Question M.2 SSD won’t launch Windows ?

Feb 20, 2022
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Hardware:
Motherboard: ASRock z590 extreme
CPU: Intel i7-11700K
Old windows storage: WD Blue 500 GB
New/Desired Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
BIOS Mode: UEFI

I have installed the m.2 drive in the "Hyper" m.2 slot which has gen 4 enabled. When in a windows in the old SSD, I can see everything about the 980 pro and can copy and paste files freely. I was hoping to clone the drive but apparently there is an issue with 512 vs 4096 sector sizes that will not allow this option.

So, I updated my windows install usb-c drive with a modern version of windows to install to the NVME. I unplug all other drives leaving only the usb-c and NVME connected. I seemingly successfully installed windows to the NVME and when I plug the old SSD back in, viewing the NVME in file explorer suggest success as well.

However, when I go into the UEFI, the 980 pro is not listed as an option in my boot priority. I do not see any option in the UEFI/BIOS (I assume these are the same thing) to actually adjust m.2 slot settings or change storage settings (there are folders related to NVME and storage but they only provide information and do not actually contain settings). I have done an internet flash for the board and it matches the most up to date bios version listed on ASRock's website. Now I have gone back to google and various forums searching for various solutions to this problem and the only UEFI setting that actually seems to have changed anything on this board is adjusting CSM settings and changing all options to off (which opens it to legacy and default options, I have also tried variations of legacy only, default, off).

FINALLY, I see the 980 Pro listed in my boot priority (but I also notice the icon for it seems to be an HDD but i dismiss this). I save settings and select the 980 pro as my boot option. Restart the computer and get a message "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key."

After playing around in google and talking to some of my smarter friends, they suggest that my windows partition on the NVME might need to be FAT32 rather than NFTS. Command prompt does not allow me to change the windows partition to FAT32 because the partition is larger than 32gb. New problem, windows wont let me install on a partition smaller than 32gb even though install space is actually around 10-15gb.

I am running out of ideas and running out of things to google. A number of options listed online do not have a 1:1 option on my UEFI. Any help is beyond appreciated.
 

Aeacus

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I can see everything about the 980 pro and can copy and paste files freely.
When you did put 980 Pro into the system, you did download and ran Samsung Magician, right? Since that is needed for firmware update.

I was hoping to clone the drive but apparently there is an issue with 512 vs 4096 sector sizes that will not allow this option.
What software you used to clone the drive? Samsung Data Migration tool? Something else?
Also, is the "issue" with sectors on your WD SSD, or on 980 Pro?

I have installed the m.2 drive in the "Hyper" m.2 slot which has gen 4 enabled.
Have you tried 980 in "Ultra" slot? Your MoBo has two of those.
 
Feb 20, 2022
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When you did put 980 Pro into the system, you did download and ran Samsung Magician, right? Since that is needed for firmware update.
Samsung magician is installed but does not even see the 980.

What software you used to clone the drive? Samsung Data Migration tool? Something else?
Also, is the "issue" with sectors on your WD SSD, or on 980 Pro?
I attempted to use AOMEI and Macrium, neither would allow me to Clone. Google suggested this was a sector size issue between the 512 sector size on WD and 4096 on 980 Pro.

Have you tried 980 in "Ultra" slot? Your MoBo has two of those.
Motherboard specs are as listed:
  • 1 x Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4)
  • 2 x Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
I could try moving the 980 to one of the Ultra slots but they are only running at Gen 3.
 

Aeacus

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Two days ago, i installed 980 (non-Pro) into my Haswell build, which has Z97 chipset MoBo and who's M.2 slot supports up to 10Gb/s speed. So, newest M.2 NVMe SSDs work fine even old hardware.

What did you differently, compared to the following procedure? ->
  1. When you plugged your 980 Pro into the MoBo and booted up the PC, did Win gave you notification that the drive is ready to be used? Notification pops up in bottom right corner.
  2. Also, when you initially installed the drive, did Disk Manager see it as "unallocated"? Whereby you needed to create a new volume and allocate the entire drive, so you can start using it.
  3. Once the allocation is made, Samsung Magician should see the drive, and offer firmware update, if there is any. This is also a good point where to run drive benchmark within Magician, to make sure drive performs according to spec.
  4. Next step would be downloading Samsung Data Migration tool and cloning your OS to new 980 Pro drive. Once that is complete, you're golden and ready to use your new drive.
I could try moving the 980 to one of the Ultra slots but they are only running at Gen 3.
Now, at this point, the concern of you using Gen 4 slot vs Gen 3 slot, has little importance since you can't get the drive working. So, here, i'd 1st get the drive working in Gen 3 slot (Win on it, it boots fine etc), and once that is done, then move the SSD to Gen 4 slot.

I attempted to use AOMEI and Macrium, neither would allow me to Clone.
Better use Samsung Data Migration Tool, since it is specifically created for Samsung drives.

For other drives, non-Samsung, i've used Acronis True Image.

Google suggested this was a sector size issue between the 512 sector size on WD and 4096 on 980 Pro.
Drive size difference doesn't matter in cloning process.
Like i mentioned above, i installed 980 into my Haswell build. Using Data Migration Tool, the source drive was 860 Evo (500GB), while target drive was 980 (1TB). There were 0 issues in cloning my OS from one drive to another, despite difference in drive size.

Now, if source drive is bigger than target drive, and there is more data on source drive than target drive can hold, you can't even start the cloning process.
 
Feb 20, 2022
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What did you differently, compared to the following procedure? ->
  1. When you plugged your 980 Pro into the MoBo and booted up the PC, did Win gave you notification that the drive is ready to be used? Notification pops up in bottom right corner.
  2. Also, when you initially installed the drive, did Disk Manager see it as "unallocated"? Whereby you needed to create a new volume and allocate the entire drive, so you can start using it.
  3. Once the allocation is made, Samsung Magician should see the drive, and offer firmware update, if there is any. This is also a good point where to run drive benchmark within Magician, to make sure drive performs according to spec.
  4. Next step would be downloading Samsung Data Migration tool and cloning your OS to new 980 Pro drive. Once that is complete, you're golden and ready to use your new drive.
1: Yes
2: Yes
3: I installed Samsung Magician after first initializing it. However, even now as the drive is active and usable (can move files/games to the drive and run them), the drive still does not show in Magician.
4: If I can get the drive to show in Magician, I will definitely give this a go.

Now, at this point, the concern of you using Gen 4 slot vs Gen 3 slot, has little importance since you can't get the drive working. So, here, i'd 1st get the drive working in Gen 3 slot (Win on it, it boots fine etc), and once that is done, then move the SSD to Gen 4 slot.
Definitely going to give this a go during my lunch break today. Will post a reply if this changes anything.

Drive size difference doesn't matter in cloning process.
It isn't an issue about storage capacity, but sector size. I came across this during a cloning attempt and found this article: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/cloning-windows-10-from-hdd-to-ssd-512-bytes-to-4096-bytes.3425477/
 

FoxInFlames

Prominent
Jan 3, 2022
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Uneducated opinion:-

If the cloning system says you need a disk with a similar allocation unit size, you could've just reformatted the SSD, file system with NTFS and allocation size to 4096 or 512 (whichever you needed) and then carried on with cloning.

I'm not sure how that migration thing works, but you could try this anyways.
 

Aeacus

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I see that i got the drive size and sector size mixed up. My bad.

However, what stops you formatting your 980 Pro into 512 bytes sector size, so that you can clone your OS over without issues?

Looking around the net, i found this topic, discussing if there is any real benefit using the 4k sector size over the 512 bytes, most drives are currently using,
link: https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/setting-4k-sector-size-on-nvme-ssds-does-performance-actually-change.289757/
 
Feb 20, 2022
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Can you show screenshot from Disk Management?
(upload to imgur.com and post link)
Here is Disk Management + Samsung Magician. Moved it to the Gen 3 slot and still does not show up on Magician.
(I have tried making a partition specifically for Windows and putting the windows install on the large partition like shown on current image.
 
Feb 20, 2022
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However, what stops you formatting your 980 Pro into 512 bytes sector size, so that you can clone your OS over without issues?
I guess I could try this. This may solve the cloning issue, but I am still not sure this would solve the UEFI issue. Adding onto that, if the Samsung Magician software isn't catching the drive, I wouldnt be able to (not sure if this would even matter):
Better use Samsung Data Migration Tool, since it is specifically created for Samsung drives.
 
Disconnect all the other drives, have only nvme drive connected.
Turn off secure boot in BIOS.
Set first boot device to Windows Boot Manager.
May need to have CSM enabled and storage boot mode and pcie boot mode set to legacy first.
Try to boot into windows.

BTW - you have Crucial Mx300 525GB drive there (no WD Blue 500GB).
 
Feb 20, 2022
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Disconnect all the other drives, have only nvme drive connected.
Turn off secure boot in BIOS.
Set first boot device to Windows Boot Manager.
May need to have CSM enabled and storage boot mode and pcie boot mode set to legacy first.
Try to boot into windows.

BTW - you have Crucial Mx300 525GB drive there (no WD Blue 500GB).
I have already tried this. These steps are the only ones that allow the NVME drive to be added to boot priority but end up at "Reboot and Select proper Boot device..." It has also never been named Windows Boot Manager.

Didn't even think twice about the 500gb drive. For some reason I have the WD listed on my PCPartpicker complete build list.
 
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These steps are the only ones that allow the NVME drive to be added to boot priority but end up at "Reboot and Select proper Boot device..." It has also never been named Windows Boot Manager.
Windows is installed in UEFI mode. Only windows Boot Manager boot option is bootable.
Boot option "Samsung 980 Pro" is for legacy boot. It is not bootable, because windows is not installed in legacy mode.

Anyway - you can also use bootloader on 500GB drive to load windows from 1TB drive.
Execute in elevated command prompt:
bcdboot F:\windows /f UEFI

Next time you reboot your pc you'll be presented with multiple bootloader options.



 

Aeacus

Champion
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Adding onto that, if the Samsung Magician software isn't catching the drive, I wouldnt be able to (not sure if this would even matter):
Samsung Magician and Samsung Data Migration Tool are two separate programs and here, you can't say that Data Migration Tool doesn't work, since you haven't tried it. What you're doing, is assuming it doesn't work, since Magician can't detect your drive.

Also, why do you have so many partitions on your current, Crucial, C:/ drive?
 
Feb 20, 2022
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Samsung Magician and Samsung Data Migration Tool are two separate programs and here, you can't say that Data Migration Tool doesn't work, since you haven't tried it. What you're doing, is assuming it doesn't work, since Magician can't detect your drive.

Also, why do you have so many partitions on your current, Crucial, C:/ drive?
You are correct, I did not necessarily know if that data migration tool would work. I have since downloaded it and it does not allow me to even select a source drive. I have tried restarting computer, running as admin, and it does not allow me to select C: drive. View: https://imgur.com/a/A9xLDxg


Why do I have so many partitions? No clue. The drive has progressively gotten messier over the past 5 years and I look forward to formatting it once I can get this NVME set up. At one point the drive was split across a linux boot and a windows boot but I have since removed linux.
 
Feb 20, 2022
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Windows is installed in UEFI mode. Only windows Boot Manager boot option is bootable.
Boot option "Samsung 980 Pro" is for legacy boot. It is not bootable, because windows is not installed in legacy mode.

Anyway - you can also use bootloader on 500GB drive to load windows from 1TB drive.
Execute in elevated command prompt:
bcdboot F:\windows /f UEFI

Next time you reboot your pc you'll be presented with multiple bootloader options.

Attempted this. Tried the command prompt thing. Tried it with a fresh format on the NVME, with windows installed, with CSM both on and off -- never got the screen you have listed. I should type only that into the command prompt and with that F: drive (NVME) listed?

As a note, I have reached out to Samsung support to help with this issue. Unfortunately they are "unable" to provide support for this issue over the phone and I have to play email tag with them now. Will continue to take advice/suggestions from all sources.
 
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