This was my dilemma… I wanted to use a shiny new super fast NVMe SSD on my older Intel B85 chipset based motherboard as my primary boot drive in order to boost system performance. Upgrading the motherboard, CPU and memory wasn’t going to be as cost effective as just adding this, many times faster, storage to my existing system. The machine was pretty fast already; Asus B85M-G motherboard with Core i7 CPU, 32 GB RAM, and a 500GB OCZ Trion150 SATA3 SSD as the boot drive. Despite this configuration, I was still waiting on disk operations with very large files. Some examples are raw images in Photoshop, video processing and rendering, as well as application loading times. It’s funny how quickly one can become accustomed to the speed of an SSD to the point it starts to seem slow again.
I ended up purchasing the Samsung 970 EVO NVMe M.2 SSD drive which boasts read and write speeds of roughly 3 GB/s+. This is about 6 times faster than my SATA3 SSD at roughly 500 MB/s (0.5 GB/s).
However, the Asus B85M-G motherboard is too old to sport a built in M.2 slot. So I also purchased a KingShare NVMe M.2 to PCI-E x4 adapter card that will allow me to use a conventional PCI-E slot with the M.2 SSD. Please note that you will have to use the x16 PCI-E slot as this board does not have any x4 slots that this adapter requires. If you are using an add-on video card in this slot, then this isn’t going to be feasible.
Oh how happy was I when these parts arrived? Like a kid on Christmas of course. But little did I know of the hell that would ensue in order to boot my system from this PCI-E card. The main problem is that this motherboard does not support booting from an NVMe drive. There are options in the BIOS for booting to PCI-E. But alas, I was confronted with a BIOS error stating that it does not support the boot device. It would not boot to the new drive no matter what combination of BIOS settings were tried. The Windows 10 setup program as well as Acronis imaging software both see the NVMe drive just fine. Booting into Windows on my old SATA SSD also lets me see and use the NVMe drive as a data drive. However I wanted to fully leverage the super fast NVMe drive as my boot drive to run the system from.
After a lot of Google searching I learned that I am not alone in this. But there is no clear answer for boards this old. There are are quite a few suggested work arounds out there such as using a USB thumb drive loaded with UEFI manager boot software which allows the system to boot to the USB drive and then hand off to the NVMe drive. This did not work for me on this motherboard as the NVMe driver would just hard lock the system while booting to the USB drive. I tried various other methods but the following is exactly how I was able to get my BIOS to fully support the NVMe drive with no USB drive or any other special setup needed. The NVMe SSD now shows up in the BIOS as a boot option along with all the rest of my regular SATA drives.
Note: This should work on many other Asus boards as well, not just the B85M-G.
Follow these steps at your own risk. The author is not responsible for any damage that may be caused to your motherboard by following these steps. You have been warned.
In order for the BIOS of this motherboard to support booting from NVMe drives, we have to install the NVMe driver module into the BIOS. This involves downloading the latest BIOS from the Asus website and then installing the driver into that BIOS file. Then flashing the system with this modified BIOS. And viola! NVMe support built right into BIOS.
Download the latest BIOS from the Asus support site here: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/B85MG/HelpDesk_BIOS/
Note: You can use any version of the BIOS you want, but I only tested this on the latest version which as of this writing is 3602.
Download the following two files:
BIOS Mod Tool:
Install the NVMe driver module into the BIOS file:
a) Unzip/rar all three files that you downloaded and place them all in a new folder together.
b) Launch the BIOS Mod Tool (UEFITool.exe.) From the File menu, select “Open image file…”.
c) Select the BIOS file you downloaded from the Asus support site and click Open. The file should end with the .CAP extension.
d) From the File menu, select Search.
e) Click the “Text” tab and then enter “DXE” in the search box. (Without the quotes)
f) A large number of results will show in the bottom section of the application. Double click on the first result “Unicode text “DXE” found….” This will bring you to a spot in a long list of BIOS drivers (DXE) that are currently installed in this BIOS file. Maximize the window to see all of the columns.
g) Scroll down and find the last DXE entry right above where it says “Free Space”.
h) Right click on the last DXE driver entry, identified above, and select “Insert after…” Select the NvmExpressDxE_2.ffs file that you extracted earlier and click Open. You should now see the new NvmExpressDxE entry in the list.
i) From the File menu, select “Save image file…”. Give it a meaningful name denoting that this is the modified BIOS file. Click Save.
j) The tool will ask if you want to now open the new file. This is optional but you can do this and then follow steps D through G again and you should be able to see the new NvmExpressDxE entry still in there at the bottom of the DXE driver list. This confirms that the driver was successfully saved into the BIOS file.
Flash the newly saved modified BIOS image to the motherboard. This step proved the most difficult to figure out. The problem is that all of the BIOS update methods will refuse to flash because of a security verification error. As this is a modified BIOS file, this does make sense. But how can we get around this? Other guides say to use the Asus Flashback method but this board does not have that. I even tried using the Crashfree Auto Recovery Tool, but that also refused to flash the modified file. The method I figured out was to use the following steps:
a) Download the ASUS AI Suite 3 software from the support site. This motherboard does not have this as a download option on the Asus Support site so I had to get it from another board’s download section here:
b) Install the AI Suite 3 software and deselect everything except for EZ Update. The EZ Update is what we need. You may be prompted to reboot.
c) Open the EZ Update app. Select the ORIGINAL BIOS file that you downloaded from the Asus support website. We have to do this first because the modified file will fail the security verification. Wait for the verification to complete on the original file and it will then ask you if you are sure and you are ready to click the “Flash” button. But do not click the Flash button yet!
d) Rename the original BIOS file to something else. (Add “.old” to the end for instance.) Then rename the modified BIOS file that was saved earlier to match the exact name of the original file. We are doing this so as to fool the EZ Update utility into flashing the modified file; As it has already completed the verification phase.
e) Click Flash and then click reboot when complete.
You should now be presented with a newly flashed BIOS screen asking to press F1 to enter the BIOS settings. Go into the BIOS and the NVMe driver should be loaded and allowing you to select the NVMe drive as a boot device. Boom!
After you load Windows or restore your image to the NVMe drive, it is recommended that you install the Samsung NVMe driver into Windows. This will give additional performance and stability, but technically isn’t a required step because the Microsoft provided NVMe driver does work. This driver can be downloaded from Samsung’s website here:
I have to say, the difference is very noticeable in my system. Boot times dropped by about 50% and file operations are insanely fast now. Here are the benchmark results using the Samsung Magician software:
Task Manager during the Samsung benchmark:
What a gem this article is. I am considering a Samsung 970 EVO on my Asus B85M-G based PC and was googling around to see if this was feasible. And then I find this less than a week old article! Great timing 🙂
One question though. I am running Linux and I reckon than the BIOS tools don’t run in Wine. But I have a Windows 7 in VirtualBox. The modding of the BIOS file would probably work fine, but do you think it is possible to update the BIOS from inside a virtual machine?
If not, then I will probably just stick to booting from my existing SSD as the boot time is quite fast already.
I actually just wanted to upgrade to a bigger SSD when my research brought the NVMe types to my attention.
I highly doubt that a VM will be able to access the flash storage of the host motherboard. If I were you, I would grab a spare hdd/sdd and just install windows 7 on it, no license key and no network cable connected. Once at the desktop, (10 min? if ssd) run the ez update from there and then disconnect/format the drive.
Good idea with the temp Windows install! Thanks. And Happy New Year 🙂
No problem. Happy New Year!!
EZ Update is not shown when I install the AI Suite 3.00.13_DIP5_1.05.13. These are the menus what I can see from the installed AI Suite Utility; Dual Intelligent Processor 5, TPU, Turbo App, EPU, Fan Xpert, DIGI+ VRM, PC Cleaner, Version and there is no “EZ Update”. What did I miss?
That is strange, I have the EZ update as an option during the install of AI Suite. Same file you have there. I am on Windows 10, not sure if that makes a difference.
I cannot see “EZ Update” from the AI Suite 3 tool. Does yours have the menu?
I have carefully followed all your software steps using the following hardware:
Adwits PCI Express 3.0 x16 to PCIe NVMe and AHCI SSD Adapter
SAMSUNG SSD NVMe 970 EVO PLUS 250GB
I have managed to load the new modified BIOS but I enter in the BIOS configuration menu and the NVMe with the new Samsung 970EVO PLUS disk does not appear to place it as boot option !!!
Do I have to make some other configuration in the BIOS menu so that NVMe detects me?
I await your response, thanks
It sounds like the driver isn’t actually added to the BIOS correctly.
Also tried this on a similar motherboard (b85m-e), but the option didn’t appear. It recognized it, installed Win10 on it, but now it can’t boot from it, neither will it show up in the BIOS. What do I do??
EZ Update was not available when I installed AI Suite 3.00.13_DIP5_1.05.13.
I went to B85M-G Driver & Tools, choose an OS under Please select OS (doesn’t matter win7, 8, 8.1 or 10), click Show all under Utilities, and AI Suite 3 Version 1.01.02&1.00.92 is available for download. EZ Update is one of the option in installation
Jeffrey: did you manage to boot from hte NVMe drive?
I was able to download the Ez Update app but with no success to load the Bios File
Update: I noticed my Mother board was The B85M-G R2.0 so Instead downloaded the correct Bios made the same process but is not being updated its stuck on the process it could be because I deleted the file because after the first update it took the original BIOS instead of the modified one even after changing the name
Find ai suite somewhere else. It includes ezflash.
Thank you for the article, it was very helpful but I need some more info.
My motherboard is Asus B85M-E
SSD 970 EVO PLUS 500gb connected on the PCI-e slot using an adapter.
Before your help it was not recognised at all by the bios. After I followed your steps it is shown as PATA: SS.
When I try to install Windows 10 by a bootable usb I get a message that Windows cannot be installed onto this disk. This computer’s hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure the disk’s controller is enabled in the computers BIOS menu.
Do you think that there are some changes I have to make at the BIOS or something else?
Thanks for sharing how to get an NVMe drive to work on older motherboards.
I’ve been trying to get an Apple SSUBX SSD, pulled from an early 2015 Macbook Pro, to work on a B85M-E motherboard, but I’ve been running into some issues…maybe you, or anyone can help:
On the PC with the B85M-E I installed Windows 7 pro x64. I modified the CAP BIOS-file using UEFITool.
Now when I try to flash the modified CAP file using EZ Update, the window starts flashing in a weird way for about 2 Minutes, then I get a pop-up window that Ai Suite has crashed.
I am using AI Suite 3 Version 1.01.02, that has EZ Update 2.00.
What Windows version did you use?
Also I noticed you say in your description you added the NvmeExpressDxe_2.ffs, but the download link point to a NvmeExpressDxe_4.ffs. I added the Nvme…_4.ffs module. Could this be a problem?
Hello and good day to you.
Will this BIOS modification, using NvmExpressDxE_2.ffs, work for my Adata SX8200 Pro drive?
Also, the download link that you gave for the NvmExpressDxE driver is actually NvmExpressDxE_4.ffs. Does this make a difference to the whole process?
Please and thank you,
Hi, great walkthrough, but I’m getting stuck when I try to load the modified bios. Any suggestions on how to overcome this will be greatly appreciated.
Do you think this works with a PCIE 3.0 x1 adapter? Yours have an x4 adapter. I am planning to do this on my B85M-G.
It used Ali’s cheapest [pcie adaptor] and [kingspeck 256gb nvme] on the asus b85m-g board. Window10 Boots, Benchmarks are OK.
The problem is that ez update is missing from the asus down link introduced.
I googled and got another version. I flash the bios, install winow10 and boot up and work well.
It worked do not try to boot it from the bios it should show up as “pata ss” do no try to boot it from the bios its better to install windows on it make sure to have the ssd as GPT
Can you give the “exact” files that you used. Also, was this done in the bios entirely?
The https://mega.nz/#!5I8HiIbA!iiE0K-g8uKPI-GA08c0UGp_lsFKNyEpcQcyemdPeH-Y gives me a corrupt rar file, anyone else has this too? Is this also possible on the asus B85M-E do you reckon?
I spent a few days performing all of the steps in this article and finally got the BIOS updated with the required file. However, the new NVMe ssd never shows up as a boot device. I see it as an available storage disk in My Computer and can read and write to it, but it is not available as a boot device in the BIOS. I wish I would not have wasted my time or money buying the NVMe SSD and the PCI e adaptor board.
Very frustrating that it did not work.
Thank you so much for this article!
Sadly, the url for ai suite 3 did not offer ez update install, but asus helpfully shows a motherboard suggestion in their EZ update artcle screenshot that nets the right result. I put the URL in the Website section of the comment.
I have a Gigabyte B85M-DS3H motherboard and I have a new PCIe x16 adapter. Do you think it can boot from it ?
Thank you very much, this method worked with the caviat that the system still cannot boot from the PCIe Drive.
This worked with “Micro Connectors” adapter combined with a Western Digital Black 500gb.
I was ready to take my new M.2 drive and PCIe adapter back to the store when I found your post.
Two problems happened for me with your instructions:
1. Users should be aware that there are multiple version/release of this board and that they need to find the correct BIOS that matches their model. In my case “B85M-G R2.0” the BIOS can be found here: https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1150/B85M-G_R2.0/B85M-G-R2-ASUS-3602.zip
In EZ Update, if you get the error: “the model of the bios image doesn’t match…” check your board version.
2. In step 4.a, the link provided for the AI Suite is a limited version that only contains the “Dual Intelligent Processors 5” and not “EZ Update”.
I found a complete copy here: https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1200/PRIME_Z490-A/ASUS_AI_Suite_3_V3.00.59_Install_Program_WIN10_64-bit.zip
Again, I really appreciate that you took the time to share your findings.
In step 4 a, when I download the Al Suite III there is no ez update option. How do you work around with thise?
I did everything exactly as you described and verified that the BIOS update after installed included the new driver. However, the PCIe adapter never appears in the BIOS as an optipnal boot device. I see the NVME SSD in windows and can write and read to it but never able to see it as a boot device. ?????
Thank You very much for this detailed scientific work You have done for us. as a bit slowpok I just now starting to dig this m2 on my b85 vanguard baby theme. I am imressed and grateful.
May I contact You somehow in case I face some difficulties on this way. The first thing is I cannot find the 3602 version of BIOS You mentioned in the article. Only 2015 year born 2202.
Does this configuration still works? Did You compare the productivity with the older ssd?
Many thanks in advance
Thanks for the detailed write up. I’ve followed it and have successfully updated the BIOS with the modified version. Before I stump up and buy an M.2 SSD, is there any way of seeing a relevant option in the BIOS?
Also, the link to AI Suite 3 provided no longer includes the EZ Update software. This one did (I think): https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1200/PRIME_Z490-A/ASUS_AI_Suite_3_V3.00.59_Install_Program_WIN10_64-bit.zip
I have Asus B85M-G motherboard. I’ve just successfully installed Win10 Pro x64 on NVME. I modded the BIOS and successfully flashed the bios using EZflash 2 Utiliy (Wishbringer tricks), but still cannot boot from NVME. CSM Support already set to Disable, too.
Thank You for this description.
But see also our remaining problems under
You’re a king!
Thank you for this detailed blog article.
Thanks to you, I solved the problem.
I also have b85m-g motherboard and samsung nvme ssd.
Thank you very much.
Hi, Have you ever tried with a NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen4 SSD?
As you, I have been searching for to give an extended live to my B85MG and I have been thinking to buy an used Asus Z97-C than have an M.2 Port and keeps the old Socket 1150 for my actual old processor, so what do you think? Does the M.2 port could give me the chance to use an M.2 4th Gen and let me keep the rest of the components of my old PC ? Thanks
I followed all the steps. Asus EZ update was not showing while installing ASUS AI Suite III. How to proceed further.
im using the same Motherboard and have the Samsung SSD980 NVMe M.2 SSD with PCIEx4.
I followed all instructions but at STEP 4 when im trying to install the AI Suite there is no EZUpdate folder inside your zip. So i tried many other AiSuite Versions where EZUpdate was included.
But there i get the message: ”Get blocks error”.. hope you can help me out. I spent the whole night on fixing this..
I’m going to try this today. Wish me luck!
I put NvmExpressDxe_Small.ffs on my Desktop and not in a different folder . Must it stay on the Desktop? Does my modded BIOS expect to find it there, which means that if I move it the PC won’t boot?
By the way, I don’t see the 11 responses to your thread here. Are they gone?
I was very happy to find your writing.
My motherboard is E85M-E v1.02
I modified the bios file, but I can’t upload it.
I extracted the AI_Suite_III_3.00.13_DIP5_1.05.13.zip and ran the setup.exe file, but it did not include EZ Update. It contains only one application: Dual intelligent processor 5.
Where did I mess it up?
almost worked.. everything worked as described, but when i try to actually boot from the PCI-E M.2 drive, it still does: “The system found unauthorized changes on the firmware, operating system or UEFI drivers. Press [N] to run the next boot device ”
shame, this was the only solution i found, that gave me hope to be able to make it work..
I know this blog post is extremely old, but I have this MB also, and wanted to get it to boot from a Samsung 970 Evo.
Found your blog post, followed everything, and it works! You made by day!!