ASRock.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Technical Support > Intel Motherboards
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - NVME M.2 on Z170 Extreme 4 not working?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

NVME M.2 on Z170 Extreme 4 not working?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
Author
Message
Murdock9 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Location: Germany
Status: Offline
Points: 26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Murdock9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: NVME M.2 on Z170 Extreme 4 not working?
    Posted: 17 Oct 2016 at 6:32pm
Hi all

I just installed my first NVME M.2 SSD (Samsung PM961) on my Z170 Extreme 4 and it's showing some strange behaviour. I actually think it's faulty, but I'd like to make sure I set it up correctly first.

When I first started the computer with the new SSD, it was working fine in Windows (10). After a reboot, it disappeared. I tried a few things and updated the Bios to the latest version (7.00) and the drive showed up again, only to disappear again when I turned the PC on again later. No matter what I do now, I do not get the drive to work again, it doesn't even show in the device manager anymore. Interestingly enough, the PC takes a lot longer to boot now, even with Fast and Ultra Fast boot enabled.

If I'm not mistaken, an NVME SSD does NOT show in the storage devices list of the UEFI, only in the system browser overview? Mine doesn't show in either one.

I disconnected my system drive and started a Windows 10 installation to see if that sees my drive, but it doesn't either (with CSM set to UEFI or disabled completely).

So in my opinion, it's pretty obvious that the drive if stuffed, I just want to make sure I didn't miss anything crucial for an NVME device to work.

Thanks


Back to Top
Murdock9 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Location: Germany
Status: Offline
Points: 26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Murdock9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2016 at 6:30pm
Okay guys, here's an update to my situation:

I got the PM961 drive exchanged for a new one, but the PC still didn't recognize it unfortunately. I didn't want to put up with the possibility of getting two broken SSDs in a row or my Motherboard having a faulty M.2 slot, so I kept playing around with it.

I tried resetting the CMOS to see if that helps, but for whatever reason it didn't work- neither via the onboard Jumper nor via the switch on the backpanel, the UEFI/Bios did not reset.

Next, I switched over to the backup bios (2.80) and tried again. And... it actually worked. The UEFI system browser found the drive and I could use it in Windows straight away. Unfortunately, only until I rebooted the PC again. The drive disappeared in Windows and the NVME controller entry in the device manager is showing an error "Device could not be started" (CSM disabled). Probably the most important difference though is: The system browser in UEFI is STILL showing the drive with Bios version 2.80, which isn't the case with version 7.00.

Any ideas would be very appreciated guys. Either we seem to have a compatibility issue or there's something I'm missing in the UEFI settings?

Back to Top
parsec View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 04 May 2015
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 5002
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2016 at 10:11pm
I assume you have your PM961 in the M.2 slot, or is it in an M.2 to PCIe adapter card? Shouldn't make a difference either way.

The PM961 is one of the OEM version of Samsung's latest NVMe SSDs, and given what I've read can be problematic working in some PCs. The main reason is the NVMe driver being used. It should be fine in your board, it has NVMe support out of the box. Why the 7.00 UEFI did not work well apparently is strange.

The M.2 slot on your board is shared with the SATA3_0 and SATA3_1 ports, so if any SATA drives are connected to those ports, that will cause problems.

You mentioned nothing about an NVMe driver, so I assume the inbox Windows 10 NVMe driver is being used.

I've read the Samsung NVMe driver for the 950 Pro will work with either version of the '961 (SM961 or PM961), so if you haven't tried the 950 Pro's driver, do so.

Search for the 950 Pro's product page, and find the NVMe driver link, and download and install it.

Not sure if the new 960 Pro has a product page yet, but if that exists, use its NVMe driver.
Back to Top
Murdock9 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Location: Germany
Status: Offline
Points: 26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Murdock9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2016 at 10:30pm
Hello Parsec, thanks for your reply

Yes, the drive is in the M.2 slot. When the drive was actually being recognized in Windows, I replaced the default driver with the Samsung driver (also tried out the Intel driver). At first it worked fine, I formatted the drive and ran a few benchmarks- until I shut down the PC and came back later. That's when I got the device manager error and reverting to any other driver versions did not help.

My other SSD is not connected to one of the shared ports.



Any other settings in the UEFI that might cause issues here?


Edited by Murdock9 - 28 Oct 2016 at 10:32pm
Back to Top
Murdock9 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Location: Germany
Status: Offline
Points: 26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Murdock9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2016 at 6:06am
Meh, this is frustrating- I can't see a pattern as to when the drive shows up and when not.

Originally posted by parsec parsec wrote:

The PM961 is one of the OEM version of Samsung's latest NVMe SSDs, and given what I've read can be problematic working in some PCs.


Any idea as to what else I could try?

It'd help a lot to find out if this particular drive (PM961) has been tested in the Asrock "labs" for compatibility. It's still possible that there's a problem with my motherboard (M.2 slot) but I already had to replace it before because of another problem and taking the whole PC apart again would be really annoying.
Back to Top
parsec View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 04 May 2015
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 5002
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2016 at 10:28am
Originally posted by Murdock9 Murdock9 wrote:

Meh, this is frustrating- I can't see a pattern as to when the drive shows up and when not.

Originally posted by parsec parsec wrote:

The PM961 is one of the OEM version of Samsung's latest NVMe SSDs, and given what I've read can be problematic working in some PCs.


Any idea as to what else I could try?

It'd help a lot to find out if this particular drive (PM961) has been tested in the Asrock "labs" for compatibility. It's still possible that there's a problem with my motherboard (M.2 slot) but I already had to replace it before because of another problem and taking the whole PC apart again would be really annoying.


Compatibility issues for a PC device, particularly a storage drive, is a thing of the past. The PM961 was primarily created for use by laptop manufactures, whose systems can and will be very different. Your board has multiple NVMe SSDs listed as compatible, although that is simply a formality. It's like listing SATA drives as compatible, if a manufacture made a storage drive that had very specific compatibility requirements, then they must be intentionally trying to keep it from being generally used in PCs.

I've installed multiple models of NVMe SSDs in ASRock boards including Z77, Z97, X99, and Z170. I've never had any problem using a Samsung SM951 and 950 Pro, Intel 750 and 600p, and OCZ RD400 as an OS drive. As long as the board's UEFI supports NVMe SSDs, they can be used as OS disks.

The situation with NVMe SSDs, is they must have Windows installed in a certain way. They are not plug and play for OS drives as SATA SSDs are. Without going into the technical details, this is what you must do:

0. As always with Windows, only the target OS drive MUST be the ONLY drive connected (or at least connected to power) when Windows is installed. Ignore this at your own risk.

1. Your Windows installation media should be a USB flash drive. That's because you must select the correct entry in the boot order for the installation media, and a SATA optical drive may not provide that selection. The entry in the boot order to use MUST BE like this:

"UEFI: <USB flash drive name>", where <USB flash drive name> is however your USB flash drive appears in the boot order.

If you are trying to use a Win 10 disk, if you do not see an entry of "UEFI: <windows disk>", or whatever it is recognized as, using that other entry will cause the installation to fail, even if it completes the installation. After a restart, if it even works once, it will fail eventually. The "UEFI:" prefix causes Windows to use the EFI boot loader, which is essential for use with NVMe SSDs. Ignore this at your own risk.

2. You need to configure the CSM option in the UEFI/BIOS. The easiest way is, in the Boot screen,with CSM set to Enabled, open the CSM sub-options, and set the Launch Storage OpROM Policy to UEFI Only. This insures the Intel EFI Option ROM will be used with an NVMe SSD, which is critical. Samsung claims the 950 Pro has its own built in Option ROM, which is no doubt true, but do we know if the PM961 does? No I don't, most people aren't even aware the 950 Pro has that Option ROM. I mention this mainly so others reading this that are aware of this don't think I'm an idiot. But the risk mentioning this is you'll then ignore configuring this CSM option. Did I ignore doing this with my two 950 Pros, that work perfect as the Windows 10 drive in my ASRock Z170 board, and DeskMini 110W PCs? No chance.

Before you ask where does ASRock have these instructions, I'll tell you they don't have them anywhere. But I'll then ask anyone that thinks that is wrong, where does Samsung, the manufacture of your SSD, have these instructions? Did Samsung provide these instructions for you? If not, why not? That is what I personally find frustrating and annoying.

3. Win 10 has an inbox NVMe driver, that for some reason does not work well for some users of NVMe SSDs. Since the PM961 is sold only as an OEM drive to PC manufactures, it is not supported by Samsung at all to those that buy it at the retail level. Meaning Samsung does not provide an NVMe driver for the SM961 to anyone besides the OEM manufactures.

The SM961 uses a different SSD controller than the 950 Pro (the new Polaris model) so the 950 Pro driver may or may not work correctly with the SM961. So the NVMe driver used is one of the main problems owners of this SSD must deal with. The true retail version of the PM961, which will be the 960 EVO once it is released, may have its own driver. Using the Intel NVMe driver was a mistake, that will fail.

You might find this thread in another forum helpful with your SM961, for finding the correct NVMe driver, which I think is discussed in this thread:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1603995/samsung-sm961-nvme-thread

Back to Top
Murdock9 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Location: Germany
Status: Offline
Points: 26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Murdock9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2016 at 9:40pm
Originally posted by parsec parsec wrote:

Compatibility issues for a PC device, particularly a storage drive, is a thing of the past.

Thanks for alle the time you invested here Parsec, much appreciated.

I'm afraid the problem is somewhere else though. I can't even see the drive in the system browser. It only seems to work when I switch back to Bios 2.80- after a few reboots, it's gone again and will not come back until I do a full reset or change versions again (not working at all with 7.0).

I'm pretty sure I either got another faulty PM961 or there's something wrong with the M.2 port of my board.
Back to Top
Murdock9 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Location: Germany
Status: Offline
Points: 26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Murdock9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2016 at 9:54pm
Well, I'm back with another update- it actually does seem to be a compatibility and/or Bios issue.

At work I got my hand on another three separate Z170 Extreme 4 Motherboards (mixed Bios versions 3.2 and 7.00) and three different PM961 drives- NONE of them worked properly with each other, they just behaved like I described above: The drive is only recognized by the system (ie the UEFI system browser) in around 1 out 10 boots.

So I had a total of 4 boards and 4 drives that I could test, I doubt they were all faulty somewhere.


Edited by Murdock9 - 27 Nov 2016 at 9:55pm
Back to Top
parsec View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 04 May 2015
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 5002
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2016 at 12:05pm
Originally posted by Murdock9 Murdock9 wrote:

Well, I'm back with another update- it actually does seem to be a compatibility and/or Bios issue.

At work I got my hand on another three separate Z170 Extreme 4 Motherboards (mixed Bios versions 3.2 and 7.00) and three different PM961 drives- NONE of them worked properly with each other, they just behaved like I described above: The drive is only recognized by the system (ie the UEFI system browser) in around 1 out 10 boots.

So I had a total of 4 boards and 4 drives that I could test, I doubt they were all faulty somewhere.


So this is happening with either the 2.80 or 7.00? There are four versions beyond 2.80, but before 7.00. Have you tried any of those versions? If it is only the 7.00 UEFI version that has this apparent problem, which only adds support for the new Kaby Lake processors, then don't use it.

There might be a problem with the UEFI version, but we are not yet hearing about problems from users of other M.2 NVMe SSDs that have this board.

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z170%20Extreme4/?cat=Download&os=BIOS

Any NVMe SSD, like the PM961, should work fine on any board with UEFI firmware, just as a data drive. NVMe support in the UEFI is only needed for an NVMe SSD to be usable as an OS drive. But, the PM961 is not a retail product from Samsung, they are meant to be sold as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture) drives, to PC manufactures that have support directly from Samsung for any unique support needed in the UEFI/BIOS.

Do you at least have the CSM sub-option (at the bottom of the Boot screen) Launch Storage OpROM Policy set to UEFI Only? You might also find it in the Storage Configuration screen.  If not, try that setting, and then Save and Exit for it to apply, and then check for the drive being seen in System Browser. Personally, I configure all of my PCs/boards with CSM disabled, to use the full benefits of the UEFI firmware.

Your board should also have an NVMe Configuration screen, listed in the Advanced screen. That screen really only lists the NVMe SSDs, but at least is another place where they are recognized.

I've never used a PM961, but I have used three different NVMe M.2 SSDs in my Z170 Extreme7+ board. They were all recognized fine, and I use two of them in that board all the time.
Back to Top
Murdock9 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Location: Germany
Status: Offline
Points: 26
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Murdock9 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2016 at 8:54pm
Originally posted by parsec parsec wrote:


So this is happening with either the 2.80 or 7.00?

There might be a problem with the UEFI version, but we are not yet hearing about problems from users of other M.2 NVMe SSDs that have this board.

Do you at least have the CSM sub-option (at the bottom of the Boot screen) Launch Storage OpROM Policy set to UEFI Only? You might also find it in the Storage Configuration screen.  If not, try that setting, and then Save and Exit for it to apply, and then check for the drive being seen in System Browser. Personally, I configure all of my PCs/boards with CSM disabled, to use the full benefits of the UEFI firmware.

Your board should also have an NVMe Configuration screen, listed in the Advanced screen. That screen really only lists the NVMe SSDs, but at least is another place where they are recognized.


Thanks for the reply, Parsec.
  • I tried versions 2.8, 3.2, 3.4 and 7.00. It didn't work with versions 3.2 and 7.00, with 2.8 and 3.4 I was able to see and format the drive in Windows once. After a reboot, it was gone again (in the system browser as well as Windows).
  • I tried booting with and without the CSM option as described above- didn't make a difference.
  • The NVMe configuration screen is new to me, I'll have a look.


Edited by Murdock9 - 29 Nov 2016 at 8:55pm
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.06
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.