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Help with cloning single drive with 2 partitions, can only clone one - other drive disappears on clone

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Hi, I have an Acer Aspire F15 and am putting in a new 2TB SSD to increase storage for my musical endeavours

 

My disk mgmt tool seems to suggest I have 2 drives installed (see attached disk management snap; C: is 250GB SSD, D: is 1TB HDD according to Defraggler - also attached)

I cloned C: put in the new disk and I only had C: available, no D:  I put the old disk back in and both drives were there.  Disk says it is 1TB but the 2 volumes state 1.25Tb

I'm no demon techy so am mighty confused.  Do I have one drive that is partitioned in such a way that the partitions are deemed different (SSD & HDD) or, what?

 

Any help will be hugely appreciated as I am baffled. 

Thanks

Simon

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Unfortunately the screenshot is missing; there is a bug in the forum software that drops any attachments form the intial post when it is saved. Once the post is saved you can edit the post to add the attachment.

A quick search indicates that the Acer Aspire F15 is a notebook, which I understands shipped with Windows 10 home with a 1TB mechanical HDD. I would expect that the PC is configured to use UEFI rather than BIOS/legacy, in which case there should be at least two hidden partitions (one for UEFI, one for the Windows recovery partition and possibly a third with OEM recovery partition). If configured as BIOS/legacy then there should be at least one hidden partition (the Windows recovery partition). If there is a drive D I would expect it to be the data partition, however it is possible that somehow the recovery partition had a drive letter assigned to it. If so, it is possible that the cloning resulted in that partion being hidden as it should be.

Also, with notebooks, when moving for smaller to larger internal drive, the new drive should be installed in the notebook before the transfer is made (I use transfer here as it could be done by doing a direct clone - not sometihging I recommned - or creating a backup then recovering to the new drive). [While I have done cloning without issues there is always a remote possibility of something going wrong that can make a mess of the original drive; so you should always create a backup first.]

Ian

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Thanks Ian - that makes it slightly more complicated (for me) than anticipated so will do some more research before I try this.

 

Have attached the images again which, I believe, will confirm your points above.

 

So the answer is to create a backup, put the new drive in and restore to that rather than clone as I did before and clearly won't work for the way things are set up on my laptop?

 

Thanks

 

s
 

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The screenshots help a lot.

I see that there are two physical drives, Drive 0 which has one partition, drive D, and Drive 1 which has 3 partitions, the EFI Partition (hidden), system partition drive C and OEM Recovery partition. The first drive is a mechanical HDD and the second is an SSD. 

Obviously the screenshots are when the old drive is installed. I see that drive C only has 3% free space, and it possible that this may have something to do with problem. If the cloning was done from within Windows the lack of free space may have cause it to go wrong. However, usually that would result in the system being unbootable rather than causing the HDD to disappear.

Are both the physical drives attached to SATA ports, or is the SSD attached to an M.2 socket? Not sure why this would matter. (If the SSD is attached to an M.2 socket, that may explain why the SSD is reported as Drive 1, rather than drive - this happens with my Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 M/B; AMD Ryzen 1700X, but not with my Gigabyte Aorus H370 Gaming 3 where the M.2 drives are reported first.

One explanation that occurs to me is that when swapping the old SSD for the new drive you accidentally dislodged the SATA connector, either on the main board or on the HDD, and when returning the old one to the PC you knocked it again and it is now working properly. Similarly, this could have happened with the power connector.

All I can suggest is to place the new drive back in the PC, and make sure all the connections on the motherboard and the SSD and HDD are properly connected. If drive D does not appear when you boot into windows, shut down the PC, restart it and restart the PC and open the BIOS/UEFI - when the PC starts it should display the key to push to go into the bios. Common keys are Del and F11. Then check to see what drives are present.

Ian

 

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Hi Ian, your insight and knowledge has helped me identify the issue is, rather embarrassingly, user inexperience.

 

Until the other day I was not even aware of M.2 sockets and SSD drives that fit into them.  It would appear that I am cloning an M.2 SSD driver onto my new 2.5" SSD and replacing my D: (HDD) with said cloned drive!  Hence only seeing C: when I put the cloned drive in - I had taken D: out of the laptop altogether!

 

When I searched on Crucial for an M.2 drive for my laptop it said it was not compatible hence me then thinking this laptop didn't accept them.  So......based on the attached image I now have two question:

1. What M.2 drive would fit this laptop (from what I have seen too these are limited to 1TB but that will not be a problem at all)

2. Is there a separate cloning kit I would need to clone the M.2 SSD if there is indeed an upgrade out there for me.

 

Apologies for so many questions etc. but my hardware days are quite a few years ao which is making itself abundantly clear right now!

 

Thank you

 

Simon

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Simon, any NVMe M.2 SSD should work just fine to upgrade your current Hynix 256GB M.2 SSD card.

In terms of cloning this card, then that is a different story.

I have a Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD ready to install in my own HP Laptop to replace the current Liteon 128GB NVMe M.2 SSD it came installed with, so will be embarking on a similar exercise when I have time to do the task.

The approach I will be using is:

1.  Backup the 128GB card (done daily) as Disks & Partitions image.
2.  Create the WinPE 'Simple' Acronis Rescue Media on USB stick / drive.  (Done & tested).

To do:

3.  Shutdown the laptop fully ( shutdown /s /f /t 0 ) to prevent hybrid sleep / hibernation state.
4.  Remove the 128GB SSD, replace by the new 500GB SSD.
5.  Boot from the Acronis Rescue Media in UEFI mode (required for NVMe M.2)
6.  Recover the Disk backup (from 1.) to the 500GB drive.

I will not be using cloning because it would require an external USB to NVMe M.2 adapter for the old M.2 card and would still require the new card to be installed.  The laptop has a second 1TB HDD where the M.2 disk backup can be stored (with copies on external too).
Using the above approach keeps the original 128GB M.2 card safe from any changes and as a spare drive if ever needed.

See KB 59877: Acronis True Image: how to distinguish between UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot modes of Acronis Bootable Media

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There are two types of NVMe M.2 drives. They are PCIe and SATAIII. A google search on the part number of your drive shows that it is a SATAIII type. You will need to get to the specs for your laptop to see if the M.2 slot can support both types of drives. It may only support SATAIII. PCIe type drives are faster than SATAIII drives. But, you need to be sure your laptop will support a PCIe drive before you purchase. It may be safer to just stay with a SATAIII drive.

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Well spotted Paul, thanks for chiming in.

Legend
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Quick positive update:

I just tested my ATI 2020 Linux rescue media on my HP laptop and this was able to see my NVMe M.2 SSD and internal HDD drives plus also allowed me to connect to Wi-Fi, showing that the Linux media has progressed to support newer hardware for those who don't want to create the WinPE media.

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The method described by Steve Smith is the one I use when replacing M.2 drives - only ever done so with PCIe ones but the process adopted should not differ.

It occurs to me that the second SATA port may have been disabled in the UEFI/Bios because the M.2 drive is a SATA one. Most, if not all chipsets, require the disabling of one or more SATA ports if a SATA M.2 drive is being used.

Ian

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Thanks Steve, new M2 drive arrives tomorrow so I shall crack on with this at the weekend and let you know how it goes.

 

Good luck with yours too

 

s
 

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Simon, I found time this afternoon (UK time) to do my migration and will document the steps I followed, including some additional steps not mentioned previously above!

  1. I made a new offline full disk backup to my USB 3.1 external drive.
    The reason here is that I did not want to hit issues with existing backup tasks created within the Windows ATI GUI by restoring back from a Windows made backup.  Doing this separately avoids this!
  2. Shutdown the computer then removed the Liteon 128GB NVMe M.2 SSD and installed the new Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD in its place.
  3. Booted from my external USB 3.1 external drive using the MVP WinPE rescue media.
  4. Clicked on Tools > Add new disk in the ATI 2020 offline menu, then selected the new Samsung SSD which showed as being 'uninitialised'.
  5. Elected to set this to be GPT partition scheme but left all the space as unallocated (i.e. did not create any partitions).
  6. Recovered the full disk backup made in step 1. selecting the top Disk option and the new Samsung SSD as the target.
  7. Checked the Logs for both the Add new disk and Recovery operations then saved copies of both to my external drive.
  8. Shutdown then restarted into Windows without any need to go into the BIOS settings.
  9. In the ATI GUI - reselected the Source drive for all my backups of the OS drive.
    Without doing this step, then backups will fail because the original disk is not found!
  10. Used the free MiniTool Partition Wizard tool to move my Windows Recovery partition to the end of the unallocated space on the new SSD, then expanded the C: OS partition to use the remaining new space.
  11. Ran my backup tasks.

Some screen images captured during the above steps.




Next for the recovery operation.






I had a backup already scheduled that then ran because the scheduled time was missed and gave me the following error!

Reselecting the Source for the task was all that was needed!

Then on checking the new drive partitions in Disk Management / Partition Wizard showed that the new disk size wasn't being utilised fully, with large unallocated space needing moving around!


The last 2 images above show the before and after state for the new drive.

Beginner
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IanL-S wrote:

The method described by Steve Smith is the one I use when replacing M.2 drives - only ever done so with PCIe ones but the process adopted should not differ.

It occurs to me that the second SATA port may have been disabled in the UEFI/Bios because the M.2 drive is a SATA one. Most, if not all chipsets, require the disabling of one or more SATA ports if a SATA M.2 drive is being used.

Ian

Thanks Ian, I will check this out too

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Steve Smith wrote:

Simon, I found time this afternoon (UK time) to do my migration and will document the steps I followed, including some additional steps not mentioned previously above!

  1. I made a new offline full disk backup to my USB 3.1 external drive.
    The reason here is that I did not want to hit issues with existing backup tasks created within the Windows ATI GUI by restoring back from a Windows made backup.  Doing this separately avoids this!
  2. Shutdown the computer then removed the Liteon 128GB NVMe M.2 SSD and installed the new Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB NVMe M.2 SSD in its place.
  3. Booted from my external USB 3.1 external drive using the MVP WinPE rescue media.
  4. Clicked on Tools > Add new disk in the ATI 2020 offline menu, then selected the new Samsung SSD which showed as being 'uninitialised'.
  5. Elected to set this to be GPT partition scheme but left all the space as unallocated (i.e. did not create any partitions).
  6. Recovered the full disk backup made in step 1. selecting the top Disk option and the new Samsung SSD as the target.
  7. Checked the Logs for both the Add new disk and Recovery operations then saved copies of both to my external drive.
  8. Shutdown then restarted into Windows without any need to go into the BIOS settings.
  9. In the ATI GUI - reselected the Source drive for all my backups of the OS drive.
    Without doing this step, then backups will fail because the original disk is not found!
  10. Used the free MiniTool Partition Wizard tool to move my Windows Recovery partition to the end of the unallocated space on the new SSD, then expanded the C: OS partition to use the remaining new space.
  11. Ran my backup tasks.

Some screen images captured during the above steps.




Next for the recovery operation.






I had a backup already scheduled that then ran because the scheduled time was missed and gave me the following error!

Reselecting the Source for the task was all that was needed!

Then on checking the new drive partitions in Disk Management / Partition Wizard showed that the new disk size wasn't being utilised fully, with large unallocated space needing moving around!


The last 2 images above show the before and after state for the new drive.

 Wow Steve, that is really helpful but I confess I am now more nervous than I was before - lots of things in here I have not done before so think I need to read through on quite a few occasions and spend more time getting to know ATI before I even think about going anywhere near this!

 

Once I have plucked up the courage to do this I will let you and Ian know how I get on!

 

Thanks so much both

 

s
 

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OK, in my haste I went and purchased an M.2 drive before Paul noticed the likely need for a SATAIII drive.

 

I purchased this: https://www.samsung.com/uk/memory-storage/970-evo-nvme-m2-ssd/MZ-V7E2T0…

 

It is still boxed but from what I can see this is a PCIen - again, my falling behind on tech biting me on the bum.  I guess I should be able to return this and exchange for a SATAIII, I will see.

 

What I thought was a simple swap of a smaller drive to a larger one has turned into a lesson and a knock back down to earth in as much I have fallen way out of line with hardware etc.  Not feeling so confident or whether this is even a good idea anymore but I cannot seem to clean up my existing SSD so have no choice.  Very much wishing I had never started on this but know I need to see it through now as exisitng drive is bloated and I don't know why

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Simon, the way to try to reclaim some space on your current SSD is to try the following:

  1. In Explorer, right click on the C: drive to open the Properties window, then click on Disk Clean-up which will open a new window, then click on 'Clean-up system files' and let it run to populate the list of what can be cleaned up.  Finally, select all of the entries for cleaning and sit back / wait.
  2. Download a copy of DiskMax and use this to help clean up other areas of the system.  Note: take care in setting the options for your browsers etc if you have stored passwords or cookies to keep etc.

I have used the above methods to recover significant free space on various systems over the years, including some in the last week.

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Simon,

For space, see how much space has been used on your drive for System Restore points. You may be able to get a lot of space back.

The 970 EVO is a PCIe type drive. Some M.2 slots are capable of using both PCIe and SATAIII drives. What is the exact model of your laptop. Have you been able to find the specs. for it?

Look at the picture in the link you provided. Notice the slot in the end with the gold contacts. Now look at your laptop and see if the drive you have has the slot in the same place. If it does, I would replace it with the new 970 EVO and boot the Acronis recovery media to see if the drive is recognized. Use the Add New Disk feature see if it is there. If it is, you should be good to use it. 

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Thanks Paul, I'll check it out - worst case scenario I need to send the new one back and exchange it for the correct type.

 

I've been thinking about how to do this upgrade once I have my house in order - all my external USB drives are packed full of photos and music. 

 

Could I install my new Crucial 2TB 2.5" SSD in place of my current HDD D: and back up my existing SSD to that?

 

I could then boot to the Acronis recovery media (created to USB Stick) and add the new disk (once I know I have the right one) then restore from the D: or do I need to back up and restore to/from an external USBB drive for this to work?

 

Thanks

P.S. - thanks to you all I cleared up 15GB of junk this morning!

 

s

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Just to keep you updated on my on-going, self-made mini-saga.

 

The M.2 drive I purchased, as mentioned, was PCIe and Paul, you were right, the one in my laptop is SATA.  So I am now awaiting a return number so I can exchange it for the correct one.

 

Lots of learning happening for me here!

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Could I install my new Crucial 2TB 2.5" SSD in place of my current HDD D: and back up my existing SSD to that?

Simon, yes, technically, you could do this.  This is a bit of problem though - just as a matter of convenience since you have to open the laptop up each time to do this and then swap your existing 1TB D: drive back in when you're done. It's very doable though, if you're willing to do it.

Personally, I would just get an external USB to SATA adapter so you can attach it externally for easy access.  I have a few of these lying around to make it easy to use new, old and/or spare drives as backup drives or to assist with backup and restores.  They work amazing with SSD's and most laptop-sized spinning drives.  They don't work with desktop sized hard drives because they only power from the USB port (no external adapter included, but needed for SSD's or most 2.5" laptop hard drives)

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-2-5-Inch-Adapter-Optimized-EC-SSHD/dp/B011M8YACM/ref=sr_1_13?keywords=usb+to+sata+adapter&qid=1582419678&sr=8-13

 

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Also, to go back to the existing C: drive since you're running low on space...

As Mustang mentioned, you can reduce some of your restore points and try to free some up.  Additionally, I'd go to to the C: drive system properties and do a "disk cleanup" by clicking on the "cleanup system files" option and looking to see if you can free up temp, or an old Windows install or old windows updates.

Also, do you do iTunes backups?  If so, there's a good chance that they are eating up valuable space on your C: drive too as they store the phone/tablet backups in your profile under appdata (terrible design).  

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

I use junction points to direct them to another drive so that my OS doesn't fill up with these.

 

Beginner
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Gentlemen!

 

It may or may not please you to know that thanks to your help, patience and expertise I now have a 2TB M.2 SATA SSD as my 'main' drive and a 2TB Crucial 2.5" SATA SSD as my data drive.  All working fine - it was a long journey but one with a successful conclusion.

My thanks to you all

Simon

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Simon, always glad to hear good news and success - thanks for the feedback.

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Steve Smith wrote:

Simon, always glad to hear good news and success - thanks for the feedback.

+ 1

Ian