Question New Kingston NVMe Drive Doesn't Work in MSI Z170A-G45 Motherboard

clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
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394
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Hello all,

I'm a NVMe n00b but just got in a Kingston NVMe drive as it was on sale and I need to get some more storage; 2 of my 3 other regular SATA SSDs are nearly full.

My Z170A-G45 motherboard has two slots for M.2 drives so I tried it in the first one, because I wasn't sure which SATA ports I was using and only certain ones can be used when you have M.2 drives plugged in:

z170-m2-table.png

Well with it plugged in the M2_1 slot, after the motherboard splash screen i just get a black screen with a blinking underscore in the top left.

Unplugged from the 1st slot, plugged it into the M2_2 slot down below, and same thing. Checked my SATA SSDs and they're plugged into the SATA 1-3 slots, so according to the table it shouldn't matter which of the M2 ports I use.

I don't think the drive is defective, because while it does not show up along with my regular SATA SSDs in BIOS, it does show up when I was selecting boot drives.

So... can the motherboard not support this Kingston NVMe drive? The only M.2 specs I see in the manual are here:

z170-m2-specs.png

I believe the "Important" warning pertains to Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RAID), which I'm not using, but towards the bottom in the table above it says "NVMe / AHCI Driver Support."

I wonder if maybe a BIOS update (click BIOS tab) would work? Kinda uneasy about upgrading that on a system that otherwise is perfectly fine but I guess it's safe. Looking at the BIOS updates... yeah. There's been 3 years of them since I got this board lol, and many of them say "better NVMe compatibility."

You guys think I should just try the very newest BIOS (my current one is board default, dated 08/19/2015)? I dunno why I'm so nervous about doing that but I just hate to brick the frickin thing for this stupid drive. Probably just being overly cautious though.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
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I don't think the drive is defective, because while it does not show up along with my regular SATA SSDs in BIOS, it does show up when I was selecting boot drives.
First of all, no, it won't show up in the BIOS as a SATA drive. It's an NVMe drive. Since it shows up in the boot selection menu it should be working fine. Is there something like "NVMe configuration" in your BIOS? Should show up there.

As to the black screen with prompt, that sounds like a missing boot drive. Be sure your regular boot drive is selected. SATA should have priority over NVMe, but you never know.
 
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clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
26,240
394
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First of all, no, it won't show up in the BIOS as a SATA drive. It's an NVMe drive. Since it shows up in the boot selection menu it should be working fine. Is there something like "NVMe configuration" in your BIOS? Should show up there.

As to the black screen with prompt, that sounds like a missing boot drive. Be sure your regular boot drive is selected. SATA should have priority over NVMe, but you never know.
Yeah I kinda figured it wasn't weird it wasn't showing up along with my SATA SSDs, especially since I did see it when selecting boot drives.

There is no NVMe mentioned anywhere in BIOS that I saw. And yep I did certainly have my regular Windows drive selected as boot first. In fact the NVMe drive was last in that "boot drive select" screen, and I even tried disabling it there to no effect.

I think I'm gonna try that BIOS update. I'm scurred
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
4,632
1,211
136
And yep I did certainly have my regular Windows drive selected as boot first.
Round and round it goes, where Windows puts its boot files nobody knows... (sorry, couldn't resist a bit of paraphrasing :D )

Try all of them. Theoretically, Windows should place the bootloader on the first drive available by default, but sometimes it doesn't go that way for some reason. Your bootloader might well be on another drive then your Windows install.
 
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clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
26,240
394
126
Round and round it goes, where Windows puts its boot files nobody knows... (sorry, couldn't resist a bit of paraphrasing :D )

Try all of them. Theoretically, Windows should place the bootloader on the first drive available by default, but sometimes it doesn't go that way for some reason. Your bootloader might well be on another drive then your Windows install.
Huh really? Interesting. I'm hardly a hardware guy, and when I did know more it was a couple decades ago lmao. Yeah I'll give that a shot, thanks man.
 

clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
26,240
394
126
Tried booting to my other two SSDs and same issue, black screen after motherboard splash with the blinking underscore.

I guess I'll try the motherboard BIOS update; I'm just not seeing where this drive is incompatible with my motherboard so it might just be that.

And worst case if the frickin thing bricks then I work from my Surface or God forbid, actually go into the office lol (I work from home usually and remote into my work PC).
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
35,257
14,362
146
Tried booting to my other two SSDs and same issue, black screen after motherboard splash with the blinking underscore.

I guess I'll try the motherboard BIOS update; I'm just not seeing where this drive is incompatible with my motherboard so it might just be that.

And worst case if the frickin thing bricks then I work from my Surface or God forbid, actually go into the office lol (I work from home usually and remote into my work PC).
Go back to the original config and see if it boots. Sanity check.
 

clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
26,240
394
126
Go back to the original config and see if it boots. Sanity check.
It doesn't boot at all with the NVMe plugged in, no matter what the boot options/settings are.

I think I'm gonna try upgrading the BIOS tomorrow night. I'm nervous about it, and especially so about choosing the very latest update. I dunno why. I think I'll try a slightly older version. Need to see if this drive can work otherwise need to send it back.
 

clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
26,240
394
126
Well bois I'm basically a gigachad, updating the BIOS actually worked and the drive showed up in Disk Management where i was able to initialize it and format it.

Screenshot 2022-04-24 012210.png

I'm a little surprised honestly, didn't think it was gonna work I guess, just seem to have had bad luck with hardware lately. Before this I tried to put in a regular SATA SSD that had been sitting in my closet for quite a while (I'm an idiot and sometimes buy things and don't use them for a while) and it didn't work at all, no matter which SATA port I tried and which cables I tried.

But anyway, appreciate your help guys.
 
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