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kind
Beginner
112 Views

Direct access to SSD via Thunderbolt Interface

Hello Intel Community,

i was wondering about the possibility to directly access a PCIe SSD from outside of the computer the SSD is installed in. I have recently read about the Thunderbolt Interface, Thunderbolt 4 in particular.

Is there a chance to access the data from the SSD via Thunderbolt 4 without the need to actually boot the OS installed on the SSD (so only the mainboard should start)? 

Enabling this direct access manually (in BIOS) on each boot would work for me as well.

If there is no way to do that now, what are the difficulties on the hardware and firmware side (apart from security issues)?

Thanks in advance for your time.

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3 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
83 Views

So it depends upon the implementation of a particular system's/motherboard's BIOS, but many support the ability to boot into the UEFI Shell. The Shell offers basic access capabilities (ls, cd, mkdir, etc. commands) akin to that of MSDOS. See the UEFI Shell Specification for more information on the commands available.

Hope this helps,

...S

kind
Beginner
48 Views

Thanks for the answer. I did not know that this is possible.

Is it also possible to access it via Thunderbolt interface from outside of the computer the SSD is installed in?

In the scenario i imagine i want to boot my notebook's SSD from another computer via Thunderbolt interface. This way i could use all the computing power from a desktop computer and still have all the data available that is stored on the SSD in the notebook (without the need to sync data and/or install all the tools twice).

I know that it is possible to boot from an external data storage as long as the storage has a bootable partition. The 40 GB/s bandwidth of the Thunderbolt 3/4 interface would allow me to access data without any delay.

Apart from driver issues on the OS side, are there any difficulties to give a second computer direct access to a SSD installed on the first computer via Thunderbolt interface?

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
36 Views

AFAIK, no, you cannot access via the TBT interface. If you have Windows 10 Pro, you could use Remote Desktop to connect across the LAN and then access the SSD.

Hope this helps,

...S