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Can't boot Windows following restore to new NVMe, drive not in boot options

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My existing Window's 10 system NVMe drive failed (Samsung 960), and I am trying to restore to a new (larger) NVMe drive (Samsung 970).  I have tried an image backup restore using ATI 2019 to the new drive, which completed successfully - but the system will not boot to Windows.  The NVMe drive is not listed anywhere by my BIOS in the boot options it presents to me during boot.

I am not entirely sure if the Windows boot used GPT or legacy mode - it is a UEFI Gigabyte BIOS -  but I believe it used legacy mode since the .tib backup file properties as shown by the Acronis restore did show that the backup file partition as MBR.    (I also tried the UEFI/GPT mode backup as well, and that failed to boot with the Window's "inaccessible boot drive" error message, but at least the BIOS found the GPT boot option and offered it.  But given the backup file showed MBR partition I suspect legacy mode is the right path.)

I had verified the backup file was valid, and did select the option "Recover Disk Signature" when I did the restore.  

I have tried repeated times with a couple of different backups - with the same results.

I believe I originally created the failed NMVe drive by cloning from a SATA SSD using Samsung's software, if that matters.  One idea I had is to try a restore to that original SSD first, and then reclone using Samsung's stuff -- but thought to look for other ideas here first.

In the Gigabyte BIOS settings, "other OS" is selected rather than "Windows 8/10" option, which hides the "CSM compatibility" option.  This seems suspect, but I am pretty sure it is the same setting as before when the system was working - so I haven't tried changing that.  (I assume I should not need to change any of the prior BIOS settings to get the system to boot after a successful restore, but perhaps this is a bad assumption.)

Finally, I had Bitlocker enabled on the system, but from my readings I understand that ATI2019 is compatible with that and should restore fine (afterwhich I might need to re-enable Bitlocker).

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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#1

George, welcome to these public User Forums.

NVMe M.2 drives normally require UEFI / GPT to be used as boot devices.  This is the case for my own Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD in my laptop.

When selecting the BIOS device for UEFI boot, then you need to select 'Windows Boot Manager' from the Samsung SSD device, not the drive itself.

I would expect that your disk backup of the failed SSD should show an EFI System Partition in the partitions shown within the archive - this also would confirm that UEFI / GPT is used.

If your backup image was created from ATI 2019 running within Windows, then any BitLocker encryption is unlocked and the backup image would also be not encrypted and thus not an issue when doing a restore.

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#2

The odd thing is the disk backup archive of the failed SSD shows an MBR partition, not GPT (viewing in the Acronis recovery tools' properties tab).    I had tried the EFI/GPT mode recovery process, and the "Windows Boot Manager" was shown when I rebooted, but the Windows load failed leading me to think that the SSD had used MBR.

The failure message (EFI boot attempt) was "inaccessible boot device", and then my BIOS splash sheen popped up with an error about "ROM image not loaded", followed by a B&W error message stating the OS could not be loaded due to a missing file - winload.efi".    

I had ran the Acronis system report on the failed drive, and don't have that report in front of me but I recall it showed "MBR" for the failed M2 drive as well.  

Do you know if the backup archive is shown to be and MBR partition that I can trust that is correct, or is there some other way to confirm?  Exactly how do I identify an "EFI systems partition" on the backup archive... I assume it would be explicitly listed in the partition type field that Acronis reports, in which case I am sure I did not see that.

I also read in another thread about possible need of loading a special M2 storage driver on the restore media, but did not fully understand that and was not sure it was relevant to this situation.   I would think all should need to do is the (correct type of GPT vs MBR) Acronis restore and then get the BIOS settings correct for Windows to boot.

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#3

George, if you recovered your backup image from rescue media booted in UEFI mode, then this would have migrated any MBR partitions to GPT during the recovery process and created a new EFI System Partition with the correct BCD to boot Windows from.

Provided you have the new SSD installed internally in the original location where the failed SSD was when doing the recovery, ATI will normally set all the correct BCD boot entries needed, so the only other action needed would be to check that the BIOS itself shows that 'Windows Boot Manager' is the boot priority selection.

If none of this is working, then the next suggestion would be to perform a vanilla install of Windows 10 to get a working OS configuration, then confirm that this is using UEFI / GPT by running the msinfo32 command in Windows and looking at the BIOS mode information.

Once Win 10 is booting, boot from the ATI rescue media in the same BIOS mode as the OS and just recover the main C: OS partition without the other non user partitions being restored.  This should allow you to get back to a working Windows 10 OS with your applications & user data.

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#4

Thanks Steve.  Unfortunately I don't have the Windows 10 installation disk, but recall downloading something from MSFT for a clean install is possible but had wanted to avoid that.  I definitely have the new SSD in the same slot (only one M2 slot on my board) as the failed one.  I think next I'll try restoring to my "original" (non-M2) SSD drive and see if that works, then go to the clean OS install option if that fails.  My main concern is getting all my apps back without having to reinstall them, otherwise I'd just do a full clean install of Windows and be done with it;-).

I'll report back on success or if I have followup questions.  I believe I understand how the restore should work, just not having success with that actually happening.

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#5

George, the Windows 10 installation media can be downloaded from the Microsoft site here. You just need to go grab a copy to use.

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#6

So I've finally restored my system, without resorting to MSFT reinstall tools.  I restored my full disk backup to my original SATA SSD (not the NVMe SSD that failed), which booted fine.  This restore was done in UEFI/GPT mode with the ATI recovery media.

I then attempted to clone that drive to the (new) NVMe SSD, using the Samsung migration tool.  That failed, or more precisely Window's would not boot properly. 

Finally, I used the ATI clone tool to clone my working SATA SSD to the new NVME SSD -- which produced a working/bootable system using the replacement drive.  Success at last!

I feel that ATI restore should have been able to restore to the NVMe drive in the first place, after all the backup I used for the restore was created from the image on an NVMe M2 drive that failed.  And I know the tib file was shown in recovery manager to be of an MBR partition type -- which was NOT correct (I confirmed the restored working SATA SSD was of GPT type).  Its almost like the ATI recovery treated the partition restore differently on the SATA SSD vs the NVMe SSD, whereas the ATI cloning tool treated it correctly - but this is speculation.

My lingering worry is for future recoveries if necessary, how to ensure I can restore directly to the NVMe SSD without going through an intermediary storage device.

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#7

George, first glad to read that you have got to the desired end result with the new NVMe SSD as the OS boot drive.

I have never had any issues with using Backup & Recovery for any of my own NVMe type drives and have only used this method, not cloning, as I do not have any external adapters for this type of drive (there are simply too many choices and varieties of these drives!).  The only real difference here for me is that I have only used either ATI 2020 or 2021 for these migrations, not any earlier version such as 2019 that you are using, but that should not make a difference as this support has been available for some years now (for NVMe M.2).

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#8

Like Steve I have never had a problem when migrating to a NVMe M.2 drive. Likewise I use backup and recovery rather than clone. I have done this several time moving from SATA SSD to M.2 and once from existing NVMe drive to a new one. 
 

Just remembered that I had migrated the SATA drive to GPT and UEFI some time before doing the migration to the M.2 drive.

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#9

As an experiment, I created a new backup off the newly restored NVME SSD and performed a restore from that backup to the NVME drive.  Booted fine to Windows, go figure.  The restore process (using recovery manager) seemed a bit different, in that I was never presented the option to recover the disk signature.

As one last check, I again tried restore from the original backup (used for the SSD which I then cloned to the NVME), and it again failed.  I was given the disk signature option on this process, so something was different.

In any case I now have some higher confidence in future restores directly to the NVME SSD.

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#10

George, the ASRM (Recovery Manager) is a Linux based environment, so will be different to using the Windows PE rescue media created by the Simple method of the builder tool.

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#11

Both times I used the ASRM (from the same recovery DVD) for the recovery, just different tib backup files.  Behavior was different wrt the "disk signature" option.

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#12

George, sorry ASRM is a feature that is installed on the PC disk drive to give an F11 prompt during boot which can launch the Acronis loader for a Linux environment.

If you have a recovery DVD then it depends on how this was created with regard to whether it is using Linux or Windows PE or RE?

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#13

Sorry, my error on terminology.  I created the recovery DVD from an image download I got off the Acronis website.  I don't recall exactly which tool (I think it uses a Linux environment based on the messages when it load), but it doesn't matter - the recovery behavior slightly differs between my two backup tib files using that same tool was the point.  

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#14

Thanks for clarifying George, the .ISO download is Linux based but there should be consistency for handling of .tib files unless there are differences in their content.