SR6.1 M.2 & NVME Compatibility?

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liquidretro

New member
Jun 17, 2024
4
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Nebraska
With the completion of SR 6.1 and those of your who have been testing for a while, I was hoping to get a couple of questions answered regarding M.2 NVME drives.

I have past experience with SpinRite 6.0 with a previous job, but beeng waiting to pick up my own copy till 6.1 is out due to the "Division Overflow" error that was common on my numerous machines in that version in my experience. I think that part has likely been fixed.

My second question is now dealing with the compatibility of M.2 NVME Drives. I have one in my main older custom-built desktop with a Asus Sabertooth Z170 mark 1 motherboard. I would love to give it a refresh with SR. The other is in a Dell XPS 13 that's older, slower and giving me some trouble that I think is drive (SSD) related.

I know NVME isn't natively supported in 6.1 due to BIOS and Driver restrictions. I'm not anticipating SR 7 to be out likely till these computers have long since been retired. I have spent some time reading through the forums here and there seem to be some hit-and-miss results with people using SR 6.1 on NVME drives but not a clear path on how they are doing that. I'm comfortable with taking the drives out of the systems and putting them in a specific enclosure if that's the best method, but I'm hoping not to have to buy some other machine (Zima board) to do this. I saw there was a way to do it via VirtualBox too but then Steve mentioned it's not a recommended way to run it and there doesn't seem to be many who have tried it here.

Any insights and observations would greatly be appreciated.
 
SpinRite 6.1 is available now as Release 3.

SpinRite 6.1 does not have a native driver for drives in an M2 slot. Thus they typically show up as BIOS drives, with all of the limitations (slow BIOS I/O speed, capacity limitations, etc.) applicable to BIOS access.

This SpinRite capability will not change until SpinRite 7.0.
 
SpinRite 6.1 is available now as Release 3.

SpinRite 6.1 does not have a native driver for drives in an M2 slot. Thus they typically show up as BIOS drives, with all of the limitations (slow BIOS I/O speed, capacity limitations, etc.) applicable to BIOS access.

This SpinRite capability will not change until SpinRite 7.0.
As long as they show up and can be access, I think I'm ok with slower speeds for these. The largest NVME drive I have currently in either setup is only 250gb. Will a BIOS drive be sufficient at that speed?
 
The largest NVME drive I have currently in either setup is only 250gb. Will a BIOS drive be sufficient at that speed?
Absolutely! If SpinRite can see it via the BIOS, it can scan it.

Slow BIOS I/O speed and capacity limitations are issues with TB sized drives, where scan times are long due to slow BIOS I/O speed and many BIOS limit capacity to 2.2 TB..
 
Side note: M.2 can be NVMe or SATA
Exactly. There is anecdotal evidence that can occur on occasion, in which case SR 6.1 can use its native drivers without any BIOS limitations. That appears to be the exception rather than the rule however. :(
 
Well I can report back, I have the scan running on the laptop successfully. It's not fast, but not terribly slow either. It's estimated about 5:20:00 for a 250gb drive. I had to change quite a few things in the bios to get it to work, Secure Boot, Boot method: Legacy, Enable the Legacy Boot ROM (Not sure if this was required but it seemed like a good idea from reading), and Sata operation mode to ACHI mode. This is a Samsung NVME drive, that I believe is connected via M.2 inside the laptop.
 
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Nice going! I'm glad you got it working. I'm always holding my breath since NVMe is so much newer than some BIOSes that not all BIOSes have bothered to include support. As Dan and other have noted, v7 will finally make NVMe fly ... and it should be faster than ANY other form of storage. I cannot wait to see that!! (y)
 
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Nice going! I'm glad you got it working. I'm always holding my breath since NVMe is so much newer than some BIOSes that not all BIOSes have bothered to include support. As Dan and other have noted, v7 will finally make NVMe fly ... and it should be faster than ANY other form of storage. I cannot wait to see that!! (y)
Laptop just finished, ran a trim command for the SSD through Windows and things definitely seem to be snappier. Excited to run 6.1 on my other systems and see what it's like.