 8900, and is updated by downloading from Dell Support - Drivers & Downloads as before (or via Dell SupportAssist or Dell Update if you have them installed on your PC).  The current version of UEFI BIOS is 2.5.0 as of March 2019.

The instructions which I posted above are the result of a great deal of preliminary research, and outline the steps but cannot give every detail.  However, further information is readily available on the internet when you know what you are searching for from my summary!

I hope your upgrade goes smoothly!

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi Martin B,

Thank you very much for the input you’ve provided. I can now proceed with the upgrades with utmost confidence using the tons of information from this thread as my guide in the process.

Have a nice day!

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi Edongzki,

Glad to be of help.

Please just be sure to prepare for boot failure at Step 7, as a result of cleaning the old HDD to remove the EFI boot partition.  To overcome this you will need to re-create the Boot Configuration Data on the SSD.  This can be done by booting from the Macrium Reflect Rescue CD (see here) and running Macrium Fix Boot Problems, or by booting from a  Windows 10 Recovery USB Drive (both created in Step 1).

Using Macrium Reflect it was a simple semi-automated process (see instructions here), whereas using a Windows 10 Recovery USB Drive is I believe a little more involved - but best to have both options available just in case!  I was using the full paid-for version of Macrium Reflect, but as far as I can tell the Free version also has the ability to create and boot from a Rescue CD and includes the Fix Boot Problems option (see feature comparison list here)....

I hope it all goes well!

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Martin B.

I hope you don't mind my reviving this thread after more than a year. I'm trying to install a 970 EVO in my XPS 8900 according to your excellent instructions, but unfortunately, my hardware isn't cooperating.

I have installed the 970 EVO and used Macrium to clone the original 250GB SSD. That all worked fine. But when I follow instruction #4, the computer does not boot to the new SSD, even if I try to force it by removing Windows Boot from the BIOS options, or physically removing the old SSD from the machine.

I suspect that the problem may related to the Macrium Fix Boot Problems item in #7. I have tried to accomplish that, but I couldn't get my PC to boot from a USB drive, and when I tried to create a Rescue DVD with Macrium, it wouldn't accept DVD+Rs, which are the only writeable media I happen to have.

I've looked for solutions to booting from USB drives, and haven't found any joy. Do I need to order some writeable CDs? Any other solutions you can suggest?

Thanks!

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi Commasense,

I am sorry to hear that you have got stuck!

Firstly, I am not clear about the PC configuration you are starting out from.  You mention a 250GB SSD as being your original system drive - but is this NVMe or SATA, and do you also have a mechanical HDD for data?

Regarding the Macrium Reflect Rescue CD/DVD: I have created, tested and used both CD-R and DVD+R discs successfully.  I use CD-R discs for my XPS 8900, but have to use DVD+R discs for my wife's Dell laptop because for some reason the rescue media for her machine is larger than will fit on a CD-R.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Thanks for the quick reply.

Sorry for not being clearer. I bought this system second-hand from a friend, and assumed (perhaps incorrectly, now that I think about it) that the 256 GB SSD that is the C: drive, was original to the system. It is a LITEON L8H-256V2G, and is in the M.2 slot (# 9 on the photo linked on page 1 of this thread). Was that the standard drive on a new XPS8900?

And yes, I have two 2 TB HDDs for my data.

In your experience, should I be able to see the newly installed 970 EVO, even if I can't boot from it? Because Windows does not see it (although Macrium can). Is that indicative of some other problem, or do you think that Macrium's Boot Fix will take care of it?

If the latter, I'll keep looking into why I'm not able to create a Macrium Rescue Disk or why the system won't boot from USB. (Any hints on the USB problem?)

Thanks again for your help.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Never mind. I got it working!

I wrote a fairly long post describing how I did it, but I forgot to click on "I am not a robot" before hitting Post, and I lost it. F**king forum software!

I don't feel like rewriting the whole story now, so I'll just thank Martin B for his help.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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I plan to do the same thing with my XPS 8900, so I read these posts with interest. @Commasense bummer you lost your long post. Could you post some key points? Thank you! 

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi Commasense,

I am delighted that you got it working - but like Mas Alto I would be really interested to know what your solution was!

Certainly your system configuration is very different to mine, and I think it must have been upgraded by the original owner.  My XPS 8900 came from Dell with just a single 2TB HDD, but the drive was "accelerated" with a 32GB solid-state cache.  Nowadays this would be integrated into the HDD as a "hybrid" drive, but back then Dell's approach was to use a very small 32GB SSD in the motherboard M2 slot, set up as a RAID 0 array with the HDD using Intel RST (Rapid Storage Technology) software.  I left this arrangement untouched in order to keep the HDD as a fast data drive (D:).

The 8900 M.2 NVMe motherboard slot is only PCIe x1, which is a bottleneck.  It is therefore essential to use a PCIe add-in card for the new SSD in order to benefit from the full PCIe x4 speed for what will be the system drive (C:), and this is what I described in my original post.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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One of the problems I mentioned above was that after installing the 970 EVO, cloning the boot drive to it with Macrium, and restarting the computer with the original SSD boot drive still in place, Windows Explorer didn’t see the 970 EVO. (Macrium did.)

I went into Disk Management, which said the 970 EVO was “Disk offline because it has signature collision with another disk online.” I.e., it was trying to be the C drive, like  the original SSD it was cloned from. With a little Googling, I found that by clicking on the drive there in Disk Management, I could get Windows to automatically change the disk ID. (Thanks to Lead3 at answers.microsoft.com! https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/disk-offline-because-it-has-signature-collisio...)

But when I tried to follow Martin B’s step 4, set the new SSD as the boot drive, it still wouldn’t boot to the 970 EVO, not even when I removed the original SSD from its slot.

I needed to run Macrium’s Fix Boot procedure, as Martin B suggested, but I had problems creating working Macrium Rescue media. I thought a USB drive would be easiest, but I couldn’t get the computer to boot from the one I made. I wasted a lot of time trying to make that work. (Ultimately, I concluded that that drive couldn’t support EUFI for some reason.)

I also couldn’t get Macrium to create a Rescue disk on DVD+Rs, the only disks I have on hand. That turned out to be a shortcoming of Macrium’s disk burning routine. I created an ISO and successfully burned it to a disk with an external program.

So I was finally able to run Macrium’s Fix Boot routine, and it worked perfectly.

Everything has been running fine since Saturday, and after a few more days I’ll probably reinstall the original SSD, reformat it, and use it for quick storage.

BTW, because the 970 EVO is 500 GB and the original was half that, I’ve partitioned that extra 250 GB and set it up as a new data drive. Is there any reason to think there’d be any problems using a separate partition for data on the same SSD as the OS? It should be faster than my HDDs, right?

Thanks again to everyone for your help.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi Commasense,

Thanks for posting your resolution.  I had an easier time because I had created and tested my Macrium Reflect Rescue CD in advance (Step 1!).

There will be no problem keeping your data on the new SSD, either on the same partition as the OS or on a separate one.  Indeed, I kept everything on the new SSD (C:) for 3 weeks to ensure that the system was working reliably before I formatted the old HDD (as D:) and moved my data folders across to it.

It is really a matter of data capacity rather than speed.  256GB is now generally regarded as the minimum comfortable size for a Windows 10 SSD system drive, while 512GB gives useful room for expansion as programs (and Windows!) get bigger.  Because of the way SSD storage works, it is ideal if you can keep 50% of its space free to maintain optimum efficiency and best performance.  While an NVMe M.2 SSD will be approximately 15x faster than a 7,200rpm HDD, this is most apparent in reduced boot time, snappy application performance and general system responsiveness.  Opening data files will theoretically be faster from an SSD than from a HDD, but in practice I have found the difference to be imperceptible.

Enjoy your newly speedy system!

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Too many sign ins etc , I don't like this forum anymore

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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Hey, I'm about to try the same thing with my XPS 8900. I haven't had any issues with the original 1TB hard disk but it's over 5 years old now and I'd like to get a SSD. I'm assuming I can use a RIITOP NVMe Adapter (M.2 PCIe SSD to PCIe X4/X8/X16 converter card) and insert the Samsung 970 EVO M.2 MVMe into the card.

If I leave my original 1TB HDD installed, how difficult is it to clone the 1TB HDD to the 1TB EVO 970 and then get the Dell to boot-up using my SSD? I just recently updated my Dell BIOS to Dell 2.8.0 6/22/20 so I'm hoping that BIOS won't give me any issues. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

If I thought I'd run into problems getting the SSD to be a boot drive from the add-on card, I'd settle for the much slower SATA SSD for a few years and then just get a new machine. Right now, I'm still very happy with my Dell XPS 8900.

Thanks,

Bob

 

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details wit

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I am assuming you are planning to use a PCIe adapter because it will provide a higher speed interface than the M.2 slot provides. I don't if this will work. I think the only way to find out is to try it. The main concern is the statement in the description of the adapter that states "Old MB can not support Booting from "NVMe", Please confirm the MB's specifications.".

It is easy to clone to a Samsung SSD. If you clone the HDD make sure you disconnect it when cloning is completed before booting from the SSD. For cloning, Samsung provides Samsung Data Migration software as a free download. There are a couple of things about Samsung SSDs, Samsung Magician and the Samsung driver for the M.2 NVMe SSD prefer SATA operating mode set to AHCI vs RAID. Dell sets SATA operating mode to RAID, so unless you changed it and reinstall the operating system, yours is probably still set to RAID. There is a procedure to switch Windows 10 from RAID to AHCI without reinstalling the OS. 

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi AF_Bob,

I thoroughly recommend an SSD upgrade - it has rejuvenated my XPS 8900!  For full instructions please see my earlier post on Page 1 of this thread.

The 8900 M.2 NVMe motherboard slot is only PCIe x1, and so it is essential to use a PCIe add-in card for the new SSD (as you plan to do) in order to benefit from the full PCIe x4 speed.  I used a Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe PCIe SSD on a Lycom DT-120 add-in card.

I can confirm that the XPS 8900 motherboard definitely will boot from an NVMe PCIe SSD on a PCIe add-in card, but I recommend updating to the latest UEFI BIOS as you have done.  Cloning is straightforward using Macrium Reflect.  The procedure for then getting the PC to boot from the new SSD is described in my earlier post, but alternatively you can re-open the case and disconnect the original HDD as Vic 384 describes - but once the PC is booting from the SSD you will of course need to open the case again and re-connect the HDD if you wish to use it as a data drive.

As Vic384 says, you could use Samsung's free Magician software to clone the drive, and use the Samsung driver, but neither will run with RAID on in the BIOS (which is Dell's default set-up).  I wanted to keep my existing 2GB HDD for data, and so did not wish to disturb its SSD cache acceleration (32GB SSD set up as RAID 0 with the HDD in Intel RST). I therefore left RAID on in the BIOS, as an SSD is plug-and-play with RAID on using the native Windows 10 Intel RST driver. The downside is that you cannot use Samsung’s driver or Magician SSD management software (both require the BIOS to be set to ACHI), but in my view this is not a significant issue unless you are a demon gamer and wish to wring out every last drop of performance.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Martin B., thank you very much! I plan on buying the EVO 970 Plus 500GB M.2 since it's on sale. I'm only using 200GB of my 1TB old HDD so I'm hoping I can clone it to my 500GB M.2 without having any issues and just use the old HDD for data. 

Bob

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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@Martin B You are correct that one downside is not being able to use Samsung Magician. Samsung Magician makes it easy to manage the SSD and to check for firmware updates and to update the firmware. Otherwise to update the firmware requires manual checking and downloading and updating the firmware via DOS using a bootable CD/DVD.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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I'm not sure if I did everything correctly, but I wound up purchasing a SK Hynix Gold P31 M.2 PCIe SSD (500GB) during Prime Day. I used Macrium software since it was referenced in the SK Hynix instructions. Macrium cloned the drive fairly fast. I then rebooted into BIOS and changed the order from 1) Boot manager 2) Drive to 1)SSD and 2)Boot manager. I'm not sure if I needed to do that, but I did.

I downloaded CrystalDiskMark7 and checked the speed on my original XPS 8900 7200RPM HDD (162MB Read/153MB write). I then checked the SK Hynix Gold P31 SSD and it was 3516.14 MB Read and 3202.86MB Write. I was amazed. In fact, I initially tried to use Task Manager to see the speed but a 3GB file copied so fast, I couldn't see what was going on. The CrystalDiskMark7 is nice since the numbers stay there for you. I don't understand the significance of all the tests but the first test was the one with the numbers listed above.

I never had to change my drive letters. Macrium automatically changed my HDD to J: and my new SSD to C:  I'm very happy with the P31 SSD. It's supposed to be one of the fastest SSDs right now. I didn't know much about the company but the ratings were high and I got it for $59. I installed the M.2 PCIe SSD into a RIITOP PCIe card (with heat sink enclosure) and installed it into my empty PCIe X16 slot. 

Once I know the SSD is working well, I'm assuming I can delete all the HDD volumes and then format it? I'm assuming I can't just delete the OS portion. Also, it there any chance my computer is using any files from the HDD to boot up? I would hate to format the HDD and have my computer stop booting correctly. During boot, I still see the external light on the XPS8900 front panel. I don't know whether that light is also lighting when the SSD is being used. 

Bob

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi AF_Bob,

I am glad your upgrade was such a success!

Please refer to my original post with step-by-step instructions on Page 1 of this thread.  You will see that in Step 4 I too changed the Boot Sequence in BIOS to set the SSD as the 1st Boot device (i.e. above “Windows Boot Manager”) - by making the SSD the boot drive it is automatically assigned C:

I note that you wish to format your original HDD to use it as a data drive just as I did.  Please see Step 7 in my original post which describes this.  You are correct in supposing that the system is currently reading some information from the HDD during boot-up, and formatting the HDD will result in failure to boot as a result of removing the EFI boot partition.  To overcome this you will need to re-create the Boot Configuration Data on the SSD.  This can be done by booting from a Macrium Reflect Rescue CD (see here) and running Macrium "Fix Windows Boot Problems", or by booting from a  Windows 10 Recovery USB Drive (both previously created in Step 1).

Using Macrium Reflect it was a simple semi-automated process (see instructions here), whereas using a Windows 10 Recovery USB Drive is I believe a little more involved - but best to have both options available just in case!  I was using the full paid-for version of Macrium Reflect, but as far as I can tell the Free version also has the ability to create and boot from Rescue Media and includes the "Fix Windows Boot Problems" option (see feature comparison list here)....

Alternatively, I understand that you can force the change by re-opening the case and disconnecting the original HDD as Vic 384 has described - but once the PC is booting from the SSD without the HDD, you will of course then need to open the case again and re-connect the HDD to format and use it.

I hope it all goes well!

Martin

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Martin, I just read your post and some of this may be above my capabilities. I am really glad you mentioned not deleting any of the OS on the HDD. I probably would have done that and not be able to boot. I went to the Macrium website but didn't see a FREE version. I saw a 30-day free trial. Is that what you're taking about. If so, I'll try that and give the "fix windows boot problems" a try. I'm almost afraid to try anything since my computer is working, but I'm guessing it's not good to be running on a SSD without the Boot Configuration data. 

Bob

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Martin,

Somehow I messed everything up. I created the Rescue drive and booted to it. I then tried to do the fix boot option and it seemed to work but now I'm booting on my old C: drive which is the HDD. If I boot without that rescue disk, and go into BIOS, the only option I have if something I've never seen (not my HDD or my SSD...some UEFI thing with a bunch of numbers. Then, when it boots, I have to pick Windows 9 or windows 10 (something like that) and then it boots back to my old C drive. Any advice?

Bob

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Martin, I managed to ADD a boot option since my SSD or HDD weren't boot options any more. I now have it booting to the SSD but it takes forever to boot and I have to section "Boot Windows on Volume3" or "Boot Windows on Volume 9." 

At this point, I'm not sure whether to CLONE my HDD all over again or try something else. Or should I try that Rescue disk I created on the USB from Macrium and try the "Fix boot problems again?"  

Computers can be so frustrating!!!!!!!! I probably should have left well enough alone since it was booting pretty quick, even if it might have been using some files from the HDD.  Any advice at this point would be greatly appreciated. 

On the boot menu, the only option showing was: UEFI: ST1000DM003-1ER162, which I'm guessing is the OLD HDD 1TB drive.

Bob

 

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi AF_Bob,

Your most recent messages on this forum seem to have somehow got out of order, but I think I am answering the latest one!  I am sorry to hear that you have encountered difficulties.

It sounds as if you may perhaps have run "Fix Windows Boot Problems" from the Macrium Rescue CD without first formatting (or physically disconnecting) the HDD.  If so, then your PC will have become confused and is probably trying to boot from both the SSD and HDD.  Please refer to my original post on Page 1 of this thread - Step 7 gives the correct sequence to follow.

The fundamental problem is that if two bootable OS disks are installed the PC will always boot from the HDD by default.  The HDD must go in order to boot from the SSD!  You must either temporarily disconnect it, or format it with removal of the EFI boot partition using DISKPART (Step 7 of my original post).

I am afraid the situation you are now in is outside my experience, but I suggest the following:

1)  Make absolutely sure you have a complete backup (Step 1 of my orginal post)!
     - this is because as a last resort you might need to do a fresh install of Windows on the SSD
     - if so you must be able to restore your data from backup

2)  Format the HDD following the instructions in Step 7 of my original post:
     - or alternatively physically disconnect the HDD for now
     - either way, the HDD must be made inaccessible to the system

3)  Run "Fix Windows Boot Problems" again from the Macrium Rescue CD:
     - this time it will only have access to the SSD and hopefully will fix the problem

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Martin, thanks so much for all the info. Using this forum, I find it confusing to find the posts I'm looking for and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to respond under the post I'm reading...or go to the end and respond. This response is to your: 10-17-2020 04:55 AM post.

I did so many things last night that I can't recall them all but during booting, when I had to select (within 30 sec) which OS to boot with (Vol 3 or Vol 8), I clicked on something that allowed me to delete the Vol 3 option (HDD). I don't know if that deleted the OS on the HDD or simply deleted using the HDD as an option but I was able to boot without getting that notice to select one.

Short of pulling the computer out of my cabinet and removing the cover to remove the HDD SATA plug, is there any other way of checking to see if the computer is using the HDD to boot? If not, I'll remove the HDD SATA plug today and see if it boots. If it doesn't, I'll use the Macrium rescue USB to boot and try that "Fix Booting problem" thing again from the rescue USB.

I do have my old HDD backed up from a few days before I installed the SSD but I never understood when to use the IMAGE restore or the BACKUP. To me, it sounds like they would both put your HDD back to where it should be. I'm wondering now if I should either create an image or backup of the SSD since it's working. Any advice on that?

I will go back to your original post and see if I can still follow that step by step. Can I assume that when everything is configured correctly, I will NEVER hear my HDD making noise unless I intentionally access it? In other words, should it be silent during the entire boot process?

Bob

 

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi Bob,

I am glad to hear that you are making progress! 

I don't think there is a way to check if the PC is using the HDD to boot other than by disconnecting it, or formatting it with removal of the EFI boot partition.  My PC still seems to access the HDD a little during boot up, even though it is being used purely for data storage - presumably the system is just registering its presence.  On my PC the SSD is the system drive C: (for OS & programs) and the HDD is the data drive 😧 (for my own files).

Regarding backups, a disk Image will enable you to completely restore the entire contents of a drive - OS, programs, data & settings - exactly as they were at the time the image was taken.  A Backup will only restore the file types selected - typically data files.  Thus if a drive fails you can fit a replacement drive, restore the Image, and the system will be up and running as before.  If you only have a file & folder Backup then you would have to re-install Windows and all your programs, re-set all your preferences and then restore your data from the backup - a much more laborious process.  In the situation you are in it would be very desirable to have a disk Image.

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Martin,

Thanks for all the help and information you provided. I will save a new image of the C:SSD drive to my external HDD. I timed the booting of my XPS8900 and it's 38 seconds. I realize much of that depends on what programs are in the STARTUP portion of task manager. I have a few items which are listed as HIGH impact that I could probably uncheck, but I was curious how long your computer took to boot using your SSD. I'm thinking 38 seconds isn't bad but I never timed it with the HDD.

Bob

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Bob,

I have just measured the boot time for my XPS 8900, from power on to the desktop, and it is 18 seconds (of course some things continue to load after reaching the desktop).  However, your time of 38 seconds does not seem at all bad....

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Martin, I didn't measure from the power OFF state. I clicked on RESTART so perhaps my time would be a whole lot longer. I'm almost afraid to turn my computer off at this point. I've kept my computer running 24/7/365 for the past 3 years or so (connected to a UPS). I do put it in SLEEP mode when I'm not using it, but seldom (if ever) do I turn it off. I did turn it off to install the SSD and I'm surprised it booted with the correct time since my BIOS battery is from 2015.

Bob

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Martin, here's a quick update: I hadn't planned on doing anything for a few weeks until I noticed I never put a second silicone heat strip before closing up my RIITOP PCIe card with M.2 heat sink. Since I had to shut down my computer and do that, I also disconnected the power and SATA connectors from my HDD to see if my computer would boot with only the SSD connected. 28 seconds later, I was able to login so everything is working well! 

I then created an image of the SSD and saved it to my External 2TB drive. Between the image and a rescue disk, I'm hoping that's all I need to worry about at this time.

I shut down the computer, reconnected the HDD connections and booted back up. All is a "GO!"

Thanks again for all your help and patience with me. Since I can still use my HDD, I'm not in a hurry to format it yet, but I will follow your instructions after a few weeks when I know my SSD is still working well.

Bob

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Hi Bob,

I'm glad to hear that it is now all working well!

For comparison, I have just measured the re-boot time for my XPS 8900, from clicking "Restart" to the desktop, and it is 1 minute 7 seconds - so yours is doing very well indeed at just 38 seconds!

Like you, I leave my PC switched on (connected to a UPS) and set to sleep automatically when not in use - I usually only turn it off when I am going to be away.  Modern CMOS batteries are supposed to last 10 years (so very likely for the life of the PC): furthermore, I believe their life is extended if the PC is not turned off, because there is still power to the motherboard in Sleep mode and consequently the battery is not in use.  So we both should be OK for a while yet....

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility?

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Thanks Martin, I don't feel so bad. After reading some posts where people can boot in 4.9 seconds, I thought 38 seconds was an eternity...LOL. I can't recall how long my old HDD took but I'm sure it was minutes. It's strange that a computer takes longer to REboot than it does to BOOT from being off. 

Bob

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Re: XPS 8900, M.2 NVMe SSD boot compatibility? (details within)

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I installed a 500GB Gold P3 NVMe M.2 SSD on a RIITOP PCIe X16 card in my XPS8900 vacant X16 slot. I cloned my 1TB HD (200GB of data) to my SSD. Works great right now (did it today). Using the PCIe bus, I'm getting over 3500MB read speed and close to that on write. I posted the exact figures in a different post earlier today. For comparison, the original 7200RPM HD got about 153 MB. The XPS 8900 with BIOS 2.8.0 works great with the new SSD and takes full advantage of the PCIe NVMe speeds.

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