Headline: I can't clone my Intel M.2 SSD from the current boot drive of my new Dell 8910 such that it will
I have a Dell 8910 PC. The motherboard has a connector for M.2 format SSDs, and supports NVMe PCIe.
The PC came from Dell with a 1TB hard drive.
The BIOS uses UEFI.
I have an Intel 512GB SSD6 M.2 card in the slot. The card also uses NVMe. With the card installed in the slot,
the diagnostics (ePSA Pre-boot System Assessment (4302.22)) shows the following:
Under the [Cables] heading,
M.2 SSD Card = Not Installed (even though it is)
Under the [Storage] heading,
Hard Drive 1-0-1 (This is the M.2 SSD drive)
OEM: INTEL, product: INTEL SSDPEKKW512G7, revision:PSF100C,
S/N ..., type NVMe, size 512 GB 2.5"
Under the [Boot] heading,
BootPath = MBR of Hard Drive 0-0-1 (note that this is -NOT- hard drive 1-0-1)
So the BIOS recognizes the card as storage, and I can certainly get at the card and do all kinds of disk operations
from Windows like format the card, assign it a drive letter, and read and write files to it.
Now for the failures in attempting to clone the system to the SSD and use it as a boot drive.
The first software package I tried was the Intel Data Management Software. This is just a stripped-down version
of Acronis for Intel. I could not successfully clone the drive using this software, with the drive installed in
the computer, running the Data Management Software from Windows. Several online threads suggested that I needed
to create bootable Data Management Software media and boot from that. I tried that, but I could not get the Dell
8910 BIOS to boot from the DVD. I tried both disabling boot security and then using legacy boot. Neither worked
well enough to be able to boot up the DVD.
The second software package I used was AOMEI Backupper. Had to buy this one becasue the free software won't do
a system clone. I tried to do a system clone. No luck. Not only that, but the set of partitions created on the
SSD by Backupper did not include an MBR partition, which seems like a fatal flaw when trying to clone the system.
Next I tried AOMEI Patrition Assistant.
So the next thing I tried (Since apparently just doing a system disk clone wasn't enough) was the following:
Using the Aomai partition tool, I copied the three smaller recovery partitions on the current (working) system
drive sector for sector to the new SSD drive. This included the master boot record partition. Next I copied
the main partition in such a way as to resize it down to the remaining memory on the SSD. The SSD drive now has
a complete image of the current boot drive.
Now I disconnected the current boot drive, and left the SSD installed. When I booted the PC, I got a blue screen
that I guessing was from the Windows boot sequence saying that it could not find the file
C:\Windows\System32\Winload.efi. The full error message was:
Your PC/Device needs to be repaired
The application or operating system couldn't be loaded because a required
file is missing or contains errors.
Error Code: 0xc0000225
You'll need to use recovery tools...
I'm guessing this is a good sign, as it means that the computer is at least trying to boot from the drive, but
can't because the data in C:\Windows\System32\Winload.efi doesn't match the drive.
To me this indicates that it is possible to set up the drive as a boot drive, and that UEFI will find it, if I
can just get the disk set up correctly to begin with.
Tried the following: Let AOMEI do a system clone, and then tried booting the SSD before booting off the current
There was some difference in behavior, however. When I made sure the first boot of the cloned drive was without
the original drive in the system, I got the initial Windows window with the little circle of dots going around,
then a blue screen that said that the stop code is "INACCESSBIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE". It then cycles back into the
boot sequence, runs some diagnostics, tries to boot again, and etc. forever (or until the electricity runs out).
I also tried some other variations, but nothing got me any closer to a working system.
Next I tried Macrium Reflect. I did a full disk clone of the current boot drive to the SSD and again got the
initial Windows window with the little circle of dots going around, then a blue screen that said that the stop
code is "INACCESSBIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE". There was the same loop of error and rebooting as in the previous case.
Finally got a message that said that after multiple unsucessful reboots, your PC needs to be repaired.
At least it still reboots with the original boot drive.