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Z600 boots with NVMe drive...sometimes

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I tried to upgrade my Z600 workstation with NVMe SSD. According to this thread:

it's possible. I have some experience in installing NVMe drives in computers without UEFI boot. All systems I upgraded this way working without any problems. I tried this with Z600, and it works..... sometimes. I bought SN550 1 TB and Akasa PCI-E to M.2 adapter and put it into Z600. Windows installed without problems, but right after I removed Windows installation drive and booted system from pendrive with Clover on it can't find any booting device. When I then put Windows installation USB drive it starting to work as it should. even if I remove Windows installation drive. Until I disconnect power cord from computer. Then it wont boot again. So I changed bootloader for REWIND, but it behaves the same. I did checked CMOS battery on mainboard, but it have over 3V, so its ok. Tried to play with BIOS settings in Z600, but no luck.

After all this I decided to put REWIND pendrive and SSD with M.2 adapter in different system (MSI H61M-P31/W8 with i3 3220). I found that when booting to REWIND pendrive with UEFI boot, then it wont detect Windows install on SN550. But when I change system to boot from REWIND pendrive in legacy mode then everything works as it should.

So why in Z600 which dont have UEFI boot support I'm getting problems like this? Like I said, I tried to play with BIOS settings and it didnt work, but maybe I missed somthing. BTW I upgraded BIOS in Z600 to lastest one, which is 3.61 version if I remember properly.

Would be very greatful for any tip what can be wrong in my Z600 system.


EDIT: Just want to clarify, becouse I didn't put this info above. Connecting Windows installation media not always making things right. Mostly it is, but sometimes I need to reboot system several times, disconnecting/connecting power cord until it starts to work.

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are you confusing the DUET/REFIND program with rewind?


i recommend using DUET/REFIND over clover as it's easier to configure/setup note that since the z600 is not a uefi enabled bios you must use DUET and REFIND together


keep in mind that since a z600 only has a pci-e 2.0 bus, your nvme speeds will only be half of the mfg rated drive speed which the nvmw mfg's assume to be pci-e 3.0


configure the usb key with DUET/REFIND, and insert into motherboard usb 2.0 port 512k-24gb key)

program will boot and show available usb ports, select them one by one till it boots and no longer shows usb ports




insert MS Win-10 x64 usb key and install windows in GPT MODE, not legacy (16Gb key)


install windows, when the install finishes copying files to drive it will reboot and show the main drive to install screen again,


at this point remove the ms windows install usb key and reboot the system manually (leave duet/refind key in same port)


computer will boot from duet/refind key, load nvme driver, and pass control to the nvme boot drive which will continue/finish the windows setup


once windows setup is complete your done, computer will now boot duet/refind first then load windows normally


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Sorry, I make a mistake. Of course I wanted to write REFIND, not REWIND 🙂 . Yes, when Clover didn't work I tried DUET/REFIND, but no luck. But maybe I did something wrong. I'll try do it once again from scratch with your way and with files you provided me, thanks!

I will let know whether it works.


EDIT: t didn't work. I tryied everything. Switched GPU and M.2 adapter between PCI-E ports, tryied few times install of DUET/REFIND on different USB sticks. I had Intel 6000p 256 GB SSD on the shelf, so I placed it in M.2 adapter instead of SN550 and for 24 hour everything was working as it should. But it stopped suddenly. I had enough of this, so I just bought Patriot Burst Elite 960 GB SATA III SSD and now everything is working. I have SN550 1TB for sale with low mileage, anyone interested 🙂 ?

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