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[HELP] Can I move SSD to external USB C (3.1) enclosure and boot windows 10 from...
 

[HELP] Can I move SSD to external USB C (3.1) enclosure and boot windows 10 from it?  

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sskillz
(@sskillz)
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Joined: 1 month ago
 

Hi,

---- UPDATE:
Yes it's possible, You would need to go to regedit and edit the 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\HardwareConfig\Current\BootDriverFlags
And set it's value from 0 to 0x1c (Hexadecimal, 28 Decimal), this flags control which drivers are available at boot time, and
we need USB 3 drivers for this. 

That's it.

----- OLD question:

I have a work laptop that I don't want to reinstall windows on (because of work stuff), and I'm getting a m.2 egpu (R43SG)

which would replace the currently only internal storage port (m.2) in the laptop (hp elitebook 840 g5).

So I need to move the ssd to external storage, either TB (expensive) or USB.

For this I ordered MyDigitalSSD m2x m.2 to usb 3.1 gen 2 usb-c enclosure.

 

I still haven't got the parts yet.

Would moving the ssd to the enclosure be enough to boot to my current installation?

Or do I need to change something?

Thanks,

Paul.

This topic was modified 1 month ago

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joevt
(@joevt)
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I think it should work. I used a similar USB-C NVMe drive to boot Ubuntu. At least moving the M.2 drive won't erase or change any of the data.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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nando4
(@nando4)
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@sskillz, I did exactly the same thing with a 840 G5, tidbits here. As the 840 G5’s CPU can be TDP unlocked with Throttlestop, if can keep the CPU cool it behaves like a 45W 4-core H CPU. Very impressive performance from a highly portable 14″ notebook.

If you use a Thunderbolt NVME SSD enclosure then can transfer the internal NVME SSD directly across  and it will boot up.  I used a JEYI one and the 840 G5 BIOS did support Thunderbolt bootup and it booted OK.

If the the enclosure is a USB 3.1 one, then it won’t boot when swapped in. I used WinToUSB software to do a fresh Win10 installation which then allowed it to boot up OK. The fresh Win10 installation had installed the necessary USB drivers.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table


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sskillz
(@sskillz)
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Posted by: @nando4

@sskillz, I did exactly the same thing with a 840 G5, tidbits here. As the 840 G5's CPU can be TDP unlocked with Throttlestop, if can keep the CPU cool it behaves like a 45W 4-core H CPU. Very impressive performance from a highly portable 14" notebook.

If you use a Thunderbolt NVME SSD enclosure then can transfer the internal NVME SSD directly across  and it will boot up.  I used a JEYI one and the 840 G5 BIOS did support Thunderbolt bootup and it booted OK.

If the the enclosure is a USB 3.1 one, then it won't boot when swapped in. I used WinToUSB software to do a fresh Win10 installation which then allowed it to boot up OK. The fresh Win10 installation had installed the necessary USB drivers.

Yeah your post, is why I chose the M.2 to begin with 🙂

Do you think I can install the usb drivers ahead of time avoiding the need to re-install?
For example, inserting the enclosure with a different SSD first so it would be recognized and then 

Thanks, Paul.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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nando4
(@nando4)
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@sskillz , I found no guide on how to convert from NVME to USB boot. I reverted to a fresh WinToGo install as a workaround. Maybe using Macrium Reflect? Pls post if you find a way.

This post was modified 1 month ago

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table


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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

I don't understand the difficulty. Connect the USB drive, press F12 at startup or whatever, then select the Windows boot loader from the EFI partition of the USB drive?

Unless you're trying to boot from legacy BIOS?

I'll try some tests on my own PC.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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sskillz
(@sskillz)
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Joined: 1 month ago
 

Thanks guys, I got the external enclosure to try.

I was afraid this would happen, but SSD doesn't boot because of work installed mcafee drive encryption 😐
I'll check if there is a workaround for it, maybe I can disable it on boot.

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sskillz
(@sskillz)
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They allowed me to remove the encryption for now.
Now I get windows blue screen "inaccessible boot device", seems like usb 3.1 or some other drivers aren't loaded.

Others in the internet say try windows registry edits such as 
BootDriverFlags , and PortableOperatingSystem.

Tried BootDriverFlags as 0x14 (My system default was already 0x1C so I guess the 0x04 flag was on already) and creating a Q64 reg key for PortableOperatingSystem with value 1.

 

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sskillz
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Hey it worked! 🙂
Changed the BootDriverFlags  in a different location this time.
I have 2 entries for it in my WIN 10.
One in
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control (which is symbolic link to either, HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ControlSet001 or ControlSet002, depending on last boot).
I had this value already with usb 3 enabled it was 0x1C.
I had another one (BootDriverFlags)  in HKLM\SYSTEM\HardwareConfig\Current (Again a symbolic link to some configuration under Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\HardwareConfig).
This one was 0, and I set to to 0x1C as well.

There are reference on the internet for changing Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\HardwareConfig\BootDriverFlags, but I didn't have this key, I created it anyway
and set it to 0x1C as well.

First boot didn't work with some blue screen too fast to read. Second one worked 🙂
I'll verify which one worked for me by deleting one of them.

Work IT will try and encrypt the drive again, and I hope that still works.

Performace is shown in screenshot.

Now I need the m.2 to pci-e to get here.

 as ssd bench JMicron Tech SCS 8.20.2019 9 53 05 AM

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sskillz
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I have two SSDs, work one WD SN520, and the bench in last post is when booted to it from thunderbolt/usb-c port.

But it seems the enclosure can handle more (or because I booted to it), when I tested SILICON POWER P34A80 1TB as additional drive, I got faster write:

as ssd bench JMicron Tech SCS 8.19.2019 11 52 19 AM

Still, fast enough.

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nando4
(@nando4)
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@sskillz , great investigative work. Once you’ve completed your testing, would you mind summarizing the process needed to boot a NVME SSD in a USB-C enclosure in the opening post?

This sskillz method can then be referenced for future builds on systems like a Elitebook 840 G5 with a single M.2 NVME SSD slot. Then could swap in/out the NVME SSD for the M.2 NVME eGPU adapter when docked/mobile respectively. M.2 eGPUs already outperform Thunderbolt 3 but even more so when the system has a 16Gbps 2-lane TB3 controller like the Elitebook 840/850 G5 (or it’s ZBook 14U/15U G5 cousin).

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table


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sskillz
(@sskillz)
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Sadly IT re-encrypted the drive, and I can't test which flag worked right now (hw config one, or current config one, I'm guessing the current config one).
The preboot decryption/validation used  in mcafee drive encryption 7.2 doesn't like this configuration.

I wanted to use the same work drive for the eGPU os, so we could do short gaming breaks  (With oculus rift S VR headset) while compiling longer projects and stuff like that 🙂
Now, I'd have to shutdown, remove the internal M.2, connect eGPU instead and boot to external SSD with different OS (and games). Not a short break endeavour :/ Maybe end of day.
On the plus side, the external SSD will be bigger, and I won't have to worry about isolating work stuff.

I'll install windows on my other SSD (while it's internal) and test it externally to verify the procedure and update the main post.
Edit: Updated main post

-- P.S Rant:
I hate that we still don't have external pci, with no uneeded (unless you want long cables support) costly interface such as thunderbolt.
Just wire a few PCI lanes to external port what so complicated about that 😐 
That will cut some into their gaming laptops  (and some desktops) business, but they allowed thunderbolt....
--- End of Rant.

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sskillz
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@nando4,
This worked, egpu worked. I don't notice any performance difference running from usb and having a m.2 4x eGPU 🙂
I'm even running 3.1 gen, and oculus rift S connected to the eGPU.
I'll post a build soon.

But I'm worried about disconnecting and reconnecting the (fragile?) m.2 connector of the R43SG.
And I got the shortest one for the least signal issues, but it the most stressful on the connector :/

This is my options I found:
1) Extending the M.2 externally via R44SF extender, but I don't find many that it worked for them.
     Drawbacks: Needs to screw m.2 connector in each time, and I'm not sure how durable is the m.2 connector.
2)  Use PCI-E to m.2 (see link)and just keep the R43SG connected somehow, and replace the external pci-e from GPU to the encrypted work M.2 SSD.
      If that would work (m.2 -> pci-e -> m.2). It would be like a cartridge swap, for power I can solder some quicker connectors.
      Drawbacks: Remove eGPU each time and replace it another card (wear on PCIe connector), and need to carry the R43SG everywhere.
3) I can connect to my work network via vpn, so I might just use my second SSD externally for gaming at home and for work.
     I'll just remove the eGPU each morning. So I'll get a minimal riser (see link) so it would be less wear on the R4SG.
     Drawbacks: Remove eGPU each time (slightly less wear on PCIe connector), and need to carry the R43SG everywhere.

Do you think something like a ADT  R42 m.2 to 4x + (4x -> 4x PCI ) riser/extender work? or does the elitebook needs some delay or something the
R43SG provides?

Thanks,
Paul.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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nando4
(@nando4)
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Good work. Confirm too setting the registry flags you list here allowed both a SATA and NVME SSD hosted via USB to boot Windows.

As for extenders, two 840 G5 systems tested failed to provide consistent GTX 1080 Ti FPS when they were in use.  FPS would surge-slow-surge. This was the case if using the extender with a 25cm or 50Cm R43SG/R43SL. The issue occurring as soon as a new edge connector extender was added.

During the limited time with the 840 G5, was plugging the R43SG directly in the M.2 slot. Wear was not a problem. R43SG has had a price drop to ~US$50 so can be replaced. Most importantly, the 840 G5 has 3YR manufacturers warranty. HP quick to sort out issues to get you back up and running.

Incidentally, am after a Bios Config Utility dump here to identify a eGPU performance setting. Maybe you can grab one from your Elitebook and post it?

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table


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sskillz
(@sskillz)
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Joined: 1 month ago
 

@nando4

My laptop is 830 G5 but I guess it's the same as 840, just smaller.
I ordered R42SL to see if it would be easier to work with, and provides the same functionality.
And Riser White 008S NGFF M.2 just to try 1X link with VR.
Is there a 2X link with something like a USB cable? or some other detachable.

I'll check the config, but isn't  "PCI Express Power Management" in windows power management  as well (PCI link state something...).

I actually don't mind the laptop damage much, it's the intermediate state that would be hard to debug, if the connector loses firm contact with the m.2 connector.
And that it took 1 Month for the R43SG to get here. If the above extenders work, I'll have fallbacks 🙂

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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nando4
(@nando4)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: @sskillz

@nando4

My laptop is 830 G5 but I guess it’s the same as 840, just smaller.
I ordered R42SL to see if it would be easier to work with, and provides the same functionality.
And Riser White 008S NGFF M.2 just to try 1X link with VR.
Is there a 2X link with something like a USB cable? or some other detachable.

I’ll check the config, but isn’t  “PCI Express Power Management” in windows power management  as well (PCI link state something…).

I actually don’t mind the laptop damage much, it’s the intermediate state that would be hard to debug, if the connector loses firm contact with the m.2 connector.
And that it took 1 Month for the R43SG to get here. If the above extenders work, I’ll have fallbacks 🙂

 

The 14″ 840 G5 and 15″ 850 G5 use the same internal systemboard.  Clever modularization that reduces engineering costs. The 830 G5 has a   different board. So it’s sensitivity to adding addition edge connectors along the eGPU link might differ.

Given the sensitivity found with the 840 G5, would advise against the Riser White and instead stick with ADT-Link adapters with soldered cables.  There is a x4 and x1 option:

https://egpu.io/best-egpu-buyers-guide/#m2-interface

With a  GTX 1080 Ti M.2 eGPU, Forza 4 benchmark gets 80FPS on a i7-8850H ZBook G5 and > 100 FPS on a i5-8350U 840 G5.  Disabling Windows PCI Express power management didn’t improve the ZBook performance.  Only once PCI Express power management was disabled  using the HP BIOS Configuration utility, the ZBook matched the Elitebook FPS performance.  So the default BIOS setting on these “U” Elitebooks do not need to be tinkered with to maximize eGPU performance.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table


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