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  1. #1
    ROG Enthusiast Array sl@sh PC Specs
    sl@sh PC Specs
    MotherboardAsus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
    Memory (part number)Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory
    Graphics Card #1Asus GeForce GTX 980 4GB STRIX Video Card
    MonitorBenQ XL2430T 144Hz 24.0" Monitor
    Storage #1Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
    Storage #2Seagate 4TB 3.5" 5900RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive
    CPU CoolerCorsair H90 94.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
    CaseCorsair 780T ATX Full Tower Case
    Power SupplyCorsair RM 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
    OS Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM (64-bit)

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    Need help w/ BIOS config for booting M8R into W7 on a M.2 NVMe SSD

    Hello all

    I'm a beginner having trouble with a brand new system, staring at mobo connections, then BIOS settings, then finding a way to do an UEFI install for Windows 7 Pro on my Samsung Pro 950.

    I've eventually accomplished all that, but my system is incredibly unstable at all levels:
    - in BIOS, I sometimes get freezes at various points
    - when installing low level drivers from the mobo DVD, half the time it crashed. I finally figured out the most reliable way to do it was chipset, then USB, then Intel ME, then LAN - skip the rest!
    - in Windows, the PC keeps running as long as I don't touch anything, but just trying to install something, including a windows update has a 50/50 chance of BSOD.

    The current state of the system is that Windows 7 Pro is installed in UEFI mode on the SSD and it does boot - usually. I managed to get rid of all errors in device manager by installing the relevant drivers from the mobo DVD, and current versions of Firefox and Avira. I have internet access, but doing anything over the network is extremely fragile. Also I've detached the LAN cable for most of the time because I couldn't get any windows updates to install. Some of the instability may be due to the latter, but I would prefer addressing the low level issues first.
    Also I should mention that I didn't get the system to even start into BIOS with the factory installed BIOS. I had to flash the most current (1302) just to get the system up and running. Later I downgraded to 1202 because with 1302 I had constant crashes right in BIOS. With 1202, those crashes are mostly gone.

    System specs:
    motherboard: Maximus VIII Ranger; BIOS 1202
    case: Corsair 780T big tower
    PSU Corsair RM 1000
    CPU: Intel 6700K 4000MHz
    Cooler: Corsair H90i
    RAM: HyperX Black Fury DDR4 4x4GB 2666MHz
    SSD: Samsung 950 Pro 512 GB, M.2
    SSHD: Seagate Desktop SSHD 4000GB
    GPU: ASUS STRIX GTX 980 DC2OC
    ODD: some cheap LG DVD burner (is it important?)

    I've stolen the basic setup from a high end machine (Z3000) offered at Digitec. https://www.digitec.ch/de/s1/product...pro-pc-5338515

    I considered just going with that one, but I didn't want Windows 10, and preferred the new Samsung 950 Pro over the 850 Evo included in that system.

    Considering the freezes at BIOS level I am convinced something's not right at the hardware/BIOS level. I'm almost certain it's not the hardware since I'm building two identical systems that are encountering the exact same issues.

    This means that either I might have messed up the mobo connectors somewhere, or that some of the standard BIOS settings don't mix well with the installed hardware. Maybe both.

    Regarding connectors, I went back and forth through the manuals and various online sources and am almost certain I got them right, except for the Q-connector: Since the connector comes with the mobo, and the cables to connect to it come from the tower, I tried to find help for that specific combo, but without success. Can someone help me out here?

    Regarding BIOS settings, I've tried running RAM at 2133 instead of 2666, but that didn't make a difference. Also it kept setting back to auto after crashes. Only change from standard I've made is setting Boot priorities and PCIe boot to UEFI first. I still got a nagging feeling I need to adjust something else, but I've no idea where to start. CSM is set to enabled; I've read in various places I should disable it when using UEFI, but the BIOS just reenbales it automatically on boot whenever I try that.

    I would very much appreciate any help, but specifically regarding the mobo connectors, and the BIOS settings. I still have some hope I might get the Windows update issues fixed once the system is stable at low level.

    That said, booting into Windows is incredibly slow (about 50-70s). I am almost sure that I need to change something in BIOS to take full advantage of the M.2 interface, but so far couldn't find anything related to M.2 in the BIOS. I've read elsewhere that DDR4 initialization is eating some of the time and I'm cool with that, but it shouldn't take more than 30s from the first Windows logo!

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array
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    Can you list all the USB devices that are currently connected to your system for me?

  3. #3
    ROG Enthusiast Array sl@sh PC Specs
    sl@sh PC Specs
    MotherboardAsus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
    Memory (part number)Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory
    Graphics Card #1Asus GeForce GTX 980 4GB STRIX Video Card
    MonitorBenQ XL2430T 144Hz 24.0" Monitor
    Storage #1Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
    Storage #2Seagate 4TB 3.5" 5900RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive
    CPU CoolerCorsair H90 94.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
    CaseCorsair 780T ATX Full Tower Case
    Power SupplyCorsair RM 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
    OS Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM (64-bit)

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    The only thing connected to any USB port is a simple Cherry keyboard. I am currently using a PS2 adapter for the mouse (Logitech LX3) because I had trouble using it on the USB port.

  4. #4
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array
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    See if you can test your system with another keyboard or mouse. Also if you're using any front bay USB ports from your case and such, disconnect them as well.

  5. #5
    ROG Enthusiast Array sl@sh PC Specs
    sl@sh PC Specs
    MotherboardAsus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
    Memory (part number)Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory
    Graphics Card #1Asus GeForce GTX 980 4GB STRIX Video Card
    MonitorBenQ XL2430T 144Hz 24.0" Monitor
    Storage #1Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
    Storage #2Seagate 4TB 3.5" 5900RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive
    CPU CoolerCorsair H90 94.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
    CaseCorsair 780T ATX Full Tower Case
    Power SupplyCorsair RM 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
    OS Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM (64-bit)

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    Well I might find another set, but I am having the same issues on the second system using another keyboard/mouse combo, and in total I've tried at least 4 keyboards and mice. The current combo is the most basic I have available, requiring no additional drivers. Sorry for questioning the merit of your suggestion, but is it worth checking even more devices?

    That said, the issues I had with the mouse not working properly on USB is a mystery that needs to be solved. I checked the Asus homepage for newer USB drivers, but they didn't offer anything newer than what came on the DVD already.

    I've also considered the possibility of a faulty WIndows or driver installation, but with two identical systems, how likely is that they both show the same issues?

  6. #6
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array
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    Unfortunately, a lot of legacy USB peripherals are not compatible with the Z170 platform.

    And being on W7, I doubt you'll find more updated drivers for that OS since everyone is moving to W10. I would say you are lucky that W7 drivers are still available. lol

    A faulty Windows installation is possible. Since you own two identical systems, I would guess that you use the exact same media to install Windows on both? Are you using a legal, unmodified copy of W7?

    This is what I would do.

    1. Update to the latest BIOS.
    2. Clear the CMOS.
    3. Leave only the Samsung 950 connected and disconnect all other SSDs and HDDs.
    4. Install Windows.
    5. Disable Windows updates.
    6. Download the drivers from the support page for your missing devices.

    Report back your results.

  7. #7
    ROG Enthusiast Array sl@sh PC Specs
    sl@sh PC Specs
    MotherboardAsus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
    Memory (part number)Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory
    Graphics Card #1Asus GeForce GTX 980 4GB STRIX Video Card
    MonitorBenQ XL2430T 144Hz 24.0" Monitor
    Storage #1Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
    Storage #2Seagate 4TB 3.5" 5900RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive
    CPU CoolerCorsair H90 94.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
    CaseCorsair 780T ATX Full Tower Case
    Power SupplyCorsair RM 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
    OS Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM (64-bit)

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    Ok, i'll try some other mice then.

    I have two perfectly legal new Windows 7 Pro DVDs and used those for each system. Also tried from an USB installation stick using Rufus, but that failed due to inability to use USB ports during install.

    As for redoing the installation, I just stumbled upon a guide for installing Windows 7 on the 950 Pro here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/thre...50-pro.785498/
    Might try that, although it's another config. The author also claims that Windows 7 does take long to boot on a NVMe device. This might refer to what you stated in the other thread: that Windows requires CSM enabled If true, it means I should use an MBR partition scheme rather than GPT, so I'd have to redo it anyway.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    ROG Enthusiast Array sl@sh PC Specs
    sl@sh PC Specs
    MotherboardAsus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
    Memory (part number)Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory
    Graphics Card #1Asus GeForce GTX 980 4GB STRIX Video Card
    MonitorBenQ XL2430T 144Hz 24.0" Monitor
    Storage #1Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
    Storage #2Seagate 4TB 3.5" 5900RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive
    CPU CoolerCorsair H90 94.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
    CaseCorsair 780T ATX Full Tower Case
    Power SupplyCorsair RM 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
    OS Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 OEM (64-bit)

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    Thanks for the link. I believe at some point I've already found it, saw the suggested BIOS setting, couldn't find that setting in my current BIOS, and decided the info there wouldn't be overly helpful for me. At that time I wasn't looking for advice on how to install WIndows from USB though.

    On another note, I've checked the event log for problems, and found an error that consistently pops up every single time immediately after system start (i. e. after the BIOS hands over control to Windows):
    "Driver ACPI returned invalid ID for a child device (5)"
    . I've tried to find more information on that, but apparently ACPI can refer to just about any device (including USB devices), so all I can really say is that one of my devices isn't initialized correctly. I wonder if there's a tool that shows the ACPI devices so I could figure out what device (5) is referring to?

  10. #10
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    Can you try installing windows on a another drive, and disconnect the M.2 drive
    i7 6700k @ 4.8Ghz | Asus ROG Maximus VIII Extreme | 16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3000MHZ | 1.8TB HDD WD Raid 0 | H110iGTX | Asus ROG 980GTX TI Matrix Platinum X2 SLI | Samsung Pro 950 M.2 512GB | Asus ROG Swift PG279Q | Corsair RM850 | Kingston HyperX 500GB | Corsair 780T |

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