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Thread: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

  1. #1
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    Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    Introduction

    nvme drives, SSD drives connected via PCI Express, are getting more common becasue they can be faster than SSD drives connected via SATA.

    I installed such drive, an m2 stick via a PCI Express card into my workstation, a Lenovo Thinkstation C30, that I bought second hand (refurbished). This solution [with an m2 stick via a PCI Express card] is much cheaper than buying a computer that is new enough to boot from nvme.

    The nvme drive works and writes 2.4 times faster than my SSD connected via SATA. It can probably be faster when cooperating with newer interfacing hardware.

    In this configuration it is not possible to boot directly into the nvme drive. The BIOS/UEFI system does not recognize it. But using Ubiquity in Xubuntu Focal I can make a boot partition in a SATA drive and from there boot into the root partition in the nvme drive. I can also run sudo update-grub from my main operating system in the SATA-SSD to get a working menuentry.

    Tests on the to-do list

    - I have added the feature to recognize nvme drives to mkusb. It can create what seems to be a correct persistent live drive, but I cannot test it correctly, only via a boot partition in another drive. (I tested from another persistent live drive made with mkusb, and it could use the iso9660 partition and the casper-rw partitions in the nvme drive).

    - I have also tested the installer Calamares of Lubuntu Focal. It does not recognize the nvme partition, and I did not see any [intuitive?] way to put the boot partition in another drive and the root partition in the nvme drive. Maybe there is a way, but direct testing in a computer that can boot from nvme is much better.



    So if you have a computer, that can boot from an nvme drive, and you can it use for testing (including editing and/or overwriting the nvme drive), please let me know, and we can talk about details of the testing.
    Last edited by sudodus; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:17 PM. Reason: minor edit

  2. #2
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    I have a computer with nvme. I used it for quite some time. During that time my PC would reboot with no warning. Returned to Acer. They said it was fix. Turns out it was the nvme. I'm reluctant to even use it again.
    But, when I was using it, only Windows saw it. Couldn't and still can't get Linux to see it, until I boot up Windows, use disk tools to shrink partition then Linux see's the unallocated partition. There's something off with my Acer nvme and Linux from a standing start. Windows needs to intervene first.

    I'd like to help you, but getting to the physical location of the m.2 slot requires dismantling several pieces of hardware just to get to it. Your right about the speed.

  3. #3
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    Hi VMC,

    Interesting to read about your problems with nvme. It seems to me that your Acer computer was made before the manufacturer knew the technology well enough to make a robust system.

    Have you looked for a new version of the UEFI/BIOS system? Maybe there is a new version, that makes your computer manage the nvme drive in a reliable way?

    Anyway, I can understand that you are reluctant to tamper with nvme it that computer, so even if it would be nice to get your help with testing, I think it is better to wait and hope that someone has a computer that works in a reliable way with nvme.

  4. #4
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    On my desktop with a MSI B350 Tomahawk motherbord I have used 2 NVMe drives. First I used a Samsung 960 EVO connected to the M.2 port on the motherbord. However I lost the screw to mount the NVMe. As a replacement I'm now using a Kingston SSDNOW A1000 480GB M.2 connected to a DeLOCK PCI Express x4 Card.
    The 960 EVO worked OK, there were no problem with installation or usage. Installation of Ubuntu work OK with my usual method, download of the ISO and copied to a USB drive with DD.
    The same is the case the the Kingston drive on Ubuntu 19.10 and on a installation of Focal Fossa in Boxes
    This is the specifications of the desktop
    Code:
    p-i@pi-MS-7A34:~$ inxi -Fz
    System:    Host: pi-MS-7A34 Kernel: 5.3.0-23-generic x86_64 bits: 64 Desktop: Gnome 3.34.1 Distro: Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) 
    Machine:   Type: Desktop Mobo: Micro-Star model: B350 TOMAHAWK (MS-7A34) v: 1.0 serial: <filter> UEFI: American Megatrends 
               v: 1.H0 date: 05/02/2018 
    CPU:       Topology: 8-Core model: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 bits: 64 type: MT MCP L2 cache: 4096 KiB 
               Speed: 1377 MHz min/max: 1550/3750 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1377 2: 1377 3: 1377 4: 1377 5: 1378 6: 1378 7: 1377 
               8: 1375 9: 1376 10: 1375 11: 1378 12: 1374 13: 1377 14: 1376 15: 1377 16: 1377 
    Graphics:  Device-1: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Ellesmere [Radeon RX 470/480/570/570X/580/580X/590] driver: amdgpu 
               v: kernel 
               Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.5 driver: amdgpu tty: N/A 
               OpenGL: renderer: Radeon RX 580 Series (POLARIS10 DRM 3.33.0 5.3.0-23-generic LLVM 9.0.0) v: 4.5 Mesa 19.2.1 
    Audio:     Device-1: C-Media CMI8788 [Oxygen HD Audio] driver: snd_virtuoso 
               Device-2: AMD Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590] driver: snd_hda_intel 
               Device-3: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 17h HD Audio driver: snd_hda_intel 
               Device-4: Logitech Webcam C250 type: USB driver: snd-usb-audio,uvcvideo 
               Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.3.0-23-generic 
    Network:   Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet driver: r8169 
               IF: enp30s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
    Drives:    Local Storage: total: 903.59 GiB used: 84.71 GiB (9.4%) 
               ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 vendor: Kingston model: SA1000M8480G size: 447.13 GiB 
               ID-2: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: SSD 850 EVO 250GB size: 232.89 GiB 
               ID-3: /dev/sdb vendor: SanDisk model: Ultra II 240GB size: 223.57 GiB 
    Partition: ID-1: / size: 437.68 GiB used: 84.68 GiB (19.3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/dm-3 
               ID-2: swap-1 size: 980.0 MiB used: 24.9 MiB (2.5%) fs: swap dev: /dev/dm-4 
    Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 37.0 C mobo: 39.0 C gpu: amdgpu temp: 33 C 
               Fan Speeds (RPM): fan-1: 0 fan-2: 728 fan-3: 0 fan-4: 0 fan-5: 569 fan-6: 812 gpu: amdgpu fan: 1241 
    Info:      Processes: 403 Uptime: 1d 21h 19m Memory: 15.65 GiB used: 6.60 GiB (42.2%) Shell: bash inxi: 3.0.36 
    p-i@pi-MS-7A34:~$
    However I have tried the Kingston NVMe and the PCI-Express card on an older computer with a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard and this didn't work.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    Hi P-I H,

    Nice to read that it works for you with an nvme drive via a PCI Express card.

    Am I understanding correctly, that

    - the computer can boot from the nvme drive
    - right now you have no system, that is available for testing

    or would it be possible for you to do some testing in the computer where your nvme drive is working?

  6. #6
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    It's no problem to boot from the NVMe drive, but this is my main computer and I don't want to do any testing that will force me to reinstall.
    What kind of tests/information are you after?

    Some information about the NVMe.
    Code:
    p-i@pi-MS-7A34:~$ sudo nvme smart-log /dev/nvme0
    Smart Log for NVME device:nvme0 namespace-id:ffffffff
    critical_warning                    : 0
    temperature                         : 44 C
    available_spare                     : 100%
    available_spare_threshold           : 100%
    percentage_used                     : 0%
    data_units_read                     : 1 855 051
    data_units_written                  : 2 756 190
    host_read_commands                  : 19 857 806
    host_write_commands                 : 26 339 101
    controller_busy_time                : 85
    power_cycles                        : 685
    power_on_hours                      : 191
    unsafe_shutdowns                    : 43
    media_errors                        : 0
    num_err_log_entries                 : 0
    Warning Temperature Time            : 0
    Critical Composite Temperature Time : 0
    Temperature Sensor 2                : 44 C
    Thermal Management T1 Trans Count   : 0
    Thermal Management T2 Trans Count   : 0
    Thermal Management T1 Total Time    : 0
    Thermal Management T2 Total Time    : 0
    p-i@pi-MS-7A34:~$

  7. #7
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by P-I H View Post
    On my desktop with a MSI B350 Tomahawk motherbord I have used 2 NVMe drives. First I used a Samsung 960 EVO connected to the M.2 port on the motherbord. However I lost the screw to mount the NVMe.
    That very tiny screw is what I'm trying to find. Going to Micro Center to pick another nvme drive and will see if they have it. I just re-installed my nvme ssd, but mine is built into the motherboard. I think sudodus has an add-on nvme.

  8. #8
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    That very tiny screw is what I'm trying to find.
    If you have a local hardware store, try there first. They should have a selection of machine screws at reasonable prices. Ordering online, you're likely to get 100 and pay hidden shipping costs, or be forced to buy 1000 in an assortment... Plus you need to measure the screw to order the right one. Just take the enclosure (or whatever) into the store, and you can test before you buy.
    Last edited by jetsam; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:48 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    Still not sure what size it really is, looks like M2, and search just finds other metric screws.
    https://www.google.com/search?client...utf-8&oe=utf-8

    I like the second link is $7.99 but $144.19 for expert installation.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  10. #10
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    Re: Can you test booting into an nvme drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by P-I H View Post
    It's no problem to boot from the NVMe drive, but this is my main computer and I don't want to do any testing that will force me to reinstall.
    What kind of tests/information are you after?
    It is a good idea to avoid tampering with your main computer.

    What I want is testing mkusb and Calamares:

    - Test if the tool can make a complete installation into an nvme drive so that the computer can boot from it
    - If it works, fine, that's it,
    - Otherwise help debugging by repeated tests with modified versions of the tool until it works.

    - I have added the feature to recognize nvme drives to mkusb. It can create what seems to be a correct persistent live drive, but I cannot test it correctly, only via a boot partition in another drive. (I tested from another persistent live drive made with mkusb, and it could use the iso9660 partition and the casper-rw partitions in the nvme drive).

    - I have also tested the installer Calamares of Lubuntu Focal. It does not recognize the nvme partition, and I did not see any [intuitive?] way to put the boot partition in another drive and the root partition in the nvme drive. Maybe there is a way, but direct testing in a computer that can boot from nvme is much better.

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