6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 27, 2017 11:35 AM by Intel Corporation

    Samsung 960 Pro NVMe Raid-0 z270 booting issues

    Semiazas

      Brand new hardware:

       

      G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8GB) Ripjaws V Series DDR4 PC4-25600 3200MHz Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GVKB

      ASUS PRIME Z270-A LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI DVI M.2 USB 3.1 Z270 ATX Motherboard

      Intel 7th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor i7-7700K (BX80677I77700K)

      2 of Samsung 960 PRO Series - 1TB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6P1T0BW)

       

      Cloned install of Windows 10 from previous system (off a LSI Megaraid 9265-8i w/ 8 OCZ Vertex 4 256G drives in a RAID-0) otherwise identical hardware.

       

      Once booted the system runs fine, benchmarks show between 3 and 4.5 gigabytes per second read speeds and average seeks of 0.075 ms.  However, herein lies the MAJOR fly in the ointment, booting.  It takes a good five-ten minutes to boot on this system.  It's like a something severely limits the throughput until some point in the boot process is reached.  Once that point is reached performance easily multiplies by 100 times if not more.  While this performance hit is in effect Windows is completely unresponsive, even ignoring ctrl-alt-delete.  The drive activity LED remains lit solid with an occasional flicker.  Then whoosh everything happens at once in about a second and all is well.  I've found multiple post citing this exact same behavior which appears to have been introduced with RST driver version 14, version 13 not having this problem.  The unfortunate issue is only version 15 supports this new hardware, anything older doesn't even recognize the RAID or drives.  The driver installed is the one provided by Asus, The motherboard is running the latest BIOS (0906 released 3/24/2017).  I also tried the driver directly from Intel, same version number, both behaved in exactly the same way.  When I attempted to install 14 (with plans on going back to 13 if that didn't fix the problem) it rendered Windows unbootable and I had to recover by booting off my older LSI raid and copying the newer driver files across.  I've attached the SSU report.  I should add that I made the mistake of power-cycling at one point trying to figure out what was going on and it all but destroyed the file system, completely corrupting the Windows start menu and a large number of files, the entire amount of damage is unknown but file repair found approximately 4 gigs of orphaned files.  I intend to re-clone from my LSI raid (which may be slower but at least it WORKS) and go from there.  Given the LSI hardware does not have any of these problems with all else being equal this would suggest the problem is with Intel RST or possibly Asus.  Any help/suggestions would be most appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Samsung 960 Pro NVMe Raid-0 z270 booting issues
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hello Semiazas,

           

          Thank you for joining the Rapid Storage Technology community.

           

          Is possible that when you cloned the install, you cloned the RAID structure from your previous system and this can be causing the boot situation. I would like to know; is there any chance that you start form scratch the RAID 0 on your SSD's? This for testing purposes.

           

          Regards,

          Amy C.

          • 2. Re: Samsung 960 Pro NVMe Raid-0 z270 booting issues
            Semiazas

            Thank you for the reply.

             

            The RAID was built in BIOS.  The clone was not a sector by sector but a file system copy,  The partition table was duplicated then the files copied across.  The utility used was "EaseUS Todo Backup Free 10.0."  EaseUS does support a sector by sector clone but I didn't use the feature.  Considering if EaseUS somehow managed to circumvent the Intel RAID BIOS and write raw to the physical drives I would have had spaghetti for a file system I doubt that's what happened.  EaseUS doesn't get that close to the metal as best I can tell.  I've since blown that RAID away and rebuilt it in BIOS, then recopied everything across using the same utility.  The extremely slow boot time remains (but at least my start menu is back).  I doubt the file system structure, it being NTFS, has anything to do with the long boot times.  If I change my boot order to the LSI RAID the machine will boot within about 30 seconds.  Admittedly the file systems between the two are NOT identical as the Intel side was written down without any fragmentation but I fail to see how that would cause things to be SLOWER.  I'm willing to experiment with a sector by sector copy if you really think it will help as long as you forgive my extreme skepticism.

             

            I should note the LSI RAID performance, even considering the 30 second boot (that's from POST to desktop), is way slower than when new most likely due to no native TRIM support within the LSI firmware (not to mention the Vertex 4 firmware is way out of date).  When new Windows 10 would boot in just over eleven seconds.  This in particular really emphasizes how slow the Intel RAID is by comparison. 

             

            My plan for now is to enable boot performance diagnostics and see if it finds any sort of smoking gun.  I have my doubts considering everything is identical to the LSI alternative other than the boot drive, but it's worth testing.  For the record I've tried removing the LSI controller to see if it somehow was causing problems and it made no difference at all, other than shortening time to POST.

             

            If all else fails I'll look into a fresh install of Windows 10.  The reason I hesitate to try this is Micro$oft's sketchy licensing scheme.  In theory I should be able to perform a fresh install, link with my MSN account, and the license will transfer.  In practice many, including myself on three previous occasions, have had problems.  I upgraded from a i7-990x system to an i7-4790k, lost a motherboard (lightning strike), then the i7-4790k just died one night for no particular reason (stock cooler, never overclocked, successfully RMA'd and now gathering dust).  In every case I had to call M$ support to get my licensing sorted out.  If I have to call again it would be the fourth time calling on a Win 10 licensing issue and I was told they only give you three freebies before you must purchase another copy.  Whether this proves to be true, or even an issue, is something I'm hesitant to risk before exhausting other alternatives.

            • 3. Re: Samsung 960 Pro NVMe Raid-0 z270 booting issues
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Semiazas, please let me know how your testing goes, if that does not work we will try find a different option for you.

               

              Regards,

              Amy C. 

              • 4. Re: Samsung 960 Pro NVMe Raid-0 z270 booting issues
                Intel Corporation
                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                Semiazas, hope you were able to find the source of the issue.

                 

                Regards,

                Amy C.

                • 5. Re: Samsung 960 Pro NVMe Raid-0 z270 booting issues
                  Semiazas

                  Apologies for the late response.  I basically gave up fighting with it.  As long as I took a break, made a sandwich or similar, the delay was tolerable.  Fortunately it appears the most recent rapid storage driver fixes the problem.  For the record diagnostics didn't reveal anything.  It appeared drive IO would simply hang at completely random, between one boot and the next different steps in the booting process would take significantly longer while others would complete quickly, and vice versa.  Out of desperation I tried reinstalling windows without success, and at that point surrendered.  Three days ago I noticed the new driver and once I updated the horrible boot lag 'went away'.  My Win 10 system now boots in approximately eight seconds, where before it would take roughly three minutes to reach a usable state.  So.. yay.. 

                  • 6. Re: Samsung 960 Pro NVMe Raid-0 z270 booting issues
                    Intel Corporation
                    This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                    Semiazas, those are great news! I am glad to hear that.

                     

                    Regards,

                    Amy C.