Question Booting NVMe on Mac Pro 3.1 using Win 10

Sep 20, 2020
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Hello everyone, I'm really frustrated since I have spent so many hours trying to figure something for my problem.

I have a Mac Pro 3.1 (I believe it's 2008) and I have had windows 10 installed on it for a very long time, you can say I never worked on macOS.
Recently I've bought an NVMe M.2 SSD to replace it with my SATA SSD, but since my PC is very old and doesn't support M.2 slot I bought an adapter as well that allows me to install the NVMe on the GPU slot (PCI x16).
NVMe Adapter Amazon Link

Everything went fine and my new NVMe was detected in the Disk Management. I've used EaseUS Todo Backup to clone my old Windows data to my new NVMe which worked with no issues.

Now where the frustrating part comes. See, I can't seem to get my PC boot using the NVMe, I have tried a lot to open the BIOS menu but I wasn't able to since I have everything as Windows OS. I tried also to install win10 using a USB stick as a bootable drive but also I can't get to the Windows 10 setup window.

I noticed something, which is when I boot up my PC and the WIN10 USB stick is plugged in (which is used to install Windows 10) my PC doesn't do anything, the screen stays black as it doesn't detect anything, and when I remove the stick the PC goes to boot back again normally through the normal old SATA SSD.

My Question:
  1. Is there a way to access the BIOS menu for the Mac Pro even when I have WinOS on it? so I can change the boot order. (also I'm not using Mac Keyboard, I'm using a normal Win Keyboard so I don't have the option key or the command key)
  2. Is there a way I can access the Windows 10 setup on the USB stick so I can make a fresh Windows 10 installation on my new NVMe so that way it would automatically set it to boot by default and the old SATA SSD will become as windows.old
  3. In General is there any way that would allow me to boot using my NVMe even if I have to reset/format my PC.
Thank You.
 

spinningstill

Reputable
Jan 15, 2018
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Are you wanting a Mac or a PC. Sounds like this is Mac hardware. Would install MacOS and go from there.

You would need to wipe the drive and install MacOS on it. Since it is 08, you may need to get an install disk or try current versions of MacOS from the Command+R mode.

Then use bootcamp to run Win10.

You cannot run MacOS on a PC. You can however run Win10 on a Mac via bootcamp.

Do full back ups before proceeding.

Grace and peace,
Gary
 

mact

Distinguished
Jan 24, 2007
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You CAN use a slightly older version of an M2 drive, called an AHCI drive. I am using a Kingston 480GB AHCI boot drive on my MP 3.1 (which has been diddled to run Catalina quire well) and it works nicely without fuss. Similar drive boots on my MP 4,1 (2009) with flashed to 5.1, also running Catalina. As well as on two of my Win10 boxes)

But an nvme is different from an AHCI which is simply another dialect, I suppose, of Sata 3. Your MP with an AHCI drive in that adapter plopped into the slot next to the GPU (which ought to be in the first slot) should be bootable with most any version of macOS installed. I have booted Maverick, on thru Catalina with my "drdos diddled" MP 3.1.

Unfortunately these drives are long out of production and their value since they work with "obsolete" macs and PCs (I have two also booting 10 year old Winboxes running W10) has escalated beyond reason. eBay's about your only chance. I'd recommend Kingstons as I have had Samsung AHCI drive not work as bootable. But still be accessible as data drives. I'd recommend 480s if you can get them, but a 240 would work as well if you are careful to keep from loading apps onto the boot drive. Don't fill it up beyond 50-60%.

Good luck!
 

mact

Distinguished
Jan 24, 2007
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Are you wanting a Mac or a PC. Sounds like this is Mac hardware. Would install MacOS and go from there.

You would need to wipe the drive and install MacOS on it. Since it is 08, you may need to get an install disk or try current versions of MacOS from the Command+R mode.

Then use bootcamp to run Win10.

You cannot run MacOS on a PC. You can however run Win10 on a Mac via bootcamp.

Do full back ups before proceeding.

Grace and peace,
Gary
Sure you can. Takes some work, and probably not worth that effort.
 

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