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Author Topic: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?  (Read 2675 times)

Offline chris

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Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« on: 29/12/2015 09:39:18 »
I just built a new machine: ASUS Z170 ProGaming MB with i5 6600K CPU and 16 GB DDR4.

I bought a brace of traditional HDDs for it, but also a Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD (256GB) - details here http://www.trustedreviews.com/samsung-950-pro-m-2-256mb-and-512mb-ssd-review - to act as the main respository for the OS and installed programmes. These drives work through the PCI Express interface and plug straight onto the MB, giving very high bandwidth data throughput.

However, building this machine was not straight forward. The MB ships with an older BIOS that does not play nicely with M.2 or Windows, so the first thing I had to do was to install the latest BIOS.

Second, Windows 7 is a pain to install because it does not have the drivers for M.2 in the install.

Instead, you have to find the drivers from Samsung, which was not easy to do, and then burn them to a CD/DVD; at the appropriate point in the Win 7 install, you then choose to load the drivers, swap over the CD/DVD; then, magically, your M.2 SSD appears.

A massive gotcha that cost me hours was that once you select, partition and format your new drive, it then says "Windows cannot be installed to this drive," followed by a meaningless error comprising a list of numbers.

Eventually it dawned on me that this was Windows helpfully telling me to "Replace the Windows DVD in the drive and hit the "Refresh" button.

Once I did that, it installed fine, although not ever from USB though, because Windows 7 also doesn't understand USB3.

Windows 10 does not have this problem because it appears to ship natively with the drivers.

However, what I cannot get to work at this stage is Debian to dual boot; some kind of bug is preventing GRUB installing itself... I suspect that as the technology matures this will be ironed out.

Anyway, it was an interesting project, and the machine does work very nicely. Windows 10 loads in seconds from power up, and other software runs like lightning. Beats doing a jigsaw puzzle as a Christmas project!

Chris



 

Offline nicephotog

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #1 on: 04/01/2016 02:47:40 »
MOVED FROM OTHER THREAD...

What version of Debian (and x64 or x32)?,
what type of install "media" (cd - dvd , download , usb, network)?
and you say it did not show you that choice for MBR - it also generally refers to IF /boot being present of which around 100mb should be the size(oddly)?

Did the install "tell you" it was formatting the partitions and "used some appreciable time (along with a message it was formatting sitting on the screen) before actual install started" (at that point too(BEFORE FORMAT SETTING UP THE PARTITIONS TABLE) it would notice your Win partition and ask if you wanted to add it to the list of mounts).

Note: You said EXT4 so i presume you are in X64...

ALSO... Debian is usually a Gnome default desktop unless otherwise specified, It is strongly recommended to use as much of the defaults of the version as possible or small problems like this occur.
(Downloading a distro at a high speed internet cafe onto USB stick and burning the ISO image to DVD on you own machine is about the best way now)

"boot sectors" are on the  -- primary "disk" -- on a primary partition or /boot(only) partition, the MBR is a location start marker for the primary disk to always set the robot needle to read from so startup can occur no matter what other points the disk instructions can then be placed !
« Last Edit: 04/01/2016 02:57:42 by nicephotog »
 

Offline chris

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #2 on: 04/01/2016 08:12:56 »
You can set the boot flag against a partition as it installs. I tried both with and without and the result was the same.

I've not formatted and partitioned the HDD in the machine yet, so I can do the experiment and try all the same permutations installing to that as the default and see if it's an M.2 specific problem, a Windows problem or an ASUS problem.
 

Offline nicephotog

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #3 on: 04/01/2016 10:58:43 »
You cannot write anything to a disk that is not formatted. The feeling here is that is a very quick install that jumps to the last questions and fails without a real error message.
The best method is to assign ext4 to whatever freespace after removing all the non windows partitions you apparently assigned (note: If your computer is larger than  4gb you can probably get away without assigning a swap space), ensure as you are shown the extra disk that is assigned a partition and only use a "/" root and 4gb of "/swap" space.
All other things can be dealt with in Unix purely as a folder as a partition  e.g. "/tmp" or "/home" do not need to be a partition itself of defined size in UNIX.

When asked for which partitions you want to see as mounted it should have a checkbox and some questions on how to format the partitions after or during adding each to the setup info.
Choose check for bad blocks(can happen in RAM disks - good usable RAM check in BIOS is similar), It may show you a set of disks first also but it should be /dev/hdb - /dev/sdb1 for the SSD as you said you added it after the first disk and the first disk /dev/hda has the Win partition on it with the MBR at the begining of /dev/sda1.
http://www.yolinux.com/TUTORIALS/LinuxTutorialAdditionalHardDrive.html
http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-list-disk-partitions-command/

You don't need these commands for the setup you simply need to know what to look for, don't forget to click on choices such as whether to use this partition as "/" or "/home" ...
These GUI interface choices will be on lines in context with the named disk-partition nomenclature.
(You forgot to tell me what distro of Deb.) - till 24 hours time.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #4 on: 04/01/2016 18:47:22 »
Sorry if I wasn't clear - the M.2 drive is formatted and took the install of Win 10 but failed to support a dual boot with Debian 8. There is also a 3TB traditional HDD in there, which I've not initialised; I plan to isolate the M.2 drive and the try the install process on the clean HDD and see if it still breaks. That will show that it is not a media incompatibility but something else that is upsetting GRUB/LILO installation.
 

Offline nicephotog

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #5 on: 05/01/2016 00:58:49 »
..."I just built a new machine:"...
And you are sure the SSD is on the primary IDE belt along with the DVD-RW so it can be listed as the "primary disk"? ,
that leaves the other disk to be on the secondary IDE belt (and its jumpers should be secondary slave)!

You didn't tell me what media you used to install.

If the IDE belt groupings are correct, re-install "the windows boot-loader" (sometimes can be done from the Linux setup disk) with you Win install disk, then re-ask to install the default dual-boot-loader with the program (not the whole setup) from the Linux disk.
Note: If prompted first to have a root password for the install and maybe enter another user, you should do that or the install may fail for that reason.
You generally should "at least be logging in as root after install" and maybe also if prompted one else of (if not as root - Debian requires a normal user(and password) but also a password for root) deliberately a normal or default-auto login user.
Or you need to run setup completely all again,

 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #6 on: 15/04/2016 21:42:08 »
I am contemplating buying such a SSD for my ASUS late model computer, it will of course run the latest windows 10 14316 and I will report how I get along with it.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #7 on: 19/04/2016 11:17:21 »
Good luck! It involved a lot of messing about for me because Windows didn't see it to begin with. As these become more the norm then these wrinkles ought to iron out...
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #8 on: 20/04/2016 14:45:46 »
Sadly it seems that my motherboard does not support them ,what I thought were the appropriate sockets are only for extra USB.
 

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Re: Anyone got an m.2 PCIe SSD drive?
« Reply #8 on: 20/04/2016 14:45:46 »

 

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