NVME drive boot question

ikonix360

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I just installed a NVME drive in my 10 year old PC using a PCI-E X4 adapter. According to Crystal Disk Mark 8 the NVME drive is quite a bit faster than the SATA SSD.

Windows recognizes the drive fine, but won't boot to it which I expected to be the case.

However I did find where I can create a bootloader on a thumb drive with an NVME driver on it and boot to the NVME disk.

I tried Clover as that's the first bootloader I found and I used Boot Disk Utility.

That didn't work so good. Probably because that's moreso meant for a Mac and mine is Windows.

What bootloader will work for a Windows compatible computer?

Also the original SATA SSD I want to use as a fully functional backup of the main drive so that if the NVME drive messes up I can use the SATA drive and boot right up by selecting it in the bootloader then repair it or simply re-clone the SATA drive to it using Mini Tool Partition Wizard. What software would I need for that?

If I can get this working I have a second identical PC which I use for streaming that I want to do the same thing to.
 

kalju

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Even if you get this NVM to work, it won't run faster than a regular SSD. It only works faster if your computer is specifically built to use the NVMe drive.
Also, regular SSD will never run at the speed specified in the factory specifications if you are using it with an old SATA computer designed to run on a SATA HDD.
Of course, it is true that each SSD is always many times faster than the same HDD.
So there is no point in trying to install NVMe instead of the old HDD, especially if you are using an adapter.
 

ikonix360

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I ran a test Friday and it seems like it's faster by a good bit.

The top part of the photo is the SATA SSD.
The bottom part of the photo is the NVME SSD.

Screenshot_20220515-102241_Outlook.jpg

So unless I'm interpreting it wrong the drive is indeed much faster. Also when I installed the manufacturer's driver the speed of the NVME drive increased a bit more.
 

ikonix360

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I found a bootloader that will boot UEFI so I'm using MiniTool Partition Wizard to migrate the OS to the NVME drive and selected the GPT option so that the disk is made properly.

If I can get it to boot I'll see how fast it is and if it seems like things load faster then I'll consider it a success.

EDIT:

Am typing this from the PC booted from the NVME drive.

Will load Fortnite to see if it loads faster.

EDIT:

I got very good news.

I used to have issues with Fortnite dropping to real low FPS due to textures loading and it usually lasted a minute or several.

Now the low FPS only lasts for a few seconds if that. So I'm seeing a lot faster load times.

EDIT:

Another reason for a full backup to the SATA drive is if something should fail with the bootloader or NVME drive I can still boot to the SATA drive without losing any data. I'm thinking only the Windows partition needs backing up.
 
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ikonix360

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Another question.

Concerning backing up the NVME drive is it possible to just clone the Windows partition to the SATA drive Windows partition and still be able to boot up from the SATA drive.

If so that may be easy enough to do using MiniTool Partition Wizard.

My thought is this. Having the backup be manual once a week would be beneficial so that if something on the NVME drive is corrupted I'd have a known good file versus with an auto backup that would possibly back up the corrupted file.
 

kalju

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Of course you can, but I can't figure out why anyone should clone an entire disk every week.
If you are afraid of losing your files, you need to make a backup of them. And of course, the work computer is not the place to store / keep something that is important.
And one more thing, if you want both SATA and NVMe to be clonable, you need to have NVMe m.2 instead of NVMe
PS. Of course, I've always thought that you actually have the third or fourth generation of NVMe m.2, but not NVMe.
Is it so?
 

PP Mguire

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I ran a test Friday and it seems like it's faster by a good bit.

The top part of the photo is the SATA SSD.
The bottom part of the photo is the NVME SSD.

View attachment 14795

So unless I'm interpreting it wrong the drive is indeed much faster. Also when I installed the manufacturer's driver the speed of the NVME drive increased a bit more.
Looking at these numbers, he's right. Your NVMe drive is running as fast as that SATA drive should be. The SATA SSD is on SATA 1.5, when on a 6Gb/s (SATA 3) port it would be running the same numbers as your NVMe drive. A cheap PCI-E SATA 3 1x card would have done the trick.
 

ikonix360

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Oh ok did not know that.

All I knew at the time is that a SATA SSD was much faster than a traditional hard drive and I had figured there were no more performance gains to be had with the SATA.

However the NVME drive makes the PC slightly more secure as if I remove the thumb drive it cannot boot at all.

I had bad luck once with a PCI SATA adapter where I lost nearly three years worth of data.

I have the following NVME drive connected with a PCI-E X4 adapter.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086BGWNY8?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

I use a bootloader on a thumb drive to load the necessary driver so it will boot from the NVME drive.


Far as cloning the Windows partition I want it so if something happens to the NVME drive or bootloader I can boot from the SATA drive with only losing up to a week's worth of data, reclone the NVME drive or redo the bootloader thumb drive and be back in business.

If I only back files up, that will involve a whole lot more work should something happen to the NVME drive. I'd have to re-clone the SATA to the NVME then restore the files and also download and apply any Windows and other software and hardware updates.

Cloning the Windows partition completely eliminates all that extra work.

Of course if there's software that can back up files from the NVME drive to the SATA drive while keeping the Windows partition just like the Windows partition on the NVME drive so it's fully bootable from the SATA drive, I'd prefer that as it's only backing up what has changed.

The other partitions on the main disk aside from the Windows partition. Do they change at any time due to Windows updates, other software updates or hardware changes?

Basically it's the desire to have a fully bootable backup that is at minimum current as of up to a week ago.
 

PP Mguire

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All I knew at the time is that a SATA SSD was much faster than a traditional hard drive and I had figured there were no more performance gains to be had with the SATA.
They are, but SATA also has different iterations from 1 to 3. Looking at the numbers it appears you are limited to SATA 1 speeds, where as on a SATA 3 port your SATA SSD would be as fast as the NVMe drive currently is.
I have the following NVME drive connected with a PCI-E X4 adapter.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086BGWNY8?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1
Looks like even that is being held back significantly, which is probably a CPU bottleneck at that point. PCI-E 1.1 at x4 speeds would have a theoretical bandwidth of 1GB/s and that drive is capable of at least 2.2GB/s sustained reads in a benchmark. I mean the setup is fine as is if it works I'm just letting you know.
The other partitions on the main disk aside from the Windows partition. Do they change at any time due to Windows updates, other software updates or hardware changes?
The other partitions are for UEFI so the SATA drive doesn't need those unless you plan to boot UEFI with it too. I would use Macrium Reflect to just backup the drive at set intervals and tell it to purge the old backup at another set interval.
 

ikonix360

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In the manual, the block diagram does say SATA 2.

The SATA SSD will be kept as MBR so that I can still boot in the event something happens to the NVME drive or thumb drive with the bootloader on it.

I'm tempted to clone the thumb drive to free space on the SATA SSD, but then if something happened to the SATA SSD I couldn't boot at all.

The NVME drive indeed is faster than the SATA drive so in that respect it works great.

So using Macrium Reflect I can tell it to just backup the Windows partition of the NVME drive to the Windows partition of the SATA drive and still be able to boot from the SATA drive if needed?

The full 3.0 standard was released on May 27, 2009.

I guess not all manufacturers implemented the standard right away which could explain why mine has SATA 2.0, plus given the type computer this is the manufacturer may not have wanted to go with a new standard right away and instead chose something already reliable.
 
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