stalepie
1 Nickel

7050 MFF, M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?

Hello, I have a Dell OptiPlex 7050 Micro and would like to install the Intel 660p as the boot drive. Windows 10 is already installed on another SSD (2.5”) that it came with. When I plug in the M.2 drive it doesn’t appear to be recognized in Windows or in the BIOS except as an empty drive identified only by its controller (SM2263). I was looking up help online that said to use Windows Media Creation Tool to create a bootable flash drive with Win10 installation, which I did.  However it doesn’t seem to properly detect the drive during the installing process and lists it as a drive with less than a gig of space, not enough for Windows to install to. I have tried setting boot to UEFI and SATA to AHCI as others have suggested. No luck. 

The drive does not even show up in Windows when running the other SSD. I have tried looking for Intel drivers but don’t understand what I’m supposed to use. I did try loading drivers from Intel off the USB stick when attempting fresh install of Win10 but nothing happened. 

Also I tried flashing the BIOS and making sure I have updated drivers in general through Dell’s website. 

Any help would be appreciated. 

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9 Replies
stalepie
1 Nickel

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?

Maybe the problem is related to Windows 10 version 1803? 

https://www.askwoody.com/2018/microsoft-officially-clrifies-win10-version-1803-is-not-compatible-wit...

 

I am updated to 1809 though. Have they not fixed it yet? 

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?

Well, I know this ...

The (same-model year and similar) OptiPlex 5050 SFF comes from Dell with (only) a M.2/PCIe/NVMe (class 40) SSD installed and it works fine. These machine are "in the field" and I don't really have access to them at the moment (so I can't tell you the exact make/model SSD ... but not that it should matter).

 


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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?


@stalepie wrote:

Windows 10 is already installed on another SSD (2.5”) that it came with. When I plug in the M.2 drive it doesn’t appear to be recognized in Windows or in the BIOS except as an empty drive identified only by its controller (SM2263).


Pretty sure any M.2/NVMe SSD will have to be the machine's bootable C: .

Whether you are doing a clean-install or trying create/restore an Image-File ... chances of success are better when you only have ONE "drive" connected at any given time.

This post should handle most if not all modern config scenarios:

https://www.dell.com/community/Alienware-Desktops/M-2-NVMe-bootable-options/m-p/6073081/highlight/tr...


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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stalepie
1 Nickel

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?

I saw your guide earlier, but it was a lot to take in. Will take another look at it. 

I think my problem might be because Windows 10 is booting in Legacy BIOS rather than UEFI. I did not realize I had to convert the Windows installation or re-install it into UEFI, so I'm trying to learn how to do that to see if that is the problem. 

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?


@stalepie wrote:

I think my problem might be because Windows 10 is booting in Legacy BIOS rather than UEFI.

 


Right.
Pretty sure UEFI is required to support (and facilitate booting of) a NVMe-SSD.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
stalepie
1 Nickel

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?

Any idea how to do this from a Linux USB boot drive? I can install Linux first, but like Windows it does not recognize the drive properly.

Maybe there is a guide how to convert MBR to GBR or to UEFI (like this, but for Linux: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000024558/memory-and-storage/intel-optane-m...)

I'll keep looking, though if you happen to know what to do, please share Smiley Happy

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stalepie
1 Nickel

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?

Hmm, Linux is hard. Tomorrow I may try to install Windows 10 again from a bootable USB drive, maybe use another hard drive that has Windows on it and hook it up, and boot into that first, and make sure it's set to UEFI. Or I may send the Intel NVMe drive back to Newegg and get a regular SATA drive.

Problem is still that the Intel drive shows up as only "1GB" in size during various installation attempts. Not big enough for either Linux or Windows to install to it. It's supposed to be 512GB in size. I don't know if I'm supposed to do something to that drive to get the Optiplex to recognize it or what. I did try initializing it before in Windows, but that did not seem to help.

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Techgee
3 Argentium

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?

 


@stalepie wrote:

When I plug in the M.2 drive it doesn’t appear to be recognized in Windows or in the BIOS except as an empty drive identified only by its controller (SM2263).


 


@stalepie wrote:

Problem is still that the Intel drive shows up as only "1GB" in size during various installation attempts. Not big enough for either Linux or Windows to install to it. It's supposed to be 512GB in size.


I'm having very similar behavior with a totally different Dell machine and M.2 NVMe SSD.  Windows 10 "Disk Management" shows the M.2 SSD as only 2GB even though it's a 1TB drive.  CrystalDiskInfo and HWiNFO64 show the SSD by only it's controller chip. 

Additionally, in my case the manufacturer's NVMe software sees it, but thinks it's not its drive and can't manage it.  Windows 10 diskpart clean doesn't resolve the issue and also reports the SSD is set to read-only.  Attempts to Initialize the disk with "Disk Management" result in a "Device Not Ready" - even if I change the read-only setting with diskpart.

After first thinking it might be a HPA issue or defective SSD, I realized the symptoms are very similar to a hard drive with a bad cable.  Someone with the same bare M.2 drive I have had connector compatibility issues here.  However, in my case I purchased the M.2 drive / PCIe adapter combo and I can't reseat or investigate without breaking it's seal and 5 year warranty.  (Another M.2 NVMe SSD works fine in my machine.)

I've returned the combo and purchased the bare M.2 drive stick.  Hopefully it resolves the issue.  If not I may try another M.2 PCIe adapter, or if desperate shave the M.2 SSD's PCB connector end so it fully inserts (if on examination that seems to be the issue).

Additionally, I came across someone else who had M.2 SSD connectivity issues as well here (post #18) - check out difference between the M.2 SDD seating in the two images.  Apparently, some M.2 socket / spacer mounts can have lots of play.  Once properly seated, the SSD worked.  Worth making sure the SSD is all the way in the socket.

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stalepie
1 Nickel

Re: How to install M.2 NVMe SSD as boot drive?

Thanks for the reply. I wish I had one on hand still to see if it needed reseating, but I sent it back for a refund and got a SATA drive instead.

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