Question What's wrong with booting from NVME drive?

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
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I installed my OS(win 11) on an NVME drive and my computer takes about 3 full minutes to restart every time. It must be noted that the slowdown occurs not specifically while loading windows, but during boot when its shows my DELL logo. (See my machine in sig below). Some folks here on AT have suggested that I made a mistake and should have used a regular 2.5" SSD for my OS boot drive. I know some may be quick to jump on the conclusion that "dell sucks" but when the computer actually boots up its lightning fast and works flawlessly.

The SSD in question is an Intel 660p M.2 NVME drive.

Can someone please explain what's wrong with using an NVME drive for primary OS boot drive?
 
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Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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It's probably a setting in the bios that's probing things longer than it needs to. I would default the bios settings / reboot and see if that improves things. I know on my z690 UEFI takes a bit longer than traditional bios to do its checks but, once that's done it boots in less than 10 seconds. I'm using an SN850 though not the Intel you mentioned. If you hit ESC when the Dell logo is up on the screen it should show you what it's working on or while you're in the bios disable the splash screen to see what's happening.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,996
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It's probably a setting in the bios that's probing things longer than it needs to. I would default the bios settings / reboot and see if that improves things. I know on my z690 UEFI takes a bit longer than traditional bios to do its checks but, once that's done it boots in less than 10 seconds. I'm using an SN850 though not the Intel you mentioned. If you hit ESC when the Dell logo is up on the screen it should show you what it's working on or while you're in the bios disable the splash screen to see what's happening.

Interestingly, hitting ESC during DELL logo does nothing. However, switching from the NVME to a regular cheap 2.5 SSD did the trick. I am now restarting in around 30-40 sec every time. By far not amazing, but certainly not bad either. Not sure why I can't boot in like 8 sec like most people out there... Went into BIOS and disabled anything and everything that may be slowing down the boot, but still can't boot any faster.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,395
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Running Win 10 64-bit, I had converted from an SATA SSD to NVME after I'd built the initial system between Nov 2016 and Feb 2017. I'm using a Samsung "Pro" NVME as the boot disk, and never noticed any problem like this.

I built a twin to that system. The original has 32 GB of RAM, the twin has 64GB. On boot-up, it takes longer before one hears the "beep" followed by system post.

I really don't sweat boot delays in the matter of "how many seconds", though. I either sleep or hibernate the machines. Restart or Shutdown/Cold-boot may give me time to sip some coffee or my morning juice.

As for Dell or any other OEM, I haven't purchased an OEM box since 1994, except for my laptop. Which -- I almost hate. Instead of an LG Gram, I wish I'd got an Acer Nitro 5. But it's not an important issue or problem. I'd rather work at my desk with the desktop PC, and I use the laptop when I go out on the patio to sit under my canopy.

JUST AN AFTERTHOUGHT: even if the OP lets the thread die or nobody comes back to it.

At boot time, BIOS goes through a drive/storage enumeration process, then posts the drive information for devices connected to the motherboard storage controller. If, for instance, there is a non-bootable CD in the optical drive (if you have an ODD these days), it will stall. I could wonder, with an empty ODD whether the sequence set in the BIOS could delay the enumeration.

I'm just speculating here. I mentioned that it takes longer if there is considerably more RAM in the slots. I would also investigate the storage situation -- how many drives connected, which ones take longer to be counted at startup, etc. etc.

But I wouldn't hesitate in any event to make the system boot from NVME with any chipset as old as mine or newer. As for converting from SSD (1st Z170 system) as opposed to original OS install on NVME (2nd Z170 system), I don't see any difference or problem.
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,550
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@ibex333 I'd check the Windows Event Viewer, specifically the Windows > System log to see whether anything of interest (warnings/errors etc) happened in the boot process.

AFAIK booting from NVMe is absolutely fine, all my recent PC builds do it without issue.
 
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solidsnake1298

Senior member
Aug 7, 2009
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This sounds exactly like an issue I had. I found that the problem was legacy boot compatibility was enabled in my BIOS. CSM (Compatibility Support Module) it was called for my ASRock motherboard. Once I turned off legacy compatibility, my system booted in seconds. I'm not sure what that would be called in a Dell system, but something along the lines of "UEFI Only Mode" would be the equivalent.
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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@solidsnake1298

Funny you should bring up CSM. I tried to enable that when I'm moved my server drive and it never worked on z690. I ended up converting to gpt which took a whole lot less time. It would make sense there may be a delay caused by this translation process on every boot. Something I wouldn't have thought of since it never worked for me to see the delay.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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Can someone please explain what's wrong with using an NVME drive for primary OS boot drive?
It will spoil you making your computer boot times really fast.
By accepting it being the normal standard, you will not be able to use another system that is not on a nVME as a boot drive, hence turning you into a entitled.

(sarcasm)

Some folks here on AT have suggested that I made a mistake and should have used a regular 2.5" SSD for my OS boot drive.
WTH?
Who said this?
All the top shelf alienwares use nVME's as primary boots.
It has to be a Linus follower that told you this.... he probably also told you, your system is broken because it has no RGB as well too huh?

It must be noted that the slowdown occurs not specifically while loading windows, but during boot when its shows my DELL logo.
This might be due to what processes are being loaded during boot.
If you have a lot of startup applications, it can cause a slowdown when you see the circle ring spinning at boot.
I would start -> taskmanager -> Startup and see what you have thats booting when system starts.
 
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solidsnake1298

Senior member
Aug 7, 2009
215
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@Tech Junky

Yeah. It was the combination of CSM being enabled and my drive having been formatted as GPT. Not the interface of the SSD. In my case it was a 2.5 inch SATA SSD (Samsung 850 EVO).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that SATA SSDs can be formatted as either MBR or GPT partition types, but NVMe SSDs can only be formatted as GPT.
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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@Shmee

UEFI is a totally different issue. If you have a board that doesn't support UEFI then MBR still works for Windows. The 2TB limitation of MBR is valid though. CSM sometimes works and other times doesn't for MBR on UEFI systems.

There's a bunch of different caveats but, from a physical / technical perspective any disk can be either format or any of the other formats out there. Things get interesting when you venture into different FS types for non-standard PC use. For instance the FW in my MMI for my card is QNX which takes some magic to read with a PC involving a VM w/ specific setup options.

The simplest way to read Windows / NTFS is to boot from a Linux USB and you have full access.

Now, the difference between SATA / NVME ( PCIE ) is just how the protocol handling the bits works and the bandwidth of NVME being 6x+ faster depending on the generation being used. The pain is how BIOS / UEFI interprets the disk on those boot sectors. Converting a disk though to/from UEFI is fairly painless but, does take some forethought in moving partition edges around to make room for the minimum 50MB size for the EFI partition to exist. If you have a simple setup with a single partition you can opt for just installing / converting that partition and skip the movement of data.

Another caveat I ran into by cloning an existing Windows disk to a new Gen4 NVME was the cloning copies EVERYTHING including the UUID / GPT and everything else which can cause issues when booting with both drives in the same system. When I cloned things over I found the system booting from the Gen3 EFI and running on the Gen4 OS partition. The system really got pissed off when I pulled the Gen3 drive and tried to boot. Eventually I figured out wat was going on and re-cloned to the Gen4 from an enclosure, booted up, and formatted the Gen3 and assigned new UUID's to the partitions and then put it back inside the chassis for storage.

Converting my Linux server though was much simpler using gparted to shift the OS over 50MB and then insert the EFI / mark bootable and reboot. I of course made backups of both systems prior to monkeying around with the boot options even though everything important is stored on the NAS drives in the Linux Server. Cloning a working system back is a bit quicker than restoring from a backup or reinstalling the OS.
 

Hotrod2go

Member
Nov 17, 2021
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OP, if its the Dell system listed in your signature (G5000) then this video explains how Dell "cheaps" out on quality components & it could go part to explaining why your having issues booting an OS of an NVME M.2 SSD.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
54,054
8,263
126
Another caveat I ran into by cloning an existing Windows disk to a new Gen4 NVME was the cloning copies EVERYTHING including the UUID / GPT and everything else which can cause issues when booting with both drives in the same system.
THIS!

Doing an "exact" clone, between disks, on a Windows box, and then try to boot with BOTH disks present physically, you're going to see some bad Windows JuJu.
 
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Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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@VirtualLarry

I mean it's not really something I considered to be an issue since I used to clone systems for new users way back in the 90's and never had an issue up until recently with this GPT / UUID crap. I mean I've cloned my Linux system countless times and never had an issue with MBR as the basis. There's just extra steps to consider with GPT that need to be taken to differentiate the drive post clone. It's easy enough to do with a Linux USB drive and gparted w/o F'ing it up. When I switched to ADL I had to convert my existing drive over and it was just a few steps like adding 50MB EFI partition, marking it bootable, running a few commands to put EFI onto it, update grub to link the OS to EFI and reboot.

Windows usually just pisses me off though in most cases. I'm still trying to figure out a couple of bugs my new laptop is having but, I'm figuring it just needs a UEFI update but, the OEM hasn't released one and it's already got a newer one than what's posted in a repo I use for them. Kind of SOL until someone scrapes a new version and just have to do hard boots to clear the issue. Sometimes I just lock the screen and it subsides after a few minutes but, it's pesky and annoying. I think my highest uptime was just shy of a week so far but, it's usually a whole lot less. With my 9750H laptop I could leave it up for a month at a time before applying updates and rebooting.

*shrug* 1st world problems I suppose.
 

mastertech01

Moderator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Nov 13, 1999
11,754
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My daughters Dell would boot slow to the new NVME I put in her computer and I found it just needed the bios updated to a later version. Now it boots much faster and her games load faster.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
19,941
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This is technically correct, but to my knowledge, with a few exceptions, Windows requires GPT for UEFI boot, and UEFI boot is needed for most NVMe drives in Windows. GPT is of course superior anyway, particularly for 2TB+ drives.
Somehow I wound up with an MBR partition on my 970 EVO when I built this system back in 2019 using Windows 10. Had to convert it to GPT for Win11, what a headache.
 

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