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Last reply by 09-01-2022 Unsolved
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XPS 8940, upgrade M.2 SSD from 256GB to 1TB

My XPS 8940 currently has a C: M.2 SSD Boot Drive: NVMe BC511 NVMe SK Hynix 256 GB boot drive and 2 TB SATA storage drive. My C: drive is full, so I want to upgrade it to a 1 TB M.2 SSD. 

A few Questions:

1. What M.2 SSD 1 TB Manufacturer P/N is compatible for this upgrade and what is most recommended?

2. How do I go about cloning my existing 256 GB boot drive to the new 1 TB SSD? I have Acronis True Image. Will that work for doing the clone? Or is there another utility that works better for this purpose?

3. Do I need a USB adapter to hold the new SSD while it is being written?

bbdude
Replies (19)
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Samsung 970 Evo plus 

Macrium Reflect (free) 

It will be much easier with an external adapter for the new M.2 SSD.

377

@the bbdude If you get the Samsung drive, Samsung offers Samsung Data Migration as a free download for cloning disks. 

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Thanks for your response ProfessorWood and Vic384. I looked at the Amazon link for the Samsung 970 Evo Plus. Just so I'm understanding, this SSD appears to be about twice as long as the BC511 NVMe SK Hynix 256 GB I currently have installed. I assume it fits and I just use the 2nd, longer-space screw hole for mounting it on the motherboard, correct?

Also, can you recommend an adapter for connecting the new SSD while it is being programmed?

Thanks

bbdude
359

You must have a M.2 2230 (30mm) and the 970 Evo Plus is M.2 2280 (80mm).

something like this M.2 external adapter M-Key 

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Thanks Zinc. I have looked at a number of other threads in this forum on this subject. A couple of issues have been brought-up. Some say these are issues some say not:

1. Would the adapter you linked-to above be able to recognize the 970 Evo Plus as a Samsung SSD and if not is that a problem? Can I still use the Samsung Data Migration S/W regardless?

2. A couple of these other threads state the need to change the SSD configuration to not be RAID. Is this necessary?

 

bbdude
344

@the bbdude 

1. I suggest you look at the Data Migration User Manual (free download). It states, "When connecting an NVMe or M.2 SSD, you may need an additional M.2 PCIe/USB converter(connector).".This statement makes it appear that an adapter is not a problem.

2. Changing SATA operation from RAID to AHCI is recommended. There are reasons for this, first Samsung's NVMe Driver requires AHCI and second, Samsung Magician software requires AHCI. A precaution in the Data Migration User Manual states that you should install Samsung NVMe Driver first, although I believe some folks in this forum have been successful using the drive with the Windows driver. Here is the procedure for switching the Windows installation from RAID to AHCI: http://triplescomputers.com/blog/uncategorized/solution-switch-windows-10-from-raidide-to-ahci-opera...

Note that the BIOS change from RAID to  AHCI is not made until step 4.

I usually recommend the following order 1) clone to the new drive, 2) remove the old drive and install the new drive, 3) switch RAID to AHCI, and 4) install Samsung drivers and software. This order avoids risks by making no changes to the old drive. I know this order of doing things does not follow Samsung's recommendations, but folks seem to have gotten Samsung drives to work in RAID and with Windows drivers. I think a lot of folks don't bother to read the manuals.

 

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Thanks for all the great info Vic384. I wonder why Dell had the stock SSD setup for RAID anyway? 

bbdude
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@the bbdude wrote:

My XPS 8940 currently has a C: M.2 SSD Boot Drive: NVMe BC511 NVMe SK Hynix 256 GB boot drive and 2 TB SATA storage drive. My C: drive is full, so I want to upgrade it to a 1 TB M.2 SSD. 

Likely, no additional hardware or adapters are required.

You can use Macrium Reflect to create a Image file of your existing C drive (I like to create with Verify After Writing option enabled) . Swap SSD's. Boot with the Macrium Recovery Flash-Drive and Restore it.

It might fit on the 2 TB SATA storage drive. If not, save it to an external USB drive.

This should work (if really in a hurry). Personally, I would use this as an opportunity to clean-install Windows-11, and build it back-up real quick.

Doing this, you get to shed-away all existing Dell software and all those weird recovery partitions. You can also Over-Provision the SSD (10% free space at the end) for better reliability and long-life.


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333


@the bbdude wrote:

I wonder why Dell had the stock SSD setup for RAID anyway? 


No official word from Dell, but we have all discussed it before in other threads.

Everyone knows that Dell is in tight with Intel (who develop the matching Intel-RST ... like 10 years ago). In the days of spinning HDD (and no full-sized SSDs) the small caching SATA-based SSD was a thing. This way, all Dell's can be software imaged the same way at factory. 

My testing revealed little to no performance increases of "single-disk RAID" and AHCI ... on SATA-based systems.

However, now that NVMe SSDs have become the norm, we are seeing some disk-transfer speed increases with single-disk RAID and Intel's new VMD software; Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management. But most of my systems are AHCI.


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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