I just purchased a Black Friday special XPS 8940, i5-10400, 16GB for my daughter who is a medium hardcore gamer. I want to add an M.2 SSD. Do I need to get a Dell proprietary SSD or will any brand work? Also, do I have to enable it in the BIOS or is it plug and play?
I will also add a GTX 1660 Ti and have purchased a 6 to 8 pin adapter. Anyone have any problems doing it?
You do not need a Dell proprietary M.2 NVMe SSD. I suspect you will want to move the Windows operating system to the SSD.
I've never heard of needing a 6 to 8 pin adapter for a graphics card. I would be very surprised if the PSU does not have an 8-pin PCIe power connector, since the XPS 8940 is offered with an RTX 2080 graphics card. However, that PSU is a bit of a queer turkey, so perhaps. Make certain you are getting a 500 watt PSU or that hardcore gamer will be staring at 'screen freeze'.
As far as installing the M.2 SSD, it would be pretty easy. What drive did it come with? A lot of people here will suggest Macrium Reflect. But I personally like Acronis True Image. True Image will select all the partitions and Macrium you have to manually select. And it depends on what brand SSD you buy but some will come with Acronis or some cloning software. And there is always a clean install with several options there. But you can find the Service Manual Here . It should be easy to do but if it was me I would have ordered it like I wanted it.
Yes I understand but I think it would be just as cheap maybe not. But it would also have the option for Windows 10 Pro.
Just my opinion I would order it custom from Dell instead of prebuilt. If I was gonna do prebuilt I would just go to a retail store.
There is no such thing as Any M2 Any Mode Any PC works plug and play.
M2 SATA versions work when you set AHCI
M2 PCI-E versions REQUIRE F6 preinstall drivers.
This is not plug and play nor is it a single click and reboot and done process. Its multi step and PRE INSTALL F6 drivers are REQUIRED.
Download the cloning software
On the computer with the SSD, go to www.crucial.com/clone to download the software that will copy your old drive to your new SSD. This software comes free with Crucial SSDs.
There is no such thing as one driver fits all for all PCI-E M2.
INTEL, Samsung, etc have their OWN drivers.
Windows installer DVD or USB flash will not "SEE" any drive to install on without F6 Pre install Drivers.
Its not a one click one reboot ronco set and forget install.
UEFI-compliant system BIOS requires Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) pre-OS F6 driver version 188.8.131.5275 release or later. Ensure the system BIOS is in UEFI mode with Secure Boot disabled before installing the operating system. Installation in UEFI mode will result in the drive partition being set to GPT which is required. CSM Legacy MBR partitions are not supported. Note: All drives in the volume must be GPT partition structure
NVMe Driver Installation Guide
* Notice : The driver supports Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Recommended minimum system configuration is Intel Haswell Refresh Processor, 2GB RAM, 50MB free disk space and UEFI Bios v2.3.
* Enhanced security for installation
You cannot point to a cab or zip or exe file you must extract the zip contents to a usb 2 flash drive.
Cloning wont work because the BCD is completely different for PCI-E vs Sata. BCD will be wrong and it wont just boot. The F6 drivers are not optional for PCI-E booting. You will need bootable Installation media and have to use command line to fix that. You will require the correct F6 driver in order to "SEE" the M2 drive at all. I know how to do all scenarios and its not a single click and reboot install. Knowing how means I also know how to clean install an M2 SATA or M2 PCI-E as a boot drive or as a secondary drive. DRIVE LETTERS are meaningless. This is not your grandfathers MBR INT13 msdos booting. You also cannot use BIOS as a boot selector or OS selector.
Installing the PCI-E drivers will help if its samsung model. HOWEVER those drivers are only for SAMSUNG not for INTEL or other SSD vendors.
Windows 10, 64-bit*
Windows 8.1, 64-bit*
Windows 8, 64-bit*
Windows 7, 64-bit*
There is no universtal driver for all models all vendors all the time.
Advanced format drives REQUIRE INTEL RST/Optane and sometimes other vendors F6 drivers.
There is no one driver that works all models all modes ronco set and forget.
Neither Dell Nor Microsoft Support cloning.
The microsoft policy for disk duplication of windows installations
If you have issues you will have to take it up with the vendor of the cloning software.
BCD or otherwise known as Boot Configuration Data contains boot configuration parameters on how to start your Windows. If the configuration file gets corrupted, you will have to rebuild BCD or Boot Configuration Data file. Usually, when BCD gets corrupted, it results in unbootable situations on Windows 10/8/7/Vista.
In Ancient MBR Legacy versions of Windows, the boot information was stored in the Boot.ini file
This too is not a soundbyte single click fix and it requires bootable UEFI 64 bit DVD or USB flash.
From this point on its 64 bit only, GPT only, UEFI only.
No more MBR or Legacy CSM
Secure Boot should be set to OFF.
Otherwise its NEVER going to boot again.
There will also be drive signature problem for mounting 2 drives with the same SID and BCD and signature.
If you download the samsung drivers and install then install samsung M2 so that windows has the driver in registry you can partition and format the M2 with windows on the hard drive. You can then put the BCD in safe mode and clone to the M2. No matter which vendor you choose clean install wont work nor clone without the F6 preinstall drivers.
Cloning HDD to SSD in general is a bad idea because hard drives are setup to defrag and index and do many other writes. This can cause the drive to be written to death in as little as a few hours.
Turning hibernate, prefetch, superfetch, paging, cache, indexing, hibernation, etc OFF is always a good idea and leaving all of that on is a VERY bad idea.