M.2 NVMe boot drive

Goi

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
6,704
0
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#1
Hi,

I'm finalizing my new PC build, and have always been on SATA (and previously IDE), so M.2 is new to me. I intend to get a 250GB Samsung Evo 960 M.2 NVMe SSD as my main boot drive, which will be on a Z270 motherboard (current frontrunner is the Gigabyte GA-Z270M-D3H. Is the process of installing an OS (Windows 10) the same as a SATA drive? i.e. go to BIOS/UEFI, select the ODD/M.2 drive as the 1st/2nd highest priority, boot to ODD with Windows 10 DVD, install to detected M.2 drive, reboot after installation, remove ODD, then voila the system will boot from the M.2 drive?
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,420
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#2
With UEFI, what really happens behind the scenes is quite a bit more complex, but what you suggested should work.

You'll want to boot UEFI though, to install to an NVMe M.2 SSD.
 

Goi

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
6,704
0
91
#3
With UEFI, what really happens behind the scenes is quite a bit more complex, but what you suggested should work.

You'll want to boot UEFI though, to install to an NVMe M.2 SSD.
What do you mean "boot UEFI"? I assume you mean don't use legacy BIOS mode or something like that?
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#4
Generally, with default BIOS/UEFI settings, CSM is enabled, and thus, when you go to boot a DVD, if you use the boot device menu key, you'll see two separate entries for the ODD, one prefixed with "UEFI:". You'll want to use that one. The other one just boots Legacy. Which I don't think that you can effectively use on an NVMe SSD.
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
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#5
Your life will be a lot easier if you install Windows off a USB drive.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,356
883
136
#6
Except for using UEFI mode, I don't remember encountering any kind of problem while installing Win 10 on a NVME drive, Z170 motherboard.

I also recommend installing Win 10 from a USB drive.
 

Goi

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
6,704
0
91
#7
I haven't done any Windows 10 installation before, my current one was upgraded from Windows 7. How does one purchase/install Windows 10 from a USB drive. Do you just download from the MS website, put it in a USB drive, and pay to get some activation key?
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
11,110
698
136
#8
I haven't done any Windows 10 installation before, my current one was upgraded from Windows 7. How does one purchase/install Windows 10 from a USB drive. Do you just download from the MS website, put it in a USB drive, and pay to get some activation key?
You could do it that way. However, the cheapest legal, non-grey way to do it is to buy whichever version you want (most people use Windows 10 Home) and just enter the key to activate it. You can install Windows 10 without entering a key at the time, and use it for quite a while (my son's computer worked fine for over 2 months before I entered the key).

Now another way you could try if you are not going to use your old Windows 7 updated PC anymore. You can assign the license to your Microsoft account (email and password). When you install Windows 10, you would enter that information and if it activates, you might not have to buy a new license.

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/55398-link-microsoft-account-windows-10-digital-license.html

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-re-activate-windows-10-after-hardware-change

You can then switch it back to a local login if you wanted to (traditional log in screen).
 
Jan 30, 2005
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#9
I also upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on another SSD. I just downloaded Windows 10 from Microsoft on an USB drive and when I installed it, I just used my Windows 7 key. Worked with no issues.
 

Goi

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
6,704
0
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#10
I also upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on another SSD. I just downloaded Windows 10 from Microsoft on an USB drive and when I installed it, I just used my Windows 7 key. Worked with no issues.
That is awesome! However, my boot drive failed, which is what's prompting me to upgrade. I do have a backup of my boot drive that's a few months old. I suppose that might work too? How do I find my Windows 7 key, and what version of Windows 10 can I use with my Windows 7 key? I believe I had Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate.
 
Oct 2, 2010
14,084
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#11
That is awesome! However, my boot drive failed, which is what's prompting me to upgrade. I do have a backup of my boot drive that's a few months old. I suppose that might work too? How do I find my Windows 7 key, and what version of Windows 10 can I use with my Windows 7 key? I believe I had Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate.
Windows 7 home gets you windows 10 home, windows 7 pro/ultimate gets you windows 10 pro.

 

Goi

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
6,704
0
91
#12
Windows 7 home gets you windows 10 home, windows 7 pro/ultimate gets you windows 10 pro.

Thanks. According to Wikipedia:
Since July 29, 2016, Windows 10 is no longer offered as a free upgrade, instead a license must be purchased.
Has anyone tried using a Windows 7 key on a new Windows 10 installation post July 29, 2016?
 
Jun 30, 2004
13,804
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#13
Thanks. According to Wikipedia:


Has anyone tried using a Windows 7 key on a new Windows 10 installation post July 29, 2016?
I can answer that with "affirmative." They held open the free Win 10 for Win7/8 systems after that date for the excuse of "accessibility" or something similar. No need to provide your medical records of personal handicap.

When I began my Skylake project of September 2016 with the "purchasing" phase, I bought both Win 7 and Win 10 white-box/OEM licenses, thinking that I would have a dual-boot system and I would need to buy both under assumptions Goi suggests. Then I discovered that the freebie was still available.

So I never opened the white-box or envelope for the purchased Win 10 install media.

Of course, that was my experience before end of last year. I think someone -- somewhere -- noted that the freebie had been discontinued for real since then.

However. Installation of NVMe boot disk for Win 10 is effortless, while doing it for a new Win7 installation is going to be tricky. You would have to slipstream the NVMe drivers into a remake of your Win7 install disc. Or -- you could install initially to a conventional SATA SSD, then install the NVMe hardware and the driver, after which you would clone your OS from the SATA to the NVMe.
 

Ratman6161

Senior member
Mar 21, 2008
608
2
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#14
Thanks. According to Wikipedia:


Has anyone tried using a Windows 7 key on a new Windows 10 installation post July 29, 2016?
I have done it on a virtual machine and it worked like a champ. No problems.

On the installation question, I've also got a 960 EVO though I'm running Ryzen rather than Intel. I didn't find the installation to be any different with the 960 EVO than when I installed it to my old SATA 850 EVO on the same system. On the other hand, the performance increase between the 256GB 850 and 512GB 960 Evo's is not really noticeable in routine desktop tasks. Its only really noticeable when doing something that's really IO intensive. For most people I would say if you do not have an SSD yet, you may as well go NVMe. But if you already have a decent SATA SSD such as my 850 EVO, I'd think twice about switching. For my particular workloads, knowing what I know now, I probably would not have bought the 960 EVO (or any other NVMe). I would have stuck with what I had.
 


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