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How to migrate Windows 10 Pro together with ALL Data and Settings to an SSD?

Posted on 2016-11-10
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
Trying to upgrade the boot drive (going from 256 GB to 1TB)  on a Dell PC.  The current Boot drive is a PCIe NVME SSD (M.2 2280 NVMe).  

The backup suites that I know of, such as Paragon, do offer OS migrations to another drive but the problem is that both drives, the Boot drive and the new target drive, have to be installed in the same PC at the same time.   The Dell we are working on allows only one PCIe NVME SSD.

So my question is how would I proceed to migrate the OS to the new larger SSD without having to reinstall OS, applications, data and etc. all over again?
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Question by:esabet
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Author Comment

by:esabet
ID: 41882689
Sounds like a great idea but didn't think that they make enclosures for PCIe SSD?  Did a quick search but couldn't locate any? Can you guide me to the correct enclosure? Wouldn't want to a trial an error finding the correct enclosures.   Attached is the drive specifications. Your help will be much appreciated.
Toshiba-THNSN51T02DU7-XG3-SSD-1TB-M.pdf
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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 41882745
Use a backup tool like the one you get with Paragon. Backup your current SSD, replace it, then restore from your backup to the new SSD.
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Expert Comment

by:weifai
ID: 41882761
rindi, sure, but asker would have to borrow some extra 256G.

Asker, sure, they do produce pcie usb enclosures, but they may come with restrictions. For example, this one https://www.amazon.com/NGFF-PCI-E-LANE-30mm-Enclosure/dp/B00QA1QD7W/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1478806679&sr=8-5&keywords=external+pcie+enclosure says "Please note that it supports SATA-based B Key SSD only. It does NOT support PCI-E based B key & any M key SSD".

From the HDD spec pdf that you provided, it's not clear if it qualifies.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41882767
Why? All you need to do is backup. Restore. Nothing needs to be borrowed.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41882924
Although there are several choices for external USB adapters that support M.2 SSDs, none of them support PCIe interfaced units like your NVME drives.   You may need to simply do this in two phases =>

1.  (a)  Install a traditional drive in your Dell PC (either a rotating platter drive or a traditional 2.5" SSD
     (b)  Migrate the OS to that drive using any good migration utility.
     (c)  Remove the current M.2 drive and confirm the migration went well (i.e. boot to the OS)

2.  (a)  Install the new M.2 drive
     (b)  Migrate the OS to the new M.2 drive
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Author Comment

by:esabet
ID: 41882954
garycase, that is what i am finding out - that there are no external enclosure for the PCIe NVMe SSD drives.  I did come across this one: StartTech.   But can't find any specifications that assures me if it will work with NVMe.

I discussed what rindi is suggesting with Dell tech support but I was told that it will not work since without proper migration Windows will detect hardware change and it will halt normal boot! Is that a correct statement?  If that is not an accurate statement then would it be possible to make a backup of the drive (using Paragon) onto a NAS, replace the drive, and then do a restore!  In this case the only question would be how to boot the PC and be able to access the NAS where the backup resides.
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 41882962
You need to boot from the paragon media. The backup utility also includes a media creation tool. With it you can create a bootable CD or USB stick with the Paragon backup tool on it. You then boot your PC from that, and you can then connect to the NAS to restore the image.

Different hardware should not be a problem, as it is only the SSD that is different. All the drivers etc will still be the same.
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Expert Comment

by:weifai
ID: 41882967
Ah, you have a NAS... Then, backup there first.

Then, create bootable rescue media with Paragon (onto a usb drive?), boot from it, then see if it can access the NAS.

If not, then there's a long run when you install a full Windows 7 onto a USB flash and boot a full-featured Windows 7 from the usb flash directly as if it is a HDD (assuming you have atleast 16G USB flash), put Paragon on it, and restore from the NAS with Paragon. I can provide exact links in exchange of 15 minutes paid live chat.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41882978
I found the Startech adapter as well, but on their web site the specifications page has this note:

"... Not compatible with PCI-Express M.2 SSDs  "

I've also found that bootable restore media (CD/DVD or USB flash drives) from the 3rd party imaging utilities I use do NOT support NVMI drives; although the "Live" Windows-based imagers work fine with them.   I haven't REPLACED the NVME drive, but I HAVE imaged it and later restored it (which is effectively the same thing) on a system I built for a friend with an NVME drive using Image for Windows (I'd expect Paragon to work as well, but haven't tried it) using the following process:

(a)  Image the entire NVME SSD to another drive in the PC
(b)  Boot to a DIFFERENT drive in the PC with Windows on it along with a copy of Image for Windows
(c)  Restore the image to the NVME drive

Note that to do this you need to have a 2nd bootable drive in the PC.   This can be another copy of Windows that you basically never use except for restores [How I've got that system set up, so if we ever need to do a restore it's simple];  or you could just COPY the NVME drive to another drive and then just change the boot option in the BIOS to boot to that drive.
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Author Comment

by:esabet
ID: 41884104
I created the USB boot with Paragon. After backup, I installed the new PCIe and restarted the PC using the Paragon USB Boot but now I don't see the new PCIe drive to restore the image to???  I have checked the BIOS and I can see that the PCIe SSD was detected. Why can't I see the drive with Paragon?
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 41884117
You will need to load the driver for the controller in paragon.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41884254
As I noted earlier, "... I've also found that bootable restore media (CD/DVD or USB flash drives) from the 3rd party imaging utilities I use do NOT support NVMI drives ..." ==> so I'm not surprised that Paragon doesn't work with this either.

What I HAVE found is that the "live" versions of imaging utilities work fine with the NVME drive.   Clearly this is because they have access to the appropriate drivers.   If you can find an appropriate driver to integrate with the bootable media, that should resolve this; but I've simply used a separate bootable disk or just done the 2-phase transition I outlined earlier.
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Author Comment

by:esabet
ID: 41884294
rindi, your solution was the best fit and the most straight forward which is exactly what I was looking for.  The only stumble was me not recognizing that I should load the drivers as they are not native. After I loaded the drivers then I was home free - simply restored the image that I had created, Paragon partitioned the new drive proportionately and there it was, the drive booted as if nothing was ever changed (except for the drive size which was the initial intention :-) ). Thank you.

graycase, I am certain your solution would have worked also but it would have been much more tedious, at least in comparison to what I just did.

P.S., rindi, though I had made the backup initially on the NAS, that failed as Paragon could not connect to the NAS folder using the USB Boot Stick. Now I think I know why - I bet I would have had to load the driver for the NIC!!! :-)  What I did instead was that I copied the image onto the secondary  SATA drive on the PC and used that copy to restore!
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41884296
The size is no problem, you can always use Windows diskmanagement to extend partitions. Paragon should also have an option change the size of the restored image directly.

Normally NIC drivers aren't needed, although it is possible. But you have to use a special menu to connect to the server and authenticate with it before you can access the images on the server and restore them.
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Author Comment

by:esabet
ID: 41884297
I meant to say that Paragon partitioned the drive for me perfectly, no need to use any other tools - exactly what I had intended to do!!!

Thank you again!
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