NVMe Boot on Legacy PC
For several years I enjoy my HP Z420 Workstation. It’s equiped with a nice Xeon E5-1620v2 (4×3.7ghz) and 32Gb RAM. But I Always felt that I didn’t use it’s full power. I tried to have the Z-Turbodrive cards with NVMe drives, but didn’t get them to boot. A few days ago I found this great tool BDU (Bootdisk Utility) which creates a Clover bootdisk. Now my wish could come true. I now enjoy my Windows bootdisk on a Samsung EVO NVMe with read speed of 3000mb/sec and write speeds of 1500mb/sec. Can’t wait to buy the Samsung EVO Plus 500GB (3500/3300mb/sec!).
I want to show you what I did to make this happen.
Thanks to the Win-Raid Forum for the nice guide!
Goal: In order to boot from NVMe, Clover is needed to load the NVMe driver and mount and boot the NVMe drive. I have 1x 2.5″ SATA SSD 500gb, which is recorgnized by the Bios just fine. The Clover partition (just 200mb) will be put on this SSD. The rest, a second partition will be used as storage (D:) later. The NVMe Samsung EVO 970 drive is mounted on a generic PCIe card.
Disk 1 is the regular 2.5″ WD 500Gb SATA SSD. It has the little Clover partition of 200mb on it. Next to that partition is the rest of the disk. About 467gb used as Storage. Disk 2 is the Samsung EVO 970 NVMe SSD (via PCIe card). The first 3 partition are part of the UEFI and system of Windows. The 4th is the C: Drive of 233gb.
Attach the 1st (boot) SSD to a running Windows computer via USB or SATA.
(SATA maybe more stable in this process, USB sometimes fails).
This is the SSD on which Clover will be installed in UEFI mode.
Download and open up BDU (Boot Disk Utility).
Select your flash drive/harddisk. (For internal SATA-Devices, you need to go to Options > Configuration > Enable Fixed Disks > OK.)
Select “Format Disk” and wait a few minutes. Latest Clover will be downloaded and copied to the drive.
When it’s done, check if you can see a 200MB Partition in your Windows Explorer with files in it. If that’s not the case, BDU failed.
You can try again, but first wipe all partitions with eg. Minitool Partition Wizard.
Access your Cloverstick via Explorer.
Copy \EFI\CLOVER\drivers\Off\NvmExpressDxe.efi to:
Attach your Windows installation media (USB drive).
Reboot your machine and press F8 (Asus), F9 (HP), ENTER (Lenovo), etc. whatever will start your BIOS boot-menu.
Please make sure your BIOS is set to UEFI mode! Now find the new Clover SSD disk and boot with it.
In the Clover-EFI Bootloader, you can select your Windows USB Install drive. If it does not show, you can also start
UEFI shell. When shell starts, you will see the Map -r. In this list can find your USB install drive probably by it’s size.
It could be fs0: or fs1:. Now enter “fs0:” in the shell. You can now enter “CD EFI”, “CD BOOT”, and run bootx64.efi.
Install Windows like you are used to, but be sure to select the NVMe Drive!
When Windows is installed, you can reboot. When Clover bootloader boots, you should be able to select the new NVMe drive with Windows on it!
Don’t forget your vendors NVMe driver for highest performance!