Uninstalling FuzeDrive

Uninstalling FuzeDrive

Background

Once a disk has been converted to a FuzeDrive, the data begins to be distributed across the two different tiered storage devices. Depending how long you have been using the FuzeDrive, the data may be widely distributed (as is typical in a well used boot drive with many applications), or maybe just a small amount when used as a data drive.

For this reason, it is not possible to simply uninstall the software as the disks will be left in a state that is unreadable by Windows.

Removing the FuzeDrive Software without Retaining Your Data

If you have a non-bootable FuzeDrive, simply open the FuzeDrive tool and use the Delete FuzeDrive feature.  WARNING: This will destroy all the data on your tier.  If you have a bootable FuzeDrive, see this KB article: Cleaning Disks Previously Used as a FuzeDrive During Windows Setup.

Detaching the Fast Tier (SSD)

If wishing to simply remove the SSD and leave the HDD (or slower SSD) in place, then use the Move all data to slow media feature (previously Remove Fast Media or Remove FuzeDrive) in the FuzeDrive utility. What this function does is to remove the SSD (or fast device) only portion of the FuzeDrive by migrating any data on that portion of the FuzeDrive back to the slower device. This also involves shrinking the size of any volume (e.g. the C: or D:) on the FuzeDrive by roughly the size of the SSD so it can be removed. This may take some time depending on the amount of tiering that has occurred.

For bootable volumes with a Recovery partition, you may need to do an additional step of moving the recovery partition before the detach can be performed. See KB article 

Once the process of detaching the SSD has completed, the FuzeDrive software is still necessary to ensure the data can be read from the drive by the operating system i.e. you must leave the FuzeDrive software installed.

Unfuze (new in v1.6)

The new Unfuze feature moves all your data to the slow media as described above, but then it also re-linearizes and un-virtualizes your disk, allowing you to completely uninstall FuzeDrive (and roll back the AHCI driver to the Standard SATA AHCI Controller or a third-party SATA driver; see #8 below).  Note, however, that depending on how widely distributed your data is and the speed of your slow media, this is likely a very time consuming procedure (it could take more than 24 hours).  On the other hand, you can use your FuzeDrive normally while the process is underway.

Removing the FuzeDrive Software while Retaining Your Data

If you are using a version prior to v1.6 or if you want a faster procedure, and you have a drive with sufficient capacity to which you can backup or clone your data, then you will require a data migration tool such as Macrium Reflect (free version available) or Paragon's Migrate OS software. The type of migration software matters. It must be capable of supporting a migration of a live running OS (Acronis True Image recently added an "Active cloning" feature, but it is not used by default).  Tools that only support offline migration will not work as they boot the system to either a WinPE or Linux pre-boot environment to do the migration where the FuzeDrive is not recognized.  (Note, however, that the FuzeDrive driver could be integrated into an offline tool that is based on WinPE, e.g., Acronis True Image, using the dism tool.  See the manual for your software.)

IMPORTANT: The following actions will completely erase the original FuzeDrive and all its contents and is irreversible. Ensure the backup drive was created successfully before following the delete instruction in step #6.

The recommended steps to completely remove the FuzeDrive software are as follows:

 1. Obtain a BLANK storage device (HDD or SSD). Any data on this device will be destroyed so ensure that it has no data on it that you wish to retain. Note, if there is sufficient room on the SSD to hold the entire contents, it is also possible to first use the Remove Fast Media option described above in detaching the SSD/Fast Tier as the target drive as it will be free of all FuzeDrive metadata once fully detached.
 
 2. The blank drive will be used to hold a copy of the entire FuzeDrive contents so ensure it is large enough. Attach the drive if possible to a spare SATA port on your motherboard if using a conventional HDD. It is also possible to use a USB drive (USB3 recommended) or NVMe drive as the destination drive provided it has sufficient capacity to hold all the FuzeDrive partitions.
 
 3. Download and install your preferred OS migration tool (e.g. Macrium Reflect from https://www.macrium.com/).

 4. Run the OS migration tool and select the entire Enmotus FuzeDrive contents/partitions and copy them to the blank drive added previously using the clone drive option. Note, this process is very similar to that described in KB article Migrating Windows 10 from an SSD to a HDD

 5. Once the migration has completed successfully, reboot the system and boot from the drive the FuzeDrive was copied to leaving the original FuzeDrive intact for now. You will need to enter the BIOS (or use the boot select option key if available) to select the new copy as the primary boot drive to ensure it doesn't attempt to reboot from the FuzeDrive, which typically shows as UEFI OS in the BIOS. Ensure that Windows Boot Manager is selected.

 6. Once you have successfully booted from the copied drive AND you have verified it copied successfully, you can now delete the original FuzeDrive which will also clean up the drives of any FuzeDrive metadata so they can be used as regular drives again. To delete the FuzeDrive, either use the FuzeDrive utility (Change Settings option), or open an Command prompt or Windows PowerShell in administrator mode and execute the following command:

    > ecmd --delete_all

IMPORTANT: The above action will completely erase the original FuzeDrive and all its contents and is irreversible.

 7. Uninstall the FuzeDrive software.

 8. Go into Device Manager, double-click Storage controllers, right-click on EnTier Virtualized AHCI Controller, and choose Update driver.  Click "Browse my computer for driver software", then click "Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer."  Double-click "Standard SATA AHCI Controller."

NOTE: If using version 1.5.0 or later, and you were unable to uninstall the FuzeDrive software properly for some reason, then the driver may be protected from being changed.  If this is the case, please download the file attached below, double-click it, and click Yes to remove the protection.

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