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charliez

Cannot boot from SSD (Alienware 15)

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Hi guys!

 

Forgive me for any spelling mistakes but I have not slept for about 6 days now trying to get this to work and the men in white coats will be picking me up soon.

 

I bought an Alienware 15 with 1GB HDD and 1GB SSD (PM951 NVMe Samsung 1024GB).  For reasons that can only be attributed to criminal insanity the PC was delivered with the OS on the HDD and a blank SSD.

 

I have now spent the last 5 days trying to install Win10 on the SSD (clean install from Win ISO file on USB).  It kept failing for all sorts of reasons but I finally managed to use diskpart to set a combination of disk format and partitions that Win was happy with.  The installation now goes all the way through until the restart.  This is where my problems start.

 

For reasons I cannot understand, it simply refuses to boot from the SSD.  If I leave the USB stick in, the installation starts all over again, if I take it out I get "Checking media presence" and then "No bootable devices" (I have physically disconnected the HDD).

 

The SSD is showing in the BIOS as "M.2 SSD-1 PM951 NVMe Samsung 1024GB".  If I run the Win installer and then uses Shift+F10 I can also access the SSD as drive C and see that there are Win files on it.  But I cannot get the BIOS to boot to the SSD.  I have tried all sorts of combinations now of Legacy and UEFI with and without Secure Boot and/or Load Legacy Option Rom.  I have installed everything with the SATA set to both RAID and to ACHI.  I have kissed the machine, I have punished it, I have asked for forgiveness and given it flowers and chocolate.  And still the bastard will not boot to SSD.

 

I just cannot understand how it can show in BIOS and I can see the files on the drive from command line, but I cannot get it to boot.  Please, please help me.  I am on the brink and the only thing that has kept me alive is that I am on the ground floor and thus jumping from the balcony only looks silly, really.

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In the bios set uefi and make sure the  ssd is set as primary. If boot fails, then use diskpart to clone the Hdd image on to the ssd. I wonder if the M2 drive needs some extra bios settings? @Mr. Foxmay know.

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Thank you so much for your reply!

 

In BIOS i have
-UEFI (selected)

-Secure boot enabled

-Load Legacy Option Rom disabled

 

The boot options does not show the SSD in any way (not available as an option).  But the SSD is showing under Main>M2 SSD-1  and it is also showing under Advanced>Intel RST.

 

I had to load the Intel RST drivers to install when SATI was set to RAID.  But I did also try to install Win with SATI as ACHI (which didn't require any drivers) and it made no difference.

 

Over the last 6 days I think I have tried any combination of UEFI/Legacy, RAID/ACHI with all the same result.  I will eventually manage to install Win10 (sometimes SSD must be partitioned with diskpart first) but when rebooting the SSD is simply not available as a boot option.

 

Only thing I can think of is that some sort of drivers are missing from the BIOS (fyi I have the latest bios version 1.2.7).  This is going to be the death of me.  Death by Alienware.

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Samsung NVMe SSD are hit or miss in terms of compatibility. The BIOS on your system have not like it. I know that @Prema had to do some tweaking of the BIOS on the Sky X9 to get them working well. Judging from what you have described you are doing the right things and still having some issues and it probably is the system BIOS not playing nicely with it. 

 

I doubt the Alienware BIOS menus give access to the SATA interface. If they do, look for a menu item named "Protocol" and you may find an option to select M.2 and that might help. That will associate one of the SATA ports with the PCIe M.2 drive.

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On 2/9/2016 at 1:00 AM, charliez said:

Hi guys!

 

Forgive me for any spelling mistakes but I have not slept for about 6 days now trying to get this to work and the men in white coats will be picking me up soon.

 

I bought an Alienware 15 with 1GB HDD and 1GB SSD (PM951 NVMe Samsung 1024GB).  For reasons that can only be attributed to criminal insanity the PC was delivered with the OS on the HDD and a blank SSD.

 

I have now spent the last 5 days trying to install Win10 on the SSD (clean install from Win ISO file on USB).  It kept failing for all sorts of reasons but I finally managed to use diskpart to set a combination of disk format and partitions that Win was happy with.  The installation now goes all the way through until the restart.  This is where my problems start.

 

For reasons I cannot understand, it simply refuses to boot from the SSD.  If I leave the USB stick in, the installation starts all over again, if I take it out I get "Checking media presence" and then "No bootable devices" (I have physically disconnected the HDD).

 

The SSD is showing in the BIOS as "M.2 SSD-1 PM951 NVMe Samsung 1024GB".  If I run the Win installer and then uses Shift+F10 I can also access the SSD as drive C and see that there are Win files on it.  But I cannot get the BIOS to boot to the SSD.  I have tried all sorts of combinations now of Legacy and UEFI with and without Secure Boot and/or Load Legacy Option Rom.  I have installed everything with the SATA set to both RAID and to ACHI.  I have kissed the machine, I have punished it, I have asked for forgiveness and given it flowers and chocolate.  And still the bastard will not boot to SSD.

 

I just cannot understand how it can show in BIOS and I can see the files on the drive from command line, but I cannot get it to boot.  Please, please help me.  I am on the brink and the only thing that has kept me alive is that I am on the ground floor and thus jumping from the balcony only looks silly, really.

I have the same issue. Did you figure it out at the end?

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