No NVME Device Found

dramsey

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Aug 3, 2020
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I've got Catalina running on my Asus Crosshair VIII Impact board...but only if I boot Opencore from a USB key or SATA drive, because without one of those the system doesn't see the m.2 drive Catalina is installed on.

I've installed Catalina on a nice, fast Corsair 2TB PCIE Gen 4 drive. Works great. Except, you know, for the whole "motherboard doesn't see the drive" thing.

If I go into the BIOS and select Advanced->NVME Configuration, I'm told "No NVME drive found". In fact there are two, the Catalina install drive and a scratch drive. If I boot Opencore from a USB key or SATA drive, and can boot Catalina from the 2TB drive, and both it and the scratch drive appear on my desktop.

But since the motherboard BIOS seems blissfully unaware of either drive, I can't boot directly...and yes, there's a valid EFI partition with an Opencore configuration on it.

Here's the timeline:

1. Boot from installer USB and install Catalina. Reboot into Catalina.
2. Mount EFI partition of the NVME drive and copy configured EFI folder.
3. Hm. Can't boot from the NVME drive. Drive not seen by motherboard BIOS. No obvious settings to change this.
4. Maybe there's something wrong with the drive. Install additional 500GB NVME scratch drive and install Catalina on that. Mount EFI partition and copy folder.
5. Huh. Suddenly everything works. I can even boot from the 2TB drive I couldn't before. Drive shows up in BIOS and in F8 boot selector screen.
6. Boot from 2TB drive and erase scratch drive. Continue with tweaks to get things working.

Here's what seems to have screwed things up: I tried a new **.aml file to get more USB ports working. The system started to boot but froze after the boot progress bar under the Apple logo had completely filled in.

And after that I couldn't boot from NVME any more. The drive stopped showing up in the BIOS. The F88 boot selector screen is empty.

I've made sure CSM is turned off and that the operating system is set to "Other OS".

I'd appreciate any ideas. Google searches revealed a lot of inapplicable Windows techniques. Odd that I've been running off an NVME drive on an ASUS Intel motherboard for over a year now and never seen this issue.
 

dramsey

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Aug 3, 2020
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Just now, and reset the appropriate BIOS things-- CSM off, "Other OS" boot, etc.

One problem was that NVME was set to RAID mode. Turning this off allowed the NVME drive to at least show up in the BIOS under Advanced->NVME Configuration. I can even set either drive as the first boot drive in the Boot section of the BIOS.

However, it still just drops directly into the BIOS at startup. Brining up the boot selector screen with F8 shows no bootable devices.

So I guess the question is "What else do I need other than a FAT-32 partition named "EFI" with a valid EFI folder inside it for the motherboard to boot from it?"

ADDENDUM: If I mount the EFI partition from my NVME drive, it has the name "EFI" on the desktop. However, a "Get Info" on that partition shows the name to be "EFI 1" under "Name and Extension". I change this to "EFI" and close the info window, but it's back to "EFI 1" the next time I open it. Weird.

The other NVME drive, which also should be bootable, has an EFI partition whose name shows correctly as "EFI" under "Get Info".
 

dramsey

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Aug 3, 2020
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Well, I fixed it, although I don't know why the fix worked, nor why it got screwed up in the first place.

As a recap, I was trying to include a new *.AML file, and editing the conguration plist to load it. I can see this rendering the machine unbeatable, but don't understand how it removed the NVME drive as a possible boot device at the BIOS level.

Anyway, what I wound up doing was reformatting the drive as FAT32 with a MBR boot partition. Had to do this via the command line because Apple thinks being able to repartition from within Disk Utility would be too useful.

After I did that, I used Disk Utility to "erase" the drive as APFS with a GUID boot partition. I then installed Catalina-- for the 5th time in two days-- and manually copied my preconfigured pre-new-AML EFI folder to the EFI partition that Disk Utility creates when you select GUID boot type.

Now everything works. The drive's seen as a boot device in the BIOS, although the scratch NVME drive, with an EFI partition and the exact same EFI folder, is not.

One of the mysteries of AMD motherboards and chipsets, I guess.
 

Aluveitie

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ADDENDUM: If I mount the EFI partition from my NVME drive, it has the name "EFI" on the desktop. However, a "Get Info" on that partition shows the name to be "EFI 1" under "Name and Extension". I change this to "EFI" and close the info window, but it's back to "EFI 1" the next time I open it. Weird.

The other NVME drive, which also should be bootable, has an EFI partition whose name shows correctly as "EFI" under "Get Info".

MacOS mounts all partitions under /Volumes. If you already have something mounted with the same name it just adds a count like “EFI 1”. So nothing wrong with the EFI partition itself, it will just be mounted under /Volumes/EFI 1 which is shown under Info.
 

dramsey

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Aug 3, 2020
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MacOS mounts all partitions under /Volumes. If you already have something mounted with the same name it just adds a count like “EFI 1”. So nothing wrong with the EFI partition itself, it will just be mounted under /Volumes/EFI 1 which is shown under Info.

Well, duh. You'd think I'd have figured this out...
 
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