Fixing NVMe driver for Samsung 960 Pro, in Dell Inspiron 15. If you are looking for the solution, skip to Fixing the driver
What I think of Insipron Gaming laptop
Recently I got a Dell Insipron gaming laptop. It’s an entry level gaming laptop, nothing hardcore. The model I got has an SSD, but it’s a SanDisk X400 - a SATA SSD.
Not fast enough for me.
The first thing I did once I received my laptop was to replace the SSD with a Samsung 960 Pro. NVMe SSDs are much faster than their SATA counterparts.
Then I would reinstall OS on the new drive. A few moments later, Windows boots up.
Let’s see some benchmark scores! Wait… the speeds are way off!
Once I got the NVMe SSD set in place, and Windows installed and running, I fired up Anvil Storage Utilities to run some benchmarks.
Is it some kind of joke? Although reading speeds look OK, writing speeds are absolutely egregious. It’s nowhere near rated speeds.
I opened up Samsung Magician, only to find out the drive wasn’t even recognized in the software.
Let me see what’s going on in Device Manager
Note that I disabled the TOSHIBA HDD. It gives me a little boost in battery life, and I can enable it whenever I need additional storage.
The NVMe SSD is listed in device manager, but not shown in Storage controllers.
I’m not going to let drive run at anything less than its full potential. Time to properly configure the system so it can run at its rated speeds.
I figured maybe I should try swithing to AHCI from RAID. This laptop has RAID enabled by default, so to disable that, we need to go into the BIOS settings.
F12 on boot, selecting
BIOS Setup. The setting is right there.
This warning comes up
Do not make the same mistake as I did by ignoring this warning. Windows won’t boot now…
Flipping the SATA settings back, Windows boots normally.
After a little bit of Googling it turns out that we need to boot into Safe Mode to get the switch to work. Now there are multiple ways we can get into Safe Mode in Windows 10. The easiest way to do it, is to run
Safe boot and select
minimal. Restart the system, and switch to AHCI mode in BIOS upon system boot this time.
Windows boots into Safe mode no problem. Go to
msconfig again, and uncheck the
Safe boot option.
I think I’ve fixed it!
This time Windows boots up normally, and we are running in AHCI mode. Let’s see what comes up in Samsung Magician!
Yes! The SSD shows up as expected in the software. PCIe Gen. 3 x 4, very nice. Now let’s take a look at Device Manager
Perfect, Samsung NVMe Controller is there! I guess I’ll end the blog post with the updated benchmark scores.
This is glorious.