Question Can't boot Win 10 from NVMe SSD ?

Jan 29, 2021
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Yesterday I got my new NVMe SSD, the WD Black SN850. I wanted to install Windows 10 on it, and use it as my primary drive on my Asus Prime X570-P mainboard.
I have plugged it in, Windows recignized it as unformatted, so I "enabled" it and it worked fine, so I set up a bootable thumb drive via Media Creation tool, went into UEFI, disabled CSM and fast boot, turned the machine off, unplugged my SATA SSD and HDD and proceeded to install Windows 10 as usual - format it, hit install.

Well, here's my problem now. I've been troubleshooting for the past 14 hours without any success (although I learned a lot in the process). The drive won't boot in UEFI mode. The installation went through just fine, but when the setup wants to restart the machine, I'm either getting booted back to the start of the installation process (so boots from USB) or if I unplug the USB drive, it'll just enter UEFI setup again. At this point, the UEFI setup doesn't show the NVMe SSD as a bootable device anymore, although it is still connected to my NVMe port (and still exists in the NVMe device list).

When launching CSM, the drive appears again, I can attempt booting from it, but since it's an NVMe SSD that I installed Windows 10 on in UEFI mode, it will not boot up, just as expected.
I am very sure I have set up the USB drive in UEFI mode (actually tried again using Rufus so I can double check), formatted to GPT and did everything correctly to set up the USB drive. Also, it's the latest Win 10 build.

I have the feeling that either the NVMe driver is somehow missing and therefore my PC can't boot from it, or something is wrong with the EFI. I have tried to manually load the EFI boot files onto the NVMe drive using CMD, but still, it won't let me boot.
When turning on CSM, the NVMe SSD does NOT have the "Bootmanager" or "Bootloader" label - just it's regular one.

SSD Firmware, BIOS Firmware and all drivers listed on the manufacturer's website for the Prime x570 Mobo are installed/updated/brought to the latest version.
I have tried all of this with enabled and disabled secure boot features as well as "other os" and "windows uefi mode".
Results stay the same with both NVMe ports.

Sorry for the somewhat long post, but I wanted to make sure to list my entire progress so far.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
The installation went through just fine, but when the setup wants to restart the machine, I'm either getting booted back to the start of the installation process (so boots from USB) or if I unplug the USB drive, it'll just enter UEFI setup again. At this point, the UEFI setup doesn't show the NVMe SSD as a bootable device anymore, although it is still connected to my NVMe port (and still exists in the NVMe device list).
this is the problem right here, windows isn't finished installing anyway. So it can't boot as you don't have any users created. All its done is copied the installer onto the ssd so when it boots again, its running off the ssd. But its not getting that far.

remove all drives from boot menu
Boot method should be UEFI, maybe set bios to defaults to remove any changes you may have made.

Under Secure Boot on the Boot menu in bios, is there an option called Boot over ride? (page 3-17 of manual shows it - https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/SocketAM4/PRIME_X570-P/E17441_PRIME_X570-P_UM_v3_WEB.pdf)

what you should do is boot up with USB in drive
go into bios and click Boot override
choose the USB drive.
PC will boot from it this once, restart the install process, and next boot should start from the NVME and continue the install.
 
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Reactions: Tsyoi
Jan 29, 2021
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Thank you kindly for your reply.
I have tried defaulting the BIOS as you said and gave it another shot. I'm always removing any other disks when trying to install the OS onto my NVMe.
Unfortunately I'm ending up with the same result - I'm getting kicked back to the BIOS after the restart, with no NVMe storage device anywhere to boot from. It seems that the boot manager can't be installed properly, therefore I tried something more radical.
I wiped my SATA SSD and did a clean install on it to see whether it's a faulty thumb drive or the mainboard screws up. The installation process went through just fine without any problems. I removed the SATA device yet again and tried installing Windows 10 without touching the BIOS whatsoever, with the exact same settings using the exact same method, but it again, to no avail.
Everything about it seems pretty odd to me. Seems to be a problem with either the NVMe drive itself or the slot, so I tried out the second slot and repeated the same process again, but no luck there, so there's probably something wrong with the NVMe.
 
Jan 29, 2021
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True that, anywhere I asked it seemed to remain a mystery as to why the setup behaves like that. Unfortunately I have no other machine to test it on. I might ask for a refund and go for another model, if it doesn't work then I can at least be sure it's not a faulty NVMe drive, but until then I hope to get a few more ideas (even though I have the feeling that I've tested pretty much anything at this point).
 
I have plugged it in, Windows recignized it as unformatted, so I "enabled" it and it worked fine,
so I set up a bootable thumb drive via Media Creation tool, went into UEFI, disabled CSM and fast boot, turned the machine off, unplugged my SATA SSD and HDD and proceeded to install Windows 10 as usual - format it, hit install.

The drive won't boot in UEFI mode. The installation went through just fine, but when the setup wants to restart the machine, I'm either getting booted back to the start of the installation process (so boots from USB) or if I unplug the USB drive, it'll just enter UEFI setup again. At this point, the UEFI setup doesn't show the NVMe SSD as a bootable device anymore, although it is still connected to my NVMe port (and still exists in the NVMe device list).
Clean the drive before installing windows onto it. Use diskpart clean method.
Have only single drive connected, while installing windows.



The problem is, if you partition/format drive before installing windows, you may have partitioned it in the way, it can not be made bootable.

Also, if windows is installed in UEFI mode, then first boot entry in Boot priority list has to be "Windows Boot Manager".
All the other entries, that have no "[UEFI]" in their name are for legacy boot and will not work.
 
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Jan 29, 2021
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I'm trying that, will report back with results.
As far as I'm concerned though, there isn't much difference between using diskpart to clean a disk and deleting everything within the Windows 10 setup, might be wrong though.

Edit: no luck
 
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Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
I would suggest asking on the Asus ROG forums as someone there should know the answer. If they tell you one, please come back and let us know what worked :)

And yeah, diskpart and Deleting in setup is essentially the same thing, but stranger things have been known to help
 
Jan 29, 2021
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I agree, I used to have an IT internship once, I remember a joke going like this:
Hardware engineers most popular sentence: "it doesn't work, and I don't know why."
Software engineers most popular sentence: "it works, and I don't know why"
Anyway I will ask on Asus forums and will report back in a few days, I'll let you guys know about the results, maybe they'll help someone having the same problem.
 
Reactions: Colif
Apr 20, 2021
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A friend of mine and I are struggling with exactly the same problem with the same model NVMe. Pls let us know if you found a solution.
 
Apr 20, 2021
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Hi, I'm sorry.
I know it must be really frustrating when people say it is "exactly the same":rolleyes: but i have read the whole thread multiple times, very carefully, and I can tell you the only difference is the MB model. I was very surprised by the similarity of my problem to this one too and I can understand your criticism. Still hope to find a solution to this problem.
 
Jan 29, 2021
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Hi, I'm sorry.
I know it must be really frustrating when people say it is "exactly the same":rolleyes: but i have read the whole thread multiple times, very carefully, and I can tell you the only difference is the MB model. I was very surprised by the similarity of my problem to this one too and I can understand your criticism. Still hope to find a solution to this problem.
Well, my "solution" would quite frankly be a rather disappointing one. After having posted my question on several forums and having asked people from various other sources (like YouTubers who actually got Windows running on this exact model), and verifying a million times that I've done everything correctly (even though there were always some individuals claiming otherwise) I took some rather dull actions.

Basically, all the answers from said YouTubers I got can be boiled down to "works on my machine". I figured that it can't be my fault, and returned the drive. After getting the same model as a replacement, in hopes that the first one was just kinda screwed, I tried installing Windows yet again, but to no avail. I again sent the device back, ordered a Samsung Evo 980 Pro, and everything instantly worked like a charm. So it likely has to do with the drive model itself in combination with some other hardware I'm using.
I couldn't find a conclusive answer on why exactly Windows failed to install a proper boot manager onto the drive, and most likely, I never will. All I can say is that switching to a more popular brand, even though the drive itself is a tiny bit slower, is worth it solely for the reason that it's at least working.
 
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Reactions: laslars
Apr 20, 2021
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Thanks for your answer:)I guess thats it. I hope that someday someone smarter than us gets the same problem and figures out the issue.
 

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