In this post I will show you how you can modify the BIOS of a Dell OptiPlex 3010, 7010 or 9010 so that it can support an NVMe SSD drive as a boot device. This is a follow up to a post I did on how boot a Dell OptiPlex 7020 with an NVMe drive.
I also wrote an upgrade guide for the Dell OptiPlex 7010 which showed how to use Boot Disk Utility to boot from an NVMe drive by using a USB Stick. The method described in this post will allow the machine to boot natively without the need for any additional hardware.
Although these machines have a UEFI BIOS, they do not contain the NVMe driver. By adding the driver into the BIOS you can boot from a PCIe NVMe SSD. I managed to achieve these speeds with a Samsung 970 EVO Plus from Amazon:
This is the same drive that I put into an OptiPlex 7020, but for reasons that I do not understand, the same drive is even faster in the 7010.
Here is the PCI adapter and the Samsung NVMe SSD installed in an OptiPlex 7010 Small Form Factor:
This blog post contains instructions on how to modify your BIOS.
You could easily break your machine. Proceed at your own risk!
Table of contents
In order to carry out this upgrade, you will need a few things:
- An NVMe SSD. I used a 512Gb Samsung 970 EVOPlus
- An NVMe to PCIe Adapter, I used this one from Amazon.
- A Dell OptiPlex 3010, 7010 or 9010 to upgrade.
The procedure is slightly different depending on the model and form factor, but mostly the same.
This process involves the following steps:
- Upgrade to the most recent BIOS from Dell:
- Installing Required Software and drivers.
- Backing up your current BIOS.
- Adding NVMe driver support into the BIOS backup.
- Writing the modified BIOS back to the system.
- Optimising BIOS settings.
Install the Required Drivers and Software
Before being able to read from or write to the BIOS, you need to install the Intel Management Engine Components from Dell.
Download the Intel Management Engine System Tools v8 r3, which contains the tools required to flash the new bios.
Also download the NVME Driver which will be injected into the BIOS Image.
Finally you will need UEFI Tool 0.28 to make the actual BIOS modification. Here is a direct link to that version.
Put the machine into Service Mode
Now that you have the machine prepared, you need to put the machine into service mode before you can proceed:
- Shut the machine down.
- Remove the mains power supply.
- Locate the two pin service connector and put a jumper on it.
If you are upgrading a Small Form Factor machine, the service jumper is in an awkward position which will require you to remove the Optical Drive and Hard Drive cage to access it. Once those are out of the way, you can find it just above, and to the right of the RAM slots. Here is an image from a 7010 SFF:
If, like me, you do not have a spare jumper, you can borrow the one from the Password reset jumper.
On a Mini Tower – the jumper is in a different position and easier to access:
You can now boot the machine again in service mode, but you will receive a couple of warning messages:
You will then receive a message informing you that the machine is in Service Mode:
If you do not put the machine into service mode you will not be able to backup or update the BIOS properly.
Modify and Upgrade the BIOS
Now that you are in service mode, you can continue with the modification. I’ve also made a video that shows how to insert the NVMe driver into the BIOS:
Backup the existing BIOS
Open a command prompt as an administrator and change to the directory where you extracted the Intel ME System Tools. Then navigate to the subdirectory \Flash Programming Tool\Windows64 (or Windows if you are on 32-Bit installation).
Within that directly use the command:
fptw64.exe -d backup.bin
Modify the BIOS and Inject the NVMe Driver
Next, open UEFI Tool and open the backup.bin file. Expand the sections as per the following screenshot:
Scroll to the bottom of this section and you should see an area that looks like this:
Next, right click on item with the name D95D6B4F-92FA-4E78-9C48-C68C0813688E and choose Insert After.
Choose the file NvmExpressDxe_Small.ffs that you just downloaded earlier and you will see it appear right after the OemLinkDELLPwdLib section:
Now go to File -> Save Image File and save the file in the same location as the flash tool as NVME.bin. Go back to your command prompt and run the command:
fptw64.exe -bios -f nvme.bin
Shut down the machine and remove the jumper from the service pins and move it back to the password reset pins if you took it from there.
The BIOS modification is complete!
Install the PCI NVMe SSD
If you have not yet installed your SSD into the machine, you can do it now. If possible use the Blue X16 PCI slot, it is much faster than smaller black one.
Optimise BIOS Settings
Now that you have written the new BIOS, restart the machine. If you do not have any SATA drives connected you will receive a warning on start-up that says:
Alert! Hard Drive not found
You can fix this by going into the BIOS Setup and then System Configuration -> Drives. Untick all the SATA ports which do not have drives connected.
Finally, if you want the maximum possible speed from your new drive, consider disabling C-States in the BIOS. This makes it marginally faster, but I doubt you would notice much difference.
Now you can install an operating system of your choice or clone one of your existing drives to your new NVMe drive and enjoy a decent performance increase.
Upgrading the Dell Optiplex 7010 with PCI NVMe Solid State drive is a brilliant value upgrade, and completely transforms the machine. Especially if you are upgrading from a hard drive.
Again, here is the PCI adapter that I used:
- 512Gb Samsung 970 EVOPlus
- NVMe to PCI Adapter (The adapter comes with a heatsink also)
If you try it, I would love to know how you got on and what your results were.
I will try to follow this post step by step tomorrow on my Dell 7010 and let you know. But How can I clone the existing hard drive to the NVME Samsung 970 EVOPlus SSD card after I finish ? Please advise! Thanks!
Suggest you follow the video instructions on this page:
Dell Optiplex 7010 Upgrade Guide. But as you have a Samsung SSD you could also use the Samsung Magician software to migrate your data, it is really good. Don’t forget if you are not already using UEFI/GPT boot it won’t work on the NVMe SSD without some additional effort.
Maybe you want to try a fresh install of Windows on to the NVMe first to confirm boot is all working as expected and then clone your existing drive.
My problem is that the Win 10 is pre-installed by DELL. I do not have any Win 10 disc for fresh installation after I finish the procedure here in my Dell 7010. I wish that I can clone my hard drive to the NVME SSD . Any advice? I get stuck! Thanks for your prompt reply!
As long as your current system is booting via UEFI boot and not legacy, I think you should be fine. Samsung Magician software I think will take care of the rest for you. It is dead easy to use. If you manage to successfully mod the BIOS, then you’re halfway there.
Dear Paul, By following your instructions in this post, I successfully upgraded two Dell OptiPlex 7010 computers with WD BLACK 500G SN750 NVME SSD. They are running much faster than my Dell 5050 which comes with Dell’s NVME SSD. They are running very close to the max official speed of 3430 Mb/s. I am surprised. You are my hero! I am working on the next upgrade project, my Dell 3020. I will let you know my result. Thanks!
Very surprise news, Paulie !
Thank you for your efforts. Can I ask something about ?
I have a optiplex 7010 MT (not SFF) and I would like to try your creative trial.
Is there any problem for application ?
please advise. thank you.
@Minkwon it makes no difference which form factor you have. They both use the exact same 7010 A18 BIOS.
Meant to say the A29 BIOS. The 7020 models use the A18.
Hello Paul, would there be an issue to do this upgrade with adding a single slot graphics card in the blue PCIe and the NVMe PCIe adapter in the black slot. Thanks in advance.
Hi Guy, no problem to do that. It will work fine, just at a slower speed.
I successfully upgrade my Dell 9010 with 500G WD Black SN750 NVME SSD.
The write speed is faster than the Dell 7010 that I upgraded earlier with the same 500G WD Black SN750 NVME SSD .
I am impressed!
My next project is Dell 3010
Tony – I would very much like to know your results with a 3010, and — very important — which files you used that are different from this article’s links and references for the 7010.
Paulie – as I said elsewhere, your careful, well-organized explanation here is one of the best how-to articles for adventurous non-tech people I have ever read on any computer subject.. I wish you would just write computer articles non-stop!
Really appreciate your kind words! It’s a lot of work to write it all up but very satisfying seeing so many people having good results.
Glnz – I have all the details of the differences for the 3010 and 9010 and the procedure is near identical – I will add the details for those machines.
Paulie (and fans) – a few technical questions.
1) Your starting point includes
a) installing the Intel Management Engine Components from Dell.
b) downloading the Intel Management Engine System Tools v8 r3, which contains the tools required to flash the new bios.
My concern – My 7010 has always had the MEBx feature from Intel, which I have never used. Unfortunately, however, I set its password years ago and have forgotten it. I have read that I can reset its password by removing the CMOS battery and replacing it with a new one.
So — i) given your reference to the Intel Management Engine Components and System Tools V8 r3, should I first take out the CMOS battery and replace it? Then should I reset the MEBx password to something I can remember?
ii) And if I remove and replace the CMOS battery, what other things will happen? For example. will my BIOS be set back from the last A28 version to something earlier? Will I lose other presets I’ve forgotten about, maybe like UEFI?
2) Your list also includes downloading the NVME Driver from your link, which will be injected into the BIOS Image.
Question – is that file good for any NVMe M.2 I might buy, or is it good only for the model NVMe you bought, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus? If I buy a different NVMe, should I then get its own driver file for this step?
3) If I’m not mistaken, our 7010s have only PCIe 3, yes? So maybe we should stick with an NVME that is good for PCIe3 and not waste money on a newer and more expensive NVMe that would also be good for PCIe 4? Do I have that right?
I don’t think the password will matter, because if you read on to the next step, it involves triggering the password reset anyway – so the password will be wiped out in any case. You don’t need the password to install the Intel Management tools.
The driver will work with any NVMe drive.
1) I hope to do the BIOS mod on a second (extra) test 7010 this weekend (or soon). My plan is to do the mod only before I buy the SSD or the adapter card – to see first whether the machine will reboot into its normal HDD after the mod. Please let me know if that is not a good plan.
2) Question – somewhere I read that before doing anything like this, I should first replace my CMOS battery with a new one, just in case the workload here kills an old CMOS battery. After all, most 7010s and 3010s are 8 years old or older. Do you think that is advisable, and what happens when one replaces the CMOS?
1) you can modify and boot from your existing HDD. The Modification adds NVMe support / it’s takes nothing away.
2) it certainly won’t do any harm to replace the battery. You’ll lose your existing bios settings – but it’s no big deal to put them back..
Encouraged by the article.
I was able to modify the BIOS on my Dell 7010.
I am waiting for a PCI adapter
and Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB Sata M.2
I’ll let you know how it went.
Thanks for the advice!
“Somewhere I read that before doing anything like this, I should first replace my CMOS battery with a new one, just in case the workload here kills an old CMOS battery. After all, most 7010s and 3010s are 8 years old or older. Do you think that is advisable, and what happens when one replaces the CMOS? ” @ginz
Yes, replace the battery if it’s still the original. Once you remove it, reboot into the BIOS (F2) and change the BIOS settings back to what you want. You will lose any changes you’ve made to BIOS settings after the battery is pulled and replaced.
Hello. great work! I did it like that and i see the drive in the boot options now, but is have the problem on installing windows 10, if i am installing it from USB drive i see the SSD but i get the message that it is not able to install windows on it because it is not a bootable drive in bios… hope you can help me, are there some settings in bios to do? Thanks
@gerry – this means you have booted in BIOS mode, not UEFI mode. You must boot in UEFI mode and then run the windows install.
I followed all the steps listed above got success with the bios upload after the driver import, but I am unable to boot from an NVMe, I don’t see it in the bios anywhere, and if I modify or even just go into the bios with the NVMe installed into the system and exit out the system just comes back with the power led flashing amber. I unplug mains until it stops flashing and plug it back in, I am able to power on the system but still same result, no boot from nvme.
@Paulie Thanks for you fast and helpful answer and also thank you for the great desciption to upgrade the optiplex!!! Now everything works fine… It helps a lot if you know what UEFI is and how it works 🙂 and i learned a lot about this the last night.
@ Selvor i did it yesterday the first time but maybe it helps if i tell you what i learned: You must change the boot mode in UEFI.
In UEFI Boot mode you don´t see any HDD drive or USB Drive, you have to make a bootable UEFI win image on the USB stick to install windows. I used Rufus for that. After the Stick is prepared in UEFI (i also set GPT) mode then you see the Stick in the bootable drives and you can start the Installation.
In UEFI mode you don´t see the drive.. you only see the operationg system…
I am also a beginner but i hope i could help you
Harjeet Singh says
This was a random upgrade I thought I would do to my OptiPlex 3010 and that too after ordering Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 from Amazon. It became quite a challenge for me to find out that there is no NVMe M.2 Slot on the motherboard. After searching a lot for a solution, I was almost at the verge of returning the SSD and instead ordering a SATA SSD for upgrade. and then I hit this blog on Google. Ah! What I relief I had to know that there is a hope.
Then I came to know PCIe slot, I honestly had no idea about it and how it works. Searched a lot about it n YouTube and got familiar with various versions and slots for PCIe. This was the moment I thought that this upgrade may work. Although a challenge but this was quite an interesting one to accept and worked for.
Downloaded all the required drivers, flashed BIOS from A13 to A22, had a hard time putting the machine to Service Mode since the jumper was different but I figured out. Edited BIOS with NVMe driver and flashed successfully but even then could not find NVMe SSD to boot from under BIOS. I searched a lot about it and figured out this article which really helped with remaining steps: https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-in/000132410/what-are-pcie-ssds-and-how-to-use-them-as-a-boot-drive-for-a-dell-pc\
IMPORTANT: To make it work with Windows 8.1 or later, you need to enabled UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot OFF, format the drive using GPT disk type. Also make your bootable installation media to boot as UEFI mode, NOT MBR else it will not work. Install the Windows normally and choose the SSD from install options. Once the Windows is installed successfully, There will be a Windows Boot Manager option that will appear under UEFI Boot options under BIOS and THAT IS your NVMe SSD and this will work normal going forward. You don’t need clover or anything else to make it work, just a NVMe to PCIe adapter, appropriate BIOS flash and UEFI mode to boot from and it should all work fine to give your 10 years old PC a new life.
I’m sorry that for a long answer but I hope it helps someone to proceed with if they’re stuck anywhere in the process.
Once again, thanks a lot Paul for this article.
Thank you very much for this article.
I used the cheapest PCI-E X4 M2-SSD NVME MODEL EM2-5001 adapter and NVME M.2 SSD 970 EVO Plus disk.
On the Dell 7010 and 9010 I have very good speed results
OptiPlex 7010 Speed Results
Optiplex 9010 Speed Results
Haven’t modded my BIOS yet, but in getting ready, I discovered something on my 7010, and maybe this will help others.
It turned out my 7010 had a PCI Simple Communication Controller Driver error. I discovered it only by chance and fixed it quickly per this Dell article and its recommendation for a download from Dell Drivers & Updates:
I think the moral of this story is this: before running Paulie’s BIOS mod steps, check your Device Manager, and if anything has a yellow ! or other warning, you might want to attend to it first.
Thanks, and stay tuned for when I finally have a chance to do this.
Just a quick stop to say that I did all the steps and it’s working like a charm. In my first attempt I got a wrong version of Intel-ME-System-Tools-v8-r3 and it didn’t work. In my second attempt I got the right one and everything went smoothly. I also had previously updated to Win 10 Pro so I had do use the Intel-Management-Engine-Components-Installer_C3VMM_WIN_184.108.40.2064_A02 version.
Thank you Paul, you really rock!
With my usual clumsiness, I have added the NvmExpressDxe_Small line to the BIOS in my Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower (Win 10 64-bit v21H2), and it has indeed rebooted!
(I mistyped fpt as ftp, and I moved my jumper to some wrong pins right next to its original location instead of across the motherboard to the correct location, but then corrected those errors. Happily, I didn’t burn down the house.)
By the way, on the final reboot, I checked again that my BIOS settings are UEFI only, without Legacy ROMs.
So Phase 1 is done.
Now on to Phase 2 – buying the NVME M.2 SSD and the adapter card.
1) I’m going to go for the Samsung 970 Evo Plus, which is Paulie’s selection, but I will probably go for the 2TB model, as this jet-fueled hotrod 7010 will become the new Win 10 production machine in my wife’s mini-office — a dramatic upgrade from an old Optiplex 980 running Win 7 Pro — and I have also read that SSDs with greater capacity tend to last longer.
? So, is there any reason to avoid the 2TB model and stick with 1TB?
2) Paulie’s link to an adapter card is to a model by the MHQJRH brand that uses flat rubber bands to hold the NVME to the heat sink materials A number of Amazon comments say that these rubber bands disintegrate quickly, which is not surprising given the heat. At the same time, Paulie’s photo is of a different brand, Supageek, which maybe sells only in the UK.
? So, does anyone have a strong recommendation for a good adapter card with heat sink but maybe not with rubber bands?
3) I see that some adapter cards have relatively few teeth that fit into the PCIe slot, and others have many teeth. I am guessing that the few teeth will connect to x4 only, but the many teeth could also do x16. Both Paulie’s linked MHQJRH brand and his photo of Supageek are few teeth.
Also, my 7010 does not currently have a video card, so all its PCIe slots are available.
? So, are Paulie’s suggested models with few teeth (maybe x4 only?) good enough, or should I try to find an adapter card with many teeth?
Paulie – How did you ever find that needle in that haystack? Is that a thing in the UK? You are amazing! If I ever get to London, I’m buying you a pint.
Ha ha – thanks for the comment. You can buy me a pint from the link on this page without having to visit the Uk.
Using a 2Tb drive is no problem. The adapter linked seems to update often.
I don’t know the answer to the question about the number of teeth. I’ve used plenty of them with the very low number of teeth, they all worked fine.
Paulie – I have just contributed to your pub fund!
But please let me know about my Q above.
Cheers, and thanks!
Many thanks. If you’re in Barcelona, I suggest the wonderful book The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Follow the map in the book while you’re there, and then it is a great read.
I have successfully upgrade my 2nd PC, an Optiplex 9010 MT. It runs like new now. With this machine I use the new NVMe SSD as boot drive and 2 SATA 3 as RAID 1 for my data. It works so great now. The other one is Optiplex 9020 MT, they are almost the same PC.
Great news Tom – well done. I hope it runs much better than new! When it was new it would have had a hard drive ?
Yes, you’re right. It had HD but I did change for SATA3 SSD since long time. Now with NVMe SSD it runs even better. With the Samsung 970 Evo Plus I get 3424/3270 MBS. It’s so amazing.
No service jumper on the 3010..I see people say they figured it out, none have said what it is…so what is it?
I wondering what happens in terms of running hotter at NVME speeds in an Optiplex 7010. Could I expect more heat and more fan noise after the upgrade? thanks!
Does this work also if I install the adapter in the PCIe x16 2.0 slot? The 3.0 slot is currently being used for a graphic card.
Yes, but it is not as fast.
Having a problem. On my Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower, I have cloned my old HDD to the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB SSD in the PCIe x4 slot using Macrium Reflect Free 8’s clone feature, but on all reboots, I get an early error message (white letters on black background after the first Dell logo but not yet the spinning golf balls) of “Alert! Hard Drive not found. To continue press F1 key. To change setup option press F2 key. To run onboard diagnostics press F5 key.”
If I press F1, i do boot into the SSD, and it’s much faster than the old HDD. But I can’t seem to avoid the initial error message and the need to press F1 to continue.
If I press F2 and go into the BIOS settings and look at “Boot Sequence”, It shows Windows Boot Manager checked and no other options, and the Boot List Options below is set to UEFI.
I have also run Macrium’s “Fix boot problem” option in the Macrium Reflect Free a few times now, but no luck.
If I reconnect the HDD (which still has the OS), the machine boots into the SSD without the error message! But then, after a few reboots, the SSD goes from “Disk 0” to “Disk 1” and the HDD becomes “Disk 0”, although the SSD remains the C:\ drive and it is booting!
If I disconnect the HDD again, after a while (and with another shot of Macrium’s Fix Boot Problems), the SSD becomes Disk 0 again, but I get the error message on every reboot and need to hit F1 to continue.
FWIW, my new CrystalDiskMark score (upper left) has gone from 195 to 1650, but not the 3,500 you all are seeing.
Any suggestions? Should I start over from scratch? Is there a specific Samsung driver I need to add somewhere?
One more clue to my problem directly above: If I plug in the Macrium Reflect USB stick and reboot to go into it and hit F12 on the reboot to get the boot option to select it, I get the “Alert! Hard Drive not found. To continue press F1 key. …” error message before I have an opportunity to hit F12 to select that USB stick with Macrium, Does that tell us anything?
Read the section of the blog post with the heading “Optimise BIOS Settings”
Paulie – that did it, and I just made another donation to your pub fund! Many thanks!!!
I should have re-read your full article after these weeks. Not for the first time, I serve as a negative example.
A few things:
— For later readers, the following video (link below) is very good — at almost your level — for showing how to use Macrium Reflect Free to do the clone AND expand the cloned C:\ partition (as my SSD is larger than my original HDD). I did not implement the next-to-last part about wiping the original HDD, but at the end it also shows how to use Macrium’s “Fix boot problems” option: (To use this option, one must run Macrium Reflect from its Rescue Media on a USB stick, which I would also advise for the clone )
— While my CrystalDiskMark speeds for the Samsung SSD are eight times higher than my speeds for the old HDD, I am sad to report that they are only half what you and others get. (My first two Read speeds are 1665.39 and 1286.73; my first two Write speeds are 1493.42 and 1149.61.) Any thoughts? Maybe because this PC is an Intel i3 and not an i5? But I wouldn’t have thought that would make a difference. Maybe because I haven’t put the heat sink stickers on the SSD yet?
— Apparently, the Samsung SSD does not report temperature. At least, there is no temperature indicator in Speccy, while the old HDD showed a temperature indicator in Speccy. Is there a way to monitor the SSD’s temperature?
Thanks, Paulie !!
Paulie – you might delete my three posts above because they don’t add much, except for the Youtube link about Macrium reflect cloning.
I have discovered that the various Intel CPUs for the Optiplex 7010 might not all have PCIe 3.0. My test 7010 has an i3 3220 CPU, and Intel’s specs for that CPU say it has only PCI 2.0, which is probably why my new NVMe M.2 SSD speeds are initially 1,700 GBs rather than 3,500.
a) Would be curious to know what your and others’ CPUs are (and what speeds you’re getting).
b) My OTHER 7010 machine has an i5 3470 CPU, and the Intel specs say it can handle PCIe 3.0. But I can’t tell for sure that its PCIe slots would actually provide 3.0. (Nothing is in those slots yet.) What do you all think?
c) After the x010 models from Dell, what is the next Optiplex family that definitely has PCI 3.0 for both its x16 PCIe slot and its x4 slot? 3020, 5020, 7020 and 9020? This will guide my strategy of buying used machines and modding them for the family business.
d) Maybe my NVMe M.2 speeds of 1,700 ± aren’t bad for my wife’s mini-office. Wouldn’t that keep the heat down? Samsung Magician indicates that the SSD hit only 56 C (“good”) during the CrystalDiskMark tests. Do your SSDs get hotter during those tests?
Bought the Samsung EVO and the adapter and installed it in my 7010 MT. After sweating bullets, mumbling do you have to type so fast and squinting at the screen I was amazed that I had actually modded the bios. Then the process of cloning the drive kept failing with the Samsung software, so I grabbed a program and managed to finally get a clone, Then the time it took to remove cables to the C drive and then eventually having to uncheck SATA connections in the bios, the nvme drive did boot, but the partition was tiny, so I eventually figured out how to use the software and it was done. In my case, I’m running a GTX 1050 ti card that takes up to two spaces, so the best I could get with my EVO is 1600. Only! I would have to give up my card to get the 3500 MBS potential. This is something for people to consider. I’m a little let down, but from 550 to 1600 reads is pretty sweet.
Charlie – what is your Intel CPU, and which slot did you finally use for your Samsung EVO?
For example, my Intel CPU is i3 3220, I discovered it supports only PCIe Gen 2.0 and not 3.0, and so I also am getting only 1500 – 1700 (in the x4 or x16 PCIe slots, respectively), not the hoped-for 3,500.
Curious to know your situation.
My CPU is the i5 3570. I am forced use the 4 times lane as I indicated. I have since pulled the graphics card just to check and ran the nvme adapter in the 16 times slot and got the promised 3560/3404. I could put in one my GT710’s but game play would be really limited compared to the GTX 1050 ti.
Not that Intel will be issuing any bios updates any time soon, but what would happen to the hack if I were to update my bios?
Made the modification to my Optiplex 9010 DT and the second time around is was a little easier. The Samsung migration tool failed again. I won’t try that again. This time my machine has a TV beside it, so it was easier to see the text of the the video tutorial while I paused it about 200 times. This machine has the i5 3470 CPU and running the nvme SSD in the times 16 PCIe slot I am getting the promised speeds of 3500+ MBPS. I moved the little GT 710 card to the times 4 PCIe slot, where I expect very little loss of function.
Nice one Charlie. Always good to hear the success stories!
Hey, Charlie – feel like experimenting more? In your second PC, the 9010 DT with the i5 3470, what happens if you move the NVMe M.2 SSD to the x4 slot? Do you still get 3500± MBs?
And I found that Macrium Reflect Free (running from its PE Rescue Media on a USB stick) clones very nicely and has a built-in function to fix the EFI startup as well. There’s a very good YouTube at
Maybe I’ll check it out at some point. I’m certain that slot is only times 4, so it won’t work. I have actually used Reflect Free in both instances. When the Samsung migration tool failed for me. I just downloaded it and ran the app from the desktop. Worked easily. I was using another free one that only allowed minimal cloning options and only the pro version would allow for extending or shrinking when cloning mix-matched drives.
New small issue: My 7010 MT’s DVD-RW drive (formerly D:) no longer shows in Explorer – This PC. If you look at Paulie’s advice above for “Alert! Hard Drive not found”, that’s logical because all the SATA boxes in my BIOS’s System Configuration –> Drives are now UNchecked. If I recheck the box for SATA-1 (my DVD’s connection), I then get the “Alert! Hard Drive not found” error message on reboot, which in my setup I cannot permit (because I will want remote control of this PC with problem-free rebooting).
– Is there a solution?
– If I put a non-bootable hard drive into the PC and connect it to a SATA slot that I then recheck, will the “Alert! Hard Drive not found” problem go away? (I intend to add such a hard drive anyway to have a target for automatic nightly backups. But it will be non-bootable.)
Is there a solution? Connect up any old HDD or SSD with a Linux distro on it to one of the sata ports. Then the “no hard drive” alert should go away.
I just created the same configuration on my system. No hard drives, but DVD write connected and only that option enabled in the BIOS. No hard drive error message.
Paulie – thanks for your test. Unfortunately, I continue to get the “Alert! Hard Drive not found … push F1 to continue” when the box for the SATA socket that has my DVD-RW drive connected is checked in the BIOS. And I have now confirmed that the DVD-RW drive works — I just used it to boot up a Macrium Reflect Free Rescue Media PE Environment CD which I had made in 2016. (That is, it works after I press F1.)
I wonder why you and I are seeing something different. Could the reason be that my test 7010 Mini-Tower has an i3 CPU that offers only PCIe Gen 2 ? Does anyone else have such a 7010 and i3, and could you advise whether leaving the DVD-RW’s SATA box checked gets you the F1 error on reboot?
I’d love to fix this only because my wife will complain again about my using dusty old beat up junk computers in her employee’s mini-office if I install this test 7010 without a fix and — for the first time in years — someone tries to “play” a CD only to find the DVD-RW isn’t working. If that happens, I will have to hide out in your pub for a looooong time.
Paul, Just did the bios update on my 7010, works great. I had a few issues, I had to use an earlier release of the Intel Management Engine Component (A0). Yours stated it could install on this platform. I have another 7010 to update when the PCIe stuff gets here. Cheers.
For the issue I’m having – that on boot I get “Alert! Hard Drive not found … push F1 to continue” if SATA-3 is checked in my BIOS because it connects to the CD-DVD-RW drive — maybe there’s a clue.
When SATA-3 is NOT checked in my BIOS (and so my CD-DVD drive does not work), the Device Manager entry “Standard SATA AHCI Controller” has a yellow ! triangle and the Device Status is “This device cannot start. (Code 10) an I/O adapter hardware error has occurred.”
When SATA-3 IS checked in my BIOS (and I need to press F1 to continue my bootup but my CD-DVD drive works), this Device Manager entry is NOT there and there is no yellow ! triangle,
Does this have any bearing on my issue? Those of you enjoying Paulie’s mod here, if you have all your SATA boxes UNchecked in BIOS, what do you see in Device Manager?
I wish these Bios mod could work on the USFF (ultra small form factor) 7010 or the 9020 which use the mini pcie slot. The nvme card on the mini pcie dapter produce no post and orange light with beebs. When removed, the system post and says no memory was found on previous attempt. strangely these variants use the same BIOS as their bigger brothers, which aren’t producing these symptoms according to many owners.
So, how do you enable service mode on the 3010 SFF? I don’t see a service mode jumper on this motherboard.
I’d be interested to try this on an USFF model. But I don’t have one to hand. What model specifically are you trying it on?
@paulie i tried both, the 7010 usff and the 9020 usff both with the same behavior…I have been troubleshooting this for a long time and so far still no success. Very good size machines. When the nvme drive is inserted into the adapter, the system doesn’t boot. when removed, the system boot but saying no memory was found on previous boot so the NVME making the memory to disappear.
“When the nvme drive is inserted into the adapter, the system doesn’t boot. when removed, the system boot but saying no memory was found on previous boot so the NVME making the memory to disappear.”
I believe that Dell intended that these mPCIe slots be used only for mSata SSDs not NVMe. The models that are a few years newer from 2016 on, probably suppurt NVMe but I haven’t bought any of those to test. So don’t attempt to get faster read/write speeds by using an NVMe drive in that slot, even with an adapter. It just won’t work.
Here’s an article that may help to clear things up a bit.
What is the difference between NVMe and M2
The best way to go with a Dell ’10 or ’20 USFF model is to use the fastest 2.5″ Sata SSD you can afford. Those give you good boot times and with enough ram the system shouldn’t lag at all.
Greg G says
On the 3010 you need to jumper “Clear CMOS” to get the system into service mode. I added the driver at the end of DXE driver..And it worked.
Greetings from Ecuador excellent information and I appreciate the fact that you share it. My question is whether this procedure can be applied to a DELL Optiplex 980 since this model’s BIOS is not UEFI. Please help
Thanks a bunch for the write-up, still works on my Dell 7010 SFF. For any non-Windows users wondering, the BIOS update and flashing tools work in live-bootable FreeDOS as “ftp -d backup.bin” and “ftp -bios -f nvme.bin” respectively. UEFITool does have a Linux release as well, but be sure to grab a non-“NE” build.
This technique is great. My only half-problem is that, on my 7010 Mini-Tower, I’m getting only 1,700 Mbps instead of the hoped-for 3,500 Mbps.
Did some digging in other forums, and the consensus is that, in my 7010 Mini-Tower, my Q77 chipset will provide only PCI-E Gen 2 no matter which CPU I have, and it will make no difference whether or not I replace my i3 CPU with an i5 or an i7.
I’m beginning to wonder whether my new Samsung NVMe M.2 is not as good as everyone else’s.
Those of you who have 7010s and are getting close to 3,500 Mbps – please advise what are your CPUs and what are your chipsets. Please then also run Speccy and CPU-Z. In CPU-Z, on the Mainboard tab, it might give you “Bus Spec”, which might say what CPI-E Gen you have.
buenos dias soy de lima peru deseo hacer esa modificacion para mi placa gigagyte GA-F2A88XM-HD3, GA G41M-ES2L, GA-F2A55M-HD2 PUEDES AYUDARME TE LO AGRADACERE MUCHISIMO
@freddy Ninguna de sus placas base tiene UEFI BIOS Desea usar algo de al menos 2012 o posterior que sea compatible con UEFI.
Erik Miller says
Want to thank you for writing up this process and making it available. I have an Optiplex 7010 i7-3770 that I use for digital audio workstation and video editing chores, so every bit of performance I can pull from it counts. I’d been booting using the Clover-on-thumbdrive method, which always bothered me because I didn’t like having the thumb drive sticking out, and it also makes for a slightly longer boot. This BIOS patch, however, let my system fully recognize the drive, as it should. There was a snag because I somehow got hold og the Intel System Management Tools v. 9 instead of v. 8, but then I read the comments and that happened with someone else. Changed versions and it worked like a charm!
Hello from Germany!
The following machines have been successfully updated and booting from NVMe:
– 790 > 25 units
– 990 > 60 units
– 3010 > 30 units
– 3020 > 30 units
– 7010 > 100 units
– 7020 > 100 units
– 9010 > 80 units
– 9020 > 250 units
not a single problem with all those machines. Just follow the steps and you will geht the best result!
Feel free to get in touch, if you need further assistance.
Wow Peter – You have been busy! Incredible amount of upgrades you have done. I guess it is a business environment, are the users of the machines happier now?
Peter – on the 7010s, what CrystalDiskMark speeds are you getting, what model NVMe M.2 did you use (and size), and what model CPUs do they have?
(I ask because I’m getting only 1,700 Mbps, not the hoped-for 3,500 Mbps, and I have some other PCs to mod.)
Booting from an NVMe drive makes Windows 10 much faster.
Here’s another way to make Windows 10 even faster than that. Debloat Windows 10.
Before you run this script, make sure you know what you are removing. Everything it does can be easily reversed so there is not much risk but be careful with it nonetheless.
Jim B says
glnz – I too have a 7010 with only SATA-3 enable for the optical drive and still getting the “No Hard Drive Found” at bboot. Did you find a fix other than adding a dummy drive or disabling the optical drive?
Jim B – no I have not. I disabled my optical drive – have not yet tried a dummy drive with (for example) Linux.
But please advise –
1) What numbers are you getting with CrystaDiskMark? (Mine are only ~ 1,700 ± MBps, not the hoped-for 3,500)
2) What brand/model NVMe M.2 did you buy?
3) What is your CPU?
Thanks. Got it working from your very detailed instructions.
I did have the “No Hard Drive Found” at boot message. That was my mistake I had booted my USB stick in BIOS mode and inadvertently installed the OS in BIOS mode rather that UEFI. I had to boot the USB stick in UEFI mode and then re-install the OS.
I. M. Fletcher says
Paulie! Wow! Thank you so much for putting this together for the 7010. You really know your business. I tried your other instructions I think for the 7020 and nothing would work, but these worked well. However, after inserting the new driver and loading the bios with no issues, it still doesn’t boot from the drive. I can read/write to the drive, but just cannot boot. Looking in the comments, I see another user with the same issue. I just get no drives message and then it tries to boot from the NIC. If I go into bios and switch to UEFI mode, it also just goes to the NIC. If I click ADD in the UEFI dialog, it says “No Filesystem”. It’s very interesting. I’ve been working with computers for 40 years and there is always something new. The only differences I see in my installation is (1) I have a video card in the blue slot, (2) I don’t have your same card. Now, there are comments that say they switched to UEFI mode and THEN installed the OS, so maybe I might have to do something like that. Right now, I used Macrium to clone the hard drive to the nvme drive and then I’m trying to work with it. Maybe this requires a UEFI install?
I. M. Fletcher says
A quick follow-up. I read through all of the comments, and I think I have new info that explains what’s going on. In order to boot in UEFI mode, I have to have a GPT disk, which I don’t. I’m working on converting it. After I finish, I’ll post an update. Right now, it’s MBR mode.
Jim B says
Thanks for your quick reply, I apologize for my late reply. I was not able to get it to boot free of the message unless I either turned off all the SATA ports. I tried switching the optical drive to different ports without success. I was able get rid of the message by connecting a hard drive to SATA_0 and leaving the drive unformatted so it didn’t show a drive letter but that was too messy for my standards. Since this was for a customer, I opted to pull the NVME/adapter out and use a SATA SSD. In my 40 years of being a computer tech I am still as curious as the first day so I plan to try again with a test machine. The one variable in my case was before cloning, I converted the old drive from MBR to GPT and didn’t do a clean UEFI install. I used Acronis to clone the drives. I didn’t have time to experiment with this machine.
The system was a 7010, I5-3470, SSD is a WD SN570, and the adapter was the one linked in the article. I was using the Blue slot. It booted fine and was definitely faster but the ALERT message was a deal-breaker. Below is the results of the performance test. I’ll post again if I have better luck.
Seq Read was 3439
Seq Write was 1878
Jim B – thanks for your info. It’s still a mystery to me why my 7010 is getting Reads of only 1,700 MBps ±.
Could it be because I have an i3 and not and i5 or i7? So maybe the i3 delivers only PCi-E Gen 2 and not Gen 3?
Or maybe I have a defective Samsung 970 EVO Plus (but then would it just not work at all)?
Jim B says
glnz – I’m not an expert but I would bet that the PCI-e version has a lot to do with your speed difference. As you might already know, V2 is half the bandwidth of V3 so it stands to reason. You should be able to quickly mod your other machine to find out for sure. Or, just swap CPU’s as a test.
Good luck and let us know the outcome
David Herring says
Upgraded dell 7010S –
1768 is the read speen in KdiskMark (Ubuntu equivalent of CrystalDiskMark ) – impressive but not the 3500 number others seem to have got ?
Thanks for the brilliant write up !
David Herring – I also have only 1,700 MBps ± in my 7010.
What CPU do you have? (I have n i3.)
And others with 7010s getting 3,500, what CPUs do you have?
Thanks to Paulie and all here..
I. M. Fletcher says
Just a quick follow-up, and thanks again, Paulie for this EXCELLENT write up. I’ve learned so much from this experience. So switching the drive to GPT did the trick! The 7010 found the drive and I was able to install Windows on it without issue. Boots fast (after turning off the SATA drives) and Windows works great. I never thought I’d ever be editing a BIOS image. Almost like being back on the old IBM 9121. Thanks again!
It’s really great to see so many people having success with this. Keep the success stories coming!
Timothy Hudgins says
Will this upgrade work on Dell 9020? Worked great on my 7010, thanks.
No, but I have a separate guide for that machine which will work.
Timothy Hudgins says
Do you have a link on that one?
It’s under recent posts on the home page. Right above recent comments.
Created a Clover Boot Disk on a flash drive using Samsung 970 EVOPlus with adapter you recommended. I am using the Optiplex 7010 SFF. I disabled SATA 0. It does boot successfully, but when I did a benchmark test using CrstalDiskMark, I am getting no difference in speed from the original SATA SSD installed. The directions seemed plain enough, but am I missing something you see? Thank you.
Phillip May says
There’s nothing showing up under pci ports in bios. Could this be due to the sata ports both being enabled? I only have the hdd and DVD drive working currently.
Update – In my test Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower:
– I have FINALLY replaced the original i3 processor with a used i7-3770 that I bought on eBay,
– it IS providing PCI-E 3.0 in the x16 PCI-E slot, and
– my NVMe M.2 is now showing the full expected speed of 3,400 MBps per this article.
It’s alive !!!
This is on my TEST used Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower, which might become a fourth computer in my wife’s mini-office.
Now, my PERSONAL computer is also an Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower with its original i5-3470 and HDD. According to responses in other forums, this i5 should also provide PCI-E 3.0 in the x16 slot, so I should be able to convert my PERSONAL 7010 to NVMe M.2 pursuant to this article without the half-speed issue.
Final issue is that (with the BIOS mods in this article) the PC will not connect to its DVD unit unless the PC also has a SATA drive with something bootable, as outlined in the comments above. i created a new partition on the original SATA HDD and installed a bootable Macrium Reflect Rescue in it. That works, but on reeboot, Windows always asks whether I want Win 10 or “Other”. Ideally, the reboot would always go directly to my Win 10 and I would only see this alternate bootable Macrium Reflect Rescue option if I hit F12 on the rebeoot for the one-time boot option menu. But I haven’t found yet how to do that. Please point me to any links that you think will help me fix this “no connection to your DVD without extra bootable SATA drive” problem.
Paul, many thanks, and God Save the King!
thank you for this HOWTO. I made all steps without errors but on first boot after flöashing modyfied Bios Computer wants boot at all. No Bios acces and Orange Power Button flash. (Corrupt Bios??)
After reflashing Backup.bin everything fine again.
What i did false.
Miguel Camilo says
I have a Optiplex 7010 MT one of the slots is using a GPU that should be the top one pci express x16 and i only have one slot left available and that’s the bottom one PCI-e x16 (wire x4) could i still be able to use the NVMe M.2 on the slot but both GPU and NVMe been used at the same time?
Robert P says
This is a fantastic upgrade.
Your instructions on how to modify the BIOS in order to achieve UEFI boot worked a charm. Thanks Paul.
For me (as a novice in these matters) the biggest challenge became getting from MBR to GPT. My starting point was a mechanical hard drive with Windows 10 Pro Enterprise preinstalled in MBR format. Being reluctant to reinstall Windows I first cloned this to a Kingston SATA SSD. The free cloning software that I used would not do the MBR to UEFI/GPT conversion. I don’t think any do (but others may know better). As mentioned above, UEFI boot must have GPT style format. I got in a right mess while comprehending this. However I had also already cloned to the NVMe M.2 SSD having made it MBR(!) and of course it would not boot! After pausing to ask the right question I then discovered the following sites that describe clearly how to perform a free conversion from within Windows 10 using MBR2GPT: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/convert-mbr-gpt-windows/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZY42_Dl0ck I used my legacy Windows 10 installation on the Kingston SATA SSD to perform the conversion on the NVMe M.2 SSD. With that done and the BIOS switched to UEFI rather than legacy boot mode my Optiplex 7010 now boots in UEFI from the NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD. Additionally, during the process I noticed that if I had no SATA hard drive connected then the system would report “No Hard Drive found” However by pressing “F1” the system would nonetheless boot in UEFI. This “F1” step disappears if a SATA hard drive is reconnected. Also I found that it took the system another restart for all the drives to be recognised in Disk Manager. So if in doubt about any step it seems to be worth trying again with another restart! I have since partitioned the drive and made the system dual bootable with Ubuntu.
Thanks again Paul.
Here are the results that I achieved on my Dell Optiplex 7010 SSF i7:
Before: using SATA Kingston SSD Performance after upgrade
These tutorials may also be of interest:
Converting MBR to GPT without data loss:-
Using Macrium Reflect Free to Clone Windows to a bootable M.2 SSD:-
includes using Administrator Command Prompt – DISKPART to clean disks.
How to Clone Windows 10:-
Making a dual boot system:-
Robert P says
Summary of my CrystalDiskMark 8.0.2 x64 [Admin] Results
Kingston SATA SSD Performance, legacy boot (MBR):
SEQ1M/Q8T1, SEQ1M/Q1T1, RND4K/Q32T1, RND4K/Q1T1 *
Read 561.57, 528.67, 203.29, 30.56
Write 506.57, 470.49,19.54, 19.18
With Crucial NVMe PCIe M.2 on glotrends adapter (GPT):
SEQ1M/Q8T1, SEQ128K/Q32T1, RND4K/Q32T16, RND4K/Q1T1 *
Read 2450.32, 2495.27, 1099.53, 37.94
Write 2056.82, 2065.01, 873.43, 135.96
* I do not know why the parameters in the second and third rows, first column have changed between the tests or what the significance of this is.
Great results Robert. Must have given the machine a significant boost in responsiveness.
David Morrison says
you keep saying it will be slower if you dont use the graphics card slot, not true if you have the 7010 DT or MT it has 2 16x slots
3rd is for wifi , not use that one,
other 2 are 16x and the black one is 16x wired as 4, which is all you need for nvme
nvme ssd only uses 4 lanes, so if you put it in the graphics slot it will be 16x running at 4 anyways, unless it is gen 2 not gen 3, but what i see they are both gen 3 pcie slots. so do not use your graphics slot, it will make no difference ,
Hi David, thank you for the useful clarification.
Larry D. says
GREAT Tutorial! But I have one question. Would I be able to use the NVME driver to flash the BIOS on an Optiplex 3040 SFF with a BIOS dated August of this year (2022) version 1.20.1 which I have updated.
I tried to use the fptw64 tool to make the backup and got THIS error:
Error 318: The host CPU does not have read access to the target flash area. To enable read access for this operation you must modify the descriptor settings to give host access to this region.
FPT Operation Failed.
I DID manage to get a backup made using this command:
FPTW64.exe -bios -d dump.bin but I am worried as to whether or not the NvmExpressDxe_Small.ffs will be able to be injected. Last thing I need is to brick this Optiplex since it is my main computer right now.
Thanks for any help you can give!
I would have thought the 3040 would have NVMe support natively. So I don’t think you need to mess with the firmware at all!
Larry D. says
No, it does not. The BIOS sees my NVME as Mass Storage but not as a bootable drive, although I am thinking I MIGHT be able to make it bootable by adding an extra entry under Windows Manager. Problem is I need to figure out what the exact parameters are.
I’ll keep plugging at it
Thanks a lot for taking time to write this article. Because of this only, layman like me was able to use the NVME as OS disk which otherwise i was planning to add as additional disk with sata SSD as bootable. Your very clear step by step instructions with screenshot were very helpful.
I added the NVME to my optiplex 9020 and there were few steps which i had to do in addition. May be you can add those steps in your nice article. These are:
First convert HDD from MBR to GPT to enable UEFI :
– My HDD was MBR disk and bios was setup as legacy. Thus first i had to convert my HDD to GTP disk
– Good article on this is https://www.windowscentral.com/how-convert-mbr-disk-gpt-move-bios-uefi-windows-10 and online conversion works fine.
– However the conversion failed and this is well addressed in https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2218500-mbr2gpt-conversion-0x00000000-error. One should read all the comments first before applying the fix for DELL PC as that leads to problem when disk is not identified as basic disk. Thus users should be careful to apply the correct command which I guess would be mbr2gpt.exe /convert /disk:0 /map:222=ebd0a0a2-b9e5-4433-87c0-68b6b72699c7 /allowFullOS . I applied the first command then had to convert the disk to basic disk and reapply this command did not worked later on. But i had no follow up problems afterwards so i left it here only.
Move Legacy Boot to UEFI in ROM
– Ensure your HDD boots fine with UEFI
Clone HDD to NVME ssd
Remove all unused SATA disks from ROM and move to ACHI ?
– You have mentioned this adequately but i missed it and only reading your article again, the NVMe booted correctly. May be you can highlight that in bold red as this is also crucial step i guess.
– Also may be you can add point to move from SATA interface to ACHI alongwith as that is better i guess ?
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I managed to make my Dell optiplex 7010 a real rocket! I really appreciate your work that you shared with us too. You are a genius!
Well I guess this ISN’T going to work for the OptiPlex 3040 SFF with the A 1.20 BIOS. I cannot find where to insert the code for the FFS file, and I did several searches for key phrases such as OemLinkDellPwdLib. I would have torn out my hair on this but I have little enough as it is.
I guess I am going to have to bite the bullet on this, and either accept the fact that my SSD drive is NOT going to be bootable or buy a newer model that does have M.2 compatibility such as an on the mobo M.2 slot or is able to boot from PCIe.
If you have any further suggestions it would be greatly appreciated!
This procedure won’t work for a 3040. But if you’re 100% sure it doesn’t already support NVMe I will buy one and write up another guide for that series of machines.
I’ve tried everything including all the methods listed in this article from Dell:
NOTHING has worked. I even tried Clover and that didn’t work either. Although I do realize that Clover is more geared to Hackintosh I still could not get it to boot.
If you can find a way, PLEASE let me know.
Thanks for your help!
Thank you for your detailed instruction. I could upgrade to a 2TB M.2 Samsung Evo Plus card in my 2013 Optiplex 9010 SFF. Initially, I cloned my windows 10 system disk (MBR) to this drive (formatted as GPT) but could not boot under UEFI. However, I installed a fresh win 10 pro installation on the drive and booted from this new drive. Read speed is 3372 MB/s, and write speed is 3358 MB/s. Five years ago, I got this machine free from surplus and installed a 500 GB Samsung 860 EVO. The read and write speeds before the upgrade were around 550 MB/s. The performance improvement is amazing, and I hope to use this computer for another 5 years.
Thank you so much,
I was wondering. Instead of you having to buy an Optiplex 3040 machine, would you just need the BIOS image that I have extracted, (I did several copies in case I fubared one) for the Optiplex 3040?
If so, let me know and I will upload the file to either Dropbox or Google Files.
I have a 3040 now. I will check it out and come back to you soonest.
I just followed this to my old Dell OptiPlex 7010, but it still won’t let me boot from it. Under the UEFI menu, I cannot add any boot options, it gives me a warning saying “No file system”, and under legacy, it doesn’t recognize it as a bootable drive either. Any solutions to fix this problem?
I tried cloning my original drive using Macrium reflect off of an old Samsung Drive onto my Crucial P2 NVMe M.2 drive via an adapter similar tp the one you used.
I’m trying to update my 7010 according to this procedure but when I switched the jumper for service mode and I restarted it. It didn’t boot for about 10 mins and then it’s no longer showing the Boot option or boot menu. And getting straight into windows is taking forever everytime I restart. Have put back the jumper in it’s original position but no boot menu and it’s still taking forever to load. Stuck on this for hours. Any leads
Paulie – Happy New Year!
Some time soon I will convert my second 7010 MT per your article here. (I converted my first in September and left some notes above).
Question: my existing second 7010 dual boots Win 7 Pro and Win 10 Pro, both 64-bit. The current default OS is the Win 10 per my settings in the very useful dual-booting apps iReboot and EasyBCD. I’m already UEFI but with SecureBoot off and no sign-on password needed to boot.
— If I upgrade it per your article here, do you think I’ll have any snags due to the dual-booting?
How is the Dell 3010 SFF put into service mode?
I am not sure, I’ve never used those boot tools before. Sorry.
Please let us know how you get on!
On the Dell 3010 SFF, Service Mode is enabled by moving the jumper from pins 2+3 on the MECLR pins to pins 1+2. The pins are located next to the CMOSCLR pins which are all under the heatsink/fan bracket (under the right side of the bracket if facing the front of the machine).
Larry Dinkoff says
First off I hope you had a great holiday season and of course a Happy New Year ( and may you have many, many more of them. I just did my 72nd New Year)
Did you ever get a chance to the directions for converting a Dell 3040?
Thanks again for all you do!
I purchased a 3040 and attempted to modify it but failed.
The modification part works fine – but the 3040 has some kind of bios guard. When the system detects the modified bios it just restores the original version.
Thanks for your help, Paul. Not sure what that could be, but oh well. If nothing else I have a fast storage drive now.
Tried to upgrade my second Opti 7010 MT but failed. (My initial effort on a different 7010 succeeded a few months ago.)
I think the Samsung NVMe starts the boot process, but the screen then shows nothing. Not sure, of course.
My 7010 dual-boots Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit, and the default is the Win 10. After running all the steps in Paulie’s article, I cloned the original HDD to the Samsung NVMe using Macrium Reflect to do the clone with Verify on.
Now, when trying to boot from the Samsung NVMe, I get the choice whether to continue into Win 10 or Win 7 (a bright blue background and large rectangle choice buttons for Win 10 or Win 7 – the “Metro” style?), but after I choose the Win 10, the screen goes dark.
Actually, the screen is ALMOST black. It’s getting some power, so it’s a very very dark blue – midnight blue – but no info. It stays dark like that.
I used Macrium Rescue Disk “Fix Windows Boot Problems” to try to fix this, but no luck.
Finally, I used the same Macrium Rescue Disk “Fix Windows Boot Problems” to boot only from the old HDD, which is how I’m connecting to this page and writing this comment now.
I suppose I could start from total scratch, at the top of Paulie’s article here, but I wonder if anyone else has had the same experience.
Specifically, has anyone else had success starting with a dual-boot HDD?
Adding to my comment above – even on my original hard disk drive (HDD), my Win 7 Pro 64-bit won’t start. It gets as far as the four glowing MS flags but gets stuck there forever. (On my original HDD, my Win Pro 64-bit does start. At this time, on the NVMe, neither OS starts.)
I’ve posted now a few times now on TenForums and SevenForums, and one of the responses is that Win 7 lacks native drivers for NVMe, and such drivers have to be added / installed.
So – question – when we add the line for NvmExpressDxe_Small to the BIOS (per Paulie’s article above) and then try to boot into Win 7 Pro 64-bit, does the BIOS expect to find NVMe drivers in Win 7 and so Win 7 hangs if such drivers aren’t there yet?
When I get a chance, I’ll revert my BIOS back to the pre-Paulie version (which I might find in backup.bin, yes?) and see if my Win 7 can then start. If yes, I’ll add the NVMe drivers suggested in some posts at TenForums and SevenForums and start all over.
Again, would love to hear from any here who have succeeded with Paulie’s technique in a dual-booting setup.
(If you want to add to my detailed posts at TenForums and SevenForums, I use the same user name glnz – search for that and recent posts. Much appreciated if you do so.)
Sorry – in my post immediately above, the last two sentences in the first paragraph should be
(On my original HDD, my Win Pro 10 64-bit does start. At this time, on the NVMe, neither OS starts.)
I have a Optiplex 7010 with A29 bios and Dell service tag 3D495Y1.
When trying to use a Intel Ethernet server adapter I350-T4 or a Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual port adapter, the onboard network adapter are no more detected by the operating system, and also the pc can suddenly freeze. I have truded bothe with Windows 10 and also Ubuntu Linus and Smoothwall firewall. All operating systems are giving similar behavior, so this must be a bios conflict issue. My reason for using the INTEL 2 and 4 port network cards is to use the 710′ as a small firewall. Do you thing or have any feedback if the BIOS can be modified so that the INTEL Network cards can be ussed, and also the onboard NIC will still be functional =
After a lot of fussing, especially turning back on “Enable Legacy ROMs” in my BIOS, my dual-booting (Win 10 + 7) Optiplex 7010 is booting and running the Win 10 from the Samsung 970 Evo Plus with the usual 3,400 MBps in and out.
But the Win 7 side will NOT start.
Maybe, if I go back to my original dual-booting HDD, which can run both the Win 10 and the Win 7, I should add some drivers to the Win 7 side, or install specific hotfixes, that permit Win 7 to boot and start from NVMes ? What would those hotfixes, drivers or updates be, and where can I find them now?
CHRISTIAN AUZEAU says
On a 3010 no way to put it in Service Mode. Only 3 jumpers from bottom side : left : Password, middle : Biosclr, Right Meclr. As from some others user I tried the middle jumper on pin 1,2. (They are all on pin 2,3 normaly). But the system doesn’t start.
Any suggestion ?
Christian Auzéau says
Well, that worked but I cannot boot from the SSD (same EVO 970). My Dell 3010 see it like a mass storage not bootable. I even cannot instrall a new window from a Usb key. Ay Idee ? Thanks. You make a great job guys !
Great post. It made my OptiPlex 7010 great again.
Just want to share something here:
After putting the Optiplex 7010 into service mode, the first boot (after you press F1 to continue) might fail (For me, it always failed. I changed a few 7010s). Just turn it off and then turn on again. The second time, it will boot into windows and we can do the backup/mod/re-flash.
Hello. Thank You for instruction. I repeat all but my dell optiplex 7010 dont recognize sata, msata or nvme drive after. Can you help me?
Thanks for great tutorial. I moded OptiPlex 990, 7010, 9010 and all works super fast.
Only difference is in optiplex 990 you have to manually add UEFI device in bios to boot from NVME pci-e ssd. In 7010,9010 will detect automatic.
Thank you for the great tutorial. It works great in a 9010. It works with an AXAGON PCEM2-D adapter with a Samsung 980 256GB NVME. Read 2800MB/s, Write 1200MB/s. A bit slow but it’s probbably the adapter. Still more than 40 times faster .
I have been trying to get my Dell Inspiron UEFI backup up but keep getting a 201 error. Says it will not work on this platform? Intel machine running an Intel i5 processor. Have you tried to upgrade one of these?
*Update on my last post*
My chipset is newer than this post so I downloaded a different Intel Management Engine System tool. I was able to dump the bios and add the file for NVME support. I copied the file back, restarted and verified it was still there. I ordered a drive and adapter card that will be here tomorrow.
To get the Inspiron into Service Mode you need to move the jumper MECLR1. Note: during boot up the system does not warn you that you are in Service Mode. I switched it back and tried again to dump the file. This time it was not readable. So far all is good here.
Dell Inspiron 3847 (Only one PCIe 16 port)
Intel® Core™ i5-4440 Processor
8th Generation Intel® Core™
Greetings! I wish I have contacted Peter (MAY 9, 2022 AT 12:17 PM) before going the other route.
Optiplex 9010, W10, i5 3.20ghz, booting from PCIe NVMe M.2 adapter using a WD SN850X 1TB and a $14 PCIe adapter 3.0 that included a heat sink.
Boot from PCIe NVMe M.2 adapter from Optiplex 9010.
Attempted to update BIOS using W10. Failed.
Attempted to update BIOS using FREEDOS USB. Failed. My MBE is #3 if that matter.
Created a bootable USB with Clover. It failed until I removed the HDD.
Before removing the HDD, I created a USB Windows 10 installer.
Attempted to install the W10 on NVM2 M.2 but it was partioned with the copied info from my current HDD and it was not going to install it there, W10 said.
I was already booting from Clover USB and selecting the 2nd or 3rd image (it is normally the second one, but it was reading the USB W10 installer and place it with an image of SSD on the first image/option).
I decided to remove the HDD. And let it boot the NVMe M.2. It failed and it shows a bunch of little lines horizontally, then, the DELL logo and it attempted to boot from the USB W10 installed as planned and selected from the Boot sequence.
Attempted to install W10 from zero. Failed. Didn’t like the partitions. So, I used the Problem Solver from the installer and opened the CMD symbol and used Diskpart, List Disk, Select Disk #, Clean and I let the machine reboot.
Attempted to go same route to boot from NVMe M.2 but nothing was found there (HDD cables disconnected already), so, the USB W10 installer booted and asked me to install W10. I did.
I must say that during the restarting process, I was not sure what to do, but I let it attempt to boot from the NVMe M.2 and it kept with the instalation process.
It restarted like 3 times.
Yes, I have removed the Virtualization from the Boot commands and turned of Security Boot for this purpose and allowed it to boot from Legacy ROM devices. But keeping the UEFI.
I did try to update the BIOS while using Legacy Boot mode. Failed.
It is currently working. I just have to solve the reason why I cannot see my HDD when booting from NVMe M.2 SSD, but when I boot from HDD, I was able to see the NVM2 M.2, So, I started to transfer the files that were important to me.
For some reason, the second display is kind of enlarged, when booting from NVM2, unable to fix that right now.
After I attempted to update the BIOS using W10, the internet sometimes does not work using cable for some reason. Sometimes, it reads the adapter and others it won’t. Sometimes, it shows it is desabled and I am able to enabled it. Others, it does not shows anything.
The different on the speed are day and night. I was waiting around 9 minutes to have the machine capable of doing my request.
Now, everything is ready within 1 minute.
Mark G says
Hi guys, I have modified the BIOS successfully, installed the PCI card. Cloned my OS (win7 Pro) from previous SSD to the NMVe drive – all seems good at first boot immediately after the cloning process. I tested all my applications, all seems to work just fine.
BUT FOR some unknown reason, as soon as I shut down, and restart it does not boot at all. Gives error 00000000007dx OR something along those lines.
ANY HELP? Would appreciate inputs.
(System is Dell 7010)
I don’t think windows 7 has NVMe support built in.
Win 10 is free to activate with your 7 key, 10 is free on ms site, called media creation tool, 7 no support nvme