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PRIME-OS
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Posts: 32
Registered: ‎12-06-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,366
Message 1 of 6

Target Disk not visible

I can't install any other OS on my Thinkpad P70 (Xeon). Currently, I have two Intel 6000p m.2 SSD's in RAID 1 running Windows 10 and one single Transcend 1GB 370S (everything visible in Window 10). Neither of the two drives are visible when I try to install Windows 7 or any Linux distro (so far I tried RedHat, Arch and CentOS). All USB installers can boot (UEFI), but none of the internal drives show up as install target.  Any idea what I need to do to get either the RAID 1 or the Transcend visible ?

 

Thanks.

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,315
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,281
Message 2 of 6

Re: Target Disk not visible

The problems trying to install Win7 on a Skylake-based motherboard (and further, with NVMe target devices) have been talked about non-stop for more than a year now, both on the Internet at large, on other manufacturers' web sites (e.g. ASUS, Gigabyte, Intel, etc.) in support of their own customers struggles to accomplish this goal, as well as here on the Lenovo forum discussing the P50/P70.

 

In fact, just last week another thread on this forum ("Clean install of W7 for dual boot in a P70 w/ W-10") was posted and responded to... by ME, actually).

 

The problems are primarily twofold:

 

(1) Because of USB-related hardware changes, USB 3.0 driver is required for installation to Skylake chipset hardware.  The Win7 installer did not contain USB 3.0 support.  So you must create new Win7 install media that has the required Intel USB 3.0 driver "slipstreamed" into the new media.  USB is required to support mouse/keyboard (unless you have PS/2 ports on the motherboard which are supported by Win7, which the P50/P70 laptops do not).

 

(2) Because NVMe is completely unknown to the Win7 installer, the missing NVMe driver (which supports Samsung and other vendors) must also be slipstreamed into newly built Win7 install media.  Otherwise the NVMe target device simply is not recognized.

 

I believe if you follow the "solution recipe" in that linked-to thread from last week you will have your own solution.  You MUST build new Win7 install media, most easily using the Gigabyte Utility (mentioned in my response in that thread).  It will create new Win7 install media that contains BOTH (a) USB 3.0 driver, and (b) NVMe driver.

 

You should now be able to make progress getting a bare bones Win7 installed.  You will still need to complete the rest of the required hardware/driver/utility installs for your P70 using additional downloads from the Lenovo download site.  But at least you should be able to install a Win7 on your P70.

PRIME-OS
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Posts: 32
Registered: ‎12-06-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,268
Message 3 of 6

Re: Target Disk not visible

Thank you for your reply. However, Windows 7 was just one of the attempts I made. I actually did use a modified Windows 7 installer on a USB stick and the USB stick did work on another Lenovo (Ideapad 7xx), alltough not in UEFI. I mainly try to install Linux, preferably CentOS or RedHat, but I also tried ARCH (2017-01 version). The behaviour is the same, also GParted (latest download as of 2017) has the same behaviour. None of the internal disks showed up. It almost looks like the BIOS is hiding the drives. On one occasion, I was able to install CentOS (don't know exactly what I did, but suddenly the drives were there), but it would not boot all the way through, but it started to load the kernel. So my assumption based on the - half-way - succesfull install of CentOS 7 is that it is a BIOS setting. I also noticed in the BIOS "Boot" menu sometimes a "Windows Bootloader" entry is there, sometimes not (from the Windows 10 on the Intel RST on the NVme). Oh, and I can not set my BIOS to 'Legacy' mode. Thanks again. I'll look into your links. Any other hints ?

 

p.s.

Please note: I actually want to Install Linux on the Transcend (SATA, AHCI) drive.

The two Intel 6000P's are in RAID 1, so I assume they are presented to the OS as Intel RST drive, not NVme drives.

In the Links mentioned, the non-NVme drive shows up, that's not case in my situation. I see neither the SATA nor the NVme (RST) drives.

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,315
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,258
Message 4 of 6

Re: Target Disk not visible


@PRIME-OS wrote:

 

The two Intel 6000P's are in RAID 1, so I assume they are presented to the OS as Intel RST drive, not NVme drives.

Well, perhaps your situation is more complicated because of the RAID setup.  I think all of the discussion about installing Win7 was "pure and simple", so that the NVMe driver being available to the Win7 installer was really the crucial missing piece to allowing an NVMe device to be the install target.

 

I wonder if you could add the Intel RST driver to the Win7 install media, might that be the secret ingredient, same as getting the other missing drivers available.  I believe when I ran the Gigabyte utility myself (when I was embarked on wanting to do a "from-scratch Win7 install" on my own P70, to non-RAID Samsung 950 Pro NVMe) I saw that the utility allowed for user-inserted additional drivers, in addition to the USB 3.0 and NVMe driver is was built to insert into the new Win7 install media.

 

I plead ignorance here.  I'm have zero firsthand RAID experience.

PRIME-OS
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Posts: 32
Registered: ‎12-06-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,206
Message 5 of 6

Re: Target Disk not visible

So, I got slightly further. I recreated  my Windows 7 install USB stick. I added the latest Intel RST drivers (15.2.0.1020.) to the image. The installation is now running trough the first iteration (copying all the files onto the RST (NVme) Raid.

On the first reboot, Windows 7 hangs (startup logo). A "safe reboot" stops at the disk.sys driver. I suspect an incompatibility between Windows 7 and the NVme disk Raid 1. Maybe I'll try a Normal Windows 7 Install on a SATA disk (NVme removed). This was also the environment when I installed Windows 10, I Installed Windows 10 on a SATA disk, addeded  NVme and RST drivers and copied it over to the RST RAID 1.

 

I see the following notes in the RST release notes:

"No RST support for PCIe storage devices in AHCI mode" - But it works in WIndows 10 and it also lists "6th gen CPU with CM236 chipset supported" - I am confused. Some answer from Lenovo would help to clarify.

 

 

PRIME-OS
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Posts: 32
Registered: ‎12-06-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,177
Message 6 of 6

Re: Target Disk not visible

Ok,

 

here ist the "solution" if somebody runs into the problem "Adding Windows 7 to a pre-installed WIndows 10 on a RAID1 NVme" - The short answer is : You can't. Here is (the long way) araound it:

 

1) Download the Gigabyte tool from the webiste mentioned above (a lot faster than creating your own modified USB)

2) Download the Intel RST Matrix driver for RAID (NVme driver for Intel m.2 SSD is included - Minimum version 15.2)

3) Add the Intel RST Matrix driver onto the USB drive created with the Gigabyte tool.

4) Delete all the Lenovo - Windows 10 - partitions on the NVme (it seems there is no way around this)

5) Boot into Windows 7 with USB drive, browse for the RST driver and select it, the target drives does show up.

6) Install Windows 7, then create Windows 10 boot media and install Windows 10

7) Tip: You can still upgrade for free from Windows 7 to Windows 10

 

Thanks DSperber !

 

 

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