XPS Desktops

Last reply by 09-01-2022 Unsolved
Start a Discussion
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
531

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)
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
141

Ok Tesla1856 interesting points to consider. I think I am understanding that with the 970 Evo Plus in an XPS 8940 that changing operation from RAID to AHCI is the only option (or maybe the best option if using Samsung drivers -- which would be needed to achieve highest SSD performance). Have I got that right?

bbdude
123


@the bbdude wrote:

Ok Tesla1856 interesting points to consider. I think I am understanding that with the 970 Evo Plus in an XPS 8940 that changing operation from RAID to AHCI is the only option (or maybe the best option if using Samsung drivers -- which would be needed to achieve highest SSD performance). Have I got that right?


If you are going to take this opportunity to clean install Windows (either Windows-10 or Windows-11) ... yes, I would switch BIOS to AHCI and shed-away any dependence on Intel-RST . It will also allow you to use Samsung Magician SSD software on your new drive.


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.
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
113

Ok I ordered the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1 TB NVMe M.2 SSD and the SSK SSD USB Enclosure from Amazon. Received them today. Installed the SSD into the USB Enclosure, ran the Samsung Data Migration, cloned my C: 256 GB SSD to the new 1 TB SSD, installed the new 1 TB into my XPS 8940, rebooted and everything came up fine now with a 1 TB SSD for the C: boot drive.

Guess at that point, I should have quit while I was ahead, but I went ahead and tried the RAID -> AHCI procedure recommended by Vic384. I made the BIOS setting to change SATA from RAID to AHCI. Went to reboot, and got stuck in a infinite "Starting" loop but the system never was able to start Windows. Had to go back into BIOS and change the SATA setting back to RAID. Now it once again boots-up fine with the new 1 TB M.2 SSD.

One thing that was not clear to me is why would I want to change the SATA mode anyway? What does that have to do with an M.2 SSD?

bbdude
106

If I followed the story correctly, your Samsung drivers will not install in RAID mode . . . so your 970 M.2 SSD is using Windows drivers. I'm not sure how much that matters.

104

@the bbdude I am not sure why the RAID to AHCI procedure failed and why you could just undo the procedure by only changing the BIOS setting back to RAID.

The SATA mode has to do with the Samsung NVMe driver and the Samsung Magician software wanting SATA mode to be AHCI. As for M.2 SSD, I don't know of any requirement for SATA mode. Some manufacturers recommend AHCI while others do not state a preference. 

4 Beryllium
100

ProfessorW00d_0-1662047854912.png

 

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
97

I am able to run Samsung Magician and it does recognize that I have a Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1 TB installed. It does say, under NVMe Driver : Unknown. I don't know if this is a problem ie I don't know if it implies sub-optimum performance ... but I am glad to see that it is operating ok, as far as I can tell. I'm not noticing any drop in performance from the previous operation with the SK hynix 256 SSD (now replaced).

bbdude
95


@the bbdude wrote:

1. I made the BIOS setting to change SATA from RAID to AHCI. Went to reboot, and got stuck in a infinite "Starting" loop but the system never was able to start Windows. 

2. One thing that was not clear to me is why would I want to change the SATA mode anyway? What does that have to do with an M.2 SSD?


1. Yeah, that sounds about like my experiences with trying it a couple of times (and other have posted similar). Some people say you can trick-it or massage-it into working, but I've never had any luck with that.

Anyway, that is why I posted to "clean-install" if you want to switch it. These are the days of UEFI, AHCI, SecureBoot, Windows Boot-Manager, etc ... 

Finally, I use my computers for real-things (not just play time) so I tend to only do things that are guaranteed to work. Especially with things involving the main disk sub-system. Any corruption (or less than 100% functional) would be a big hassle for me as time-is-money.

2. I've wondered that myself. But it appears to be connected somehow ... at least on Dells and Alienwares.


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.
91

@the bbdude I am glad Samsung Magician is working for you. Previous versions of Samsung Magician would run but it would complain that SATA operation was not set the AHCI. Samsung Magician can also update the SSD firmware, I don't know if that will work if SATA operation is not set to AHCI. My experience with Samsung Magician in RAID mode happened many years ago with SATA drives so I am not sure if things have changed. This article tells how to fix Samsung Magician not supported issues, one issue being RAID mode: https://www.ubackup.com/articles/samsung-magician-this-drive-is-not-supported.html

 

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
89

Vic384 - Yes - Samsung Magician does show me for the Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1 TB : Firmware : 4B2QEXM7 : Latest Version/

bbdude
Latest Solutions
Top Contributor