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  1. #1
    ROG Member Array Bcheck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Rampage V Extreme (1902 rev 1.01) migrating M2 SM951 AHCI to M.2 950 Pro NVMe

    Hi ....
    Here is my view regarding my recent upgrade from the :
    M.2 Samsung SM951 AHCI 256Gb
    to : M.2 Samsung 950 Pro 512Gb NVMe
    On a Rampage V Extreme (not U3.1) with BIOS 1902 and Win10 x64 10586

    Problems that arose :

    Thinking it was child's play from an experienced user to just acronis the SM951 and then recover the image to the new 950 Pro, was quite a bummer. I had Acronis 2015 (latest build) and the problem is, you can create an image, BUT when you want to
    recover, the NVMe drive is NOT recognised. All other SATA and M.2 AHCI ... are discovered.
    At this point it could mean 2 things, one being Acronis not loading the driver from the recovery media OR the BIOS settings are wrong or some setting was not correct.
    Turns out it was indeed Acronis. I have setup Win10 with NO CSM and UEFI with secure boot.
    In the BOOT Override menu of the BIOS, it clearly stated N1 - Samsung 950 Pro NVMe so i knew it was recognised.
    Although in the BIOS it did NOT mention the drive under NVMe Environment option. This is probably for HyperKit OR PCIe cards.

    When visiting the acronis website and forums, i discovered that even Acronis 2016 True Image 60xx build does NOT recognise the 950 Pro, and reading that Macrium Reflect does. Note: ofcourse you can try building Acronis Media Boot with Addons but being
    the samsung driver is an EXE (and you have to start getting the INF and other files) i decided to go for the easiest solution !
    Being Acronis that is such a recognised and big player in the business, and the NVMe drives are already out for quite some time, they disappointed me BIG TIME with no support yet. I was a loyal acronis customer but things changed for me when they started the whole
    new look and having issues like drivers missing all of the sudden from Acronis (repair worked but hey) and scheduled images being missed.

    Macrium? YES, Macrium reflect makes the Image and BOOT media on a totally different level, using WinPE for even Win10 x64 ADK it is compatible with whatever how you throw at it. I removed Acronis and installed the latest build of Macrium being v6. When you make the recovery usb or dvd/cd boot media, it checks your windows config and the devices it needs for you to start the image
    with third party drivers.

    Problem 2 : i only have ONE M.2 slot, and since i have to remove the videocard to access it safely, and i didn't want to buy a USB to M.2 converter to copy the drive, and swapping all the time. i therefore used a simple technique, i made an image with Macrium
    from the SM951 and clone copied it to a spare and (cheap) Intel SSD 120gb Sata. In Macrium i did not have the option to resize the partitions because GPT has a recovery partition at the end (being my boot was C 112gb). I will explain this last thing lateron as this
    is not a big problem with partitioning tools.

    I shut down the PC. Installed the Samsung 950 Pro beast and then started the machine from the Intel SSD and also leaving the 950 Pro BLANK. Checked if Windows start OK. I then installed inside windows the NVMe driver from Samsung (v1.1 but in windows it is 1.4). Checked the device manager and see if all is ok. (there is a new driver in Storage Devices !)
    This driver was then integrated into windows, because when i make the image/copy upon start after the copy it will be fully loaded!

    Then , i started Macrium and clone copied the drive back to the BLANK 950 Pro (i used usb stick) and it recovered flawlessly !

    Now, the last problem = resizing the 112gb partition , being GPT you need recent partitioning software to do the trick. I used the free version of Minitool Partition Wizard 9.1, being free it is a great piece of software that allowed me to move partitions and resize my 112gb partition to FULL capacity ! Minitool is also cleaver to align the data for use with SSD drives.

    Here are some results of CrystalDiskMark 5.1 :

    With the M.2 SM951 AHCI drive i had the following specs :
    CrystalDiskMark 5.1.0 x64 (C) 2007-2015 hiyohiyo
    Crystal Dew World :
    Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 2213.251 MB/s
    Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 1226.852 MB/s
    Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 376.202 MB/s
    Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 270.053 MB/s
    Sequential Read (T= 1) : 1588.752 MB/s
    Sequential Write (T= 1) : 1223.586 MB/s
    Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 45.028 MB/s
    Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 151.300 MB/s

    OS : Windows 10 [10.0 Build 10586] (x64)

    the specs for the M.2 Samsung 950 Pro 512Gb are below.
    (NOTE : the 512 version is faster than the 256Gb version !!)
    NOT BAD at all !

    One last thing: i updated my bios version from 1701 to 1902 without a problem, i am using the first R5E rev 1.01 BUT i have also the Asus Type A expansion card. I can vouch that the BIOS works with the card. Seeing on the asus support it only has 1801 so far for the U3.1 ver
    Miniatura de Adjuntos Miniatura de Adjuntos 2016-01-17 23_29_10-950Pro_CDM.png  

    Last edited by Bcheck; 01-17-2016 at 11:33 PM.
    Asus Rampage VI Extreme (1603 UEFI), Intel i9 Skylake-X 7940X
    G-Skill RGB 32GB 3200 / Asus STRIX 1080Ti OC / 970 Pro NVMe / 850 Pro
    Eizo FlexScan EV3237 4K IPS@60Hz
    Corsair AX860i / Corsair H115i Extreme / Corsair Commander PRO / Corsair LL RGB - Obsidian 750D
    Corsair Glaive / Corsair K95 RGB / Corsair VOID Wireless
    Win 10 Pro x64 1809 Fall Edition

  2. #2
    ROG Enthusiast Array hellokitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    thanks for the info! i have similar setup.

  3. #3
    ROG Guru: Black Belt Array Hopper64 PC Specs
    Hopper64 PC Specs
    MotherboardAsus R6EE Bios 0505
    Processori9 10900X @ 5.0 1.35V VCore
    Memory (part number)GSkill F4-4000C18Q2-64GTZR
    Graphics Card #1EVGA 2080 Ti Kingpin
    Sound CardCreative SB AE7
    MonitorAsus ROG PG349Q
    Storage #1Intel 905p M.2 360G
    CPU CoolerEKWB Velocity RGB and Quantum Kinetic D5
    CasePhanteks Enthoo Elite
    Power SupplyCorsair AX1600i
    Keyboard Asus Strix Flare
    Mouse Asus ROG Gladius II Origin
    OS Windows 10 64
    Hopper64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    I'm using the WinPE version of paragon and it recognizes my Intel 750 without issue.

  4. #4
    ROG Enthusiast Array
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Windows 10 To Go USB will have also no problem to see the M.2 or any other RAID devices and you can install Acronis or any other backup tools.
    MB: Asus Rampage V Extreme (WC loop1 rad 120x3) Bios 3801
    CPU: Core i7-5960X (WC loop2 rad 120x9)
    MEM: Crucial 64GB (8x8GB) DDR4 2133MHzCAS15@2400MHzCAS11
    GPU: SLI KFA2 GTX1080Ti@core2050/mem12000MHz (WC loop3 rad 120x9 + 140x9)
    SSD: Samsung 970 PRO M.2 NVME 1To
    HDD: 4 x 10TB Seagate IronWolf RAID 0 (WC loop1)
    PSU: ToughPower TP-1500 1500W + EVGA Supernova 1500W
    Main Screen: LG 31MU97 31'' DCI-4K 4096x2160

  5. #5
    ROG Enthusiast Array madmarc69 PC Specs
    madmarc69 PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS Rampage V Extreme BIOS 3501
    ProcessorIntel i7 6950x@4.2Ghz
    Memory (part number)Corsair Dominator Platinum 64GB 3200Mhz CL14
    Graphics Card #1EVGA TITAN X SC@1506Mhz
    Graphics Card #2EVGA TITAN X SC@1506Mhz
    Sound CardASUS Essence STX II 7.1
    MonitorDELL U3818DW
    Storage #1Samsung 960 Pro NVME M.2 512GB
    Storage #2Samsung SM951 AHCI M.2 512GB
    CPU CoolerKoolance CPU-380i
    CaseLian Li PC-A76X
    Power SupplybeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11 1200W
    Keyboard Logitech DiNovo Edge
    Mouse Logitech MX Master
    OS Windows 10 pro 64Bit
    Network RouterDraytek Vigor 2960 450Mbit/s
    Accessory #1 Intel i350-T2V2 Dual Port Server Adapter
    Accessory #2 External water cooling solution
    madmarc69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    The Acronis 2016 WINPE USB-Boot-Medium recognize the 950 PRO NVME. You do not need the Samsung NVME driver for recovering with it.

    The Acronis 2016 Boot-CD does not recognize the 950 PRO NVME.
    Last edited by madmarc69; 01-20-2016 at 09:40 AM.

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