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Beginner
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Unable to boot from 800p Z97-PRO(Wi-Fi ac)

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Purhaced an Intel 800p NVMe M.2 drive. Installled Windows, but unable to boot from it.

I tryied different CMS combinations, but none of them would work. NVMe info section in BIOS does not show anything. The drive works fine as a separate drive in other windows installation.

Only acknowledge from BIOS that it detects the drive, is when using CMS setting: Auto, then the BIOS gives a message, to change the CMS settings.

Used this document as a guide: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/enthusiast-ssds/NVMe_Bo...

Only help I got from Asus was that they told me that the board is old, did not help much.

I also added the drive to pcie 16 slot with adapter, but did not solve the issue.

Only way I got the drive to boot was to use Clover USB drive, but would like to get it to work without it?

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Moderator
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Hello, @sawe.

 

Thank you for contacting Intel Community Support.

 

We received your thread regarding the boot problem with the Optane SSD 800p Series on this particular motherboard, I will be glad to assist you.

 

I have been going through the ASUS site, which you may have already checked, but I could not find anything specific about booting from an NVMe drive:

- Main page: https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/Z97PROWiFi_ac/

- User Manual: https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1150/Z97-PRO/E9062_Z97-PRO.pdf

 

There are a couple of sites I found that list the same situation, one with an 800p and one with a Samsung SSD; the NVMe  drive is recognized as a storage unit, but not as a boot device, indicating this could be strictly motherboard related, and NVMe boot may have not been implemented by the system manufacturer or may require a special configuration:

 

1. Samsung SSD:

https://www.reddit.com/r/techsupport/comments/cuijd4/asus_z97pro_wifi_ac_ssd_not_showing_in_bios/

- "I made an edit to the post to make sure people know I have it attached to the M2 spot already and it is working just not as a boot device (because I can't see it in the bios)"

2. Optane SSD 800p (here I'm not sure if it's the exact same WiFi AC motherboard): 

https://techreport.com/review/33338/intels-optane-ssd-800p-58-gb-and-118-gb-solid-state-drives-revie...

- "While the Optane 800P drives are perfectly usable as secondary storage in older systems, our venerable ASUS Z97 Pro refused to acknowledge the existence of the 800P as a boot device in its BIOS, rendering it impossible to conduct boot and load tests against the other drives in our test suite".

 

Seeing that you already found a workaround for it, that could be the best option, and at this point, the only recommendation I can provide would be to check again with ASUS in order for them to confirm if what you are trying to accomplish is possible, and if that is the case, provide you with detailed instructions on how to do it.

 

I will keep the thread open for a few days in case there is something else you would like to add/ask, and it will be closed on November 23rd if there are no interactions, after that, please feel free to open a new thread as this one will no longer be monitored, or contact us via one of the other support methods (https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/contact-support.html).

 

Best regards,

 

Bruce C.

Intel Customer Support Technician

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Super User Retired Employee
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The 800p is an Intel Optane SSD. In order to use it, your motherboard's BIOS *must* have Optane SSD support built into it. AFAIK - and yes, because these are older boards - *no* Z97 boards had Optane SSD support built into their BIOS (it just wasn't available yet back then).

Sorry, reality bites,

...S

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Beginner
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https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/enthusiast-ssds/PCIe-NV...

https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/enthusiast-ssds/NVMe_Bo...

As of these documents booting should work, and is working on several other Z97 chipset boards, so in that light your answer is misguiding.

To me the situation seems like the core idea of PC is forgotten. If I have a add on peripheral intended for supported bus, connection and OS, it should work. Even in situation the PC is not the newest and fastest model.

What comes to the 800p as a product, I am in understanding that it is PCIe SSD foremost, not a Optane memory etc. which do need supported newer chipset and such.

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Moderator
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Hello, @sawe.

 

Thank you for contacting Intel Community Support.

 

We received your thread regarding the boot problem with the Optane SSD 800p Series on this particular motherboard, I will be glad to assist you.

 

I have been going through the ASUS site, which you may have already checked, but I could not find anything specific about booting from an NVMe drive:

- Main page: https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/Z97PROWiFi_ac/

- User Manual: https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1150/Z97-PRO/E9062_Z97-PRO.pdf

 

There are a couple of sites I found that list the same situation, one with an 800p and one with a Samsung SSD; the NVMe  drive is recognized as a storage unit, but not as a boot device, indicating this could be strictly motherboard related, and NVMe boot may have not been implemented by the system manufacturer or may require a special configuration:

 

1. Samsung SSD:

https://www.reddit.com/r/techsupport/comments/cuijd4/asus_z97pro_wifi_ac_ssd_not_showing_in_bios/

- "I made an edit to the post to make sure people know I have it attached to the M2 spot already and it is working just not as a boot device (because I can't see it in the bios)"

2. Optane SSD 800p (here I'm not sure if it's the exact same WiFi AC motherboard): 

https://techreport.com/review/33338/intels-optane-ssd-800p-58-gb-and-118-gb-solid-state-drives-revie...

- "While the Optane 800P drives are perfectly usable as secondary storage in older systems, our venerable ASUS Z97 Pro refused to acknowledge the existence of the 800P as a boot device in its BIOS, rendering it impossible to conduct boot and load tests against the other drives in our test suite".

 

Seeing that you already found a workaround for it, that could be the best option, and at this point, the only recommendation I can provide would be to check again with ASUS in order for them to confirm if what you are trying to accomplish is possible, and if that is the case, provide you with detailed instructions on how to do it.

 

I will keep the thread open for a few days in case there is something else you would like to add/ask, and it will be closed on November 23rd if there are no interactions, after that, please feel free to open a new thread as this one will no longer be monitored, or contact us via one of the other support methods (https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/contact-support.html).

 

Best regards,

 

Bruce C.

Intel Customer Support Technician

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Super User Retired Employee
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Thank you Bruce (@BrusC_Intel) for backing up my assertions. I *do* know what I am talking about (though I don't necessarily feel vindicated).

For @sawe, it is certainly true that bus, connection and OS are compatible, but you are naive if you think that that is all that is necessary. As I said, the problem is that the motherboard's BIOS is *NOT* compatible; it simply does not have support for NVMe boot. It also, as I said, does not have support (in the Z97 chipset or in the BIOS) for the PCIe steering necessary to allow the Optane portion of the drive to be associated with and accelerate the SSD portion.

Bottom line, while you can use the 800p as a medium speed SSD (it is only a fast SSD (relatively speaking) if Optane acceleration were supported), you simply cannot boot directly from it. It is true that, using redirection via a USB flash drive to support booting, you can use it as your Windows system drive, but this will never deliver the short boot times that you want it to have.

Let me say a few other things,

  1. Basically, the issue here is that you purchased one of the latest technologies but are trying to use it in a board that only understood the technologies that existed six years ago! You simply cannot expect this to work.
  2. It is true that one or two manufacturers have gone back and updated the BIOS on their Z97 boards to support NVMe Boot. Your manufacturer is obviously not on this list and I knew this when I answered you (having looked at the specs for this board).
  3. As for the Optane capabilities, this is a chipset feature and was not introduced for a number of years (and generation) after your board was released.
  4. Where is do agree with you is that there are a ton of products out there that claim backward compatibility but do not actually deliver on this promise (witness the many PCIe 3.0 graphics cards that claim backwards compatibility with PCIe 2.0 and older UEFI implementations but really do not deliver on either of these claims). In this case, Intel made no claims that this product was backwards compatible with these older boards or chipsets; you just assumed it - and that is the crux of the problem here.

...S

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