Question Installing Windows 10 on a Samsung m.2 970 Evo Plus with an Asus Z170-AR

Jun 16, 2022
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I have a system about 7 years old.. built myself. I was experiencing issues when rebooting. Windows would update and reboot, or I would need a reboot and the system would turn on but BSOD.. WHEA error of some sort. I couldn't figure it out. However if I left my system off for an extended period of time and then booted up, the system would boot. If I left the system running it would run forever. That was working fine.. at least when it happened I knew what to do. However a Windows update came through and rebooted me. Now that doesn't work. She always gets the BSOD. I can boot into recovery options, but nothing in there does anything.

I did run some tests to see if something on my motherboard is messed up. Some kind of boot thing that has a bunch of tools on it. I ran MEMTEST and it seems fine. I have 32GB (4 sticks) and I tried removing them and using each one individually. Did not work.

I originally had an Samsung SSD in there and put in the m.2 a few years ago. I don't remember how I got it working.

So I bought an external USB device to plug the m.2 in. I was able to read the drive just fine and copy all my data off it. I then ran DISKPART on it.

diskpart
list disk
select disk #
clean
exit

I made a USB drive with Windows 10 installation. I booted up and Windows 10 installation loaded. It saw my drive, but did not allow me to do anything with it. Windows couldn't be installed, I couldn't delete or format. I saw somewhere it needed to be GPT.

I took it out of the desktop, back into the adapter to the laptop and I went back into diskpart and ran cpnvert gpt. When I do that, the drive is not visible in Windows 10 installation.

I have secure boot off in BIOS. I tried CSM on and off.

If I use that USB adapter in my laptop I can see and use the drive fine. I have no other drives plugged in except for the USB drive with Windows 10 install on it.

Any help is appreciated.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
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The format of the drive shouldn't make any difference to the installer. it should have seen the drive be it MBR or GPT.
It being cleaned means it should let you create partitions.

Where did you get installer from?
On another PC, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB

i wonder if you can hook nvme back up to laptop and run Samsung Magician on it - https://semiconductor.samsung.com/consumer-storage/support/tools/
I am curious if it sees anything wrong with drive.

WHEA - Windows Hardware Error. Its possible the nvme is the cause?

If you wanted GPT, you need CSM set to disabled. its default is enabled.
page 2-54 - https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1151/Z170-AR/E10395_Z170-AR_UM_WEB.pdf
 
Jun 16, 2022
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The format of the drive shouldn't make any difference to the installer. it should have seen the drive be it MBR or GPT.
It being cleaned means it should let you create partitions.

Where did you get installer from?
On another PC, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB

i wonder if you can hook nvme back up to laptop and run Samsung Magician on it - https://semiconductor.samsung.com/consumer-storage/support/tools/
I am curious if it sees anything wrong with drive.

WHEA - Windows Hardware Error. Its possible the nvme is the cause?

If you wanted GPT, you need CSM set to disabled. its default is enabled.
page 2-54 - https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1151/Z170-AR/E10395_Z170-AR_UM_WEB.pdf
I do not believe anything is wrong with the drive. Previously I had ran Samsung Magician when my system was working and it said GOOD in green letters. Don't quote me there, but I think that's the word Magician uses.

Anyway, I'll try what you said tomorrow about running it. It let's me create partitions when I have it hooked up to the laptop. I can use it just fine. I also tried doing um a diskpart command which I think was create partition efi but no luck.

It's not that I wanted GPT.. I don't give a rats ass. All I want is my PC back up and running so I can get some more life out of it, but I may start building a new PC soon.

I just don't have money. I may try one of those Pay in 4 deals that have no interest. they split the total price in 4. You make one payment today. I have used them a bunch of times. I just don't think they'll approve me for an $800 purchase. The most I've done on them is $300. Who knows I can try. That'll get me the best Intel 11th gen processor, the better chipset Asus Z590, the fastest m.2 you can buy, a large AIO liquid cooler, and a nice case, and I can use the same DDR4 I have now (32GB). I technically could use the same case but I'd like a new case that's clean (no dust) and has USB C. Also, the newer case makes things refreshing.

I think I'm going to look for an m.2 installation guide.. maybe I can find the exact steps because here I am trying all different combinations.
 
Jun 16, 2022
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The format of the drive shouldn't make any difference to the installer. it should have seen the drive be it MBR or GPT.
It being cleaned means it should let you create partitions.

Where did you get installer from?
On another PC, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on USB

i wonder if you can hook nvme back up to laptop and run Samsung Magician on it - https://semiconductor.samsung.com/consumer-storage/support/tools/
I am curious if it sees anything wrong with drive.

WHEA - Windows Hardware Error. Its possible the nvme is the cause?

If you wanted GPT, you need CSM set to disabled. its default is enabled.
page 2-54 - https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1151/Z170-AR/E10395_Z170-AR_UM_WEB.pdf
Cannot use features of Samsung Magician most likely because it's connected via USB. It shows up in there though.

I may go to the store and buy a cheap hard drive as a test. I can always return it if it's not the issue.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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I made a USB drive with Windows 10 installation. I booted up and Windows 10 installation loaded. It saw my drive, but did not allow me to do anything with it. Windows couldn't be installed, I couldn't delete or format. I saw somewhere it needed to be GPT.
The 970 is still connected externally, via USB?

Windows really does not like to be installed on a USB connected drive.
You have to jump through major hoops to do that.
 
Jun 16, 2022
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The 970 is still connected externally, via USB?

Windows really does not like to be installed on a USB connected drive.
You have to jump through major hoops to do that.
No. On the desktop it's plugged in directly to the motherboard. Colif said when I hook it to the laptop (via USB adapter) see if you can run Samsung Magician to check the health of the drive. That's what I was doing.

Anyway, I'm super tempted to head down to Walmart and buy a drive as a test. $62 bucks.
 
Jun 16, 2022
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What motherboard?
Which M.2 port?
It's in the post title.. I have an Asus Z170-AR. Originally I had a Samsung SSD, but a few years ago upgraded to the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. I don't remember how I installed it, but it's been working fine for a few years. Out of nowhere Windows had issues.. whenever I rebooted my computer I got BSOD. If I let the computer sit for some unknown period of time I could boot up just fine. As long as I left the PC on it ran forever, but soon as you rebooted it would BSOD. But then the trick where I leave it off for an extended period of time didn't work either. So, I finally bit the bullet and saved my data to another drive and formatted the sucker and here we are. I'm trying to reinstall Windows fresh. Someone mentioned maybe Windows had got corrupt. So I got this adapter from Amazon to make it USB and that works great. Saved my data, formatted the drive, and even copied files over as a test. Seems to work fine, just can't get Windows installed.

It's plugged into the motherboard in the same spot it sat for the last 2 years or so.

I would like to save her if possible and get more life out of her.. while I buy parts to build a new computer in the mean time. I never buy pre-built computers, I've been building my own for the past 20 years or so. So I'll buy a part every 2 weeks until I have a top of the line system.

I am limited on funds.. my first choice would be to save her. I do have this laptop, but I hate working on it. My desktop has the nice mechanical keyboard, dual 27" monitors, etc. The laptop does have an RTX 2060 card in it, but it still sucks for CSGO even though that isn't a super intense game. So I avoid playing games on the laptop, but I might plug in my desktop mechanical keyboard and see if that changes the experience any.

Saving her is the least expensive option.. the other parts are still decent.. 32GB memory.. I7-6700K processor (4 core 4.2Ghz) and a Noctua NH-D15 cooler that's the size of a kitten. Also, the power supply is newer.. I had replaced it with an 850 watt last year.

The next lease expensive option is buy the hard drive tonight and test her out.. and return if doesn't work.

Most expensive options are building a new system. I can't afford the latest gen top of the line 12900K processor, but I could go with a decent last 11th gen processor the 11900k for around $800. That uses DDR4 so I could re-use my RAM. That would be processor, AIO liquid cooler, new case, fastest hard drive they make, and I can re-use power supply and RAM. I definitely would want a new case, as a re-fresh to the whole system and plus it's not dusty. Plus the new case would have USB-C on it.

I could split that $800 into 4 payments no interest and have her in a few days from Newegg. Microcenter doesn't accept PayPal so I can't use the option Not sure there's any place I can pay with PayPal and pick up (PayPal is where I'm splitting the payments into 4.. they take it out of my bank automatically every 2 weeks).

Anyway, that long winded story is off topic.. I'm really just trying to save what I think is a good hard drive.. as I've copied a video file over to it as a test and played said video card. Seems to work. Just can't get Windows installed.
 
Jun 16, 2022
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Well, here's what I did.. I purchased a 2.5" SSD from Wally World and installed Windows on it no problem. I was then going to try and mirror this to the m.2 and boot it. Windows 10 sees the m.2 but cannot access or format it. Wonder what I did?

I ran the commands again on the laptop..

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1
clean
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick
assign
exit

Put it in the desktop and booted Windows (the new SSD). The M.2 shows up as drive D, but you cannot do anything with it. Shows up in Device Manager and says this device is working properly. I do have the NVME driver installed from Samsung and Magician. Doesn't show in Magician either, nor BIOS. Maybe because of CSM? But if I put it back in the laptop it works fine.

I was hoping maybe I could clone the new Windows I installed on SSD to m.2 and return the drive.

Guess I shall call this closed and just live with SSD for now.
 

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