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How do I install windows 7 on a Samsung 950 pro m.2 SSD drive?

I am doing a new computer build using an Asus z170-AR mobo and a Samsung 950 pro M.2 SSD drive as the primary install drive. The 950 pro shows up in the bios, but when I run the Win 7 install (via a USB DVD drive and windows disk) the 950 pro does not show up as a drive option in the Win 7 install process. And since it is the only HD option I have in the system, my Win 7 install is at a halt. I have downloaded the Samsung driver for the 950 pro (Samsung NVM Express driver 1.1 exe), but it requires a windows OS active on the computer to install it, which I do not have as I cannot install Win7. A chicken and egg sort of thing. So how do I get my Win 7 install process to recognize the 950 pro, which is where I want the Win 7 OS to reside?

System info:
Processor: Intel I7 6700K
Mobo: Asus Z170-AR
Ram: Corsair DDR4, 2666MHz, two 16Gb sticks for total 32 GB ram
video card: not installed yet. Will install after Win7 install. will be EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti

Thanks!
Reply to Pinchot1905
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about install windows samsung 950 pro ssd drive
  1. Drivers can be found here towards the bottom of the list

    http://www.win-raid.com/t29f25-Recommended-AHCI-RAID-and-NVMe-Drivers.html
    Reply to drtweak
  2. drtweak said:
    Drivers can be found here towards the bottom of the list

    http://www.win-raid.com/t29f25-Recommended-AHCI-RAID-and-NVMe-Drivers.html

    Thanks. I downloaded the driver from the website, unzipped it, burned the unzipped files to a CD. The files included: nvme (Security Catalog), nvme (Setup Information), nvme.PNF (Precompiled Setup Information), nvmeF.sys (System File), and nvme.sys (System file). I put the driver CD in the DVD drive in my new build, and started the Win7 install from a second DVD drive connected via USB, using my Win7 install disk. When the "select driver to be installed" dialogue box came up, "Samsung NVMe controller (D:\nvme.inf)" appeared as a choice (but none of the other files on the CD appeared). I unchecked the "hide drivers" box and clicked "next". A "load driver" dialogue box came up with the note "No new devices could be found." Is the nvme.inf the wrong file? And if so, how do I get the other .sys files to show as choices? Or is there something else I am missing. I've read a thread about difficulties getting windows to recognize a 950 pro, and a number of folks report success using this driver, so I am wondering what I am missing. Thanks for the help....
    Reply to Pinchot1905
  3. Best answer
    You missed the rest of the instructions.

    1. Download and install any motherboard BIOS updates for improved compatability. Some of the new motherboards need the update for NVMe ssd's. While you are at it also go to the Intel web site to check for and install any Intel chipset updates.

    2. For Windows 7 you will have to install the OS to an old ssd or hard drive.

    3. Next install the Samsung NVMe driver that is available at the Samsung web site. Install it to the same old ssd or hard drive.

    4. Finally, use the Samsung Magician utility to clone the old ssd or hard drive to the new 950 Pro.

    You can search google for detailed "how to install..." instructions completed with images. You can also search youtube.com for videos that show how to do it.
    Reply to JohnnyLucky
  4. JohnnyLucky said:
    You missed the rest of the instructions.

    1. Download and install any motherboard BIOS updates for improved compatability. Some of the new motherboards need the update for NVMe ssd's. While you are at it also go to the Intel web site to check for and install any Intel chipset updates.

    2. For Windows 7 you will have to install the OS to an old ssd or hard drive.

    3. Next install the Samsung NVMe driver that is available at the Samsung web site. Install it to the same old ssd or hard drive.

    4. Finally, use the Samsung Magician utility to clone the old ssd or hard drive to the new 950 Pro.

    You can search google for detailed "how to install..." instructions completed with images. You can also search youtube.com for videos that show how to do it.


    Yea that is what I was going to suggest if he couldn't get it working.

    Windows 7 was out way before NVMe so there is not out of the box support and there is actually a few updates to add the support to it. So unless you know how to slip stream updates into your windows 7 install disk it might be easier to install it to a SSD or Hard drive first then do as what JohnnyLucky said and then clone it over.
    Reply to drtweak
  5. JohnnyLucky said:
    You missed the rest of the instructions.

    1. Download and install any motherboard BIOS updates for improved compatability. Some of the new motherboards need the update for NVMe ssd's. While you are at it also go to the Intel web site to check for and install any Intel chipset updates.

    2. For Windows 7 you will have to install the OS to an old ssd or hard drive.

    3. Next install the Samsung NVMe driver that is available at the Samsung web site. Install it to the same old ssd or hard drive.

    4. Finally, use the Samsung Magician utility to clone the old ssd or hard drive to the new 950 Pro.

    You can search google for detailed "how to install..." instructions completed with images. You can also search youtube.com for videos that show how to do it.
    Reply to Pinchot1905
  6. Thanks. That was helpful advice! Your suggestion worked...as far as it went. I was able to install the NVMe driver, initialize the 950Pro, and clone WD 1Tb HD on which I had installed windows7 and the NVMe driver over to the Samsung 950 pro. I left the standard HD in the computer, booted it up, and navigated to disk manager. The 950 Pro showed up in the disk management pane, but was off-line due to a "signature collision", which I assumed was a conflict with the WD HD. I was able to bring it on-line using the disk management menu, then I assigned it a new drive letter (E). I shut down the computer, re-booted, and entered the bios to change the boot order and put the 950 Pro first in line. That did not work until I moved something labled "Windows Boot Manager" ahead of the 950 Pro in the boot order in the bios. I then rebooted the computer, which successfully booted up into windows 7, although the boot process was quite slow. So far so good. Then I removed the WD HD from the system, restarted it, and checked the bios to make sure that (1) the WD HD was not longer in the boot list, and (2) the 950 Pro was and the "Windows Boot Manager" was still ahead of the 950 pro in the list. Looked good so far. However, when I restarted the computer and let it boot up into windows, it gets to the "preparing your desktop" message and hangs. In addition the boot process up to that point takes alot longer than it did using the WD HD. Obviously something is not right with Win7 on the 920 Pro, but I'm not sure if that is something that happened during the cloning process, a problem with the 950 Pro, or some other more arcane problem. Any suggestions?
    Reply to Pinchot1905
  7. Try using Macrium Reflect to clone the hard drive to the 950.

    Also it sounds like it is a uEFI boot and not a MBR which is why Windows Boot Manager has to be first.
    Reply to drtweak
  8. This is what I did to install Windows 10 from USB onto a samsung 950 pro 256 m.2 and also use a SATA SSD RAID... it took FOREVER to figure out the bios settings so i hope this helps.

    First, I put in the 950 m.2 only, and then change bios to the settings below:

    in ADVANCED\PCH Storage Configuration
    hyper kit mode off
    sata controllers enabled
    smart self test on
    m.2 pie storage RAID support disabled
    sata express PCIE Storage Raid Support Disabled
    Agressive lPM Disabled

    In Advanced -> USB Configuration
    Legacy USB Support Enabled
    XHCI Hand-Off Disabled
    Usb Keyboard and Mouse Simulator Enabled

    advanced -> onboard devices configuration
    PCI-EX16_3 bandwidth X4 Mode
    SATA Mode Configuration: SATA Express (NOT m.2, as i found out)

    Boot -> CSM (Compatibility Support Module) Configuration
    Launch CSM Enabled
    Boot Device Control UEFI Only
    Boot From Network Devices Ignore
    Boot From Storage Devices Legacy Only
    Boot From PCI-E/PCI Expansion Devices UEFI Driver First

    Boot -> Secure Boot
    Secure Boot State Enabled
    Platform Key PK State loaded
    OS Type Windows UEFI mode

    Now, once you are done setting this, plug in the windows USB Stick and boot up the machine with only the m.2 plugged in, it should see it and you should be able to install the windows, then once you reboot are sure it works, you can install all the drivers and whatnot you need.

    Then once that is all done, you can move on the SSD RAID

    hook up the SATA SSD Raid Drives, then go into the bios EZ configuration screen and press f11 to get the raid setup up. Pick SATA then pick next, and go through the steps to pick raid 0 or raid 5. Once you reboot the computer SHOULD boot from M.2 and all windows will see the sats raid drive as a drive to be initialized and partitioned in disk manager. it will take a bit to format, but once its done assign a drive letter and bam

    M.2 OS Drive and SATA RAID on z170-ar .... took me literally four hours of trial and error and going nuts to figure this out.

    I assure you it works though.

    Also, just so you know, I am on the 1702 ASUS bios, the latest one.
    Reply to dmal99
  9. First off: None of the solutions provided by any of the responses work.
    It is questionable whether or not some of them even read the question.
    ON a Gigabyte 1151 gaming 7 this worked for me. don't forget to disconnect all drives other than your dvd/cd and the 950Pro. You can reconnect them later.

    This absolutely works. Why the answer to this problem is not to be found on Toms, or even Gigabyte's own forums is just ridiculous. Evidently thousands of people have the same problem, and not one OEM motherboard manufactuer or MS has ever posted a "how to" that works, or even understands the problem, even though the techs at Gigabyte evidently knew how to do it. They did not post the procedure anywhere that I am aware of. Thanks Gigabyte tech support (for nothing).

    Just another way that Microsoft fixes the deck so that you cannot avoid them spying on you, because you will come to think that you must upgrade to 10 to get new hardware to work. Also if you install all updates form Microsoft, Windows 7 will spy on you as much as 10, but you won't know it. see omnipotents post here:

    http://forums.pixeltailgames.com/t/windows-7-8-windows-updates-to-avoid-telemetry/9977

    Anyhow this method works on Gigabyte motherboards IF instead of using a thumbdrive to load the files at boot up you transfer all the files to a DVD to load them at boot-up.. OF course you have to change your boot order in bios to DVD/cd first and 950pro second and every other boot drive disabled in bios. I believe it will also work on other boards but haven't tested this.

    here it is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqKJai-jtH4
    Reply to JacFlasche
  10. Yes I just installed windows 7 on my first PCIe SSD (Wasn't a same samsung though) on a build for a buddy. Now my issue wasn't the PCIe SSD but getting past the USB 3.0. First I tried to slipstream the drivers into it. No go. Even though it 1 single 2.0 port on the side or use the DVD to load the drivers the windows install would kill all USB ports after loading driver.

    I then found out Gigabyte has a Tool that injects the USB 2.0 AND the NVMe Drivers as well into your image (Or USB drive which I had) and then it allowed to me to install to it.

    The thing is all the BS about the chipsets not allowing windows 7 to install, its only because of a driver issue. I wish I had his PC longer to do more testing (Like what if I added a 2.0 Addin card or using a Windows 10 PE Environment to install windows 7) but I had to give it back to him. This post is a year old back when PCIe NVMe was still a fairly new thing on the consumer end.
    Reply to drtweak
  11. For anyone having the same problem, you can extract the original drivers as explained here:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/5glgw2/howto_guide_extracting_samsung_nvme_drivers_from/
    Reply to connerdk
  12. If using the previously mentioned guide to extract the drivers dont do it on another pc with different OS, e.g. at first i installed drivers (for extraction) on win7 and tried to copy them to win10 installation but it wont work. You can instead use 7zip to extract the drivers from the msi file and then rename the files:
    InstallerCatFile10 -> secnvme.cat
    InstallerInfFile10 -> secnvme.inf
    InstallerSysFile10 -> secnvme.sys
    Reply to connerdk
  13. I had same problem. none of the fixes worked. then I thought I'd try this: I installed system on a old HDD drive. then I downloaded hotfix from here:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2990941/update-to-add-native-driver-support-in-nvm-express-in-windows-7-and-wi#bookmark-prerequisite

    but it would not work for me. so, instead of lengthy process, I opened the hotfix from within my windows 7 platform on old HDD. Ran it. allowed restart. Now Win 7 could recognize the drive, but the win 7 setup program still did not. So back in old win 7 installation I downloaded and ran Aomei partitioning software (free):

    https://www.aomeitech.com/aomei-partition-assistant.html

    clicked on copy disk. checked box "optimize for SSD" ran it. Aomei shut the PC down, and copied drive in pre-OS environment. it restarted when done. Now OS was on the drive. After restart I opened easy BCD. downloaded free version from here:

    https://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

    ran it. clicked on add new entry. chose a name and type. pointed it to SSD drive. clicked on edit boot menu. chose my new entry. made it default boot device. saved information. restarted and it booted to new SSD drive after a quick automatic repair from Aomei in pre-OS. Then I used Aomei to wipe old HDD for storage use. Done! I tried for a week every solution I could find. This worked in less than an hour. most of that time was cloning the drive. All steps were pretty easy with point and click software doing most of the work!
    Added benefit: all files and drivers were transfered to new drive automatically!
    Reply to Headie
  14. Old Thread, but your instructions are for cloning, which is easy to do, where as installing windows from scratch is a whole difference story.
    Reply to drtweak
  15. drtweak said:
    Old Thread, but your instructions are for cloning, which is easy to do, where as installing windows from scratch is a whole difference story.


    I realize that. It was what I was trying to do. install from scratch. but the whole NVMe driver not being native to win 7. needing to make a modified install disk. Even Microsoft had trouble with this. 4 techs and 5 days and they still hadn't succeeded. So I went about it sideways. I did a fresh install from scratch, "on a HDD Disk". then ran drivers and cloned the new install. To get it on to the M.2 NVMe. And though I realized it was an old thread. Anyone needing to install Win 7 on newer motherboard. Because they want the lightning speed of an NVMe, and just can't give up that Windows 7 platform, may want to know an easy way around it.
    Reply to Headie
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