[SOLVED] Crosshair VIII Dark Hero PCIe M.2 Boot Drive?

Atterus

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Jul 15, 2015
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Hello all!

I see a ton of information about various issues regarding using a M.2 on a PCIe riser (I'm veteran enough not to be scared of BIOS settings). But not a whole lot on whether it is a good idea to put an OS on a expansion slot. I'm running a 5950x on a Dark Hero with a 3090. I have a number of drives, 2 SATA platters, 2 M.2's in their dedicated slots (more on them later), and a old 850 pro SATA SSD with the OS currently on it. I hope that is enough info for this scenario.

So, that 850 SSD has served well. The issue is that it is 250GB and I have enough junk that I recently got various errors and messages telling me to free up space. I cannot. At least not without totally overhauling my file structure which I really don't want to do (it's a ton of small files/folders, not large ones). It's a old legacy drive that has been passed from a number of systems without problems. It's time to get my OS a new home. Issue is that the two M.2 drives in their dedicated slots have manual structures and specific to other purposes, so putting the OS on one of them isn't a option.

So, the simplest solution would be to just get another SATA SSD, a larger one, but the 860 pros are silly expensive when I'm looking at getting 1TB. I do a fair amount of work on this machine so reliability and lifespan matters. Alternatively, I recently installed a PCIe expansion on another machine and put a M.2 on that with great success. But that other machine doesn't use a GPU and was a older board (with the M.2 only storing and not doing OS).

So, my question is (since somehow a 980 pro + M.2 Expansion card is much less expensive) can I boot off of a M.2 drive connected via the PCIe expansion slot? I don't know if that will slow down the 3090 or whether there is some taboo being broken since I don't have a ton of expansion slot experience beyond "plug in GPU, get pretty colors". Any help would be appreciated!

-Atterus
 

Atterus

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Jul 15, 2015
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Shouldn't be a problem since most modern motherboards, newer than say 2015, support booting from NVME controllers via PCIe. And many boards, though not all, did for a few years prior to that.
Perfect. That's the confidence boost I needed :) That's what it sounded like, but I didn't want to add to my "someday I'll use it" collection!
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Just make sure that the PCIe adapter you get is one that indicates it is bootable. I think maybe some older ones might have had issues in that regard. Newer ones should all be bootable. They might have all been bootable depending on the board though, I can't remember for sure. It's been a while since booting from an NVME controller was problematic.
 

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