Issues restoring backups due to VDM with Intel Core i5 11th generation CPUs

Amazon[German]Unusual experience reported to me by a blog reader. He suddenly found himself facing the problem of not being able to write back a backup he had made on his Acer Swift 3 with an 11th generation Intel Core i5. According to the reader, the problem never occurred with the predecessors of this processor. But with some tricks the reader managed to read back the backup. I then did some quick research, it is related to Intel's VDM, which can be used with 11th generation Core i5 CPUs and prevents detection of NVMe SSD IDE devices.


A readers experience

German Blog reader Peter N. emailed me back in late 2022 to report a problem he had never encountered in his 27 years of dealing with computers. Peter wrote me the following:

Dear Mr. Born – I am contacting you because I encountered a problem that I have never encountered in 27 years on the PC. It has since been resolved, but I wanted to briefly let you know how it went.

The following should be noted about his situation. Peter has recently been using an Acer Swift 3 with an 11th generation Intel Core i5. This is important to know, he writes, because the problem never occurred with this processor's predecessors. Peter makes regular backups:

I make a backup of the C and D partitions once a week, using the generic backup system from Windows 7 (now back in the Control Panel) in addition to O&O DiskImage 17. [GB: I assume that this means Windows 10].

The last time I restored such a backup via USB stick and ext. hard drive, the laptop recognized the backup, but could not apply it because it did not find the partition.

This is, of course, a worst-case situation that probably terrifies every user. But Peter wrote that after a visit to a local specialist the problem could be solved. The following workaround was found:

  • Before the backup is imported via USB stick and ext. hard drive, you have to open the bios/UEFI of the Acer Swift 3 and navigate to the main menu tab (Peter has the German version in it).
  • By pressing the key combination CTRL + S (hold CTRL and tap S), a hidden menu appears after a short delay.
  • Navigate with arrow keys to the item "VDM Controller" navigieren.
  • Pressing the Enter key opens a submenu where you can change the status:Enabled:Required to start Windows after a restore,
    Is needed for the backup program to get access to the hard disk.
  • At the end, confirm by pressing F10 or exit Uefi/Bios via the "Exit" and "Save and close" tabs.

Peter thinks, since he had never heard about the new problem, that this could possibly be of importance for the readership of the blog – especially for people with the latest equipment (Intel Core i5 etc. from 11th generation), who suddenly face such a case. Also, according to Peter, the O&O DiskImage program did not recognize the hard disk as a target when trying to read back the backup. On the contrary, the C partition that was to be restored was no longer visible in the directory at all. Maybe it helps someone – thanks to Peter for the hint.

Some Background

If you search for the term "VDM Controller" you will find this explanation of VDM at Intel. Intel® VMD is a feature of various Intel processors that enables direct control and management of NVMe SSDs from the PCIe bus and without additional hardware adapters. Intel® Volume Management Device (Intel® VMD) is specifically designed to manage enterprise-grade NVMe SSDs connected to Intel® Xeon® CPUs.


It's documented from vendors

If you search the internet, you might get to the support articles from several vendors like to following:

It always concerns Intel iCore processors of the 11th generation.

It's the driver support

A German blog reader left this comment, that VMD can no longer be deactivated on many current notebooks. Users should use a backup program that also supports VMD on a boot medium.

Someone noted in the German comments, that CloneZilla did the backup restore job in a proper way – I haven't checked that. A description, how to obtain and install the required drivers can be found in the article Unable to Detect the Drive When Installing a New Windows* OS on 11th Gen Platforms.


Cookies helps to fund this blog: Cookie settings

This entry was posted in devices, General, Linux, Windows and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *