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Thread: XP941 in an Asus Z97 Pro - Installed OS, but Not Bootable

  1. #1
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    XP941 in an Asus Z97 Pro - Installed OS, but Not Bootable

    So, I built up a new system today with the Z97 chipset from Asus and an XP941 from RamCity.

    The disk does not seem to seen in the UEFI BIOS at all.
    When booting to an installation disk, Windows 8 was able to recognize the disk and install just fine when everything was in UEFI mode.

    However, I am now unable to boot directly to the disk in legacy or UEFI mode.

    According to Anandtech, a new BIOS update will be arriving in a week or two to solve this issue.


    Anyone have any workarounds or experience with the board until that BIOS update hits?


    UPDATE: Found a Asus document that seemed to answer my question. According to the Device Compatibility Report, the XP941 requires the following:

    **When this SSD is used as the OS drive, ensure the “Launch CSM” is set to [Disabled] and the “SATA Mode Selection” is
    set to [RAID] in BIOS because the OPROM is not contained in this SSD.

    It allowed the drive to appear in the BIOS. Although, it may require a reinstall for the OS from what I've seen with my first few boots (probably due to a lack of RAID drivers during the first install. )

    UPDATE2 & 3: Updated and fixed post title
    Last edited by Sean Webster; 24-May-14 at 07:50 PM.

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    Administrator The SSD Guy's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. There will be several small snags as things work themselves out. I just spent the afternoon with a similar situation with the XP941 and the ASRock Extreme 6 board...got it up though!!!

    Is that board a M.2 X2 slot (10Gbps)? I'de be curious to see your top SSD speed.

    This is what I get from the XP941 on a ASRock Extreme6...and this is my old SSD that has been around the track plenty of times...

    -xp941-jpg
    Last edited by The SSD Guy; 22-May-14 at 08:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The SSD Guy View Post

    Is that board a M.2 X2 slot (10Gbps)? I'de be curious to see your top SSD speed.
    Yes, it is limited by 2 lanes and shares the SATA-Express lanes. I'll try to throw up a benchmark when I get things running.

    The current snag I have is with the OS.

    I installed Windows 8 with CSM settings active. The Installation disk could see the drive, but the BIOS could not.

    Now, in RAID, the BIOS recognizes it and it will boot to the drive. However, the OS simply loops with an error - likely due to a lack of active RAID drivers.
    However, trying to reinstall the OS in RAID and without CSM means it is not recognized by the install media.

    I've read somewhere that I have to install Windows from a USB drive in order to bypass compatibility issues with an SATA DVD-ROM.

    Have you heard of this before?

    UPDATE:

    Figured it out. It was simply a RAID driver issue at the point of install. I was using some older Intel drivers and not the freshest ones from the Asus website.

    So, with the settings for compatibility and the proper drivers, I've now got a shiny booting M.2 drive in an Asus Z97.
    Last edited by Quadratix; 23-May-14 at 01:39 AM.

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    Administrator The SSD Guy's Avatar
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    Hmmmmm no... might try that reinstall though... I reinstalled 3 times before getting things just right this time...
    Test Bench #1 - i7-4770K | Asus Maximus VI Z87 Extreme | EVGA GTX 770 w/ ACX Cooler | 32GB Crucial Tactical Tracer DDR3-1600 | In Win D-Frame Limited Edition Chassis | Corsair H100i Liquid | be quiet 100w Dark Power Pro | 2 x QNIX 2560x1440 $& Planar Helium 27" Touch Monitors | Corsair Vengeance K95 heyBoard and M90 Mouse |

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadratix View Post
    Yes, it is limited by 2 lanes and shares the SATA-Express lanes. I'll try to throw up a benchmark when I get things running.

    The current snag I have is with the OS.

    I installed Windows 8 with CSM settings active. The Installation disk could see the drive, but the BIOS could not.

    Now, in RAID, the BIOS recognizes it and it will boot to the drive. However, the OS simply loops with an error - likely due to a lack of active RAID drivers.
    However, trying to reinstall the OS in RAID and without CSM means it is not recognized by the install media.

    I've read somewhere that I have to install Windows from a USB drive in order to bypass compatibility issues with an SATA DVD-ROM.

    Have you heard of this before?

    UPDATE:

    Figured it out. It was simply a RAID driver issue at the point of install. I was using some older Intel drivers and not the freshest ones from the Asus website.

    So, with the settings for compatibility and the proper drivers, I've now got a shiny booting M.2 drive in an Asus Z97.
    Would you mind taking us through the steps in detail that you took to get the OS to install successfully on the drive?

    There are lots of folks out there who would be most appreciate of a good step-by-step install guide while ASUS works out the updated legacy boot bios update.

    thanks!
    Rod Bland - Vendor rep for RamCity.com.au | The Upgrade Experts | sales@ramcity.com.au | +61 2 8213 6261

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    Quote Originally Posted by RamCity View Post
    Would you mind taking us through the steps in detail that you took to get the OS to install successfully on the drive?

    There are lots of folks out there who would be most appreciate of a good step-by-step install guide while ASUS works out the updated legacy boot bios update.

    thanks!
    Sure.


    Preparation
    1. In troubleshooting, I eventually updated to the latest 0902 BIOS found on the Asus Support page.
    Simply copy the file to a USB drive. Place it in the proper rear USB slot marked in green and follow the instructions from the BIOS.

    2. While on the site, also download and copy the RAID drivers to a USB drive for use during the OS installation: Version 13.0.3.1001
    * You only need the actual drivers and not the executables. I copied all of the drivers from the folder just in case.

    BIOS Setup
    1. Boot into the BIOS and adjust the following settings:
    'Launch CSM' - Disabled
    'SATA Mode Selection' - RAID
    This allows the BIOS to recognize the XP941 as a bootable drive in the BIOS due to its lack of OPROM. This is based on instructions from the Z97 Device Report.

    2. Save and reboot. Feel free to confirm the drive now appears on the right hand side of the GUI in the boot order list.

    Windows
    3. Using a Windows 8 installation DVD, the drive initially does not appear as an option to install Windows.
    Press the Load Drivers button.
    Select your USB drive from earlier and the appropriate folder where you saved the drivers.
    Mark the checkbox to only show compatible drivers, this should leave only one.
    Install the Intel RAID driver.
    The drive should now recognize the XP941 drive and allow for both installation and booting.


    Side Effects

    I currently have a two year old HD 7850 GPU that did not support UEFI booting (My initial installs were using the onboard video).
    This left me in another predicament. My GPU required CSM to be on; yet, my M.2 drive would disappear the moment the Z97 automatically enabled CSM and legacy mode.
    So, it would seem that everything for a Z97+XP941 build must utilize UEFI-capable components.
    Updates in the future may fix that issue, but at the moment, it would probably be good to play it safe with modern hardware all around.

    After some searching, I found my vendor does not provide a vBIOS update for the card to allow for UEFI booting. However, I was able to hex edit a UEFI GOP partition into my vBIOS from another HD 7850 that utilized the feature. I'm sure I technically voided my warranty on the card, but it did work and allowed me to boot using my GPU. I'll keep an eye out for instability, but since I only altered how the device boots and initial clockspeeds(which were very close to the originals), I am not overly worried. For the curious, I followed a video of instructions which lists the necessary surgical tools.

    UPDATE: So, according to an Asus rep, you may be able to play around wiht the CSM feature to use UEFI and Legacy individually for each type of hardware. Feel free to try balancing the CSM feature before performing vBIOS surgery.

    Conclusion
    So, I'm definitely quite content as I put the finishing touches on my new build. The headaches seemed small, and I hope this tutorial can provide another google link to help other people avoid them. Things seem snappy and quick, and I'm eager to see how the system will behave at full use. I'll have to invent some ways to tax it.
    Last edited by Quadratix; 24-May-14 at 01:06 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadratix View Post
    Sure.


    Preparation
    1. In troubleshooting, I eventually updated to the latest 0902 BIOS found on the Asus Support page.
    Simply copy the file to a USB drive. Place it in the proper rear USB slot marked in green and follow the instructions from the BIOS.

    2. While on the site, also download and copy the RAID drivers to a USB drive for use during the OS installation: Version 13.0.3.1001
    * You only need the actual drivers and not the executables. I copied all of the drivers from the folder just in case.

    BIOS Setup
    1. Boot into the BIOS and adjust the following settings:

    This allows the BIOS to recognize the XP941 as a bootable drive in the BIOS due to its lack of OPROM. This is based on instructions from the Z97 Device Report.

    2. Save and reboot. Feel free to confirm the drive now appears on the right hand side of the GUI in the boot order list.

    Windows
    3. Using a Windows 8 installation DVD, the drive initially does not appear as an option to install Windows.
    Press the Load Drivers button.
    Select your USB drive from earlier and the appropriate folder where you saved the drivers.
    Mark the checkbox to only show compatible drivers, this should leave only one.
    Install the Intel RAID driver.
    The drive should now recognize the XP941 drive and allow for both installation and booting.


    Side Effects

    I currently have a two year old HD 7850 GPU that did not support UEFI booting (My initial installs were using the onboard video).
    This left me in another predicament. My GPU required CSM to be on; yet, my M.2 drive would disappear the moment the Z97 automatically enabled CSM and legacy mode.
    So, it would seem that everything for a Z97+XP941 build must utilize UEFI-capable components.
    Updates in the future may fix that issue, but at the moment, it would probably be good to play it safe with modern hardware all around.

    After some searching, I found my vendor does not provide a vBIOS update for the card to allow for UEFI booting. However, I was able to hex edit a UEFI GOP partition into my vBIOS from another HD 7850 that utilized the feature. I'm sure I technically voided my warranty on the card, but it did work and allowed me to boot using my GPU. I'll keep an eye out for instability, but since I only altered how the device boots and initial clockspeeds(which were very close to the originals), I am not overly worried. For the curious, I followed a video of instructions which lists the necessary surgical tools.

    Conclusion
    So, I'm definitely quite content as I put the finishing touches on my new build. The headaches seemed small, and I hope this tutorial can provide another google link to help other people avoid them. Things seem snappy and quick, and I'm eager to see how the system will behave at full use. I'll have to invent some ways to tax it.
    Quadratix I salute you for taking the time post this. I'll be linking to this as a vital piece of information from our XP941 product page and from our M.2 information blog post.

    Legend!
    Rod Bland - Vendor rep for RamCity.com.au | The Upgrade Experts | sales@ramcity.com.au | +61 2 8213 6261

  8. #8
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    also just realised your thread title says 'X97 pro' instead of Z97 Pro. Worth changing so people find it on google.
    Rod Bland - Vendor rep for RamCity.com.au | The Upgrade Experts | sales@ramcity.com.au | +61 2 8213 6261

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    Quote Originally Posted by RamCity View Post
    also just realised your thread title says 'X97 pro' instead of Z97 Pro. Worth changing so people find it on google.
    Good catch. I fixed the title.

    Well, at least for the message. There doesn't seem to be an option for the entire Thread title. May need some tweaking from The SSD Guy.
    Last edited by Quadratix; 24-May-14 at 01:00 AM.

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    Thanks for the installation instructions, probably would have caught me out too.
    I have a Plextor M6e SSD (removed from the PCI host card) in the m.2 slot on my mobo whilst I wait for a Samsung XP941.
    It's installs Win8.1 and boot fine (probably due to Plextor's firmware) but I don't quite achieve the published 770Mb/s...
    I would be interested to see what your benchmarks are for the Asus z97 and Samsung XP941.
    It's quite poor supply situation here in the UK, only one reseller has stock and only of the 512Gb XP941.
    Looks like 256Gb's will be another two weeks....

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