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Last reply by 12-02-2021 Solved
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XPS 8930, replace PM981 SSD with Samsung 980 Pro SSD

I would like to replace the stock PM981 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD C: drive with a Samsung 980 Pro 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD. I am currently running Windows 11 and the C: drive is used only for the system and programs. All data, document and media files are on a Samsung 870 EVO SATA III 4TB SSD drive. I want to clone the existing PM981 using Acronis which I have used before. Once I have cloned the PM981, is there anything I need to do other than replace it on the mainboard with the new 980 Pro? The BIOS setting is currently RAID and not AHCI and I have seen posts about having to switch to AHCI. Thanks for any help or advice you can offer.

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@hightechhobo How are you going to clone the PM981 NVMe drive since you only have one M.2 SSD lslot? Are you going to image all the partitions, swap drives, and then restore the partitions? You need to switch to AHCI because the Samsung NVMe driver requires AHCI. I advise you switch to AHCI after cloning using this procedure: http://triplescomputers.com/blog/uncategorized/solution-switch-windows-10-from-raidide-to-ahci-opera...

Note that the BIOS change is not made until step 4 of the procedure.

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@hightechhobo You have to install the Samsung drive before running the procedure to switch to AHCI. The Windows installation on the Samsung is the same as on the PM981, RAID mode. Installing the Samsung you will boot in RAID, then run the procedure. The procedure needs to be run on the boot drive (Samsung).

The alternative is to switch the PM981 to AHCI then clone to the Samsung, but I would not do that because the PM981 is your backup in case something goes wrong with cloning or the switch procedure. 

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5 Tungsten

@hightechhobo How are you going to clone the PM981 NVMe drive since you only have one M.2 SSD lslot? Are you going to image all the partitions, swap drives, and then restore the partitions? You need to switch to AHCI because the Samsung NVMe driver requires AHCI. I advise you switch to AHCI after cloning using this procedure: http://triplescomputers.com/blog/uncategorized/solution-switch-windows-10-from-raidide-to-ahci-opera...

Note that the BIOS change is not made until step 4 of the procedure.

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@Vic384  Thank you for your input. I have a Sokiwi external SSD enclosure which connects to the tower via USB. Your answer about switching to AHCI, and the process for doing so, matches that given in another topic and further clarified that it should be done after cloning but before installing the new Samsung drive. 

@hightechhobo You have to install the Samsung drive before running the procedure to switch to AHCI. The Windows installation on the Samsung is the same as on the PM981, RAID mode. Installing the Samsung you will boot in RAID, then run the procedure. The procedure needs to be run on the boot drive (Samsung).

The alternative is to switch the PM981 to AHCI then clone to the Samsung, but I would not do that because the PM981 is your backup in case something goes wrong with cloning or the switch procedure. 

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AVic384 THANK YOU! I cloned the stock PM981 last night using Acronis. The process went quickly and flawlessly using the Sokiwi M.2 SSD drive enclosure. This morning I took the plunge and R&Rd the PM981 with the 980 PRO. The process went quickly and flawlessly, although that screw holding the drive in place is TINY!    After getting rid of some dust inside, I buttoned up the case, reconnected all the peripherals and with bated breath, pressed the power button. BINGO!  Booted up without so much as a hiccup.  From there I was able to follow the instructions for changing the SATA Operation Mode to AHCI. The process went quickly and flawlessly.  Again, with a little bit of trepidation, I pressed the power button and the machine booted up as if I had never done a thing. I ran Samsung Magician and it offered firmware updates for both the 870 Plus data drive and the 980 system drive. Both updates went quickly and flawlessly.  Thanks so much for your help. The original drive is secured and I'll run the system for a good while before considering how to utilize it. 

Here is the performance benchmark for the two drives.

Magician 870.jpgSamsung Magician 20211202.jpg

@hightechhobo I am happy that everything work out for you. If you have not done so, you may want to consider installing the Samsung NVMe driver: https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/download/tools/

I am not sure what is the advantage of the Samsung driver over the Windows 10 driver maybe perhaps better performance, but the performance is already pretty good.

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