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  1. #1
    New ROGer Array Violet915 PC Specs
    Violet915 PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS ROG STRIX X99 GAMING
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-6800K
    Memory (part number)Corsair Vengeance DDR4 2133 MHz (16GB 4x4)
    Graphics Card #1EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 FTW
    Sound CardRealtek Onboard
    MonitorASUS ROG Swift 2K/144Hz/1ms
    Storage #1Samsung EVO 840 128GB
    Storage #2Samsung EVO 850 512GB
    CPU CoolerCorsair H100i v2
    CasePhanteks Evolv PRO Full ATX
    Power SupplyCorsair RM 750
    Keyboard Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2
    Mouse Razer DeathAdder Elite
    Headset Razer Hammerhead V2
    Mouse Pad Overwatch Edition Razer Goliathus Extended
    Headset/Speakers N/A
    OS Windows 10 64-bit Home

    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    STRIX X99 GAMING with SM961 M.2 NVMe SSD

    Hi guys, I've been asking around Tom's Hardware for people with STRIX's to come forward and help me solve this problem, but it seems that nobody is willing to help so I turn to you guys, my fellow owners of ASUS hardware.

    I was made aware far too late that the SM961 OEM (by Samsung) was incompatible with my Motherboard. I figured this out when issues began occuring 4 months into my PC's life time (built brand new as of January 2017). The Windows 10 Creator's Update triggered something which caused this incompatible SSD to no longer successfully boot my windows. Strange that an incompatible SSD (with BIOS version 1401) was working for 4 months before it stopped. I've been through to ASUS Live support and they reckon that as of BIOS 1504, the SM961 is now supported. This is either a lie or something is wrong with my Motherboard or BIOS. So, before I go off buying a Samsung 950 PRO EVO, I want to ask if anybody else has a STRIX X99 Gaming and an SM961 and has managed to solve this issue or may be able to help?

    Things I have done:

    • Installed a fresh Windows 10 correctly onto the SSD, though I did this before updating my BIOS to 1701.
    • Tried BIOS updates 1401, 1504 and 1701. Further to add, that I noticed some specific settings were missing after 1504 was installed, such as the ability to select M.2/U.2/Auto mode in the Onboard Devices section of Advanced.
    • Some people have claimed that the Samsung NVMe 2.2 Driver on Samsung's website now supports the SM961. Installing it has not fixed my problem.


    It is very strange, my windows will boot up and take me to a blue screen of death, error code: 00xc000000e which states that my SM961 is corrupted or inaccessible. When trying to manually boot using F8 on startup, or override it in the BIOS, OR set it as the default #1 priority for booting, it will either BSOD fail or boot directly into the BIOS. I have to change a random setting sometimes to make it work. The problem has gotten worse over the days, I can now no longer risk turning my PC off as I may not be able to boot it up to respond to this request for assistance.

    So, is there a way to make this SM961 work? Or must i RMA it and then buy a 950 EVO PRO? Regarding the 950 PRO, according to the STRIX X99's qualified vendor list, it specifically states the following M.2 SSD's are compatible for Samsung:

    SAMSUNG MZHPU128T/004 - (XP941) (For AHCI mode)
    SAMSUNG MZHPU512T/000 - (XP941) (For AHCI mode)
    SAMSUNG MZHPV2560 - 256GB (SM951) (For AHCI mode)
    SAMSUNG MZHPV5120 - 512GB (SM951) (For AHCI mode)
    SAMSUNG MZ VPV1280 - 128GB (SM951) (For AHCI mode)
    SAMSUNG MZVPV1280 - 128GB (SM951) (For NVMe mode)
    SAMSUNG MZVPV2560 - 256GB (SM951) (For NVMe mode)

    SAMSUNG MZ VKV512 - 512GB (950 PRO) (For NVMe mode) --- So as you can see the SM961 is not added to this list, many report that the vendor lists are HORRENDOUSLY out of date (really ASUS?), but due to their lack of information it is obvious why I am asking this "silly" question. The 512GB of the 950 PRO is very expensive and not worth £300 in my money, I am only going to upgrade to a 256GB of the SSD. So I want to know if anybody can 100% confirm the 950 PRO 256GB WORKS with the STRIX X99 Gaming.

    If I missed anything or you need further information on my problem, let me know. I'm not able to properly use my PC (cannot reboot it) unless I conquer this issue.


    - Violet

  2. #2
    Banned Array JustinThyme PC Specs
    JustinThyme PC Specs
    Laptop (Model)G752VY-DH72
    MotherboardRampage VI Extreme
    ProcessorI9 9940X
    Memory (part number)64GB DDR4 8x8 Corsair Dominator Platinum 3800 MHz @ C17
    Graphics Card #1ASUS Strix 2080Ti O11G @ 2.1GHz
    Graphics Card #2ASUS Strix 2080Ti O11G @ 2.1Ghz
    Graphics Card #3ROG Nvlink
    Graphics Card #4Have to feed animals
    Sound CardExternal Audioengine D1 24 bit 192kbps DAC
    MonitorASUS PG348Q @ 100Hz
    Storage #1Intel 905P 480GB U2 flavor
    Storage #2Samsung 850 EVO 1TB X2 in RAID 0, 960 PRO 1TB DIMM.2_1
    CPU CoolerHeatKiller IV PRO and VRM blocks ,Dual D5 PWM serial, 2X 480, 1X 360 RADS
    CasePhanteks Enthoo Elite 8X LL120 PWM, 3X LL140 PWM, 12 SP120 PWM 1x AF140 PWM
    Power SupplyCorsair AX 1500i
    Keyboard ASUS Claymore
    Mouse ASUS Spatha, Logitech MX Master
    Headset Sennheiser HD 700
    Mouse Pad ASUS ROG Sheath
    Headset/Speakers Audioengine A5+ with SVS SB-1000 Sub
    OS Win10 Pro 1809
    Network RouterNetGear NightHawk X10
    Accessory #1 NetGear Prosafe 10GBe Switch
    Accessory #2 Qnap TVS-682 NAS modded with I7 CPU

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    If it worked out of the box its compatible. The only incompatibilities between M2 SSDs and board or laptops is the older models that do not support NVMe protocol.
    As for the QVL list that was last updated more than a year ago, before the SM961 hit the market.
    My Guess is you have a failed SM961 or corrupted. First thing I would try would be to do a secure erase of the SM961, this simultaneously writes all zeros to the entire drive. Then do a clean install of the OS.

    Samsung drivers and utilties do not now nor have they ever supported the OEM drives, this is by design. They only support the consumer versions such as the 950 or 960 pro etc. Thats of no consequence as Ive personally proven time and again there is no gain to be had by using the Samsung drivers over windows native drivers in drives that support both whether it be desktop or laptop.

    If you do a secure erase and it still will not work I would suggest contacting whoever you go the drive from and see if they will do an exchange. Unfortunately the fact that its an OEM drive Samsung offers zero support for it and zero warranty.

  3. #3
    New ROGer Array Violet915 PC Specs
    Violet915 PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS ROG STRIX X99 GAMING
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-6800K
    Memory (part number)Corsair Vengeance DDR4 2133 MHz (16GB 4x4)
    Graphics Card #1EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 FTW
    Sound CardRealtek Onboard
    MonitorASUS ROG Swift 2K/144Hz/1ms
    Storage #1Samsung EVO 840 128GB
    Storage #2Samsung EVO 850 512GB
    CPU CoolerCorsair H100i v2
    CasePhanteks Evolv PRO Full ATX
    Power SupplyCorsair RM 750
    Keyboard Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2
    Mouse Razer DeathAdder Elite
    Headset Razer Hammerhead V2
    Mouse Pad Overwatch Edition Razer Goliathus Extended
    Headset/Speakers N/A
    OS Windows 10 64-bit Home

    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Reputation
    10
    Posts
    2

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinThyme View Post
    If it worked out of the box its compatible. The only incompatibilities between M2 SSDs and board or laptops is the older models that do not support NVMe protocol.
    As for the QVL list that was last updated more than a year ago, before the SM961 hit the market.
    My Guess is you have a failed SM961 or corrupted. First thing I would try would be to do a secure erase of the SM961, this simultaneously writes all zeros to the entire drive. Then do a clean install of the OS.

    Samsung drivers and utilties do not now nor have they ever supported the OEM drives, this is by design. They only support the consumer versions such as the 950 or 960 pro etc. Thats of no consequence as Ive personally proven time and again there is no gain to be had by using the Samsung drivers over windows native drivers in drives that support both whether it be desktop or laptop.

    If you do a secure erase and it still will not work I would suggest contacting whoever you go the drive from and see if they will do an exchange. Unfortunately the fact that its an OEM drive Samsung offers zero support for it and zero warranty.

    Finally a straight answer. Thank you so much for this my good sir. I just did a clean install of the OS again, this time in UEFI mode as I think the last two attempts I did not convert my SSD to the GPT format which means problems were sure to rise. I however, did not try a Secure Erase. Thank you for clarifying the support on this.

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