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Can you use the NVMe SSD as the primary bootable drive?

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This method will work for any motherboard with an Intel 6-series chipset and above and has support for an AMI UEFI BIOS.

Code:

Code:
Disclaimer: Win-raid, Tweaktown and me are not liable or responsible if you brick your motherboard. Do this at your own risk. You have been warned.
1. Download your vendor's Z97 BIOS such as ASUS, Gigabyte, EVGA and etc i.e. if you have a Gigabyte Z77 Motherboard then download Gigabyte Z97 BIOS. For X79 you can try the Z97 or X99 modules to see which one works.
2. Download MMTOOL4 here: https://onedrive.live.com/?id=5014229B9E752333%2122667&cid=5014229B9E752333&group=0&parId=5014229B9E752333%21998&authkey=%21APlNBZ5ptxzEbKY&action=locate
3. Load the Z97 or X99 BIOS in MMTOOL4.
4. Click on the extract tab.
5. Go the Extract FFS Option
6. Choose the option 'Extract Uncompressed'
7. Find the various Modules named Nvme, NvmeSmm, NvmeInt13.
8. For every module press Extract.

9. Press on the button extract.
10. Exit MMTool4.
11. Open your own Motherboard BIOS in MMTOOL4.
12. Find the module named CSMCORE.
13. In the insert tab and in the Insert FFS Options and choose the option Insert Compressed.
14. Load the NVMe.ffs module click on the button insert.

15. Repeat step 12 and 14 again for NvmeSmm and NvmeInt13
16. Save the modded BIOS and flash it.

Thanks to Fernando, lordkag, CodeRush from win-raid for all the help, research and development. I used their works for the tutorial.
Please read this thread for current development: [Discussion] NVMe BIOS Modules and NVMe Support
Please read this important message from lordkag: RE: Full NVMe support for older Intel Chipsets possible! - 11
Fernando's feedback to lordkag: RE: NVMe-Support: Only drivers or EFI-modules necessary? - 8
Another person's feedback: RE: [Discussion] NVMe BIOS Modules and NVMe Support - 12

I currently don't have an NVMe SSD to test so I'm relying on secondary sources.
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Config feedback from win-raid forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_sandler|p19298
Just wanted to post my successful experience getting my Intel SSD 750 to work as primary boot drive on a Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H. It has been working for a few weeks now as the lone drive under Windows 10 Pro.

At first, I simply tried to boot off the SSD with the latest UEFI version for the Z77X-UD3H with no success.
So I simply took Fernando's advice and downloaded the latest BIOS version from one of Gigabyte's Z97 boards (I guess it was Z97X-UD3H). I extracted the three NVMe modules (nvme, nvmesmm, nvmeint13) using MMTool and added those modules to my original BIOS for the Z77X-UD3H.
That's all, I have been able to boot off the Intel SSD 750 ever since. Windows 10 installation has been done using a bootable USB stick with the Intel SSD being the only other hard drive connected.

Well, there are a few UEFI settings I had to change:
Fast Boot --> disabled
OS Type --> Other OS (I did not manage to get it to work with OS Type set at Windows 8 or Windows 8 WHQL, even with CSM off. I could successfully boot off the SSD but there was no video output at UEFI level, which did not sit well with me)
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando|p17072
@ all:
Today I have done the promised tests with my Z68 system.
The question was: Is it possible by a BIOS modification to give an Intel Z68 or Z77 Chipset System the ability to boot off an NVMe supporting PCIe connected SSD like the Intel 750?

And my short answer is: Yes! I succeeded at first try!

Here are the details about the test system: Mainboard: ASUS P8Z68-V with the latest BIOS 3603, System Drive: 500 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD, OS: Win 8.1 x64 installed in UEFI mode. SATA Mode: AHCI.
And here are the details of my main system: Mainboard: ASRock Z97 Extreme6 with the latest BIOS 2.30 and native NVMe support, System Drive: 400 GB Intel 750 PCIe SSD running with NVMe, OS: Win10 x64 TP Build 10147 installed in UEFI mode.

This is what I have done:[ol]
[li]As first step I have inserted the Intel 750 PCIe SSD into my Z68 system (without changing anything else).
Result:
The OS Win8.1 x64 (which natively has an MS NVMe driver named STORNVME.SYS) detected at once the Intel 750 PCIe SSD and showed it within the Disk Management and - inclusive all folders and files - within the Windows Explorer. The Intel NVMe Controller was listed within the "Storage Controllers" section of the Device Manager as "Standard NVM Express Controller".
Although everything seemed to work fine, I replaced the MS NVMe driver by the latest Intel NVMe driver v1.2.0.1002 WHQL.[/li]
[li]As next step I flashed a modded version of the BIOS 3603, which I had prepared previously.
Procedure:[ul]
[li]I simply inserted (besides the Intel RaidDriver v12.9.0.2006) the 3 untouched NVMe modules named Nvme, NvmeSmm and NVMEINT13, which I had extracted from the ASUS Z97 PRO BIOS 2401. The insertion worked without any error message.
This is what the AMI AptioIV MMTool showed after the successful insertion:
[[File:http://files.homepagemodules.de/b602300/f13t871p17072n2_SyxYbski-thumb.png|none]][/li]
[li]The EZ flashing was done within the Z68 mainboard BIOS using the modded BIOS, which was on an USB Flash Drive.[/li][/ul]
Result:
The BIOS flashing procedure was successful.[/li]
[li]Then I unplugged all drives of my Z68 system except the Intel 750 PCIe connected SSD.[/li]
[li]As next step I entered the BIOS and redid my previous settings.
These were the chosen settings within the "Boot" section:[ul]
[li]"PCI ROM Priority": EFI Compatible[/li]
[li]"Option ROM Messages": Keep Current[/li]
[li]"Boot Option #1": Windows Boot Manager[/li][/ul][/li]
[li]After having powered off the Z68 system completely for ca. 1 minute, I started the computer:
Result:
After having detected and re-arranged the changed hardware the Z68 system booted instantly into the OS Win10 x64, which had been installed while the Intel 750 SSD was part of my Z97 system.[/li][/ol]
By the way: Here are some benchmark results I got with the Intel 750 PCIe SSD running Win10 x64 TP Build 10147:
[[File:http://files.homepagemodules.de/b602300/f13t871p17072n3_elwMOUvG-thumb.png|none]][[File:http://files.homepagemodules.de/b602300/f13t871p17072n4_YCLZHzuw-thumb.png|none]]

@ lordkag:
What do you say now?
Thanks for your advice to take the NVMe modules from the ASUS Z97 Pro BIOS.

Best regards
Dieter
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't have an NVMe SSD to test. I just discussed with Fernando @Win-Raid about it. I currently have an X79 motherboard and I have managed to insert X99 modules in to it.
 

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lol funny, good old mod the BIOS to add stuff manufacturers took away / hid. Good stuff and no surprise it's from win-raid. Wonder when this get's put into UBU as an optional.
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@error-id10t UBU can't insert non-existent modules. It can only replace existing modules.
 

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Well I'm imaging this situation.

It sees your board. It already contains these from say a Z97 and does a check it's ASUS (example). It then simply inserts them. Simples.

UBU already contains a heap of modules, that's how it works.
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by error-id10t View Post

Well I'm imaging this situation.

It sees your board. It already contains these from say a Z97 and does a check it's ASUS (example). It then simply inserts them. Simples.

UBU already contains a heap of modules, that's how it works.
Me and Fernando are waiting for more test results to see what chipset it works on especially X79 users. I inserted the X99 modules on my X79 board. MMTOOL4 detects the X99 ones properly and can insert it into X79 BIOSES.
 

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I have a P9X79 Pro, and tried both the Z97 and X99 based Asus nvme modules. I can insert them with MMTOOL4, but EZflash2 reports the CAP file is not a valid UEFI bios. So perhaps some sort of signing or other module is needed?
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks fpomexpert for your feedback. Are you intending to get an Intel 750 SSD in the near future?
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by fpompert View Post

I hope to receive one early next week. Let's hope it boots. I will report here afterwards
smile.gif
Cool. I hope it works too.
 

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It works! Not sure if the NVME modules and bios 4701 did the trick, but the bios detects the Windows Boot Manager when I restored my Windows 10 drive onto the 750.

Did some Diskpart magic to fix the boot manager, and voila: it boots successfully.
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by fpompert View Post

It works! Not sure if the NVME modules and bios 4701 did the trick, but the bios detects the Windows Boot Manager when I restored my Windows 10 drive onto the 750.

Did some Diskpart magic to fix the boot manager, and voila: it boots successfully.
Did you use Z97 modules or X99 modules? Thanks for your report.
 

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Extreme AIR Overclocker
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks.
 

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not working form me.
i'm using apple ssd pci express trough adapter. no issue with z97 mobo and with x99.
i have a r4e and i used nvme bios modules from latest x99 r5e bios
 

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Good evening! How to be a reworking and updating the BIOS for your motherboard from Asrock? They contain no expansion ROM.
There are at least some ideas?
 
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