Recently I had a motherboard fail which was using an NVMe M.2 SSD and I had no idea how I could get any data off it without buying another motherboard. Luckily, I’m a tech guy and own multiple computers with M.2 slots on each motherboard. But what if you don’t have another PC with the correct M.2 slot onboard? Let’s discuss!
What type of M.2 SSD Drive do you have?
So the first thing you need to understand is that there are several types of M.2 SSD Drives and they are not compatible with each other. The two most common types of M.2 SSD Drives are the NVMe drive and the SATA drive.
Generally, the SATA M.2 drive has 2 slots taken out of the connector pins or the KEY. This will fit into any M.2 slot but will only be compatible in an M.2 SATA port.
The NVMe M.2 Drive has just one slot removed from the KEY and again is only compatible with an NVMe M.2 Slot.
Why do Motherboards Fail?
A motherboard can fail for many different reasons. The most common reason is a power overload which causes key components on the mainboard to be destroyed. Repairing these chips is next to impossible and the cost involved makes it cheaper to buy a new motherboard entirely. So if your motherboard has failed due to an overload in a storm, you may be covered by insurance for a full replacement.
How can I retrieve data from an M.2 SSD?
If you don’t have access to another computer with multiple M.2 slots, then the fastest and cheapest method to retrieve data from an M.2 SSD Drive is an USB enclosure.
Now like I mentioned before, there are two main types of M.2 SSD. The SATA variant and the NVMe variant.
Silverstone MS10 SATA M.2 SSD Enclosure
If you have a SATA M.2 SSD Drive, then you should consider the Silverstone MS10 SATA M.2 USB Enclosure. It is a USB Type C case for SATA M.2 devices. On the front of the box you have a little graphical check list to make sure the KEY is correct on your M.2 drive. You can see the 2 missing sections in the SATA variant is the correct choice for this M.2 Enclosure. Included in the box is the M.2 enlcosure, a velvet pouch, a USB Type C to Type C cable, a screwdriver and some screws + standoffs.
Orico TCM2-C3 NVMe M.2 SSD Enclosure
When it comes to NVMe M.2 SSD Drives, I present you with two options. First is the Orico NVMe SSD Enclosure with a clear case. This case offers the 10Gbps transfer rate and is also a USB TYPE-C enclosure. For best and fastest results, use a computer with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. If you want to access your drive quickly, then this M.2 enclosure may be your best option. Inside the box you get the NVMe Enclosure, a USB Type-C to Type A cable , a screwdriver, screws + standoffs and a thermal strip.
Silverstone MS11 NVMe M.2 SSD Enclosure
The next NVMe M.2 Enclosure is the Silverstone MS11 Enclosure. This M.2 SSD Enclosure is capable of speeds up to 10Gbps when using a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. Inside the packaging, you get the MS11 NVM Express Enclosure, a screwdriver, USB A to Type C Adapter, some screws, two thermal strips and a USB Type C to Type A data cable.
The Simplest Method for M.2 Data Retrival
Those are my tips for getting your previous data off an M.2 SSD Drive when you don’t have access to another motherboard. Make sure you share this article with your friends so they know what to do if their motherboard fails in the future.