Problem migrating the system drive from my source NVMe to a new target NVMe: “The external backing provider is not recognized.”


BothHands

Member
Local time
8:40 AM
Posts
62
OS
Windows 11
Windows 11 Pro 21H2, OS Build 22000.2538
Beelink MiniPC, SER5 Pro, AMD Ryzen 5700U

OVERVIEW
I’ve been trying to migrate from my original 500GB system NVMe drive to a new 1TB NVMe. I’m using DiskGenius FREE. The operation completes and I swap the two drives. Everything looks good, but when I try to open Computer Management, Disk Management or some other “Windows Tools” on the new 1TB target drive I see this error message: The external backing provider is not recognized.

1. Computer Mgmt - The external backing provider is not recognized.png

This is a large post. I apologize for that, but I think members who are willing and able to help me will appreciate as much up-front information as possible.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
1. Beelink installs a non-standard Win 11 Pro 64 on their MiniPCs. Online user comments suggest it’s a pared-down, de-bloated version. Maybe they de-bloated something important?

2. Perhaps the DiskGenius FREE software is the problem. I find it straightforward, quick and easy to use - and it seems to be a popular brand. I installed it on the C:\ partition of the original/source drive. Is it possible that running DiskGenius from the source/system partition (the partition being cloned) is causing this problem?

3. I do not use a Microsoft.com user account with this computer. I use a local account. Could that be a factor?

4. I set up two partitions on the source drive. C:\ is the system and D:\ is for Windows User folders: Documents, Desktop, Downloads, Pictures. For the record, I did indeed relocate those User folders correctly. In each attempt, I cloned/migrated the entire 500GB drive onto the new 1TB drive. Could separating the User folders from the system partition cause this problem?

In the Disk Manager image below, the original 500GB source drive is Disk 0, and the new 1TB target drive as Disk 1. I kept partition sizes the same on both drives.

2. DiskMgmt = Disk0 500GB Phisen source, Disk1 1TB target WD NS580 - Copy.png

Beelink MiniPC: SER5 Pro 5700U
I purchased this tiny system about two months ago. 16-core AMD Ryzen 5700U processor with onboard AMD Radeon graphics and 16GB of Ram. The included system drive is a Phisen 500GB NVMe.

The system is still small and orderly. Mostly I’ve just been finding my way around in Win11 and setting things up to suit me. That’s taken a lot of effort and time, so I want to avoid any fresh installs.

The “Properties” windows for the source drive and target drive C:\ partitions indicate that the source system data is larger than is the data cloned to the target drive. FWIW, before I started any of this I analyzed both NVMe drives using Crystal Disk Info; both tested “GOOD 100%.”

3. DiskMgmt = Disk0 Phisen source, Disk1 WD NS580 = DIFFERENT SIZES.png#3 The two SYSTEM partition "Free Space" sizes should match, but they don't.

4. Disk0 & Disk1 C partition sizes, per Properties.png
#4 The 'Used Space' and 'Free Space' on partitions C and E should match, but they don't.

I’ve tried cloning about ten times now:
1. DiskGenius “Hot Migration” method, which doesn’t require a reboot. 2. “Boot to WinPE” method, which shuts the system down and quickly reopens to a DiskGenius USB boot disk operation. 3. Tried making a DiskGenius USB Boot Disk and running the migration from that. The result is always the same. The data cloned to the target drive is smaller than the data on the source drive, and attempting to open Disk Manager and other “Windows Tools” on the new Target disk reports: The external backing provider is not recognized.

What is the “external backing provider” anyway?

The source and target Data partitions (D and F) do not match either. Per the image below, the Used Space on the target drive is slightly smaller than the Used Space on the original/source drive, which relates to the data-size disparity between source and target System partitions.

5. Source & Target DATA Partitions (almost) match  copy.png
#5 The 'Used Space' and 'Free Space' on partitions D and F should match, but they don't.


Windows 11 In-place Upgrade (which failed)
I figured I could REPAIR the faulty target-drive’s operating system, so I downloaded and ran the 64-bit Windows 11 ISO file: Win11_23H2_English_x64v2.iso. After an hour the process said it was returning my system to its former settings. Wait, what?! Then it posted this message: We couldn't install Windows 11. We've set your PC back to the way it was right before you started installing Windows 11. Did Beelink install some “bootleg” OS on my new computer?

0x8007000D - 0x40021
The installation failed in the SECOND_BOOT phase
with an error during SYSPREP_RESPECIALIZE operation

6. SHORT Win11 In-place Upgrade = We couldn't install Windows 11.png

I searched partition C:\ on the original/source drive for all instances of diskmgmt.msc. I double-clicked each of the eight files I found. Each one opened Disk Management as expected. Then I swapped the new/target NVMe in as the system drive and searched partition C:\ on that drive. I double-clicked all eight diskmgmt.msc files, and all eight returned the error: The external backing provider is not recognized.

7. Search C for diskmgmt.msc yields 8 nogo .png


FWIW, others are experiencing this same problem, too. For example, here’s a Beelink SER5 Pro user describing the same problem a year ago. Unfortunately, none of the discussions I find ever result in a solution.

I’m just a long-time Windows user who is losing way too much time over this. I have no Windows expertise; my only knowledge is whatever I’ve picked up over the years fighting with, and frequently being defeated by my Windows computer(s). I’d be very grateful for guidance from this forum. Most of the solid Windows 10 solutions I’ve found online come out of TenForums.com. So I have high hopes for ElevenForum.

8. System About, Win 11 Pro 21H2.png
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
1. Beelink installs a non-standard Win 11 Pro 64 on their MiniPCs. Online user comments suggest it’s a pared-down, de-bloated version. Maybe they de-bloated something important?

Don't think so

2. Perhaps the DiskGenius FREE software is the problem. I find it straightforward, quick and easy to use - and it seems to be a popular brand. I installed it on the C:\ partition of the original/source drive. Is it possible that running DiskGenius from the source/system partition (the partition being cloned) is causing this problem?

I have used it about 10 clones and they all worked

3. I do not use a Microsoft.com user account with this computer. I use a local account. Could that be a factor?

Nope

4. I set up two partitions on the source drive. C:\ is the system and D:\ is for Windows User folders: Documents, Desktop, Downloads, Pictures. For the record, I did indeed relocate those User folders correctly. In each attempt, I cloned/migrated the entire 500GB drive onto the new 1TB drive. Could separating the User folders from the system partition cause this problem?

??

Why don't you try Macrium Reflect Free? See if it works better, it will do system clones that boot.
Can still get from here with instructions.

BUT first do the DISM commands from elevated command prompt for check health etc, and SFC /scannow afterwards

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth



 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    some kind of old ASUS MB
    CPU
    old AMD B95
    Motherboard
    ASUS
    Memory
    8gb
    Hard Drives
    ssd WD 500 gb
Thanks, sdowney717 for your reply.

Why don't you try Macrium Reflect Free? See if it works better, it will do system clones that boot.
Can still get from here with instructions.
The free version is no longer available. If you have it on your system(s) keep it safe. =] That's likely the last one you'll get.
BUT first do the DISM commands for check heatlh etc, and SFC

I'm assuming the "DISM commands" are part of the Macrium Reflect Free program. No gots, and unless I'm missing something, the MajorGeeks page no longer provides any free Macrium download versions...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
@sdowney717
You say you've used DiskGenius FREE ten times with no problems. Good to hear, as I like it and don't think it's the problem. QUESTION: Where did you install it? On the source C:\ system partition, where mine is installed?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
I'm assuming the "DISM commands" are part of the Macrium Reflect Free program.
No, they are tools for your Windows from MS.
Same as SFC /Scannow but, will repair / replace if possible any damaged files.

This one is still free
1709681613216.png

This one is paid or sub
1709681642869.png
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    windows 11 22631.3447
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI Raider GE76
    CPU
    Core i9 12th gen 12900HK 2.9 MHz
    Motherboard
    MSI
    Memory
    32 Gigs DDR5-4800
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia RTX 3070 Ti / 8 Gigs DDR6
    Sound Card
    DYNAUDIO - Klipsch 2.1 THX - Sound Effects by Nahimic 3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" 1920 x 1080 360 Hz 3 ms, IPS / Connected to MSI 32 inch curved @ 165 Hz
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 / Both
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 990 Pro 2TB (OS) - Solidigm P41 2TB (Storage)
    PSU
    280 watts
    Case
    MSI GE series
    Cooling
    internal
    Keyboard
    Steelseries
    Mouse
    G903 Lightspeed
    Internet Speed
    1000 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox / Opera GX- Do not like Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes'
    Other Info
    just ask.
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI GT73 7RE VR Titan
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 7820HK 2.9 Ghz
    Motherboard
    MSI
    Memory
    16 Gigs DDR4 2400 Mhz
    Graphics card(s)
    nVidia 1070 8GB RAM
    Sound Card
    DYNAUDIO / Nahimic 2
    Monitor(s) Displays
    IPS / 120HZ
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080P
    Hard Drives
    Samsung NVME EVO 970 1TB / Samsung SSD (SATA) 1TB
    PSU
    240 watts
    Case
    MSI
    Cooling
    Internal
    Mouse
    Logitech G903 Lightspeed
    Keyboard
    Steelseries
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s
    Browser
    Firefox / Vivaldi
    Antivirus
    MalwareBytes'
    Other Info
    none.
@sdowney717
You say you've used DiskGenius FREE ten times with no problems. Good to hear, as I like it and don't think it's the problem. QUESTION: Where did you install it? On the source C:\ system partition, where mine is installed?
I have used it countless times. It is excellent. I usually have it in the %programfiles% folder, but it shouldnt matter. I have also used the portable version and in winpe.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-8400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    2x8gb 3200mhz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    benq gw2480
    PSU
    bequiet pure power 11 400CM
    Cooling
    cryorig m9i
  • Operating System
    win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    pentium g5400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    1x8gb 2400
    PSU
    xfx pro 450

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-8400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    2x8gb 3200mhz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    benq gw2480
    PSU
    bequiet pure power 11 400CM
    Cooling
    cryorig m9i
  • Operating System
    win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    pentium g5400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    1x8gb 2400
    PSU
    xfx pro 450
Other idea, is clone the drives on a different PC
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    some kind of old ASUS MB
    CPU
    old AMD B95
    Motherboard
    ASUS
    Memory
    8gb
    Hard Drives
    ssd WD 500 gb
@sdowney717
You say you've used DiskGenius FREE ten times with no problems. Good to hear, as I like it and don't think it's the problem. QUESTION: Where did you install it? On the source C:\ system partition, where mine is installed?
just wherever it wants to go. When you clone from the running OS, it takes a system snapshot
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    some kind of old ASUS MB
    CPU
    old AMD B95
    Motherboard
    ASUS
    Memory
    8gb
    Hard Drives
    ssd WD 500 gb
Still free, I just downloaded it again

1709684172863.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    some kind of old ASUS MB
    CPU
    old AMD B95
    Motherboard
    ASUS
    Memory
    8gb
    Hard Drives
    ssd WD 500 gb
No, they are tools for your Windows from MS.
Same as SFC /Scannow but, will repair / replace if possible any damaged files.
Thank you, @Flashorn. I know nothing about ANY of those, so I'll jump in and do some research.

This one is still free
View attachment 89273

This one is paid or sub
View attachment 89274
Thanks a LOT. And apologies to @sdowney717. I stand corrected and appreciate you trying to point me in the right direction. Over a week ago I stumbled into that MajorGeeks download page based on recommendations by a YouTube computer guru. I was sure (yeah, not so much) the free version was no longer available there...and I was sure I had corroborated that fact via several sources. I don't know...must be losing my mind.

My 12-year-old Fujitsu laptop (Win7, my favorite) is on its last legs. I always shut down when not using any computer, but have kept the old gurl running 24/7 for more than a month for fear of it "going flat line forever" upon next shutdown. That really complicates my life because I use this laptop for everything. Bought the Beelink miniPC to fill the void, but as you can see by this thread, there's been a string of unexpected complications... So I don't know which way is UP lately. I appreciate the help from all who contribute to this thread.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
Still free, I just downloaded it again

View attachment 89282
Thanks, and Duh. I just downloaded it, too. If you read my reply to @Flashorn above you'll understand that I'm kinda "thrashing about" at this point. In over my head, but with help from you guys I'll get it done.

Been reading up on DOS command xcopy. Was going to try that to see if it would provide a true cloning where the source and target data match exactly. A result wherein I actually could use Disk Management, et al. But now that you and @Flashorn (and @SIW2 who snuck in when I wasn't lookin!) have provided me with basic awareness of DISM and other utilities, as well as a working copy of Marcrium Reflect FREE...man, I don't know which way to turn. Ah, but too many options is a Happy Problem. =D

Will go read SIW2's posts and see if they nudge me in one direction or another. Thanks!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
Other idea, is clone the drives on a different PC
I have totally quit using back up software for backing up my M.2 or Sata drives. I know this is not the cheapest option, but I finally bought duplicators for both regular sata drives and M.2 drives, and extra M.2 and Sata drives to clone them to. Yes, as I said it’s not the cheapest route, but it works great, and fast. I just leave my destination drives in the duplicator all the time, so all I have to do is drop in my source drive and copy to it, it’s really simple fast and works great. Of course my M.2 is on a card, so it does make things a bit easier, than trying to get the M.2 off and back on a board.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows LTSB & 11 Pro 23H2-24H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware PC
    CPU
    Intel i7 4790K
    Motherboard
    ASROCK Z97 EXTREME4
    Memory
    32GB DDR3 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 7770 2GB GDDR5
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    SAMSUNG UE57 Series 28-Inch 4K UHD
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2
    PSU
    EVGA 850 watt
    Case
    Alienware Area 51 Black Tower Case
    Keyboard
    HyperX - Alloy Elite 2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
    Mouse
    Microsoft Wireless
    Internet Speed
    1.2 GHz
    Browser
    Chrome
I have used it countless times. It is excellent. I usually have it in the %programfiles% folder, but it shouldnt matter. I have also used the portable version and in winpe.
Thank you, @SIW2. Mine is installed in C:\Program Files like yours, so I guess that's not the problem. I was wondering about the portable version. Don't know why it exists, and thought maybe it's intended to overcome whatever I'm dealing with here... Per your helpful remarks, I'll take another look at it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
I dont know what the difficulty is with cloning on those machines.
I'm reading between the lines of your post. Are you saying that Beelink Minis are known to have problems with the cloning of drives? I sure hope that's not the case, but if it is, please tell me straight. This Beelink SER5 is under warranty and if there's a known issue I'll be exchanging emails with Beelink (in China, ugh) very soon. Somewhere in my research last week I stumbled into a Beelink Support Forum exchange where the Beelink rep suggested the User download an .ISO (or something?!) furnished via a Beelink Support link.

In retrospect, now I'm wondering if Beelink's "unique" Win11 OS is the problem...and they're going to expect me to lose all the Win11 restructing I've done so it makes sense to me (sort of). I hope it doesn't go that way.

Recall that the Windows 11 In-place Upgrade FAILED for me.
Does that not sound like the OS is the problem?

Thank you for your help.

Thanks very much for the installation image and instructions links. That's AMAZING! =O My head is spinning at the moment, but will jump into that in the next day or two.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
jump into that in the next day or two.
Please take your time and breath. it's only a PC. I know it does sound like allot but,
if you take your time and read through, you should be able to Ask questions when
you're not sure about one or more steps. Lots of good people here with Allot of
Knowledge.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    windows 11 22631.3447
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI Raider GE76
    CPU
    Core i9 12th gen 12900HK 2.9 MHz
    Motherboard
    MSI
    Memory
    32 Gigs DDR5-4800
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia RTX 3070 Ti / 8 Gigs DDR6
    Sound Card
    DYNAUDIO - Klipsch 2.1 THX - Sound Effects by Nahimic 3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" 1920 x 1080 360 Hz 3 ms, IPS / Connected to MSI 32 inch curved @ 165 Hz
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 / Both
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 990 Pro 2TB (OS) - Solidigm P41 2TB (Storage)
    PSU
    280 watts
    Case
    MSI GE series
    Cooling
    internal
    Keyboard
    Steelseries
    Mouse
    G903 Lightspeed
    Internet Speed
    1000 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox / Opera GX- Do not like Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes'
    Other Info
    just ask.
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    MSI GT73 7RE VR Titan
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 7820HK 2.9 Ghz
    Motherboard
    MSI
    Memory
    16 Gigs DDR4 2400 Mhz
    Graphics card(s)
    nVidia 1070 8GB RAM
    Sound Card
    DYNAUDIO / Nahimic 2
    Monitor(s) Displays
    IPS / 120HZ
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080P
    Hard Drives
    Samsung NVME EVO 970 1TB / Samsung SSD (SATA) 1TB
    PSU
    240 watts
    Case
    MSI
    Cooling
    Internal
    Mouse
    Logitech G903 Lightspeed
    Keyboard
    Steelseries
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s
    Browser
    Firefox / Vivaldi
    Antivirus
    MalwareBytes'
    Other Info
    none.
I have totally quit using back up software for backing up my M.2 or Sata drives. I know this is not the cheapest option, but I finally bought duplicators for both regular sata drives and M.2 drives, and extra M.2 and Sata drives to clone them to. Yes, as I said it’s not the cheapest route, but it works great, and fast. I just leave my destination drives in the duplicator all the time, so all I have to do is drop in my source drive and copy to it, it’s really simple fast and works great. Of course my M.2 is on a card, so it does make things a bit easier, than trying to get the M.2 off and back on a board.
Thank you, @RD Mercer. Something very similar to that was my intention, as well. I've had problems in the past with backups that don't restore(!!!). I thought buying a target drive for each of my source drives would simplify everything, increasing safety/effectivenss and making it extremely quick and easy to recover from a failed drive. Simply swap it out for its target-twin drive.

I've been struggling for nearly a week, trying to understand why I can't get a simple clone/migration done. In that time, the price of every drive I intended to purchase has increased sharply. Kinda BITES.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
Please take your time and breath. it's only a PC. I know it does sound like allot but,
if you take your time and read through, you should be able to Ask questions when
you're not sure about one or more steps. Lots of good people here with Allot of
Knowledge.
Point taken. Thanks.

I'm so far behind, though. I spent most of the past week experimenting and flailing, instead of getting my work done. I'm hoping somebody here knows what the persistant error message means. What causes it, and what I can do to overcome it.
I will work my way through the various suggestions I've received so far, and hopefully I'll discover what's wrong along the way.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SER5 Pro 5700U
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5700U (onboard AMD Radeon graphics)
    Motherboard
    Whatever Beelink uses (AMZ?)
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    onboard AMD Radeon graphics
Thanks, and Duh. I just downloaded it, too. If you read my reply to @Flashorn above you'll understand that I'm kinda "thrashing about" at this point. In over my head, but with help from you guys I'll get it done.

Been reading up on DOS command xcopy. Was going to try that to see if it would provide a true cloning where the source and target data match exactly. A result wherein I actually could use Disk Management, et al. But now that you and @Flashorn (and @SIW2 who snuck in when I wasn't lookin!) have provided me with basic awareness of DISM and other utilities, as well as a working copy of Marcrium Reflect FREE...man, I don't know which way to turn. Ah, but too many options is a Happy Problem. =D

Will go read SIW2's posts and see if they nudge me in one direction or another. Thanks!
if xcopy worked people would do that, but you dont read they use that.
If it did copy, it wont do it right as the drive likely wont boot missing something else
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    some kind of old ASUS MB
    CPU
    old AMD B95
    Motherboard
    ASUS
    Memory
    8gb
    Hard Drives
    ssd WD 500 gb
In retrospect, now I'm wondering if Beelink's "unique" Win11 OS is the problem.
I have three Beelink computers and the Windows 11 is just Windows 11. Have you looked in Device Manager to see if you have any problems with drivers. If not give Macrium a try. I prefer images instead of cloning because I've had trouble getting a cloned drive to boot.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Canary Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
    Memory
    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
    Sound Card
    Realtek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    750 Watts (62.5A)
    Case
    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
    Keyboard
    Logitech K270
    Mouse
    Logitech M185
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Canary Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec G156
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8400 CPU @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    AsusTeK Prime B360M-S
    Memory
    16 MB DDR 4-2666
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Speptre HDMI 75Hz
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe
    Mouse
    Logitek M185
    Keyboard
    Logitek K270
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge and Edge Canary
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
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