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#371480 - 08/01/2019 12:02 Looking for some hardware
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Hi all,

My wife's got an HP x360 spectre laptop. Excellent machine, but the 512 GB SSD is a tad on the small side, so I would like to upgrade it to a 1TB model.
The 512 GB "disk" is a Samsung M.2 NVMe model. So the easiest would be to replace it with a Samsung 1TB NVMe model, most likely a 970 EVO or PRO. I know the Samsung magician software can do the clone then, I've seen others do it on Youtube. The only thing is, those others used a system with two M.2 slots. My wife's laptop only has one.

When I used to do this thing back in the "old sata" days, I simply used a SATA to USB converter in which I then put the new drive, then cloned it, after which a simply swapped the disks. Worked every time.

So now I need some M.2 to USB device, but I can't seems to find any, or better, I can't seem to find any that are NVMe compatible. (I can find M.2 SATA models though)

Would anybody know of such a device? Looking on Amazon provided me no solution.

The second thing I'm looking for a a USB-C hub, since this laptop only has USB-C connections. All of those hubs I've found are USB-C to USB-A (3.0) hubs. (or with HDMI ports etc) But I actually also want to expand the number of USB-C connections I have, because I'm also using an external USB-C screen and a USB-C Samsung T5 external SSD HD. In combination with the power supply which is also USB-C, I'm running short on ports.

But USB-C to multiple USB-C ports hubs don't seem to exist?? Ideally this hub would have 2 or 3 USB-C ports AND 2 or 3 USB A ports. (but those don't exist either).

Now, I can also put a USB A adapter on the USB-C cable of both the external screen and the external SSD, for both this is provided. But I think this is a bit silly since it's another adapter in the chain AND USB-C will become the new standard anyway, so I'm looking to buy future-proof.

Would somebody know of a USB-C hub with multiple USB-C ports AND multiple USB-A (3.0) ports?

Thanks!!
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Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371481 - 08/01/2019 14:32 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
There are external M2.NVMe enclosures that connect over USB. Some of these include cloning software as well. Here is one such enclosure (dunno about included software):

https://www.amazon.com/QNINE-Enclosure-J...osure&psc=1

I have ordered a similar (identical?) one from Asia for about 1/5 the cost, but it will take a month or so to arrive. Amazon is quicker, but more expensive. smile

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#371482 - 08/01/2019 14:35 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
For a Type-C hub, at the moment the best bet seems to be to get one that has the stuff you'd normally use, all built-in. So one with the HDMI port, and ethernet included, and then some extra Type-C and Type-A ports. If it also has "power delivery", it can be used to power the notebook as well. Eg this one:

https://www.amazon.com/HyperDrive-Type-C...=usb+type-c+hub


Oh, no ethernet in that one, and probably "Mac only".
Here;s one with ethernet, but no extra Type-C ports:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FX2LW35/ref...0f-5d60e9bba019

The trick, as this very thread discussed way back, is to be wary of such hubs that use "DisplayLink" chips for the HDMI/graphics ports. DisplayLink is an MS-Windows only thing these days. They dropped Mac support, and never really had any true Linux support (though drivers do exist for Linux). But if all you ever use is MSWin, then they're quite good.



Edited by mlord (08/01/2019 14:49)

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#371483 - 08/01/2019 14:42 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
Here's another Type-C hub thingie that looks a lot more suitable:

https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Nucleum-...ingston+Nucleum
https://www.anandtech.com/show/12320/kin...d-microsd-power

That one is probably the best available at the moment.

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#371484 - 08/01/2019 14:51 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Ah!! Very nice Mark, thanks a lot for those links!
Could you also provide me with a link to that el cheapo chinese NVMe adapter? I'm not in a hurry. smile

Thanks!
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371485 - 08/01/2019 14:54 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada


Edited by mlord (08/01/2019 14:55)

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#371486 - 08/01/2019 15:01 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
Speaking of USB SSD adapters, I use a lot of the garden variety USB-3.1 Type-A to SATA adapters and enclosures here.

But I only just this week discovered the joys of UASP, and have since been busy replacing some of my gear with these more capable versions.

Eg.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0736JB1NV/ (not yet tested)
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B072JW2SB7/ (UASP works very well)
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B072JW2SB7/ (UASP works very well)

With spinning rust it hardly matters, but for SSDs over USB, the difference is 430MBytes/sec versus 240MBytes/sec max with the non-UASP variety. And nicer CPU utilization regardless.

The only problem is that one does have to carefully scour reviews to ensure a device that advertises UASP really does have it. I've returned one (thus far) to Amazon for false-advertising.


Edited by mlord (08/01/2019 15:24)

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#371487 - 08/01/2019 15:14 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
I also have some of these on order (should be here today):

Type-A male to Type-C female adapter. These are not simple mechanical pass-through, but rather have chips and stuff inside to make them work better (apparently). I'll post more once I receive/play with them.

My WD15 dock has no USB-C ports, so I ordered those to compensate for that. They are used to convert Type-A USB ports into Type-C USB data/charging ports.


Edited by mlord (08/01/2019 15:18)

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#371488 - 08/01/2019 15:21 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Originally Posted By: mlord

Thanks for the info! I just found this one, but your option is even cheaper ! smile
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371489 - 08/01/2019 15:22 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
Yeah, better heatsink and ventilation as well on the cheaper one. The drives do get very hot in use.

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#371490 - 08/01/2019 15:27 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Wow, I just checked out that same enclosure you linked to on the Belgian ebay, and prices there are easily almost 3 times as expensive. Dunno what's happening there. frown
I'll try and buy it straight from your link then.
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371491 - 08/01/2019 15:27 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
One thing I am using the UASP USB-SATA adapters with are a bunch of 120GB HP M700 (aka. S700) SSDs. A local shop is selling the SSDs for CAD$30/each, and I find them quite handy for testing OS installations or just for copying large video files around. Much faster than just about any USB sticks, but pretty similar cost for the capacity.

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#371492 - 08/01/2019 15:29 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: BartDG
Wow, I just checked out that same enclosure you linked to on the Belgian ebay, and prices there are easily almost 3 times as expensive. Dunno what's happening there. frown
I'll try and buy it straight from your link then.


I found a ton of sellers with the 3X pricing as well. The one I linked to was the only really cheap one I saw!

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#371493 - 08/01/2019 15:57 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Yes, I noticed! smile
Thanks for the help Mark!
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371494 - 08/01/2019 16:18 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12149
Loc: Sterling, VA
I ended up using Macrium Reflect to make the same drive swap last year. For some reason at the time I couldn't find the right drive adapter, and the two I ordered didn't work. So I stored the image on an external drive, used a flash drive for recovery, and transferred that way. It takes longer but it worked.

Good luck!
_________________________
Matt

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#371495 - 08/01/2019 18:41 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: Dignan]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Thanks Matt, I'll keep that in mind! For now the plan is still to simply buy a NVMe adapter and a Samsung 970 M.2 drive though, and then use Samsung's own free Data Migration software (which only works with Samsung drives, but that's fine in this case) to clone the disks, after which I will swap them.

The "old" 512 GB disk I'll then use in a new desktop system I plan on buying in a couple of months. I'll use it as a boot disk. For my desktop PC, this is enough to contain the OS and all of my programs. All my other stuff like music, photo's etc is on a secondary drive anyway.

To be honest, I find it a bit surprising that only so few NVMe to USB solutions exist. NVMe has been there now for some years already, no? For SATA to USB, literally hundreds of adapters exist. Strange.
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371496 - 08/01/2019 22:07 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12149
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: BartDG
Thanks Matt, I'll keep that in mind! For now the plan is still to simply buy a NVMe adapter and a Samsung 970 M.2 drive though, and then use Samsung's own free Data Migration software (which only works with Samsung drives, but that's fine in this case) to clone the disks, after which I will swap them.

Oh you're definitely doing it the better way. Much easier and half the time.

Quote:
The "old" 512 GB disk I'll then use in a new desktop system I plan on buying in a couple of months. I'll use it as a boot disk.

I've been trying to think about what to do with my old drive. I had been keeping it around as a backup, but at this point it's so out of date that I might as well start over. Maybe I'll get one of the newer enclosures out there and use it as a very fast flash drive.

Quote:
To be honest, I find it a bit surprising that only so few NVMe to USB solutions exist. NVMe has been there now for some years already, no? For SATA to USB, literally hundreds of adapters exist. Strange.

I'd say thousands! Yeah, it's odd, but SATA has been around much longer. More importantly, it's more common to be manipulating a SATA drive. The M2 drives are usually harder to get to and in laptops that aren't designed for them to be as easily replaceable. In my work I dearly miss the days where I could flip the laptop over, unscrew two screws at the edge, and slide the hard drive out. SO EASY! Now I have to remove 12 screws of different lengths, pry the plastic off, remove a few ribbon cables, and hope I get it all back together again without breaking anything!
_________________________
Matt

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#371498 - 09/01/2019 21:43 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: Dignan]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Originally Posted By: Dignan

(...) In my work I dearly miss the days where I could flip the laptop over, unscrew two screws at the edge, and slide the hard drive out. SO EASY! Now I have to remove 12 screws of different lengths, pry the plastic off, remove a few ribbon cables, and hope I get it all back together again without breaking anything!

Ain't that the truth! I have no idea why current manufacturers make it so hard on the customer to swap out memory, SSD or even the battery! Heck, seeing how the harddisk is now nothing more than just another type of "memory" which fits into a slot, you would think they'd make those slots easily accessible. Instead, it gets harder with each notebook generation. What's up with that?
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371499 - 09/01/2019 21:50 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
The new Dell XPS 13 9360 here is very similar to my previous XPS 13. Just bunch of small Torx screws on the bottom side holding the base together. Remove those (fewer of them in the newer model) and the guts are readily accessible. The SSD and WiFi card are the only real upgrades possible to it, and it's not a complete hardship to get at them.

I don't know what other brands/models are like though.

Our Precision M6400 beasts are more old-school, with the two screws (permanently removed) to access the slide-out 2.5" drives, and separate hatches for memory and Wifi. Very handy, for sure, especially the slide out drives. On the new model I've switched to USB3-UASP adapters for booting from other drives, which is just about as simple.

Really, what I miss on the Ultrabooks is the ExpressCard slot that the old beasts have. I used it to test drives and drivers for various native PCIe SATA controllers, and even stuck a USB3 expansion card in there (no USB3 on stock machine).

Cheers

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#371503 - 10/01/2019 19:32 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12149
Loc: Sterling, VA
The XPS line is pretty good. Not too many screws (just one hidden one), and the plastic comes off easily. But there are others out there that are a complete nightmare. The last one I did needed the optical drive removed (it had its own screws), the shell took considerable force to remove (I always think I'm going to break something), and I had to disconnect three ribbon cables from the motherboard. Oh, and I forgot that I also needed to remove the keyboard before removing the shell because there were screws under there too. Awful.
_________________________
Matt

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#371562 - 17/01/2019 14:48 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
Originally Posted By: BartDG
Wow, I just checked out that same enclosure you linked to on the Belgian ebay, and prices there are easily almost 3 times as expensive. Dunno what's happening there. frown
I'll try and buy it straight from your link then.


I found a ton of sellers with the 3X pricing as well. The one I linked to was the only really cheap one I saw!


Well, eBay has delisted the item and removed the seller from the site. Time will tell whether or not the enclosure actually arrives here, or if I'll get a refund, or if I've been stiffed.

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#371593 - 23/01/2019 13:49 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Auch. Sorry to hear that, hope it turns out ok.

In other news, I received the NVMe enclosure and was able to make the clone and swap the drive no problems. I did have to use different cloning software than Samsung's though. But as it turns out, there are lots of free alternatives available.

The 970 I replaced the other Samsung m.2 with is also notably faster. So I'm very happy.
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371594 - 23/01/2019 14:08 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
Well, that's encouraging. If you've received the same item from the same seller already, having ordered after I did, then mine is probably in a giant parcel pile at Canada Post now. It may even arrive here by the spring!

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#371595 - 23/01/2019 14:32 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2595
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Oops. Not to disappoint you, but I've ordered it from Amazon since I needed it fairly quickly. Sorry.
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#371786 - 15/03/2019 18:47 Re: Looking for some hardware [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14106
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
Originally Posted By: mlord
Originally Posted By: BartDG
Wow, I just checked out that same enclosure you linked to on the Belgian ebay, and prices there are easily almost 3 times as expensive. Dunno what's happening there. frown
I'll try and buy it straight from your link then.


I found a ton of sellers with the 3X pricing as well. The one I linked to was the only really cheap one I saw!


Well, eBay has delisted the item and removed the seller from the site. Time will tell whether or not the enclosure actually arrives here, or if I'll get a refund, or if I've been stiffed.

No sign of it here, so I have initiated the paypal refund process -- eBay is incapable of it because they delisted the seller, and that confuses their software.

The similar enclosure on Amazon Canada just dropped $10 in price (to CAD$50) so I have now ordered that one.

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