Boot Server 2012 on NVMe controller

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  wullieb1 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • Ossian
    Moderator
    #167273

    Background:
    As an MCT I need to run “older” virtual machines (Server 2008R2 era) as well as newer ones. It has to be on HyperV.
    There is a “sweet spot” at Windows 8.0/Server 2012 (NOT R2) where both will work. If the hypervisor is newer (thanks, MSFT), you have to import the VMs on Server 2012 HyperV, then export them so they can be imported on 2012R2/2016/Win10 (something to do with a WMI class deleted in the later version).

    My WIn8 laptops are dying on me, so I got a new Lenovo E570 (32Gb RAM, SSD) which comes with Win10 Pro. The internal SSD runs on the “Standard NVM Express Controller” which does not exist on the WIn8 / Server 2012 install media.

    I set up boot from VHD and followed online instructions to add the Win7 x64 files to a Server2008R2 image (https://winaero.com/blog/how-to-install-windows-7-on-a-pci-express-nvme-ssd/) and it installs fine, but the boot fails due to unsigned drivers (sorry, don’t have the exact error message). I was then going to upgrade to 2012. Normally you would F8 on boot and choose the “allow unsigned drivers” option, but (whether it is to do with the dual boot Win10/2008R2, or something else, I cannot get the system to respond to F8 at the OS choice screen, and it is too quick to fail to boot in 2008R2 for me to hit F8

    Has anyone encountered this slightly esoteric issue, and if so, do they have a solution?

    I will try doing a Win7 install and upgrading to Win 8.0, on the assumption the signature issue is to do with Server vs Win7, but I am not holding out too much hope….


    biggles77
    Spectator
    #214335

    I purchased an E560 for the wife because the new CPU in the E570 wouldn’t run Windows 7. I have since found that some clever sods have got a work around for that much to my now annoyance since the E570 was a better speced machine (but no 32GB for her though).

    Ok, some of this is going to be useless (sorry Tom, eyes are a tad old tonight so much is blurred) but there should be a link to NVMe drivers. This one relates to Windows 7 install onto a device with USB3 but I don’t know if the drivers will relate to what you want. http://www.beezmo.com/geezblog/?p=1060 I am trying to find a link to the following file that is supposedly Microsoft Native NVMe Drivers. File name is 477475_intl_x64_zip.exe I would email it but is likely to be blocked due to being an EXE. Actually, will try anyway.

    Check your email.


    Ossian
    Moderator
    #191850

    Cheers, Chris
    EMails received, but just away to leave for next weeks work, so wont have a chance to try for a few days.
    I presume inject the drivers into install.wim?


    biggles77
    Spectator
    #214336

    I think so but don’t confidently remember at this point in time. One should never presume as it make a pres out of ……… wait, wrong word. :oops:


    wullieb1
    Moderator
    #245690

    Hey Tom,
    The only OS’s i’ve had issue with for NVME drives have been those based on Windows 7. For those you needed to install the driver into the WIM file. I should have the actual command that i used if you want it.
    FYI the drivers i used were the Samsung ones but i suppose it would depend on the controller manufacturer that you are using.
    Just one other thing, maybe disable the driver signing enforcement


    biggles77
    Spectator
    #214341

    I first tried the Samsung ones, and this was for a Crucial SSD but they don’t appear to have the drivers for their block of circuitry, but they didn’t work hence the Microsoft Native NVMe Drivers. In my case it wasn’t for a server but a USB 2.0 stick that I had modified to hold every Windows 7 version. It would NOT boot on any device that had a USB 3 port even when you insert the USB 2 stick into a USB 2 port. Ran the mentioned above file and I am assuming Microsoft has a built-in injector to the WIM file because after that the USB 2 stick would boot on USB 3.

    Probably should put our posts into the Windows 7 forum Wullie. Might help someone like me who was also driven to hair loss. :cry:


    wullieb1
    Moderator
    #245694

    Hey Chris,
    I had that issue on a server, we were loading Server 2008 R2 on a new Dell R720 (IIRC), and injected the USB3 drivers directly into the WIM file and it would work perfectly everytime.
    The NVME issue arose because our systems would load our image and then BSOD on reload. It was a royal pain in the ass to fix lol.
    Happy for you to move it and i’ll dig out the instructions that i used when i ran into it.


    wullieb1
    Moderator
    #245695

    Tom,
    Not sure if these will help, i’ve used client OS drivers for a server OS before but not for a while

    Quote:
    Win10 and win8.1 have native support for NVMe devices. Win 7 does not. If you’re loading win7 64-bit, there are basically two options to try to support NVMe drives:

    1. Follow the MS hotfix method – this will help rebuild the win7 ISO to include MS NVMe support. Here’s the link to the “hotfix” – link

    2. Use the standalone Samsung NVMe driver. We have posted a beta version of the Samsung NVMe driver over on the ThinkStation boards, and many people have had success with it (both with desktop P-series workstations and the mobile P-series workstations). Here’s a link to the ThinkStation thread where the beta driver is posted – link

    The benefit of option 1 is that it should cover any NVMe device and is not tied to a specific vendor. However it’s not exactly easy to follow all the steps and rebuild the ISO (the term “hotfix” is a misnomer in my opinion here).

    The Samsung standalone NVMe driver is obviously only going to work with Samsung NVMe devices. I believe most, if not all, P50/70 systems shipped with NVMe drives will have the Samsung SM951 in it at this point in time.

    Taken from here https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-P-and-W-Series-Mobile/P50-NvME-SSD-Fresh-win7/m-p/2276106#M56538


    Ossian
    Moderator
    #191853

    Thanks Wullie
    I have tried the driver injection and it tried to boot, then came up with the unsigned driver issue – not sure how I can disable driver signatures at the WIM file level – the damn thing is too fast for me to F8 at the boot stage

    I will try the Samsung drivers as an option


    wullieb1
    Moderator
    #245697

    All good. I don’t have a system with a NVME drive that i could test on or i would.


    wullieb1
    Moderator
    #245703

    Hey Tom,
    How did you go with this?
    FYI i found one of my systems does actually have a NVME drive in it so i can start looking at it further if you still need some help?


    wullieb1
    Moderator
    #245704

    And a bit more research jogs my memory.

    I think you may be out of luck Tom. Assuming your new notebook has the KabyLake CPU in it then the support for older OS’s isn’t quite as good as it used to be. Maybe return it and get one with a Xeon installed?

    https://www.theverge.com/2016/1/16/1…essors-skylake

    http://psref.lenovo.com/Product/ThinkPad/ThinkPad_E570


    Ossian
    Moderator
    #191861

    Hi Wullie
    I don’t have a chance of trying anything (major ransomware data recovery job all weekend) but I will see where I get.

    tbh it is probably not a major issue as most courses which require 32Gb also have newer format VMs, so I will keep playing with it on and off until I get a solution.

    I found a different problem – nearly got chucked off a flight because I had “too many laptops” in my luggage (is 7 laptops in the hold plus two in the cabin really “too many” :twisted:)


    biggles77
    Spectator
    #214351

    It’s the Li-Io batteries that’s the problem. You are only allowed a certain amount of wattage and NONE to go in the hold. All is supposed to be in your carry-on. Pilots were not impressed with the Orange Idiot’s idea about all electronics to be carried in the hold.

    I was told by a senior Lenovo sales type person that the E570 would run Windows 8.1 but wouldn’t run Windows 7 so I ended up getting the E560. A couple of months ago some clever sod(s) managed to make a hack that allowed Windows 7 to run but I was informed that there didn’t appear to be a performance issue with Windows 8.1 and Sky Lake. However this may just have been a sales idiot taking and not someone who knew anything about the hardware.

    If I can find the link I will post it, not because you want Win7 on it but because it may have info relating to Win8.1. Wasn’t looking to run Win8.1 on it as I had a Win7 SSD that I wanted to just swap out and install the appropriate drivers and the E570 wasn’t supposed to work so I got the earlier model. Was not happy as the E560 only came with a 1×1 Wi-Fi but apart from that it’s a nice machine. Backlight keyboard would have been nice too.

    Find out who invited the ransomware in and nail their head to floor, all friendly like. Tell them your name is Dinsdale. It might make you feel better and send a warning to the others on staff. [ATTACH=JSON]{“data-align”:”none”,”data-size”:”small”,”data-attachmentid”:514887}[/ATTACH]


    Ossian
    Moderator
    #191862

    That’s worth knowing about – the eventually allowed me to go on, but the return journey could be interesting…..
    I have never had problems with up to 10 laptops in hold luggage (apart from excess baggage – or is it an extra aircraft!)

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