Question SSD - Shown in Windows but not BIOS

Jan 8, 2022
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Hi all!

I didn't think I'd have this much trouble getting windows installed onto a new CPU but here we are.

Asus Z97 - A
Two different NVME SSD's used - WD Black 750 & 970 Evo Plus (Not simulatenously during install)
Windows 10 Pro
Used in M.2 slot, and PCIE adapter in both x16 slots.

Windows installs, creates the partitions, but no matter what I do the drive isn't listed as a bootable option. I've used both an installation CD provided by MS, and created a bootable USB.

I've tried installing the SSD's in the M2 slot on the board, alongside using a PCIE adpater for an M.2 2280 connection. I'm always trying the install in UEFI. I've tried doing this after disabling CMS and booting to other OS, and doing auto set up. During the install when the SSD was in the M.2 slot I did enable it in bios. Still not seen. All other drives disconnected, nothing being used by my SATA ports.

When using cmd to check on the drive it is listed, but not listed as an active bootable drive, but it is designated as my C drive. So I'm not really sure what could be going wrong here. I can post some snips upon request for any other info you might need to help.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Can you get into windows on the drives? If it lets you install windows on the drive in the PC, and it shows in windows on the PC, then the BIOS must be able to see them - I don't know where in the bios NVME show on the Asus Z97 (I used to have one but never mounted m.2 to it)
https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1150/Z97-A/E9378_Z97-A_UG_V2_WEB.pdf

m.2 support not the best for AZ97, it will only run on x2 channels, so half speed. What CPU are you running them from?


NVME SSDs do not appear within the BIOS until Windows creates the system partition with the EFI Boot Sector.

@USAFRet don't you have a similar board?
 
Last edited:
Jan 8, 2022
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Yeah, I figured the same. Bios definitely knows it's there, but for some reason it's not listed as bootable. When using CMD > diskpart > list disk > detail disk - I get these results -

Type - NVME
Status - Online
Path - 0
Target - 0
LUN ID - 0
Current read only state - no

Volume 1
Ltr - C
Label - N/A
FS - NTFS
Type - Partition
Size - 931 gb

Volume 2
Ltr - N/A
Label - N/A
FS - FAT32
Type - Partition
Size - 100mb

One thing I've been worried about is the PCIE slots sharing M.2 bandwith. Currently my GPU is in PCIEX16_2. Anyone with a bit more understanding than me hopefully can confirm this config would work.

I'll get back later today with the CPU model. It's an I-7, but I don't have the exact model. This is a previous build of a friends, where I've primarily only changed the power supply, one fan, and the SSD.

Could this be related to a bios update? I saw the original bios version of the z97-a doesn't support windows 10 or the expansion cards, or NVME. I'm not sure if there might just be a driver I'm missing somewhere or if the bios is out of a date so I'll confirm the bios as well.

I bought a backup sata SDD, I'm going to try and install windows on this later tonight as a secondary plan.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
NVMe support on Z97 level boards was very spotty.

Not all of them can boot from the M.2 port. Those that can, only after subsequent BIOS updates.
And many many of them, the M.2 port cannot give full performance to a PCIe 3.0 drive like a 970 EVO.

Look in the BIOS version notes, to see if/when NVMe support was updated on your particular motherboard.
If there is no specific mention of that being added in, likely this board cannot do it.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Volume 1
Ltr - C
Label - N/A
FS - NTFS
Type - Partition
Size - 931 gb

Volume 2
Ltr - N/A
Label - N/A
FS - FAT32
Type - Partition
Size - 100mb
that is a strange format as its not MBR or UEFI, it lacks partitions it should have 4 partitions if its GPT/
It can run on one if its MBR but the order of the partitions is wrong for MBR, boot partition should be 1st on drive, not 2nd.

the volume 2 could an EFI , but you should also have a recovery partition and a MSR unless you created the partitions 1st

only 1st bios mentions anything about support for nvme - https://www.asus.com/au/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/Others/Z97A/HelpDesk_BIOS/
so I assume he has that at least.
 
Jan 8, 2022
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Question - If using a PCIe adapter for a 4x NVME SSD, does that still run at the 2x speed, and could that help prevent compatibility issues with M.2 NVME?

Every time I've installed so far I only get 3 partitions. I'll post a photo tonight of the listed partitions when I get back home. One MSR reserved, one primary, and I can't recall the name of the third. But I can confirm there are only three.

BIOS version 2205 supports NVMe - Will verify current version later.

Looks like the best course of action might be to either get a new board that has better M.2 support, or live with a sata ssd.

Random update of information - The previous owner used a SATA SSD to boot from, not an NVMe SSD. I was under the impression that he was using his NVMe drive as the bootable drive, which is why I've been so hung up on this. There's a good chance that this board just might not support booting from an NVMe drive. He did have them recognized in windows as storage drives however, so at least my money spent so far isn't wasted.

I'll update this post once I try installing on the SATA drive.
 
Jan 8, 2022
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Final update -

Installing using a SATA SSD was the fix. The NVMe support is limited for the Z97-A, but some users had success after installing the new beta bios version for the board to use a NVMe drive as the boot drive. Otherwise, without the newest bios version, I do not believe it's possible. Going to primarily use the sata drive as my primary, and the others as storage drives.

Thank you all for the help/support.