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x299 Taichi and Samsung 960 Pro M.2 compatibility

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iconoclast View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 Sep 2017 at 10:06pm
I am very close to buying an x299 Taichi motherboard. But looking at the Storage QVL list, I can't see the Samsung 960 Pro there anywhere, only the EVO.
Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that it won't work, just that it hasn't been verified (yet?).

Can anyone say if they've had problems or not using a 960 Pro as their boot/system drive on this motherboard?

Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2017 at 12:30am
Originally posted by iconoclast iconoclast wrote:

I am very close to buying an x299 Taichi motherboard. But looking at the Storage QVL list, I can't see the Samsung 960 Pro there anywhere, only the EVO.
Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that it won't work, just that it hasn't been verified (yet?).

Can anyone say if they've had problems or not using a 960 Pro as their boot/system drive on this motherboard?

Thank you.


There is no reason you would not be able to use a 960 Pro on the X299 Taichi, or any other mother board as the OS/boot drive, whose UEFI/BIOS supports NVMe SSDs. Of course, the X299 Taichi supports NVMe SSDs as the OS drive.

Like SATA, NVMe is an official storage protocol, that any device using that protocol must support. We don't worry if a SATA drive will work with any of our boards, because they all will work with any board. The same is true for an NVMe SSD. Any NVMe or SATA SSD manufacture that made a drive that required special, individual support in the UEFI/BIOS, would be making a big mistake. I am not aware of even one NVMe SSD that requires special support in the UEFI/BIOS.

Many people, including myself, have used NVMe SSDs on older chipset mother boards, like the ASRock Z77 Extreme4, that existed long before NVMe SSDs did. That board has a UEFI/BIOS update that adds NVMe support, so M.2 SSDs used in an M.2 to PCIe adapter can be used as the OS drive. None of the older boards like this have NVMe Storage QVL lists.

Actually, an NVMe SSD will work in any mother board simply as a storage drive, as long as the appropriate interface to the board can be accomplished. NMVe support in the UEFI/BIOS simply allows these SSDs to become bootable. It does nothing else to make them compatible.

As another example, my ASRock X370 board does not have the Samsung 960 EVO in the manual's Module Support List, yet myself and many owners of these boards use 960 EVOs as the OS drive in it just fine.

The only restriction with any NVMe SSD that will be used as the OS drive is, the OS being installed must have a built in NVMe driver. Windows 7 does not have its own NVMe driver, so a Windows 7 installation will fail with any NVMe SSD, unless an NVMe driver is added to the installation files, or loaded during the OS installation.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DStealth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2017 at 5:10pm
Using 960pro since day one on Fatal1ty X299 Gaming K6 .
No problems with OS boot from it or speed of the drive moved from x99 to it.


In general info tab are my details here- https://www.3dmark.com/fs/13732460


Edited by DStealth - 04 Oct 2017 at 5:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote druvas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2017 at 7:32am
Hmm. I installed the 960EVO PRO in my X299 Gamer K6 and the boot sequence dies with an A2 code on the motherboard. The BIOS recognizes it. I am using a bootable USB stick to install Windows 10. When I try to boot with that in, it will load once and begin the installation process but after the first reboot the system stops with an A2 code and I cannot proceed. Any thoughts? I called ASRock support and they insist that it's a problem with the 960EVO PRO.

Are there any special/particular ways in which to install the Samsung m.2 drive?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2017 at 12:02pm
Originally posted by druvas druvas wrote:

Hmm. I installed the 960EVO PRO in my X299 Gamer K6 and the boot sequence dies with an A2 code on the motherboard. The BIOS recognizes it. I am using a bootable USB stick to install Windows 10. When I try to boot with that in, it will load once and begin the installation process but after the first reboot the system stops with an A2 code and I cannot proceed. Any thoughts? I called ASRock support and they insist that it's a problem with the 960EVO PRO.

Are there any special/particular ways in which to install the Samsung m.2 drive?


There a  couple things that need to be done when installing Windows on any NVMe SSD, the 960 EVO is no different. BTW, you have either a 960 EVO or 960 Pro, two different models. But it makes no difference if using either model.

When you boot the Windows 10 USB installation media, you must boot from the entry in the boot order that is: "UEFI: <device name>", where device name is the name of the USB flash drive. Go into the UEFI/BIOS, Boot screen, and be sure the "UEFI: <device name>" entry is being used, and is first in the boot order. You will normally have more than one entry in the boot order for the USB installation media. You must use the entry with the "UEFI:" prefix, since that will cause the Windows installer to use the EFI boot loader, required for NVMe SSDs. This is the standard procedure for installing Windows on an NVMe SSD.

How did you create the USB installation flash drive? If you don't have an entry in the boot order with the UEFI: prefix, there is something wrong with the USB installation media.

Did you have any other drives connected to the board and powered up along with the 960 EVO  during the Windows 10 installation? If you did, disconnect power from all those drives, and only have the 960 EVO active during the installation. It seems that might be the situation given your description. This really should be done when using any drive, since Windows will put the Boot/System partition on another drive besides the target OS drive. You are then dependent upon both drives to boot Windows.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote druvas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2017 at 9:33pm
Ah, okay. I have the 960 Pro.

When I have the bootable USB stick plugged in, and I go into the BIOS, I see 3 entries in the boot-order list:

Samsung 960 Pro
UEFI USB device
USB device

I have played with the order a bit but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I will try again with the UEFI USB device listed first, followed by the Samsung 960 Pro.

I created the USB installation flash drive with Rufus and using my own copy of Win10.

I have no other drives connected to the board.

Does it matter which m.2 slot I use? I have tried using slot 1 and slot 3. Slot 2 is under my video card and not easily accessible.

I am close to exchanging the 960 Pro for another one as the motherboard seems fine when it's not installed, after clearing CMOS.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote druvas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 2017 at 9:55pm
I just tried your suggestions and the system still won't boot to the installer properly. I removed the Samsung 960 Pro and it boots into the Win10 installer without issue. I think I've got a defective Samsung SSD... Gonna exchange it today and try again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Subw00er Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2017 at 12:37pm
Druvas, did you figure this out? Did you get a new 960 pro? I am having this issue to (saw a2 error off and on). 

It actually will randomly reboot itself. I was wondering if it was my power supply - I'm using a really old Neo 550w, and a really old video card atm. I'm on a taichi x299 with an i5 and corsair 16gb.

Can you tell us what the rest of your system looks like?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2017 at 12:53pm
Originally posted by druvas druvas wrote:

I just tried your suggestions and the system still won't boot to the installer properly. I removed the Samsung 960 Pro and it boots into the Win10 installer without issue. I think I've got a defective Samsung SSD... Gonna exchange it today and try again.


Never heard of a board not booting a Windows installation media, that 960 Pro might be bad. Do both of the appear in the Storage Configuration screen, or the System Browser screen? Can you get into the UEFI/BIOS with both 960s connected?

All three M.2 ports support NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs, so should be fine. The M.2 slots share resources with some of the SATA ports, do you have any SATA drives connected to the board?
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