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Last reply by 08-24-2021 Unsolved
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2 Jasper
2 Jasper

XPS 8920, upgrade from 256GB M.2 SSD

I have an XPS 8920 and would like to upgrade the 256GB M.2 SSD.

Any ideas on how best to do this? I would like to move all the data on the current M.2 drive into the new one.

I was thinking about something like booting from USB, putting the new M.2 into a case, cloning the existing drive and then swapping the drives.

Replies (5)
5 Rhenium

@mrglwatson Assuming you also have a hard drive, create images of all the partitions of the 256GB M.2 SSD on the hard drive with a program like Macrium Reflect Free Edition. Next, use Macrium Reflect's tool (in the Other Tools menu) to create Rescue Media on a USB stick. Remove the 256GB SSD and install the new M.2 SSD, then boot from the Rescue Media (using F12 Boot Menu) to restore the partitions one at a time and in the same order as on the original SSD. When you restore the OS partition, expand that partition to use the more available space on your new SSD. Finally, run this procedure to change SATA Operation in the BIOS from RAID to AHCI: http://triplescomputers.com/blog/uncategorized/solution-switch-windows-10-from-raidide-to-ahci-opera...

Note that in the procedure, the BIOS change is not made until step 4. Now install any manufacturer-recommended drivers for your new SSD; some SSD manufacturers have drivers for enhanced features/performance.

10 Diamond


M2 drives come in 2 types and several sizes.

M2 2230 2242 2260 2280.  M2 is NOT a storage standard. Its a Keyed socket standard.  M2 A & E keyed parts are WIFI cards not SSD.

You did not say what the Model was for the original M2 drive or the Target M2 drive.

SAMSUNG and INTEL M2 SSD drives require a driver that is NOT native to windows. Both usually also have data migration software (CLONING Software) to assist in this process.

Cloning is possible but the PCI-E M2 drives are harder to clone than the SATA M2 drives.

In ALL CASES backup everything so if you mess up you do not lose everything.

In either case cloning is NOT supported by Microsoft or Dell. So if you have issues then the questions must be sent to the cloning vendor. This has been a policy since Windows NT from 1995.  This is not a water chicken install and its not a ronco set and forget.  It is unlikely you will find anyone willing to answer 50 questions or more step by step on how to do this.  So while it can be done its not recommended and you will have to spend time and money figuring it out.  That said its impossible to know how to resolve that issue without knowing the exact size and type of M2 drive.  First step for either type is to make BIOS F2 SATA OPERATION AHCI. 

You boot safe mode and set the bcd to safe mode and set F2 Sata operation to AHCI then you reboot in safe mode. (Black Desktop Background). You then Clone the drive in that mode.  In no case should you try to clone with both drives in the unit as there will be a drive signature collision and it wont boot properly.  Cloning must be done with hardware or software OFFLINE where the drive to be cloned is attached to a usb Drive wire or other hardware.

without having to reinstall.

Right-click the Windows Start Menu. Choose Command Prompt (Admin).

If you don’t see Command Prompt listed, it’s because you have already been updated to a later version of Windows.
Right click start and choose Command Promt (ADMIN)
If you do not have that option but rather it says Power Shell Admin then do that.
Type this command and press ENTER:
bcdedit /set safeboot minimal
Restart the computer and enter F2 BIOS Setup
Change the SATA Operation mode to AHCI from either IDE or RAID/IRRT/IRST/Optane.
Save changes and exit Setup and Windows will automatically boot to Safe Mode. (Black Desktop Background.)
Your Drive is now ready to be cloned OFFLINE either with a utility or hardware.
Once cloned you will be setting F2 Bios Boot option for the M2 drive to be DRIVE 0
At no point should you be booting WINDOWS with BOTH Drives physically installed.
AFTER CLONE you boot the desired drive and clear booting safe mode.
Right-click the Windows Start Menu once more. Choose Command Prompt (Admin).
Type this command and press ENTER: bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot
Reboot once more and Windows will automatically start with F6 Mass storage AHCI drivers enabled.



PCI-E M2 is harder but also possible to do but it takes more steps.  Not supported by Microsoft or Dell YMMV.





popular M2 Sizes.png

m2 types.jpg



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Sorry, I do not really understand your reply.

The service tag of my PC is<Private Service tag removed. TOS72>

if that helps anyone know what type of SSD drive my PC contains.



Looks like your service tag was removed. 


He stated his System was XPS 8920. 

You can find your manual here. XPS8920 Manual 



SSD is SATA OR PCI-E which has different ways to use.

SATA M2 are NOT compatible with PCI-E. M2 is a socket not a storage standard. A & E M2 keyed socket is WIFI Card Not Storage.

Everything I said about AHCI and F6 Drivers and install Still applies regardless of the Dell model for windows 7 or 8 or 10.

Booting Requires UEFI BIOS CLASS 2.3.1 or higher.

Class 3 bios is WIN10 only 64 Bit only.




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