10-19-2018 07:29 AM - edited 10-19-2018 08:55 AM
Purchased the i7-6700 version of the M710T specifically because I wanted to run Win 8.1, not Win 10, which it shipped with. Installed a Plextor M8Se M.2 NVMe 256 Meg, which was immediately seen at boot under 10 and appeared with it's own screen at the beginning of the cold boot process. Then proceeded to backup Win 10 and then install fresh Win 8.1 Pro which also went smoothly. The issue: when booting under 8.1 the Plextor screen never appears (weird since this is at beginning of BIOS boot, before the OS begins to load) and Plextor's own utilities can see the boot drive, but as an SAS drive and doesn't recognize it as a Plextor it can interact with, in short it sees it as a Sata drive, not NVMe. Plextor is baffled, Win 8.1 is supposed to support the PCIe x4 NVMe.
HWiNFO64 sees the Plextor just fine as a NVMe Controller, Device Manager reports it's using the 6.3.9600.16421 Standard NVM Express Controller (ancient 2006 driver, MS has never updated this afaik). The drive has no other issues and works just fine except it's slower than expected and the Plextools cannot act upon it. What really baffles me is how switching the OS immediately had an effect on how the intial BIOS cold boot no longer 'sees' the Plextor boot up screen.
Attempting to boot the M710T in UEFI hangs the machine completely (Win 8.1 was installed under AHCI with the Plextor formatted as NTFS as a Simple MBR volume). Pretty sure that I need to partition as a GPT volume to boot under UEFI, will that have the drive seen properly ? Will a different brand of M.2 work differently ? I'm told Samsung has newer drivers for Win 8.1 but it only works with their hardware.
Model 10M9X005US Bios M16KT39A System Bios 0.39