Storage, Drives & Media

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XPS 8910 install NVMe SATA M.2 2280 PCIe SSD with replace(swap in/out) OS and data - I DID NOT HAVE to re-install Windows 10 !

 

I am writing this note, because I have not found any
direct information on how to swap in a M.2 SSD from a non-M.2. HDD/SSD.

Last week, I replaced (swapped in/out) my original Seagate 2TB HDD
with an NVMe SATA M.2 2280 PCIe SSD.

My computer, now boots off of the M.2 SSD.
I kept the original Seagate 2TB HDD installed in the computer as a backup drive.

I have read 20 blog posts and articles. I have been reading pieces of a mystery.
From reading, inductive thinking, deductive thinking, and some trail-and-error,
I figured out how to complete my objective.

In this process that I describe below, I lost zero(0) bits of data.
I *did not have* to re-install Windows 10!

Here are some notes. Read ALL OF THE NOTES before doing anything.

First, backup all data (EVERYTHING).

Second, my XPS 8910 was UNMODIFIED from when I bought it.
I bought my XPS 8910 in December 2016.

It had the original HDD disk (Seagate HDD).

  • Seagate Desktop HDD ST2000DM001 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5

It had the original BIOS setting (RAID).
It had the original BIOS setting (Secure Boot).

Finally, here are the details, of exactly how I did it.

I upgraded Windows 10 to the latest Windows 10 version.
I updated Windows 10 to the latest patches.
I emptied the Recycle Bin.

One needs one(1) M2x2.5 screw (and not the washer).

XPS 8910, what screw should hold down the M.2
https://www.dell.com/community/XPS-Desktops/XPS-8910-what-screw-should-hold-down-the-M-2/td-p/624445...

I bought:

NVMe SATA M.2 2280 PCIe SSD Standoff Mounting m2 Screws Kit for ASUS
https://www.amazon.com/NVMe-SATA-Standoff-Mounting-Screws/dp/B08Q8K5R8P

One needs an M.2 SSD. I ordered a version 4.0. (and it is backward compatible with version 3.0).
Version 4.0 has more speed, but the XPS 8910 can only use a max speed of a 3.0 version.

I bought:

Crucial P5 Plus 2TB PCIe 4.0 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD, up to 6600MB/s - CT2000P5PSSD8
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098WKQRDL?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

STOP: Crucial drives do not require any custom drivers.
However, many many drives do require custom drivers (e.g. Samsung),
if one requires custom drivers, then at this time,
one should investigate, and perhaps remove/install custom disk drivers.

Because, no custom drivers were required, I did immediately continue.

I learned to open the computer and install the M.2 SSD.
Note, he, in the video, is installing a M.2 SSD with B+M teeth into the M socket (works).
I installed an M.2 SSD with with M teeth into the M socket (works).

Note, I did not have a magnetic screwdriver: I just had good dexterity.

I did what he did (but I did not have a magnetic screwdriver):

Dell 8910 install ssd m2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cKAM0pQIX4&t=1s

I started the computer and pressed F2 every second.
In the BIOS at the bottom of half of the first page,
I saw my M.2 SSD listed there. So, I know that the computer detected it.
I exited the BIOS, I let the computer start.
Windows 10 successfully booted from the Seagate 2000.

In "device manager" I saw:

  • Disk Drives
    ST2000DM001-1ER164 (means Seagate 2000 GB - source (full) drive)
    CT2000P5PSSD8 (means Crucial 2000 GB M.2 SSD - target(empty) drive)

I wrote those down on a piece of paper.

Using Macrium Reflect 7 'free edition' and
an empty 16GB USB stick, I made a "Macrium Rescue USB".

I did:

Macrium Rescue Media Builder
https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW72/Macrium+Rescue+Media+Builder

I did:

I shutdown the computer.
I started the computer and pressed F12 every second.
In the menu, I chose to boot to USB; the Macrium Reflect Rescue environment started.

At this point in time, I intended to copy all the data, bit for bit,
from the Seagate 2000 to the Crucial 2000 GB M.2 SSD.

To determine the source drive and the destination drive,
I used the names in my notes, from earlier:

  • Disk Drives
    ST2000DM001-1ER164 (means Seagate 2000 GB - source (full) drive)
    CT2000P5PSSD8 (means Crucial 2000 GB - target(empty) drive)

I did (in Macrium Reflect and its rescue environment):

Creating a backup image of your computer, drive or partitions
https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW72/Creating+a+backup+image+of+your+computer%2C+drive+o...

The backup time took me 52 minutes; my Seagate 2000 drive was 31% full.

After the job completed, I exited.
Windows 10 booted from the Seagate 2000.

I shutdown, the computer.

I removed/disconnected from the computer the following:

  1. Seagate 2000
  2. All external drives (everything)
  3. All other internal drives (everything)
  4. Anything that "can boot"(everything) EXCEPT the M2.SSD

I started the computer.
Windows 10 successfully booted from the M.2 SDD (clone of the Seagate).

I shutdown the computer.

I kept and am keeping the original Seagate 2TB to be a "backup drive."
I re-installed:

  1. Seagate 2000

I started the computer and it, again, booted from the M.2 SSD.

  • In "diskmgmt.msc" (disk management), I noticed the wrong order.
    Disc 0: Seagate 2000 GB
    Disk 1: Crucial 2000 GB M.2 SSD

I shutdown the computer.
I started the computer and it, again, booted from the M.2 SSD.

  • In "diskmgmt.msc" (disk management), I noticed the correct order.
    Disc 0: Crucial 2000 GB M.2 SSD
    Disk 1: Seagate 2000 GB

I shutdown the computer.

I re-installed/connected the remainder:

  1. All external drives (everything)
  2. All other internal drives (everything)
  3. Anything that "can boot"(everything)

I started the computer and it booted from the M.2 SSD.

Done.

References:

Does XPS 8910 use same motherboard as XPS 8900 (NVME SSD)?
https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General-Read-Only/Does-XPS-8910-use-same-motherboard-as-XPS-...

Do both of the XPS 8910 M.2 slots support NVMe SSDs
https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General-Read-Only/Do-both-of-the-XPS-8910-M-2-slots-support-...

XPS 8910 (Tower VR) Specifications, Service Manual
https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General-Read-Only/XPS-8910-Tower-VR-Specifications-Service-M...

XPS 8910, BIOS 0.4.2 screenshots
https://www.dell.com/community/Desktops-General-Read-Only/XPS-8910-BIOS-0-4-2-screenshots/td-p/50812...

XPS 8910, new Windows 10 install not recognizing NVMe PCIe drive
https://www.dell.com/community/XPS-Desktops/XPS-8910-new-Windows-10-install-not-recognizing-NVMe-PCI...

(Press F12 to get to the menu to choose to boot from the USB)
Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/install-windows-from-a-usb-fla...

XPS 8910, new NVMe M.2 SSD, clone
https://www.dell.com/community/XPS-Desktops/XPS-8910-new-NVMe-M-2-SSD-clone/m-p/7633570

XPS 8930, replace Toshiba M.2 boot drive, 1TB 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2
https://www.dell.com/community/XPS-Desktops/XPS-8930-replace-Toshiba-M-2-boot-drive-1TB-970-EVO-Plus...

NVMe installed - How to change Boot order to get it to boot first
https://www.dell.com/community/Inspiron/NVMe-installed-How-to-change-Boot-order-to-get-it-to-boot-fi...

Pros/Cons: AHCI vs. Raid On (XPS13 9300 NVMe)
https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/Pros-Cons-AHCI-vs-Raid-On-XPS13-9300-NVMe/td-p/7636984

How to Change the Boot Sequence for an XPS 8910??
https://www.dell.com/community/Storage-Drives-Media/How-to-Change-the-Boot-Sequence-for-an-XPS-8910/...

Start your PC in safe mode in Windows 10
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/start-your-pc-in-safe-mode-in-windows-10-92c27cff-db89-8...

 

Solution (1)

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Moderator
Moderator

We tried reaching you on a private message asking for the Service Tag number to ascertain the warranty but did not receive a response. Please feel free to reply to the private message whenever you are available.

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Replies (3)
Moderator
Moderator

We tried reaching you on a private message asking for the Service Tag number to ascertain the warranty but did not receive a response. Please feel free to reply to the private message whenever you are available.

Community Accepted Solution
2 Bronze

Thank you for posting this! 
I couldn't get my 2TB PCI SSD to work on my XPS 8900 and finally I used the Macrium Reflect 8 'free edition' to create a bootable USB as suggested and it worked.  I previously was using Acronis software to clone (with boot) my current hard drive.
My post is here:
https://www.dell.com/community/Storage-Drives-Media/XPS-8900-and-Crucial-PCI-SSD/m-p/8071611#M340274


Thanks!

2 Bronze

Thanks very much for documenting the process.  I'll be adding a NVMe SSD to my XPS 8910 soon and will using your post as guidance.

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