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fjord_ch
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HP Spectre x360 with PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - How can I find out, what sort of SSD is in the x360?

HP Spectre x360 13-4179ng
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

In the tecnical information is for the harddrive written:

PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD

--> but how can I find out, which SSD is in the spectre x360?

 

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HP Spectre x360 with PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - How can I find out, what sort of SSD is in the x360?

Hi,

 

Thank you for visiting the HP Forums! A great place where you can find solutions for your issues with help from the community!

 

Hard drive
256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD

 

The following link may help you to fix your problem.

http://support.hp.com/emea_africa-en/document/c05243128

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

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fjord_ch
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HP Spectre x360 with PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - How can I find out, what sort of SSD is in the x360?

thanks for answer.

 

From there, I've got my informationen, that not a SATA-SSD is used but a faster NVMe.

BUT what sort of PCIe NVMe SSD? 

It's a big difference if there is a Samsung Pro or a intel p600 or a Plextor or...

And that's what I'd like to know.

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HP Spectre x360 with PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - How can I find out, what sort of SSD is in the x360?

Hi,

 

I found some suggestion in prior thread about same type of issue and that may help you to sort out your problem.

 

Many people in other posts have been asking if the Spectre's M.2 slot can also work with NVMe, and I know the answer is YES, definitely for my 4101dx.   I expect it is the same with all 4000 and 4100 labeled models. The reason is I expect a similar motherboard setup since the processors are 5000 series Intel i5 or i7, so I expect all the motherboards will be compatible with M.2 PCIe NVMe if my 5th gen i7 5500U is; that means a PCIe SSD, either AHCI or NVMe will work, noting this current problem with NVMe, that today normal USB bootable backup media won't recognize it without proper added NVMe drivers, which most USB bootable media today doesn't have without installing special drivers.  

 

So NVMe works, but it requires NVMe drivers to be recognized as installed when you boot with a USB bootable media.  The other option might be to find a USB adapter to connect the PCIe drive externally, but those are not readily available (see below).  I did not have the expertise to find or add NVMe drivers to add to a WinPE boot option, but as others have said elsewhere who succeded in installing a NVMe drive, I was able to easily install the SSD into the Spectre, by booting from USB Windows 10 installation media and creating a fresh install, since Windows already comes with NVMe drivers.  Others have reported that if they then install Samsung's own NVMe drivers that the Samsung 950 Pro performs better.  It was easy for me to find the drivers on Samsung's Download pages and easy to install, once the new SSD was up and running Windows 10.

 

 
The real question I didn't find a full definitive answer anywhere yet is: What are the specs of the motherboard for my HP Spectre?  and so: Can the HP  Spectre models (prior to Skylake) run the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSD at full speed?    My answer The motherboard in the HP Spectre 4101dx is M.2 PCIe 2.0, 5 GB/s x4, so yes it can run the Samsung 950 Pro , but not at full speed.  That being said, I have never experienced a faster boot and general running of Windows than with the Spectre X360 with the Samsung 950 Pro installed.  It is significantly faster than M.2 Sata (Sata III 6GB/sec). But it is more expensive and nothing larger than 512GB is available yet.

 

 
The 4101dx is an i7 5500U model and came out the year before the newest Skylake processors and motherboards came out.  Reading about Skylake, one expects that all Skylake motherboards should all come ready with PCIe 3.0, which is 8 GB/s with 4 lanes, but I would like to hear that confirmed with owners of the newest Spectre models with Skylake.  After installing the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe 512GB SSD in the Spectre X360, and once it was installed I was able to use Samsung's Magician Software to see that the specifications of my model is running PCIe 2.0, because it showed my connection as 5 GB/s with 4 lanes. I can confirm, as others have posted, a Samsung 950 Pro runs on a Spectre X360 at very nearly 1600 mb/s for both read and write at its top speeds, being somewhat bottlenecked by running on PCIe 2.0.  This means that for such Spectre models the NVMe works, but not at its full potential, but it is vastly faster than the stock SSD and vastly faster than M.2 Sata drives like the Samsung Evo (running max at SATA III 6GB/sec)).  

 

I am personally very happy with the price/specs/value of the HP Spectre X360 from 2015, especially because of the battery life, and its ability to take one of these new NVMe Samsung 950 Pro SSDs.  I am not sure how much faster it would run if it were on a PCIe 3.O slot, but I am sure I would not want to pay $300 more to find out, which is what it would cost me, since I found my personal Spectre used for about $800.

 

The next question people have is: Should I get a SSD with AHCI vs NVMe?  AHCI is definitely easier to install in the Spectre. My reading on this suggests that NVMe is more efficient at data handling, and thus somewhat faster in real use than AHCI M.2 PCIe drives can be, but how much, I don't know.  When I look at benchmarks from those using Samsung SM951 ACHI M.2 PCIe drives, the benchmarks are pretty close to what people are getting from the Samsung 950 Pro.  

 

If your HP Spectre X360 is PCIe 2.0... (Skylake models might be PCIe 3.0, in which case what I say below would be somewhat different, since the Samsung 950 Pro is the fastest drive if you can install it in PCIe 3.0, it can't perform at top speed when installed in a PCIe 2.0 machine)

A big reason to chose a Samsung 950 Pro vs Samsung SM951 or Samsung XP941 is that the Samsung 950 Pro is readily available and intended for consumer use, and has a 5 year warranty, and works with Samsung Magician and Data Migration softwares.  That beings said, if money is an issue and you have a Spectre with M.2  PCIe 2.0 available, the Samsung XP941 will install easily with USB backup media because it is ACHI and is also PCIe 2.0.  The Samsung SM951 has 2 different versions, either ACHI or NVMe, and it is PCIe 3.0 ready, so it would be bottlenecked similarly as the Samsung 950 Pro, so though it would be a bit slower installed in PCIe 3.0, it will be pretty similar to the 950 Pro if installed in PCIe 2.0. Again, for people trying to understand this, it is easier to install an ACHI M.2 SSD because it is more recognizable to regular USB Bootable backup media, but the Spectre can run NVMe drives if you have the right USB Bootable media with drivers for it.  

 

One thing that would make NVMe SSDs easy to install using a normal cloning software like Samsung Data Migration would be if USB adapters were readily available for M.2 PCIe NVMe drives.  They are still not really here, though some seem available on Ebay or Amazon from China, so far as I can find, which, if you get one that will work, would make it easy to use software like Samsung Data Migration, since both the original drive and the destination drive would need to be available at the same time.  If you are careful to find on that works with NVMe and if you are patient to wait the 2 - 4 weeks to receive it from China, you might find the upgrade to an NVMe SSD easy.

 

A question I had going in:  Do you need your Windows Product Key ready if you make a fresh install of Windows 10 from a standard install of Windows that did not come with its own Product Key?   So, I found a free Product Key finder before I made the new installation and wrote down the Windows Product Key that is connected to my HP Spectre, but I found that my product key somehow remained connected to my computer even after a fresh install of Windows on the new drive without asking me for the Product Key in the installation process.  I am guessing that the key is somehow stored in the Bios, or something, but I have never read about it, but somehow the correct key was present after the install.  I was worried that I would need to have my Product Key on hand in order to make the fresh install on the new drive, but I was not asked for it and found it already there when I finished.  I felt good about that.

 

I just did a search for Windows install iso (image file needed, that you then 'burn' on a USB stick.) The first links are websites that announces and directs you to the Microsoft downloads, with some instructions.  I noted in my last post, that when I did the actual install, somehow my Product Key was automatically connected to my Spectre, so I didn't need to input it in order to install onto the new drive.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/windows-10-iso-available-download-1513087

 

and another similar, with instructions...

http://www.groovypost.com/howto/windows-10-iso-download/

 

This link is directly to Microsoft.  I didn't check recently, but I am assuming we have Windows 64 bit version on our Spectres, but you can check your current machine before you download 64 or 32 bit. 

 

Microsoft's pages, with instructions...

for Download

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO

 

For instructions

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-usb-dvd-download-tool

 

After the fresh install of Windows, I then went to HP support and HP's assistent for updating drivers, and I was very grateful this was easy to do.  When I ran it, it only suggested that I needed 2 drivers, and certainly not every driver that was available for my model on HP's website. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps Windows was able to set up most necessary drivers in the normal install process.  I did manually add the Symantics Trackpad driver and that seemed to add some trackpad functionality I was familiar with from before the new install.  I am not sure if I will find the need to update other drivers in the future, but for now, the Spectre is running great.

 

To give you a few other details about the process, to boot from USB I used F10 to access the Bios and arrow to the right to get to System Configuration and then you arrow down to USB Boot options and hit return. Then 2 changes: 1: change Secure Boot to Disabled. (I suggest changing it back after the process is finished.) and 2nd: arrow down to USB Diskette on Key/USB Hard Disk and then hit F6 to move it up to the top of the list as a 1st boot option.  Then F10 and save.  When you are finished with the upgrade you can go back and also push it down with F5.  After F10 and save the machine  will reboot. I found the Windows is not so easy to manage regarding booting off USB.  I did test using USB Boot Backup media that I created with EaseUS Backup Home, but without the NVMe drivers it wouldn't recognize my drive.  And then I booted from the Windows install USB and it didn't boot right up, for some reason it took a few tries.  This is where Mac has the Windows environment beat. It is so much easier to boot off of external drives and clone drives with Macs, but Macs make you pay through the nose for their new machines and you can't upgrade the SSDs yourself. A mistake by Apple in my book, and it will hurt many customers, but such is their current system.

 

For those contemplating this, I'll mention that it took a lot of searching to locate and download an image of Windows 10 installation, but once I had it, I installed it on a simple 4GB USB and it worked great.  If it were not for this step of needing a Windows install USB I would recommend this upgrade to anyone.

 

One last word: Be careful when you remove the back plate to your Spectre.  I used a Torx 6 to get the 8 screws off, some have said it is Torx 5, but I used Torx 6 without issue, and that is easy enough, but then the back cover has plastic clips. I found that the front of the machine was where to start at removing it, using a plastic pry tool (maybe a sturdy guitar pick could work too) and slide from a corner along the width of the cover and pop release the plastic tabs. It was much more difficult than I like, and I worried about bending the case, so be careful.  To put it back on, start by inserting the other side first, the side along the hinge, and then click in the front section.  I suspect you could break tabs along the hinge side if you don't place them first when closing it again.  And you will need a small Philips head screwdriver to get the drive out and in. I think I used size PH 00, but PH 0 might work too.  It will help to have a magnetic screw driver for this screw. It may want to fall into the machine if you don't have a magnetic screwdriver.  Also, be very careful not to touch the motherboard with your fingers when a battery is connected to the motherboard. You can do serious damage if you create a short.  I am more familiar with upgrading Macs, and I always unplug the battery. I didn't know the Spectre as well, so I didn't unplug the battery, but was extremely careful not to touch the motherboard.  It is a quick swap for the SSD, so it wasn't open for long.

 

 
I hope this helps people like myself who could not find this information in one place.
 
Thanks.
 
 

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awilson77584
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HP Spectre x360 with PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - How can I find out, what sort of SSD is in the x360?

 Now that we are in mid-Feb 2017 and running Kaby Lake processors on our Spectre x360 13s, can we assume that all will be smooth to replace the factory ssd with a Samsung 960 EVO 1TB drive.  The space an R/W speeds are attractive.

 

Thanks!

neloydas
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HP Spectre x360 with PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - How can I find out, what sort of SSD is in the x360?

Even in 2018 this question is still valid. I'm wondering specially because some online review sites got HP spectre x360 with samsung 920 ssd in-built. Is there any way to find out which models of x360 15t has samsung 920 ssd?

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