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Image an NVMe drive - it used to be easier with SSD/HDD's :-/



Hello all,

Hopefully I’ve used the right category.

I’ve had an NVMe drives for a while now, very happy with the speed, etc. Thing is, I need to upgrade and while I can use some imaging software on the active partition being copied, it’s not gone so well in the past. I really prefer having the drive connected via USB or e-Sata when it’s being imaged (using another machine), but I haven’t seen many external enclosures / adaptors that’ll do it.

Any thoughts?



Software I use: Macrium Reflect.
Hardware: MP500 Crucial and a Samsung 960 EVO (both around 240-250GB).
Poss questions: Why not put your files on another HDD?
A: I do have plenty of other internal hard drives, but I use a laptop as well (which only has the one bay) and have a set of shortcuts to cloud files which would get mucked up. I hope that makes sense!
FYI: Had to send the MP500 back as it didn’t function properly, replacement is fine and dandy.


There are external enclosures for M.2 drives that connect over USB, but as long as you have the connections in the machine to connect the source and target drives simultaneously, then something like Clonezilla should work off a USB stick.
If you only have one M.2 socket, and one SATA slot on it, you could clone it there for now, then switch M.2 drives and clone back?

If only one M.2 and no SATA,you may be able to clone the drive to an external HDD over USB?


This. Clonezilla is amazing. Find a good tutorial and really read everything on screen and Clonezilla will do anything you want.


Although there are better solutions, and I don’t know your end use, over the years I have found that using Windows backup images to be the most reliable way to recover from a PC total meltdown.

I boot into Windows repair mode.
Either I use a Windows Recovery CD that I burned or now it’s built into Window’s 10.
Follow the prompts and in a few minutes my system is completely restored.

Other methods work and probably work better…
but Windows backup is reliable and foolproof for this fool.
That’s what it’s there for.


Thanks for that, I’ll check it out.

Always nice when others agree with…well, others :slight_smile: Thanks!

Thanks for that, funnily enough I was put off Windows backup/restore when it just didn’t work (early days of Win7 and may be XP if it had it). Also, and perhaps Windows can do this, but I like macrium images because I can take a peak into it very easily and grab files out of it if I want - creates a virtual partition, much like another drive.
Perhaps I’ll throw a spare HDD in there and give Windows a shot - just to confirm, you’re talking about moving an install from one storage device to another?

Anyone else with experience of Win backup/restore?


I use Windows System Image as a backup. I only have one system.
I have never tried using it to transfer a system, but it should work.

One can make a single image of all of your drives or a separate image for each drive.
I only image my C: Windows drive.
I have a C: Intel 750 PCI NVMe, D: = Data HDD, E: = Backup HDD, G: = Games SSD and S: = Steam SSD.
My real backup is on multiple bare hard drives in a safe.
I have a hot-swap bay that I stick the backup drives into.
I also have a USB toaster dock, but the SATA hot swap is faster.

Most of my backups (D:, G:, S:) are done using SyncBack on a rotating schedule to E: every day.
I call that my ‘Ooops Drive’. I know it’s not super secure, but it’s convenient.
Mostly it’s dead storage. I have GTA V on there.
I don’t play GTA V anymore, but if I want to, I don’t have to D/L 50+ GB again.
They are straight file compare/copies so I can pick out individual files. No compression.
Usually once a month I update the backup HDD’s in the safe.

My Windows Image is not on a schedule. I should make 2 of them today. One on E:, one for the safe.
System Image is for my C: drive only, because I found Windows won’t restore properly otherwise.
I have tried other methods, but either they are unreliable for recovering from total meltdown or fiddly.



Very interesting, thanks for sharing how you do things. Wow, I haven’t used SyncBack for a good while, but I did at one point when I had less data and would often ‘dual mirror’ I guess you’d call it. So I would backup data from one hard drive to the other and also vice versa.

My final intention is to have a freenas box (made from an older machine, pic attached), and backup to that, and then have that cloud backup as well. So far I’m quite happy with Backblaze, both cost and speed, although I’ve yet to restore anything. It’s a bit of a downer that it doesn’t backup certain files types (shown below), but I appreciate why (they can always be zipped or 7’d. I’ve installed 5 hot swap bays to my original tower, but now I mainly use my faster machine instead. It just has an NVMe drive as primary and 5 x 3TB HDD’s with a fairly badly managed spread of data.

BackBlaze Default/fixed Exclusions: