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Thread: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941




  1. #1
    merian is offline Junior Member
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    Post Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    hello from france
    i just bought an asrock z97 extreme6 because it was considered as the best solution to use with a samsung xp941 m2 ssd disk
    i created a usb bootable uefi drive with rufus
    i managed to boot on that device
    my xp941 is recognized as a possible target for installation
    but when i try to configure this disk for system installation it repeatedly says "windows cannot be installed to this disk"
    i tried many things found on the web without success
    do i have to abandon the idea of having windows installed on the xp941 as bootable device ?
    loic

  2. #2
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    You said you created a USB Windows installation flash drive for a true UEFI booting installation, which is good, but did you disable the CSM option in the BIOS? That is required for a UEFI booting Windows installation.

    In order to disable CSM, your video source must support what is called a GOP video protocol. If you are using the on-CPU Intel graphics, it supports GOP. If you use a video card, only newer models support GOP and then some require a VBIOS update. What is your video source?

    You did not say what version of Windows you are using. If it is Windows 7, a modification to the Windows files is required. If you are using Windows 8, no modification is needed.

    When installing Windows, you must do a Custom installation. You must first delete any existing partitions on the XP941, which can be done in the Custom installation screen. You then must click the "New" button to create the necessary Windows partitions. When that is complete, you should see four partitions on the XP941, Recovery, System, MSR, and Primary. Choose the primary partition for the Windows installation. If you don't get the four partitions, something is wrong and the installation will fail.

    If you do all of this and it still does not work, try this: Before you start the Windows installation, set the SATA mode to RAID. This is done not to create a RAID array with the XP941, but it forces the use of a UEFI compatible SATA Option ROM that is part of the BIOS file. That Option ROM is what the XP941 requires in order to become an OS drive, and is why other boards cannot install an OS on an XP941, they don't have that Option ROM in the BIOS file. ASRock does, and has uses it for years on many of their boards.

    You may get the UEFI compatible SATA Option ROM in use by simply disabling CSM, but using RAID mode guarantees it. You must ALWAYS have the SATA mode set to RAID once you install in RAID mode.

    You might already be using the following guides about installing a UEFI booting Windows installation, but if not they are very helpful:

    UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

    UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 8 with

    IMO, these guides are not perfect, I do a couple things differently for my UEFI booting Windows installations, but they are otherwise essential.

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    Default Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    Quote Originally Posted by merian View Post
    hello from france
    i just bought an asrock z97 extreme6 because it was considered as the best solution to use with a samsung xp941 m2 ssd disk
    i created a usb bootable uefi drive with rufus
    i managed to boot on that device
    my xp941 is recognized as a possible target for installation
    but when i try to configure this disk for system installation it repeatedly says "windows cannot be installed to this disk"
    i tried many things found on the web without success
    do i have to abandon the idea of having windows installed on the xp941 as bootable device ?
    loic
    I wrote a complete guide on how to install Windows 8.1 on the Samsung XP941 here:

    https://www.ramcity.com.au/blog/how-...p941-ss/138296

    And FWIW, I've never had to disable CSM to make this work, but I don't have a discrete video card installed either.

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Rod Bland - Vendor Rep for ramcity.com.au

  4. #4
    merian is offline Junior Member
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    Post Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    sir
    thank you for your kind answer
    a few more details :
    i have a Radeon R9 290X graphic card; i think it is recent enough
    i try to install windows 7
    here is what i have done
    i configure my kingston 16 go usb3 key with Rufus
    and the iso of my windows 7 version
    the rufus options i use are : GPT partition, FAT 32
    i copy the intel raid drivers on the intel website on the usbkey

    my motherboard is a asrock z97 extreme6
    i switch all options to default
    the xp941 is recognized on the M2 port
    the usb key is visible in the boot options with two variants : "usb 3.0 kingston key" and "uefi usb 3.0 kingston key"
    there is no other hard disk
    in the boot options i put SATA on RAID
    i put the boot order on 1) XP941 2) UEFI USB key 3) usb key
    i disable CSM
    i reboot

    clearly if i disable USB key option in the boot order and only leave the uefi usb key option it never boots
    i cannot choose the uefi usb key for the boot
    if i choose the F11 option to choose the boot device and choose the uefi device it comes back to the screen asking to choose the boot device
    if i choose the plain usb device it accepts it

    ok it boots on the usb key and lauches windows setup
    the xp941 appears as the only drive available
    i can choose new for the drive option
    i can partition it but it only creates one partition
    and it says the hard disk cannot be choosen as the target for installation, and that the hardware of the computer cannot use this drive as a boot drive
    i can load drivers
    i try to load the raid drivers
    but they are not recognized as correct drivers for this disk
    and if i install one of the raid drivers it does not enable me to choose the xp941 as installation target

    i really do not know how to solve that
    you mentionned the windows 7 installation had to be modified ? how ?

    thanks for your help
    loic

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    Default Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    Quote Originally Posted by merian View Post
    sir
    thank you for your kind answer
    a few more details :
    i have a Radeon R9 290X graphic card; i think it is recent enough
    i try to install windows 7
    here is what i have done
    i configure my kingston 16 go usb3 key with Rufus
    and the iso of my windows 7 version
    the rufus options i use are : GPT partition, FAT 32
    i copy the intel raid drivers on the intel website on the usbkey
    I always configure the USB drive as MBR with NTFS, but other people have also used FAT32. If you are using GPT partitioning that might be part of the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by merian View Post
    sir
    my motherboard is a asrock z97 extreme6
    i switch all options to default
    the xp941 is recognized on the M2 port
    the usb key is visible in the boot options with two variants : "usb 3.0 kingston key" and "uefi usb 3.0 kingston key"
    there is no other hard disk
    in the boot options i put SATA on RAID
    i put the boot order on 1) XP941 2) UEFI USB key 3) usb key
    i disable CSM
    i reboot
    Since you are installing Windows 7, you may need to preconfigure the XP941 with GPT partitions. Windows 8.1 does this for you automatically. There's a note from one of our Disqus forum users here about that:

    https://www.ramcity.com.au/blog/how-...ent-1628218092

    Also, you don't need to load the RAID driver, or enable RAID mode on SATA or disable CSM, at least not in my experience. I've never had to touch any of those settings on an Extreme 6.

    When you are booting off your USB, you must choose the option 'uefi usb 3.0 kingston key' so that the OS is installed in UEFI mode. If you choose any other option then windows will complain that you can't use the disk.

  6. #6
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    Quote Originally Posted by RamCity View Post
    I wrote a complete guide on how to install Windows 8.1 on the Samsung XP941 here:

    https://www.ramcity.com.au/blog/how-...p941-ss/138296

    And FWIW, I've never had to disable CSM to make this work, but I don't have a discrete video card installed either.

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Rod Bland - Vendor Rep for ramcity.com.au
    Well well, we have the honor of receiving a post from the retailer that pioneered (AFAIK) the retail sales of the Samsung XP941 SSD! Welcome to TweakTown.

    I mean that sincerely, both for the post and making the XP941 available beyond its use by OEM PC manufactures, if I understand the XP941 story correctly.

    The story behind that may be interesting, although I do not expect nor will I ask you to reveal that to us here.

    I am not questioning your guide or implying it is incorrect, obviously it works. I've never had an XP941 to play with. My comments to the OP are based on my experience with UEFI booting Windows installations, primarily Windows 8, using ASRock mother boards. My response to the OP was strictly with UEFI booting in mind, since I am confident that configuration would work with the XP941, and the OP seemed to be going in that direction.

    OTOH, there is more than one way to provide the XP941 with what it requires to be used as an OS drive, and I know you'll agree that it has at least one specific need that your guide/method provides, as well as the full UEFI booting method.

    It is possible that your method actually does result in a full UEFI booting Windows installation, but I would need to check the details of the partitions created on an XP941 when following your guide.

    The ability of the XP941 to boot an OS with the CSM option enabled, with a UEFI booting Windows installation (assuming your method does this, which it may not), is caused by the way Microsoft configured their UEFI booting capable Windows installations. It adds both an MBR and GPT boot partition (labeled System by Windows.)

    A UEFI booting Windows installation per se is not necessarily what allows the XP941 to boot an OS, it is causing Intel's UEFI compatible SATA Option ROM to be used with the XP941 that makes it possible. Your method does the same thing.

    I noticed in the comments about your guide using GPT partitioning on the XP941, which is required for UEFI booting. Other hints about the UEFI compatible SATA Option ROM are the "Windows Boot Manager" entry in the boot order, which is what is displayed for the OS drive(s) in UEFI installations, and selecting "UEFI First" as an option is one user's BIOS.

    There is one mother board manufacture whose UEFI/BIOS does not contain the UEFI compatible SATA Option ROM, and only a modified BIOS will fix that. That is, unless they have added it in later UEFI/BIOS updates.

    I'm curious if you've had any AMD board users that are able to boot from an XP941.

    As you know, Windows 7 does not lend itself to UEFI booting in the way that Windows 8 does. It can be done with Win 7, I've done it, but the installation files need a modification that is described in the first guide I provided a link to above. That is probably the OP's problem.

    Given a correct UEFI Windows installation, CSM does not need to be disabled for the XP941 to boot Windows, that it true. With CSM enabled, a BIOS emulated boot is done, and is also done on systems using standard SSDs and HDDs. We've been doing that for years, since the first "UEFI" GUI interface to what we know as the BIOS options.

    RAID is also not needed for ASRock boards, and most others but I've seen it fix UEFI booting issues when using certain board/BIOS pairs

    But as long as CSM is enabled, the PC is not truly executing a UEFI POST and UEFI booting. That does not affect the XP941 at all, and is a different but related topic.

    Many video sources are not GOP compatible, which is the major block to UEFI booting. Disabling CSM with a non-GOP compatible video source results in a black screen, or hopefully as ASRock boards do, the display of an error message about non-GOP compliance. The onboard Intel video is GOP compatible, from Sandy Bridge processors forward. Well... in some cases I've seen VBIOS updates for the Intel onboard graphics included with Windows 8 compatibility updates for some boards, so an old UEFI/BIOS or a poorly managed one might have a problem. My ASRock Z77 board with an i7-2600K has no problem UEFI booting using the onboard graphics.

    Nvidia based video cards prior to the 600 series are not and cannot be made GOP compliant. Most if not all of EVGA's 600 series cards can be made GOP compatible with a VBIOS update. All of EVGA's 700 series and newer cards are GOP compliant out of the box. Other manufactures of these cards will need to be checked on an individual basis with the manufacture. AMD/ATI cards must be verified with the manufacture as well. You cannot assume that a newer card will be GOP compatible. Besides EVGA, GOP support is random and spotty among the other manufactures.

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    Default Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Well well, we have the honor of receiving a post from the retailer that pioneered (AFAIK) the retail sales of the Samsung XP941 SSD! Welcome to TweakTown.

    I mean that sincerely, both for the post and making the XP941 available beyond its use by OEM PC manufactures, if I understand the XP941 story correctly.

    The story behind that may be interesting, although I do not expect nor will I ask you to reveal that to us here.
    Thanks for the welcome, and yes, it is an interesting story, but perhaps only to those who deal with Samsung as a supplier.

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    I am not questioning your guide or implying it is incorrect, obviously it works. I've never had an XP941 to play with. My comments to the OP are based on my experience with UEFI booting Windows installations, primarily Windows 8, using ASRock mother boards. My response to the OP was strictly with UEFI booting in mind, since I am confident that configuration would work with the XP941, and the OP seemed to be going in that direction.

    OTOH, there is more than one way to provide the XP941 with what it requires to be used as an OS drive, and I know you'll agree that it has at least one specific need that your guide/method provides, as well as the full UEFI booting method.

    It is possible that your method actually does result in a full UEFI booting Windows installation, but I would need to check the details of the partitions created on an XP941 when following your guide.

    The ability of the XP941 to boot an OS with the CSM option enabled, with a UEFI booting Windows installation (assuming your method does this, which it may not), is caused by the way Microsoft configured their UEFI booting capable Windows installations. It adds both an MBR and GPT boot partition (labeled System by Windows.)

    A UEFI booting Windows installation per se is not necessarily what allows the XP941 to boot an OS, it is causing Intel's UEFI compatible SATA Option ROM to be used with the XP941 that makes it possible. Your method does the same thing.

    I noticed in the comments about your guide using GPT partitioning on the XP941, which is required for UEFI booting. Other hints about the UEFI compatible SATA Option ROM are the "Windows Boot Manager" entry in the boot order, which is what is displayed for the OS drive(s) in UEFI installations, and selecting "UEFI First" as an option is one user's BIOS.
    I'll admit my knowledge of the true workings of UEFI booting is limited. Just enough to be able to help most of our customers, but still insufficient to be able to discuss it in more but basic terms. From your post here, it seems I have also made some incorrect assumptions too, despite managing to come up with a working solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    There is one mother board manufacture whose UEFI/BIOS does not contain the UEFI compatible SATA Option ROM, and only a modified BIOS will fix that. That is, unless they have added it in later UEFI/BIOS updates.

    I'm curious if you've had any AMD board users that are able to boot from an XP941.
    Not to my knowledge, but then we really only hear feedback from a very small percentage of XP941 purchasers.

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post

    As you know, Windows 7 does not lend itself to UEFI booting in the way that Windows 8 does. It can be done with Win 7, I've done it, but the installation files need a modification that is described in the first guide I provided a link to above. That is probably the OP's problem.

    Given a correct UEFI Windows installation, CSM does not need to be disabled for the XP941 to boot Windows, that it true. With CSM enabled, a BIOS emulated boot is done, and is also done on systems using standard SSDs and HDDs. We've been doing that for years, since the first "UEFI" GUI interface to what we know as the BIOS options.

    RAID is also not needed for ASRock boards, and most others but I've seen it fix UEFI booting issues when using certain board/BIOS pairs

    But as long as CSM is enabled, the PC is not truly executing a UEFI POST and UEFI booting. That does not affect the XP941 at all, and is a different but related topic.

    Many video sources are not GOP compatible, which is the major block to UEFI booting. Disabling CSM with a non-GOP compatible video source results in a black screen, or hopefully as ASRock boards do, the display of an error message about non-GOP compliance. The onboard Intel video is GOP compatible, from Sandy Bridge processors forward. Well... in some cases I've seen VBIOS updates for the Intel onboard graphics included with Windows 8 compatibility updates for some boards, so an old UEFI/BIOS or a poorly managed one might have a problem. My ASRock Z77 board with an i7-2600K has no problem UEFI booting using the onboard graphics.

    Nvidia based video cards prior to the 600 series are not and cannot be made GOP compliant. Most if not all of EVGA's 600 series cards can be made GOP compatible with a VBIOS update. All of EVGA's 700 series and newer cards are GOP compliant out of the box. Other manufactures of these cards will need to be checked on an individual basis with the manufacture. AMD/ATI cards must be verified with the manufacture as well. You cannot assume that a newer card will be GOP compatible. Besides EVGA, GOP support is random and spotty among the other manufactures.
    This is all very interesting! It would be good if there were some in-depth guides or discussions that one could read to learn more about the specifics of UEFI and how it works. Wikipedia is the place to start I guess!

    cheers for the detailed post.

    Rod

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    merian is offline Junior Member
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    Talking Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    I finally managed to boot
    the problem was not the one i thought
    i could not boot on the uefi usb key device but only on the plain usb key device, and subsequently it could not install windows 7 on the xp941 drive
    the reason was just that i plugged the key in the front usb slot
    i changed to the rear usb slot and it went fine
    i was able to boot on the uefi device, to partition the xp941 correctly and to install windows 7 on it
    i did all of this with the standard options in the bios setup without disabling anything
    sorry for this and thank you for your help
    loic

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    Thumbs up Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    Quote Originally Posted by merian View Post
    I finally managed to boot
    the problem was not the one i thought
    i could not boot on the uefi usb key device but only on the plain usb key device, and subsequently it could not install windows 7 on the xp941 drive
    the reason was just that i plugged the key in the front usb slot
    i changed to the rear usb slot and it went fine
    i was able to boot on the uefi device, to partition the xp941 correctly and to install windows 7 on it
    i did all of this with the standard options in the bios setup without disabling anything
    sorry for this and thank you for your help
    loic
    Well done, and something new learned!

  10. #10
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941

    Quote Originally Posted by merian View Post
    I finally managed to boot
    the problem was not the one i thought
    i could not boot on the uefi usb key device but only on the plain usb key device, and subsequently it could not install windows 7 on the xp941 drive
    the reason was just that i plugged the key in the front usb slot
    i changed to the rear usb slot and it went fine
    i was able to boot on the uefi device, to partition the xp941 correctly and to install windows 7 on it
    i did all of this with the standard options in the bios setup without disabling anything
    sorry for this and thank you for your help
    loic
    I forgot to ask about where the flash drive was connected, but I thought that you would know that, given what your were doing and using an XP941. You must use a USB port on the board's IO panel, particularly for a PC that never had an OS installed on it.

    No need to say sorry, you did not waste our time, this thread is extra interesting in my opinion!

    Rod/RamCity, I assumed that since Samsung was selling the XP941 only to PC manufactures, at least at first (correct me if I'm wrong), and the fact that it needs some special care to allow an OS to be installed on it, that Samsung would not sell it at the retail level.

    Then RamCity (in Australia) became the first retailer to offer the XP941 for sale. In the USA, there is one eTailer that has a few XP941s, only the 512GB model right now. In the USA, they are not available from the usual places, while any 840 and 850 series SSDs can be easily found from many places. The XP941 is sold in OEM packaging rather than retail packaging, and does not work with the Samsung Magician software AFAIK. Which is why it seems to be a non-typical retail product.

    UEFI booting is still an unusual thing and any information about it is found in bits and pieces in different locations. I've never seen a definitive guide in one place that is 100% complete or accurate. The EightForums guides about UEFI booting are the best I've ever found, and I learned more about it from their guides than any other place. I don't completely agree with a few things they suggest, since my own experience is different on some details. Their guides are kept as general as possible, so they will work with most if not all current PC hardware. I still strongly recommend those guides.

    For example, one way to enable UEFI booting is to enable Secure Boot in the UEFI/BIOS. When Secure Boot is enabled, the UEFI will set CSM to Disabled, required for Secure Boot to work. But I found that just disabling CSM without enabling Secure Boot will trigger UEFI booting. CSM is the switch between Legacy and UEFI booting, not Secure Boot.

    One way you can check if a Windows installation is UEFI booting is to run the Summary screen of a program called HWiNFO64, which will detect and display that information:

    Z97 extreme6 unable to install windows on xp941-hwinfo-summary-png

    Note in the lower right side of the display, on the Operating System line, you'll see "UEFI Boot" in green text, if the PC has UEFI booted. The BIOS Version line on the left side will show "UEFI" in green text if the board has UEFI firmware instead of BIOS firmware. Having UEFI firmware does not mean a PC is UEFI booting.

    I've considered writing my own UEFI booting guide, but I'd prefer to have experience with more mother boards to make it valuable to more people.

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