Using NVMe PCIe SSD drive exFAT


Author
Message
GrahamGo
GrahamGo
New Member
New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 17, Visits: 92
I am using a PC that has no BIOS support for the latest NVMe drive technology (Samsung Pro NVMe mounted on a PCie expansion card (Pcie 3.0 x4)). Because of this, I cannot boot the system using this drive. Therefore I have set it up as a secondary drive which works fine in W10 The performance is quite outstanding compared to the SSD SATA 6Gbs drive.

I decided one way to use this performance was to use the Windows 10 "Change where new content is saved". So far I have only used the "New Apps will save to":- the NVMe drive. So far I have removed and re-installed just two apps. The result is looking good. One app (Affinity Photo) was taking approx 22 seconds to load using the 256gb SSD SATA drive, the load time now is 7 seconds. So, all in all, it is looking good to proceed with this approach. Maybe later I can move my USER area to the NVMe.

Something strange though, if I format the NVMe drive as NTFS it is recognized by File Explorer but NOT by the Storage application. However, if I format using eFAT it does show and works fine.

My question is about Macrium Reflect, it is showing the NVMe drive as unformatted - why is this? Will I have any problems proceeding with the above approach in terms of backing up?

Wishlist. I cannot find any way to boot from the SATA drive into Windows 10 if it is installed on the NVMe drive. Is it possible that Macrium could engineer such a tool? It seems that a Macrium USB boot drive has much that is needed to provide this function. There must be many users out there, like me that want to utilize the latest drive technology but are hampered by older hardware that doesn't natively support NVMe devices.

Thanks!







Clinton Wright
Clinton Wright
Junior Member
Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 56, Visits: 284
GrahamGo - 17 February 2018 3:09 PM
I am using a PC that has no BIOS support for the latest NVMe drive technology (Samsung Pro NVMe mounted on a PCie expansion card (Pcie 3.0 x4)). Because of this, I cannot boot the system using this drive. Therefore I have set it up as a secondary drive which works fine in W10 The performance is quite outstanding compared to the SSD SATA 6Gbs drive.

I decided one way to use this performance was to use the Windows 10 "Change where new content is saved". So far I have only used the "New Apps will save to":- the NVMe drive. So far I have removed and re-installed just two apps. The result is looking good. One app (Affinity Photo) was taking approx 22 seconds to load using the 256gb SSD SATA drive, the load time now is 7 seconds. So, all in all, it is looking good to proceed with this approach. Maybe later I can move my USER area to the NVMe.

Something strange though, if I format the NVMe drive as NTFS it is recognized by File Explorer but NOT by the Storage application. However, if I format using eFAT it does show and works fine.

My question is about Macrium Reflect, it is showing the NVMe drive as unformatted - why is this? Will I have any problems proceeding with the above approach in terms of backing up?

Wishlist. I cannot find any way to boot from the SATA drive into Windows 10 if it is installed on the NVMe drive. Is it possible that Macrium could engineer such a tool? It seems that a Macrium USB boot drive has much that is needed to provide this function. There must be many users out there, like me that want to utilize the latest drive technology but are hampered by older hardware that doesn't natively support NVMe devices.

Thanks!







The way you would use this drive for your OS is to:
You'll have to use the IRST drivers you can download them from Intel site https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27400/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-User-Interface-and-Driver?product=55005 you would download the R6Flpy 64 bit  Extract this Zip file to a folder named IRST on the same USB Chip you created with the MCT.
You will have to download your version of Windows 10 from Microsoft MCT https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
You'll boot the MCT in UEFI mode 
I also highly recommend disconnecting all your other drives, this removes any chance of your boot sector ending up on one of the other drives. 
once the install starts you won't be able to see you SSD so you will see a place to load Driver or something like that. At that time direct the install to where you have the IRST driver stored on the USB that you are installing windows from. That driver will install and you'll no be able to see your SSD
Now you should press the shift +10 keys that will bring up a command prompt
Type in diskpart
Diskpart, type in Select disk
Select your new SSD
SSD,  type in Clean
Clean, Type in convert to GPT
exit and continue your windows 10 install
If your system is not already running in UEFI mode, you will need to go into the BIOS/UEFI a and change the setting to from Legacy to UEFI
Turn on Secure boot
Turn off CSM
Also, you will have to change your SATA setting from AHCI to RAID
You really want to run this M.2 SSD for your OS they are incredible  The largest step forward in computers since the Pentium CPU.

Edited 17 February 2018 4:21 PM by Clinton Wright
jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 3.5K, Visits: 26K
To the best of my knowledge, support for booting from an NVMe device must exist in the BIOS.  There are other OS requirements too, of course, but if the BIOS doesn't support it, then there's no software workaround I'm aware of.  Some systems that have NVMe slots on their motherboards can be configured to expose the raw NVMe interface (typically called AHCI mode) for OSes that support it, or they can instead place the NVMe interface behind a storage controller, such as Intel's Rapid Storage controller.  The latter strategy allows Windows 7, which does not support NVMe natively, to run on NVMe SSDs if you provide the Intel RST driver.  However, even in this case, the BIOS itself has to support NVMe.

In terms of NTFS vs. exFAT, unless you need to write to that drive from another OS like Linux, I would strongly recommend using NTFS.  exFAT was designed primarily for USB flash drives and as such it does not support several features that are useful for hard drives and sometimes even required by applications, such as NTFS permissions, file system journaling, VSS snapshots, etc.  NTFS is a far more capable and resilient file system than exFAT, and it's more recoverable if things do go wrong.

In terms of your disk showing up as unformatted in Reflect, if you saw that just after reformatting your SSD, click the Refresh link above the disk list (or just relaunch Reflect) and see whether that changes.  Otherwise, does that occur regardless of which file system you're using?  I have no problem with Reflect correctly identifying NTFS or exFAT partitions, although I'm not using a PCIe expansion card.  If that behavior persists, then yes I imagine it very likely WOULD affect proper image captures of that drive, in which case I would work with Macrium Support to figure out what's going on before trying to capture images of it.

Edited 17 February 2018 4:22 PM by jphughan
jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 3.5K, Visits: 26K
Clinton Wright - 17 February 2018 4:15 PM
The way you would use this drive for your OS is to:
You'll have to use the IRST drivers you can download them from Intel site https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27400/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-User-Interface-and-Driver?product=55005 you would download the R6Flpy 64 bit  Extract this Zip file to a folder named IRST on the same USB Chip you created with the MCT.
[trimmed]
Also, you will have to change your SATA setting from AHCI to RAID
You really want to run this M.2 SSD for your OS they are incredible  The largest step forward in computers since the Pentium CPU.

Hey Clinton,

Note that the OP's BIOS doesn't support NVMe, so the options for AHCI vs. RAID wouldn't be available.  His NVMe SSD is installed into a PCIe riser card, which is the crux of the issue.  See my above post.  Windows 10 would natively support installing to and booting from that SSD in AHCI mode IF the BIOS supported it, no need to configure RAID mode to engage the RST controller.  That's more for Windows 7, and in fact using RAID mode on newer OSes can be undesirable because in addition to requiring you to add a driver that would otherwise have been unnecessary, it can prevent certain utilities from working, such as the Samsung Magician application on Samsung NVMe drives.  But for cases where your instructions would be applicable, you should mention changing the BIOS setting upfront before even booting to the installation media.  Otherwise, if the user was in AHCI mode when they started following those instructions, they wouldn't be prompted to supply a driver during installation, and in fact if they tried to change to RAID mode AFTER doing everything you had written above, their new Windows installation wouldn't boot anymore.  But otherwise your instructions are quite good and very clearly written for cases where they would apply. Smile

One other subtle but important distinction: NVMe is the large step forward you're referring to, not M.2.  M.2 is actually just the name of the physical slot, and M.2 slots intended for use with SSDs can support both legacy SATA and the much faster NVMe -- but some PCs with M.2 slots only support SATA, and consequently there are M.2 SSDs that only support SATA and perform at regular SATA speeds in addition to the new blazing fast M.2 NVMe SSDs.  I mention it because I've seen people say, "Why is my M.2 SSD not performing much faster than my SATA SSD" (Answer: Because it's running SATA, not NVMe) and also, "Why isn't my new M.2 NVMe SSD working on my system?" (Answer: Because your system's M.2 slot only supports SATA.)

Edited 17 February 2018 4:34 PM by jphughan
GrahamGo
GrahamGo
New Member
New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 17, Visits: 92
Sorry, my bad. This should reside in the V7 section. (V7.1.2885)

Hi Clinton, that looks like really good info. I have briefly read through it and it looks doable, but I stumble at the following lines.
QUOTE Turn off CSM.  Also, you will have to change your SATA setting from AHCI to RAID  UNQUOTE.

Because I don't have these available in the BIOS - if that's where these settings are located. Hmm.

Hi jphughan, believe me, I tried and tried to get the  Windows 10 "Change where new content is saved" to recognize NTFS, but it simply doesn't
using Disk Management, I tried smaller partitions, using several partitions. But Windows is stubborn. The only time that NTFS was recognized is after I performed a Macrium W10 disk clone onto the NVMe drive. Maybe if I repeat that and delete all the files that will work. It quirky for sure.

I have tried refreshing Macrium etc and it always shows the exFAT drive as unformatted. However, if I use the Actions pulldown  -  File system properties then the drive does show as exFAT

Other.
This all started when I found that my lesser powerful Dell XPS13 i5 based laptop was loading the Affinity Photo program (excellent 50 Photoshop substitute)  very much quicker than my HP Prodesk i7. I realized that the main difference was the NVMe in the laptop. 

The ideal situation is to buy a new motherboard, an LGA1151 socket CPU, and DDR4 memory.  But that's almost a new PC, to gain easy NVMe usage.  However, based on my first exposure to using NVMe it's almost worth it!

As to Macrium, the V7 software is recently NVMe aware. It can clone Windows perfectly well. There is the Macrium USB bootloader that recognizes the Windows installation on the NVMe. It seems to me that the only missing link is to get the Macrium USB bootloader to run the Windows OS sitting on the NVMe. This would be a neat feature and from the amount of googling that I have done, there is nothing out there that can provide this feature.  My feature request Smile  


jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 3.5K, Visits: 26K
Hey GrahamGo,

I don't use Storage Sense and that's not something I really want to start experimenting with since I don't want Windows automatically deleting or moving anything for me and I always manually choose where I want to save content -- so I can't comment on what constraints may be at play here.  However, based on the screenshots on this page, it seems that the default location for all of the options under that "Choose where new content is stored" is the C drive, which would be NTFS, so it doesn't make sense to me that using NTFS on your NVMe SSD would prevent it from being listed as an option there.  But whatever the cause, I stand by my recommendation that you format any permanently installed storage on your system as NTFS rather than exFAT unless as I mentioned above you need read/write access from a Linux environment of some kind.  On top of the advantages of NTFS that I already mentioned above, some features of Reflect itself only work on NTFS drives, like CBT, Macrium Image Guardian, and Rapid Delta Clone/Restore.  And I believe even Diff and Inc images of NTFS partitions get created faster because the NTFS design means Reflect doesn't have to scan the entire partition in order to detect changes.  But of course it's your PC and your data.

In terms of showing those drive properties, the pane in that image is coming from Windows, not Reflect.  You'd see that exact same window by right-clicking that drive in This PC and selecting Properties.  But with respect to the underlying problem, does Reflect show that disk's partition map properly when it's formatted as NTFS?  Even if it does, there does seem to be some sort of conflict or bug there, because Reflect should be able to see that disk's partition map properly. I just thought it would be an interesting data point.  Hopefully Macrium can weigh in on this.

In terms of booting and being NVMe-aware, Reflect actually has nothing to do with any of that.  The Rescue Media environment you're referring to actually runs on top of Windows PE, and that is the element that's NVMe aware as long as you use WinPE 4.0 or above.  But Reflect V6 also supports WinPE 4 (and 5 and 10), so V6 Rescue Media can be NVMe-aware when built that way as well -- and conversely, Reflect V7 would NOT be NVMe-aware if you built V7 Rescue Media using WinPE 3.1, which I don't recommend for newer systems for a variety of other reasons.  There's also no "Macrium bootloader"; again, the Rescue Media just uses the regular Windows PE bootloader in order to load a Windows PE environment that has the Reflect application added to it.  But in any case, as I explained earlier, although OS support for NVMe is required, that is in addition to a requirement that your motherboard support NVMe booting.  An NVMe-aware software bootloader cannot remove the motherboard support requirement for the simple reason that your motherboard firmware has to be able to access an NVMe device as a boot device in the first place before it can read whatever software bootloader may exist on it.  That's why your Googling isn't turning up anything and also why PCIe cards that have NVMe slots often specifically say that you won't be able to boot from SSDs installed on that card.  If you're imagining some scenario where you boot from a USB device that will somehow "bootstrap" over to a Windows installation on your SSD, I don't know of any way to do that, but I can certainly see it creating various problems and complications.  But even if it were possible, this wouldn't be a feature request for Macrium, since again they're just using regular Microsoft bootloaders for their purposes, not writing their own.  In all likelihood you will indeed need a new motherboard, and you certainly will if you want to have a system that boots "normally" rather than via some workaround, but yes as you've already noticed, that often means replacing other core components.

Edited 17 February 2018 6:43 PM by jphughan
jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 3.5K, Visits: 26K
Ok, new information.  I just tested a spare USB hard drive I had.  After I wiped it and reformatted it as exFAT, Reflect on my system showed it as unformatted, just as you're seeing.  And when I tried to capture an image of it, I immediately got an error message.  So Reflect clearly doesn't read exFAT properly, although an exFAT partition can be the destination of image backups, and it can probably be the source and/or destination of File & Folder backups, though I did not test those. I suspect the reason for this is that again, exFAT is used primarily on USB flash drives and memory cards, and Reflect doesn't support imaging or cloning those either, regardless of file system -- although they too can be used as destinations.  But if you had planned to capture image backups of whatever you'll be storing on this NVMe SSD and wish to use Reflect, that's another reason to use NTFS.

Edited 17 February 2018 7:56 PM by jphughan
Clinton Wright
Clinton Wright
Junior Member
Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)Junior Member (89 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 56, Visits: 284
GrahamGo - 17 February 2018 5:44 PM
Sorry, my bad. This should reside in the V7 section. (V7.1.2885)

Hi Clinton, that looks like really good info. I have briefly read through it and it looks doable, but I stumble at the following lines.
QUOTE Turn off CSM.  Also, you will have to change your SATA setting from AHCI to RAID  UNQUOTE.

Because I don't have these available in the BIOS - if that's where these settings are located. Hmm.

Hi jphughan, believe me, I tried and tried to get the  Windows 10 "Change where new content is saved" to recognize NTFS, but it simply doesn't
using Disk Management, I tried smaller partitions, using several partitions. But Windows is stubborn. The only time that NTFS was recognized is after I performed a Macrium W10 disk clone onto the NVMe drive. Maybe if I repeat that and delete all the files that will work. It quirky for sure.

I have tried refreshing Macrium etc and it always shows the exFAT drive as unformatted. However, if I use the Actions pulldown  -  File system properties then the drive does show as exFAT

Other.
This all started when I found that my lesser powerful Dell XPS13 i5 based laptop was loading the Affinity Photo program (excellent 50 Photoshop substitute)  very much quicker than my HP Prodesk i7. I realized that the main difference was the NVMe in the laptop. 

The ideal situation is to buy a new motherboard, an LGA1151 socket CPU, and DDR4 memory.  But that's almost a new PC, to gain easy NVMe usage.  However, based on my first exposure to using NVMe it's almost worth it!

As to Macrium, the V7 software is recently NVMe aware. It can clone Windows perfectly well. There is the Macrium USB bootloader that recognizes the Windows installation on the NVMe. It seems to me that the only missing link is to get the Macrium USB bootloader to run the Windows OS sitting on the NVMe. This would be a neat feature and from the amount of googling that I have done, there is nothing out there that can provide this feature.  My feature request Smile  


As far back as I can remember window Motherboard have supported RAID,  I don't remember if the IDE ones did but most SATA MB do support raid, 
If your NVME SSD is running at all it is supported the controller are on the cards themselves. If your MB doesn't support NVME directly you can still run it in RAID mode with the IRST drivers I know this because Asus built a lot of Notebooks and Motherboards without NVME Support and we ran them with RAID Drivers. My first reply was on an Asus notebook that came to me in RAID Mode running a Samsung 961 M.2 NVME SSD When I had to clean install I did it as I stated loading the RST driver at the beginning of windows install.
If you don't have a RAID setting I'm not sure how your able to read an NVME SSD at all
I'll bow out at this time and apologize for butting in.
jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (5K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 3.5K, Visits: 26K
Clinton Wright - 17 February 2018 7:11 PM

As far back as I can remember window Motherboard have supported RAID,  I don't remember if the IDE ones did but most SATA MB do support raid, 
If your NVME SSD is running at all it is supported the controller are on the cards themselves. If your MB doesn't support NVME directly you can still run it in RAID mode with the IRST drivers I know this because Asus built a lot of Notebooks and Motherboards without NVME Support and we ran them with RAID Drivers. My first reply was on an Asus notebook that came to me in RAID Mode running a Samsung 961 M.2 NVME SSD When I had to clean install I did it as I stated loading the RST driver at the beginning of windows install.
If you don't have a RAID setting I'm not sure how your able to read an NVME SSD at all
I'll bow out at this time and apologize for butting in.

The RAID setting on a motherboard only affects the storage ports on the motherboard itself.  It would not have any impact on storage that is attached to the system through a separate PCIe expansion card.  The reason the system can read the NVMe drive at all is because Windows 10 has native support for the NVMe interface, so it simply sees an NVMe interface on the motherboard's PCI Express bus and can therefore read the NVMe SSD that's sitting there.  Some PCIe expansion cards include full RAID controllers on them.  This does not appear to be the case here, but if it were a full RAID controller, in that case yes a driver would be necessary to access the storage attached on that card, but a) that driver would be specific to that card, not the Intel IRST driver, and b) the motherboard being set to RAID mode (or not) would not affect the operation of the RAID controller on the card.

The trick though is booting from an NVMe device, not just reading it.  If the system supports NVMe boot devices, then it will be able to boot from them regardless of whether it's using AHCI or RAID mode. I have 2 systems here where that's the case.  Whether the particular OS you're trying to boot can load in either of those modes is an entirely separate issue.  But if the motherboard simply doesn't support specifying an NVMe device as a boot device, then no amount of software or BIOS tweaking will change that.  If the PCIe expansion card in question here were a full RAID controller, which would mask the NVMe interface, and the motherboard supported booting from an external storage controller (server motherboards often do, but it's not a guarantee with desktops), then that would actually work, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.

GrahamGo
GrahamGo
New Member
New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)New Member (23 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 17, Visits: 92
I just want to thank folks for their advice and contributions to my little problem. I have had to accept defeat on booting the OS from the NVMe drive. The BIOS simply doesn't support it and I can not find a way to get around it. The PC is 4 human years old, so very old in computer years Smile

However, I finally was able to get the Windows local storage to see the NVMe formatted in NTFS. This was a strange one. after using File Explorer to format the driver it would see exFAT, but not NTFS. Eventually, I found out that I had to change the advanced permissions for the drive Properties. After doing this the NTFS works. (Some weird windows quirk?)

That means Macrium Reflect now sees the new NVMe drive and correctly backs up.

The  NVMe drive performance is quite outstanding here  my 3x drives compared

Drive Type                              Read    Write        Read  Random(IOPS)  Write                                                                                    
2TB 6400rpm SATA 6Gb/s      133       133            244                            244       (only used as local Macrium backup)
256GB SSD SATA 6Gb/s         520       475        71789                        52734      (C; drive OS user area etc)
256GB NVMe 960 PCie         3027     1560      258500                      290100      (being propagated with applications, also documents and other folders) 

The NVMe drive is now setup using the standard Windows 10  "Change where new content is saved" What is the result? Well, early days, but applications open about 70% quicker. This makes the SSD C: drive seem slow, and I remember how fast it seemed when it replaced a 1TB spinning drive. I do a lot of large RAW photo editing, these now open very much faster. So to anyone with an older PC, an NVMe on a PCie extender is really a good investment.
I have looked into replacing the PC components to the current generation, but that will cost me €400-500 (motherboard with native NVMe and 1151 socket, CPU, DDR4) its tempting. But will have to wait a while. But to anyone reading this and buying a new PC/Laptop definitely get one with an NVMe drive. As 
@
Clinton Wright wrote. 'The largest step forward in computers since the Pentium CPU'. I can totally agree with that.
Anyway, for now, I am very content Smile Thanks!

GO

Merge Selected

Merge into selected topic...



Merge into merge target...



Merge into a specific topic ID...




Similar Topics

Reading This Topic

Login

Explore
Messages
Mentions
Search