I have two 1TB NVMe SSDs that was setup using LVM in a manner where the two drives were combined to make up (roughly) one single 2TB logical volume.

The laptop that booted from these drives has been sent off for repairs and whether it can be fixed or not is uncertain.

In the meantime, I'd like to recover the data and transfer it to something more easily accessible (like an external hard drive).

How can I achieve that?

My current idea is to purchase these two NVMe drive enclosures, and connect both of the drives to the same computer. Then, use Virtual Machine Manager to share both of those USB devices to a newly created virtual machine. Maybe I'll be able to boot that virtual machine from these drives (as though the virtual machine was the laptop they previously booted). Or, maybe I can install some ISO image onto the virtual machine that can at least see the LVM volumes and all its sub-partitions.

Does this sound feasible? I've never had to do this before, so I'd appreciate any suggestions that may help me avoid some trail and error.

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    It's feasible. You could do it without enclosures if you have any machine with NVMe slot and a large enough HDD to ddrescue full disk images to. Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


You don't need a VM, if your second computer also runs Linux, then you just need to install LVM (package is usually called lvm2), if you don't have it already installed and connect both drives (I don't have personal experience with USB NVMe enclosures, but these look fine if you don't have an option to use an internal NVMe slot or PCIe NVMe adapter) and you'll be able to access the logical volumes. You might need to run vgscan and vgchange -ay <vgname> to activate the volume group, but that should be all and after that you can simply mount the logical volumes and access the data.

Only reason to use the VM would be if you also use LVM on your computer and you use the same name for your VG on both (VG name is used as unique identifier in LVM so it won't allow you to activate two VGs with same name).

Note: I assumed the reason for sending the laptop for repairs was not related to the storage. If you believe the data might be corrupted, then using TestDisk to recover the LVM and partitions and PhotoRec to recover the data would be the way to go (ideally from an image of the drives, not from the drives directly).

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