Migrate OS from SSD to PCIe or NVMe (Bootable)

This article will introduce you to one powerful SATA to NVMe cloner and how to migrate OS to PCIe or NVMe SSD step by step. It also offers solutions to the cloned SATA to NVMe won’t boot issue.


By Ivy Updated on February 7, 2023

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Can I Move OS from SSD to NVMe?

“I change my old computer (I5-3470) to a new one (i7-8700k) and take my old SSD together. My old SSD is 248GB Kingston, the NVMe is 512GB Toshiba. The motherboard has two slots for NVMe SSD.

I read that with Windows 10 there is no problem doing that, and really it just went through updating something like drivers, and everything seems to be fine. I just need to switch to legacy boot for some reason so it will recognize this SSD. What is the best way to do this?”

What Is NVMe?

NVMe, short for Non-Volatile Memory express or NVM Express, is the new transfer protocol, and developed for SSDs like SanDisk, Samsung, Crucial, WD, etc, and works with flash memory using the PCIe interface.

The fastest NVMe SSDs are directly connected to the motherboard with PCIe x4 bus and the transfer speed is over 3000MB/s. While SATA SSDs with the old-fashioned interface use a SATA bus and the transfer speed will not exceed 550 MB/s.

At the same time, the NVMe SSD has lower latency, higher IOPS(input/output operations per second), and lower consumption. More importantly, the IOPS has a significant influence on boot time.

The Powerful SATA to NVMe Cloner

Picking up one powerful SATA to NVMe cloner to migrate OS from HDD or SATA SSD to NVMe will save you a lots of time and effort. I heartily recommend you AOMEI Backupper Professional. Thanks to its excellent features, you can handle the cloning process well and ensure the NVMe SSD disk performance.

It offers both “Disk Clone” and “System Clone” to help you migrate OS to NVMe without reinstalling Windows. To clone OS only, select “System Clone”.
It is able to migrate OS from MBR disk to GPT disk and ensure the GPT disk is bootable. So you don’t need to worry about cloned SSD won’t boot due to boot mode.
It supports all brands of NVMe SSDs, such as Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD, Samsung 980 SSD, Crucial P5 Plus SSD, WD Black SN850X NVMe SSD, Kingston DC 10008, etc.

How to Migrate OS to NVMe SSD Successfully

To use NVMe SSD as boot drive, you need to be sure your computer has new hardware, M.2 PCIe x4 slot, UEFI firmware and boot mode. If your computer is using Legacy boot, please change legacy to UEFI mode in BIOS after system migration.

Besides, you still need to prepare or check the following items:

  • Be sure the “used space” of the old SSD is smaller than or equal to NVMe.
  • If you are planning to clone SATA to NVMe, you need to install the relevant drivers for NVMe or PCIe SSD.
  • The cloning process will delete all the data on the destination disk. To avoid data loss, please backup files to external hard drive in advance.
  • To clone NVMe SSD with only one slot, you could connect it externally with M.2 SSD to USB adapter or M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure.

Now download the most effective NVMe SSD cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. Install and launch it for data transfer between SATA to NVMe or NVMe to NVMe. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

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1. Connect the new NVMe SSD to M.2 PCI-E x4 slot and boot your computer. Then, click Clone and System Clone in AOMEI Backupper Professional.

System Clone

2. By default, this software will select the system partition and boot partition(s) automatically. Here you just need to click the second box and select the NVMe SSD to receive data on the old SSD.

Choose Destination

3. On the Operation Summary window, check SSD Alignment to further improve NVMe SSD disk performance, and be sure the Make full of disk space is checked if your NVMe is larger. Then, click Start Clone to transfer OS to NVMe SSD.

System Clone Preview

The cloning process is running in the background, you will still be able to use your computer as normal. Just wait patiently until the process finishes.


How to Boot from Cloned NVMe SSD

You may heard the cloned SATA to NVMe won’t boot issue, to avoid this bad things, you can boot from it and check if it is bootable. If not, you still can fix it in the next part.

Step 1. Press and hold the Power button to shut down your machine. Then, restart it and you will see a prompt, saying “Press ESC to enter BIOS” or similar. The key is usually ESC, F2, F10, etc.

Step 2. Switch to the Boot tab and move the cloned NVMe SSD as the first boot option.

Bios Boot

Step 3. If your NVMe SSD is a GPT disk, you still need to switch the boot mode to UEFI mode. Otherwise, you will find the cloned SSD won’t boot. Afterward, keep changes and boot from the NVMe SSD. 

Possible Reasons and Solutions to Cloned SATA to NVMe wont Boot

If you are experiencing the “clone SATA to NVMe wont boot” issue, learn the possible reasons and solutions below.

1. You don’t install NVMe drivers before cloning. It is a piece of cake. Just go to SSD disk manufacturer, and download the NVMe drivers for your SSD disk. If you use P-series NVMe SSD, this can be done easily by booting it into safe mode.

  • Boot your P-series NVMe SSD and then your Windows will run Automatic Repair into the recovery environment. Click Advanced options afterward.

Windows 10 Automatic Repair Failed

  • On the Choose an option window, select Troubleshoot. Then, pick Advanced options > See More recovery options > Startup Settings and click Restart.
  • Press F4 to boot the system into safe mode. After you access to safe mode, restart it and this operation will force your machine to use the correct drivers.

Enable Safe Mode

2. The EFI partition is on the second drive and the cloned NVMe lacks a boot partition. You can choose to disconnect all the extra drives, leaving only SATA and NVME, and clone again. Or manually create a bootloader partition (formatted with FAT32) with diskpart and bcdboot command.

Besides, you still need to double-check the disk space between SATA and NVMe SSD, computer boot mode, etc. For more details, you can check this article: cloned SSD won't boot.

More about SATA & NVMe

✍What are the differences between NVMe and SATA SSD?

The SATA SSDs use AHCI drivers for disks with spinning technology while the NVMe driver is for SSDs with flash technology. In addition, the NVMe SSD is able to take advantage of the PCIe bus to communicate between the storage interface and the system’s CPU for greater performance.

✍ What is the biggest advantage of NVMe SSD?

The NVMe SSD was created to take advantage of the parallel nature of SSD disks. It is able to complement the parallel structure of CPUs, platforms, and applications and issue commands and complete input/output with the optimized path, up to 64000 commands with a single I/O queue and 64000 possible queues.


You can easily migrate OS to NVMe SSD as long as you install NVMe drivers and the best NVMe SSD cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional can help you handle it well. It will include the operating system, EFI partition, installed program and data.

Also, you can use it to clone NVMe to NVMe, or clone PCIe SSD and clone M.2 SSD. Besides, it still allows you to clone entire disk or specific partition with “Disk Clone” or “Partition Clone” feature. If it is a disk with Windows, the cloned drive will remain bootable.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.