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NVMe driver problems

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Mark2864 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Nov 2016 at 7:36pm

Hi everyone, I have an X99 Professional MB, and it has lost my Samsung 950 Pro M.2 drive, so won't boot. How do I load the latest driver from USB into the bios, so that the MB will find my SSD?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark2864 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2016 at 7:52pm
Some additional information:
 
When I bought the kit and assembled the system in Jan/Feb 2016, The Bios could not find the v-nand 950 Pro. I loaded the driver (can't for the life of me remember how!!!) and the drive appeared in my Bios. I then installed Win 10 onto the drive and the system has worked like a dream until the last month.
 
The Bios now cannot find the 950 Pro in the M.2 slot, and as it is the only boot drive in the machine, the system does find the boot files to load the OS. Therefore the system is effectively dead in the water.
 
Thinking that the Samsung was at fault as it cannot be found either in the M.2 Ultra (preferred and previously operating slot) or the normal M.2 slot, I assumed that the drive had failed. I sent it via RMA to the Netherlands, but they returned it saying there is no problem.
 
I have now flashed the BIOS to v.3.2 and the drive is still not found.
 
I have sent a technical support post to ASRock, but received no reply. Hence me seeking help in the forums.
 
I have the latest Samsung driver  exe on a USB drive, but cannot remember how to load it. Can someone please remind me how to load the drive, tell me if there is any need to disable other Pci slots when the M.2 Ultra is installed, and give me the help I so desperately need.
 
Thanks,
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2016 at 11:13pm
Originally posted by Mark2864 Mark2864 wrote:

Some additional information:
 
When I bought the kit and assembled the system in Jan/Feb 2016, The Bios could not find the v-nand 950 Pro. I loaded the driver (can't for the life of me remember how!!!) and the drive appeared in my Bios. I then installed Win 10 onto the drive and the system has worked like a dream until the last month.
 
The Bios now cannot find the 950 Pro in the M.2 slot, and as it is the only boot drive in the machine, the system does find the boot files to load the OS. Therefore the system is effectively dead in the water.
 
Thinking that the Samsung was at fault as it cannot be found either in the M.2 Ultra (preferred and previously operating slot) or the normal M.2 slot, I assumed that the drive had failed. I sent it via RMA to the Netherlands, but they returned it saying there is no problem.
 
I have now flashed the BIOS to v.3.2 and the drive is still not found.
 
I have sent a technical support post to ASRock, but received no reply. Hence me seeking help in the forums.
 
I have the latest Samsung driver  exe on a USB drive, but cannot remember how to load it. Can someone please remind me how to load the drive, tell me if there is any need to disable other Pci slots when the M.2 Ultra is installed, and give me the help I so desperately need.
 
Thanks,
 


Many things to discuss here, but first you said you have UEFI version 3.20 installed, correct? You must have at least version 1.70 installed, which provides NVMe support, for an M.2 PCIe SSD like the 950 Pro to be used as the OS drive.

To be complete, which 2011 v3 HEDT processor are you using? I'd like to know how many PCIe 3.0 lanes are available.

Also, you have the 950 Pro in the Ultra M.2 slot, and nothing in the PCIE3 slot, which share resources. Using one of those slots causes the other to be disabled.

Sorry to say, but you are confused about how and when you installed the Samsung NVMe driver, and how an M.2 SSD appears in the UEFI/BIOS. I have two 950 Pros, and other NVMe SSDs (Intel 750 and 600p, OCZ RD400), and an ASRock X99 mother board, among others, so I have experience with this type of SSD.

All but one of the NVMe SSDs I mentioned above are supplied with its own NVMe driver. None of them have a driver that can be installed into a UEFI/BIOS, that is not how their drivers work. Any device driver acts as an interface between the device and an Operating System. I am not aware of any device driver that can be loaded into a UEFI/BIOS. I can assure you that you did not install the Samsung NVMe driver into your UEFI/BIOS.

Also Windows 10 and 8.1 have an inbox, Microsoft NVMe driver that is used during the Windows installation, and normally work fine with any NVMe SSD. So there is no requirement to load an NVMe driver when installing Windows 10 or 8.1. Even Windows 7 now has an update that adds an NVMe driver to its installation package.

The Samsung, Intel, and OCZ NVMe drivers all are supplied as a Windows installation program, that you run in Windows. The Intel and OCZ driver packages have the driver files available separately, that may be used during the Load Driver phase of a Windows Custom installation. The Samsung driver package has had its driver files extracted by special programs for that usage too. But when using Windows 10 or 8.1, these drivers are not required for the Windows installation.

Regarding an NVMe SSD being recognized in the UEFI/BIOS, things are not the same as SATA drives. NVMe is a completely new storage protocol, different than SATA. It is (was) normal for NVMe SSDs to not appear in the Storage Configuration screen. Recent UEFI updates for some ASRock boards (Intel 100 series chipset boards) now show NVMe SSDs in the Storage Configuration screen.

There are three other possible places where an NVMe SSD will appear in the UEFI. One is the System Browser feature in the Tools screen. Another is the NVMe Configuration screen, listed in the Advanced screen. Finally they may appear in the Boot Order, in the Boot screen.

Finally, an NVMe driver is not required for an NVMe SSD to be detected and appear in the UEFI/BIOS. Why yours does not appear may be due to your confusion over how these SSDs work, or (hopefully not) a problem with the SSD or board. You may have had a UEFI option configured that is normally needed when using an NVMe SSD as the OS drive, that you've forgotten about.

That would be the Launch Storage OpROM Policy option, of the CSM option, found in the Boot screen. That should be set to UEFI Only.

Try the following to get your 950 Pro detected in the UEFI. When you say your SSD is "not found", what are you specifically referring to? The Boot Order, or something else?

Clear the UEFI/BIOS using the CLR CMOS button on your board's IO panel. Be sure to turn off and disconnect your PSU from AC power first. Do not skip this step. You might want to save your current UEFI option settings in a Profile before you clear the UEFI, since all the options will be set to their defaults after the UEFI clear. You then restore your option settings by loading the profile.

Start the PC and go into the UEFI/BIOS. You can check for the 950 in System Browser at that time. If it is not there yet, don't worry. Go to the Boot screen, find the CSM option at the bottom of the screen, click on it and set the Launch Storage OpROM Policy option to UEFI Only. Then Save and Exit the UEFI, and go right back into the UEFI again, and look for your 950 in the three places I mentioned above.

If you cannot find the 950 listed in ANY of those places, something is wrong, either with the SSD or your board. A 950 Pro will still be detected in the other M.2 slot, so try moving it there as a test, and then perform the steps I included above to get the 950 detected. If that also does not work, all you can do is test the 950 in another PC with an M.2 slot, or with an M.2 to PCIe slot adapter card.

Why your 950 was suddenly no longer recognized in your PC is difficult for me to explain, and I can only use your description of the situation to figure that out. No information was provided about that, such as after a UEFI/BIOS update. The current state of your OS installation on your 950 is unknown, it may have been corrupted for some reason, and we have no idea what Samsung did with it when you sent it in as an RMA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Mark2864 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2016 at 9:59pm
Thanks Parsec
For further info, my i7 is a 5820K.so plenty of lanes available.
 
The original Bios revision pre-installed on my MB was P1.10. I loaded Windows 8 and then updated to W10 onto the 950 Pro, which ran smoothly. I only updated the Bios to V3.20 following the SSD becoming undetected. I do recollect that when the system was working well, the SSD was visible in the storage configuration listing next to the Ultra M.2, and the graphics card is installed in the PCIE1 slot, the other slots being vacant.
 
My confusion regarding the loading of drivers comes from my recollection of when I was completing the build. I remember that when I installed the W8 OS from USB, I was asked where I wished to install the system and when I selected 'other' because obviously no HDD's were shown, I selected the USB onto which I had saved the Pro 950 driver, and the SSD was then listed in the box of available drives.
 
Anyway, I checked the UEFI before clearing the CMOS and the SSD is shown in the Boot menu and outlined yellow on the System Browser, and as the Primary boot device in the Boot screen.
 
I used the jumper shorting bar on the CLR CMOS jumpers, as you suggest. On restart, I went into the BIOS and changed the CSM Launch OpROM to UEFI Only, then exited. I went straight back into the UEFI and the appearances of the SSD are unchanged. It shows in the three places, nut not the Advance/Storage table.
 
I exited again and let the system go through an uninterrupted load .... where it now shoes the following screen;
 
Invalid system disk
Replace system disk, and then press any key.
 
I can only assume that the Windows OS is now corrupt, though I cannot for the life of me, think how that has happened. There were no updates or anything else when the problem arose.
 
The only thing that has 'possibly coincidentally' also happened, is that when I turn on the PC, it starts up, but about 5 seconds in, it shuts down, to then start up again and run through the startup procedure. Prior to the problem occurring, this never happened, the PC started normally.
My System:
MB: ASRock X99 Pro Fatal1ty
CPU: Intel i7-5820k
Memory: 32GB (8x4) Corsair 2133MHz
GPU: Asus Poseidon Water cooled Nvidea 980
Cooling: XSPC Raystorm Pro for CPU and GPU, x-large radiator
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2016 at 12:45am
Frankly, I think the only reason the 950 Pro was listed in the Storage Configuration screen when you were using the 1.10 UEFI version, is because that version did not have NVMe support. NVMe support was added later to all ASRock X99 boards, and only the later X99 models had NVMe support out of the box.

It is completely normal for an NVMe SSD to not be listed in the Storage Configuration screen of X99 boards. That is a side affect of the CPU's PCIe 3.0 lanes being used for the M.2 slots. I was hoping the new UEFI versions, with CSM configured as you have now, would cause the 950 Pro to be included in the Storage Configuration screen. But I've realized that is a limitation of the PCIe buss being used for the M.2 slots.

As I said earlier, it is only the new Intel 100 series chipset boards, such as a Z170, that will now include NVMe SSDs in the Storage Configuration screen. The resources used for the M.2 slots on these boards is provided by the chipset, not the CPU. I have three M.2 SSDs in my Z170 board, but one of them is used with an M.2 to PCIe slot adapter card, a 950 Pro, and is the Windows 10 drive. That SSD is not shown in the Storage Configuration screen. It is shown in the System Browser, and the NVMe configuration screen, and of course the Boot Order.

The behavior of the PC starting for a few seconds, then shutting off and starting again, is a side affect of clearing the UEFI/BIOS. The PC needs to complete a startup cycle, including completely booting the OS, before that behavior will stop. Since your OS installation is corrupted and unable to boot, you are stuck with that behavior until it does startup completely.

If you haven't done this yet, reset the Launch Storage OpROM Policy option back to its default, Legacy Only. If you did not install Windows with that option set to UEFI Only, it won't work for you now.

After setting Launch Storage OpROM Policy back to Legacy Only, try starting the PC again. I'm not confident that it will boot, since IMO your original issue was a corrupted OS installation.

Was your Windows 10 installation an upgrade? If so, while it may have worked fine for a while, the endless automatic Windows updates, which likely included changing the NVMe driver back to the inbox Microsoft version, as has been reported by other 950 Pro users, may be related to your current bad OS installation. You can disable the automatic driver updates during a Windows 10 installation, for me that is a given.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark2864 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2016 at 1:31am
Ok, thanks again for your suggestions Parsec
I tried a startup with the Launch Storage Oprom Policy at UEFI only.. no joy.
Changed it back to Legacy only, and again no joy.
 
So what to try next? I have tried a new W10 installation and it cannot find the nand. As before, there is the option to load a driver, but of course, I do not have a 950 Pro driver.
 
So the system will not load, the W10 clean install won't find the drive, and I can't start the machine to a point at which I can get a new OS ono the SSD.
 
Just losing the will to live and now have a hugely expensive box of scrap.
My System:
MB: ASRock X99 Pro Fatal1ty
CPU: Intel i7-5820k
Memory: 32GB (8x4) Corsair 2133MHz
GPU: Asus Poseidon Water cooled Nvidea 980
Cooling: XSPC Raystorm Pro for CPU and GPU, x-large radiator
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