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Samsung SSD 840 EVO won't install Windows 7

Posted on 2014-01-14
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I am trying to install Windows 7 Enterprise to a Samsung SSD 840 EVO on an HP 8300 Small Form Factor (SFF) desktop computer.

Windows install fails-- says it can't install to the SSD because the bios does not support booting to the disk.  This is a current computer and AHCI is turned on.  Bios IS set to boot from the device.  The Samsung SSD is recognized and Windows can create partitions and load.  But the Samsung SSD is not bootable.  Regular hard drive is bootable with same settings in bios.

For comparison, I tried an Intel series 540 SSD and this is recognized perfectly-- with no changes to bios.  Loads windows and boots fine.

Anyone know details of the differences between the SSD drives or ever heard of this issue with the Samsung SSD?  I've tried Samsung support, but no response.  At some point I though Windows install said the Samsung was a GPT devicse-- thus not bootable.

Samsung SSDs are very popular-- can't imagine they aren't recognized as bootable by  Windows 7.
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Question by:dakota5
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rindi earned 250 total points
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As you mentioned already, it is probably set to be a GPT disks, and Windows can only boot to GPT disks if it is a 64bit version, and the BIOS is UEFI. If your BIOS isn't UEFI, first change the disk to MBR. You can do that easily within diskmanagement. Once that is done you should be able to install your OS without issues.
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by:pgm554
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Make sure secure boot is turned off too.

I see where to use W7 ,the BIOS needs to be set to legacy.

F10, select the Storage menu, and then the Boot Order entry. choose the options in the Boot Order window that pops up. 2 sections, EFI Boot Sources and Legacy Boot Sources.

Set to legacy.
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by:EnriquePhoenix
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If you clone the drives, do you still get the same error.

I would try updating firmware on your mobo or even the drive.  I have tested many SSD drives for my customers and not all SSDs work on my test PC. I think the technology is still in its infancy and will be a few years till all mobos recognize all SSDs flawlessly.
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by:garycase
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This is not a secure boot issue -- if so, it wouldn't boot to the Intel SSD.

The clue is simple:  your comment r.e. GPT.   Clearly the Samsung has been initialized as a GPT drive.   You simply need to re-initialize the disk as an MBR drive and it will work fine.   Attach the disk to any functioning Windows system;  go to Disk Management; right-click on the disk and select "Convert to MBR Disk".
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by:dakota5
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Wow.  Great pickup.  These HP 8300s have UEFI devices (cd, usb cd or hard drive) but not UEFI SATA hard drives.  

If you let the HP8300 boot Windows install into its first in the list CD/DVD this is UEFI, and it won't install on SSD as MBR or GPT.

If you disable the UEFI boots (or wait till it falls through to the bios CD/DVD) it will install to SSD as MBR, but not GPT.

Thanks so much.  I used disk management on another computer to change the Samsung SSD to MBR (while attached as USB drive) and it all worked.

By the way, the Samsung SSD is noticeably faster than the Intel SSD.
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by:garycase
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"... By the way, the Samsung SSD is noticeably faster than the Intel SSD. " ==>  Interesting.   Were they the same size ?   [With ALL SSDs a larger unit of the same technology will be faster due to the internal architecture of the NAND chips]
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by:dakota5
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Yes, they were both the same size 240 GB (Intel) 250gb (Samsung)
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by:Carlos Ijalba
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Samsung EVO SSD's are among the fastest SSD's in the market today, in part due to the EVO algorithms.

Have you tried the Intel SSD with Intel Rapid software technology?
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by:dakota5
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No-- Back when I was doing this, the point was to move to Windows 8/8.1 and use bit locker with intrinsic hardware encryption.  The Samsung SSDs were TCG Opal 2.0 compliant and could use bit locker with intrinsic hardware encryption-- the Intel SSDs could not do this (per Intel technical support, around February 2014).
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Hi dakota5,
If your Samsung SSD 840 EVO begins to slow down, take a look at this article:
How to fix read performance on Samsung SSD 840 EVO and 840 EVO mSATA

Regards, Joe
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by:dakota5
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Joe- thanks for the update.  Will keep this in mind.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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You're welcome, dakota. Both of my Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives are still performing well after applying the new firmware and performance restoration software. Regards, Joe
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by:garycase
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Joe ... does the Performance Optimization in SamSung's Magician software work on the 840's ??
http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/global/html/support/downloads.html
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Gary,

I haven't personally used it, but I just downloaded the manual from here:
http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/software/Samsung_Magician_45_Installation_Guide.pdf

Page 4 says that it supports these Samsung SSDs:

Samsung SSD 850 EVO
Samsung SSD 850 PRO
Samsung SSD 840 EVO(2.5”, mSATA)
Samsung SSD 840 PRO
Samsung SSD 840 Series
Samsung SSD 830 Series
Samsung SSD 470 Series

But there's a caveat that says, "Some features may not be supported for all models." Regards, Joe
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by:garycase
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Yes, I saw the caveat ... that's why I asked if you'd used it.    I was thinking of buying an 840 for a friend's system and just wanted to confirm that Magician would let him keep it optimized [An older system that doesn't support AHCI, so TRIM won't work correctly].
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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One of my 840 EVOs is in a W8 sandbox (not 8.1). I'd be willing to give it a try there if you think it will be helpful for you.
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by:garycase
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Yes, I'd appreciate that.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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OK, I should be able to get to it today.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Hi Gary,
I did the installation and captured screenshots along the way so I can write an article about it (if and when I can find the time — btw, it's a very standard install wizard). But in the meantime, a quick message for you is that the utility works well with the 840 EVO and I didn't see any non-supported features — at least, nothing that was apparent.

Its main window looks like this:

SM C-drive info
After running the performance test, it displayed this:

SM performance testing done
The OS Optimization menu (the gear icon) has three interesting choices:

SM OS Optimization menu
I selected Maximum Performance, rebooted, and ran the performance test again, but with no significant change in the results.

One thing you'll be happy to see is this:

SM optimize performance without TRIM
If you'd like me to try anything, let me know. Regards, Joe
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by:garycase
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Thanks -- that's perfect.   Just ordered an 840EVO for my friend, who likes SamSung and didn't want to buy the Intel I had suggested :-)
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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You're welcome — happy to help. Cheers, Joe
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