Need to replace smaller M.2 SSD Win boot drive with a bigger M.2

Thanks to DCS and MS Flight I’ve run out of good SSD space. So I got an add-in PCI card so I could add more SSD drives, and a bigger M.2 for my boot drives and mods for DCS and MS Flight.

I’ll add the new M.2 on the PCI card to transfer the OS… but it’s been so long since I’ve done this kind of thing I’m not sure the safest/best way is to do this. They’re both Samsung M.2’s if that helps.

I’ve always had good luck using Samsung’s data migration tool.

The Data Migration link.

Many (some?) drives come with software for this. I got an M.2 upgrade not so long ago and it came with Acronis True Image, used its clone feature to move my system drive across. Worked great.

I guess you just want a good free drive clone tool like that.

edit: like the one above! :)

If they’re both Samsungs, I would try that. Alternatively, I replaced my laptop’s 1TB SSD with a 2TB one using Acronis to clone it, and then expand the partition once it was up and running. It was quite a faff, but should be easier if you can keep them both installed.

I wrote this up awhile back for SSDs.

@mono @Profanicus @Ginger_Yellow @lordkosc

Transfer worked flawlessly, but I was in for a bad surprise. The PCI add-on card I got doesn’t actually take the SSD I wanted to transfer.

I didn’t realize there was a size difference between M.2 and M.2 NVme. I haven’t tried to look yet, but are there add-on on PCI cards that can take an M.2 NVMe?

Sure! That’s a card which only fits the little snub-sized versions (2242) that are B-Key (specific notch location, less max bandwidth, so more typical with strictly SATA bus SSDs and therefore less common these days). I haven’t used this it so this isn’t an endorsement, but here’s an example which takes a more standard 2280 (22mm x 80mm) M-key SSD.

Looks like I might have to go with this, as that’s the only PCI slot I have available:

I had to take my video card out and discovered I need help in another realm lol

The idea being you’ll want space for more? Yeah, I can see that. As an aside, I recall reading somewhere that the lanes get segmented on the Hyper the more you put in there, but it should still beat the snot out of a HDD even at its worst.

As long as it doesn’t take bandwidth away from my video card. It won’t do, that will it?

It shouldn’t, but that technically depends on the motherboard and how the chipset lanes are allotted; some can be shared between slots so sometimes (but rarely) using a secondary x16 throttles them to x8. I think you’ll need to make sure your motherboard supports lane bifurcation, however.

I have a Gigabyte Aorus Z390, and yes it does support bifurcation, but I was confused reading about it and whether it will decrease my video card bandwidth.

Looking at Gigabyte’s website, both the Z390 Aorus Pro and Aorus Master have three PCIe x16-sized slots. The top one will run at x16 if the second is empty. If the second is filled, they both run at x8. The third will always run at x4.

Eeek. Does that mean my video card or VR headset will run slower?

Technically, yes. However, there’s normally not a huge difference between x16 and x8 at most times, depending on your supporting hardware, the game you’re playing, etc… If you’re planning on sticking the SSD card in the third slot, however, that’s really only going to properly support one drive at full speed (four lanes), so the Hyper wouldn’t be a good fit.

With DCS World and MS Flight Sim I’m not sure I can afford to lose any more performance.

There is that super short PCI slot that I’m not using. I wonder if I could use that instead? (in between the 2nd and 3rd major PCI slots) or does that still lower my video card to x8?

Those are x1 slots, so probably not for an SSD.

Right now I have a 4x PCIe SATA card in my 3rd slot. What if I replaced that with this:

Then I could run the new NVMe card off my 3rd slot and retain 16x? Right now I have 16x reported in cpuZ

Looks like a good plan!

Whew, thanks! Saved me from possibly losing 1-2% performance loss which would have crushed me lol