I just finished building my new VR Development rig and after getting all the parts together the magic moment arrived. I hit the power button and entered into BIOS and to my dismay my new M.2 drive, the Samsung SM951 was not detected by the Asus Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard. After reading forum posts of people complaining about the same issue I didn’t find a solution that worked. Luckily I found one post that guided me in the right direction and after some more tweaking I found the right settings in BIOS to get my M.2 drive detected by Windows and proceed with the install on the fresh SSD.
How to install Windows on a SM951 & Asus Z170 Pro Gaming combo
Unplug all other drives except the M.2 drive. Create a Windows Install USB drive with UEFI mode. Plug the USB drive in and turn on the computer and follow these steps:
- Press F2 to enter BIOS on bootup.
- Press F5 to load optimized defaults
- Press F7 to switch to Advanced mode:
Under the Advanced tab change:
PCH Storage Configuration
- Hyper Kit Mode -> Disabled
- Sata Controllers -> Enabled
- Sata Mode Selection -> AHCI
- Aggressive lPM -> Disabled
- Smart Self Test -> On
- Legacy USB Support -> Enabled
- XHCI Hand-Off -> Disabled
Onboard Devices Configuration
- M.2/SATA Express Detect Mode -> Manual
- SATA Mode Configuration -> SATA Express (NOT m.2, as I found out)
Under the Boot tab change:
CSM (Compatibility Support Module) Configuration
- Launch CSM -> Enabled
- Boot Device Control -> UEFI Only
- Boot From Network Devices -> Ignore
- Boot From Storage Devices -> Legacy Only
- Boot From PCI-E/PCI Expansion Devices -> UEFI Driver First
- Secure Boot State -> Enabled
- Platform Key PK State -> Loaded
- OS Type -> Windows UEFI mode
After changing all these settings press F10 to save your changes and reboot. If you enter into the BIOS now you still won’t see the SM951 listed. But if you have your Windows Install USB drive connected you should see that now in the boot menu.
Reboot again this time don’t enter into BIOS and let Windows setup load. Click through until you get to the drive select screen and your M.2 SM951 should be listed. If not check your settings listed above and check the connection of the SM951 to the motherboard.
That was the settings that worked for me using the 1904 Bios version on the Asus Z170 motherboard with a SM951 M.2 drive. Hopefully it helped you out and you were able to install Windows on your new SM951 M.2 drive and Z170 motherboard. If it was useful please leave a comment below.