Dell Optiplex 7010 no M.2 slot use existing PCIe slot for NVMe SSD?

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  1. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,812
    Windows 11 Pro

    glnz said:
    NavyLCDR - You write "it would be faster just to boot the computer from internal SATA drive and load the OS from the PCIe to NVMe adapter"

    Sounds interesting - can you point me to some links?

    As to the rest, no one says I'm wise. I find this stuff to be interesting, when I have time to play around.

    One way would be this:
    Universal alternate Windows 11 install method | Windows 11 Forum

    Except you would create the system partition on the SATA HDD/SSD instead of on the NVMe SSD.
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  2. Posts : 10
    Windows 10

    You can boot directly from PCIe NVMe SSD on Dell Optiplex 7010 by making a small modification to the BIOS. It works really well and does provide a real world speed increase over SATA SSD in my opinion.

    I wrote a guide on how to do it:

    How to install and boot from an NVMe SSD on a Dell OptiPlex 7010

    Let me know how you get on if you try it. The BIOS mod is really not difficult to do.
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  3. glnz's Avatar
    Posts : 231
    Dual-boot Win 7 & 10, both Pro 64-bit, now with a Hyper-V VM of Win 11
    Thread Starter

    PaulieM - your article and video at your link to TachyTelic are superb. It's one of the best written and videoed, and most complete, step-by-steps that I have seen, on any computer topic.
    But I must say that modding the BIOS is scary - I've never done anything similar. I shall think about it. Must first find a few days free to practice steps before committing.
    Question - before modding the BIOS per your article, would I first clone my existing HDD to the new NVME to have that ready, and then mod the BIOS per your article?
    Or first mod the BIOS and see if the 7010 will boot up off the existing HDD, and then clone the HDD to the NVME?
    Second question - I am still tempted to try the Clover route, but I have not found an understandable step-by-step anywhere. There is some Clover tool written by a Russian hacker, but it's not clear how to install it onto the USB stick or then how to use it. If you know where I might look for instructions on THAT method, please say (ideally with links).
    But thanks!!
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  4. Posts : 10
    Windows 10

    Thank you Glnz.

    You would modify the BIOS first, the clone the HDD to the NVME.

    I do actually have a guide for the clover procedure, but it is for a Dell PowerEdge:

    How to install and boot a Dell PowerEdge from a PCIe NVMe drive

    Although the procedure is the same for more or less any computer. Both routes are easy. The BIOS mod provides a faster boot-up, but both produce the same results.

    You could use the Clover method to try the NVMe out, and if you feel comfortable, mod the BIOS afterwards. I only made the BIOS mod guide because I just thought it would be cooler to have native support. In practice there isn't any difference in the result other that the BIOS method provides faster boot time.

    I am currently updating the post I did on modifying the OptiPlex 7020 to include the 3020 also. Being able to run these older machines on NVMe is brilliant, it makes them feel completely different. The speed difference is immense.
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  5. glnz's Avatar
    Posts : 231
    Dual-boot Win 7 & 10, both Pro 64-bit, now with a Hyper-V VM of Win 11
    Thread Starter

    PaulieM - Thanks again, and Happy New Year! This is great info!

    1) Dumb Q - on my Optiplex 7010 MT, after setting up your BIOS mod or Clover, I plan to clone my existing HDD onto an NVMe M.2 that will be plugged into my PCIe x4 slot (or maybe even my PCIe x16 slot).
    a) Therefore, I think I should be skipping your "Create your bootable Windows Server Installation" and "Install Windows in the normal way" steps. Please confirm. As I said, dumb Q, but best to confirm.
    b) However, when I follow your steps in "Setup the Clover EFI USB Boot Stick", must the NVMe M.2 SSD first be plugged into the PCIe slot so the Boot Disk Utility "sees" it while creating the Clover USB stick? Note that I would not have cloned yet, so the NVMe M.2 SSD would still be blank, and I would still be running everything off my existing HDD.

    2) Unlike your careful articles, the "" page has no step-by-step detail. Your steps are clear, but if something comes up, is there a site that explains the options in the Boot Disk Utility?

    3) As you are very knowledgeable, to put it mildly, your link to the site gives me a bit of confidence that its Boot Disk Utility for Clover is OK. Normally, I don't run apps from a Russian source. (I stopped trying stuff from Giveaway of the Day a long time ago, unless it's an update of something from, say, a reputable company like Ashampoo.)
    So, do we know whether anyone has checked the coding in the Boot Disk Utility to confirm it's clean?

    4) My existing HDD for OS dual-boots my PC, both
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit (currently v 21H2, and which I now use almost al the time) and
    Win 7 Pro 64-bit (which I hardly use any more but which I keep updated using the method at AskWoody).
    Also, my PC has two other HDDs that I use for data, that I will NOT be cloning to NVMEs.
    If I clone my principal HDD (with my OSes) to an NVMe M.2 SSD, do you think that Clover or your BIOS mod will still let me dual-boot off it?
    (I will probably use Macrium Reflect to clone, unless you recommend a different program. Also, now, my PC runs iReboot from NeoSmart Technologies to let me elect which OS to reboot to. It would be nice if everything continues to work the same way after I've cloned my OS HDD to the NVNe M.2.)

    5) It turns out that my new SanDisk tiny 64GB USB stick is "Cruzer Fit USB 2.0". Should I swap it for your suggested USB 3.0? Will it make a difference if this is where I have the Clover first boot? It will eventually be sitting in the USB slot INSIDE my Optiplex 7010, and I don;t know whether that USB slot even has the 3.0 speed.

    Many thanks !!!!
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  6. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,513
    trying to install win10

    I have an old hp 8300 sff lying around. It might be possible to do a similar bios mod for it, I dont know how to get into service mode on the hp.
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  7. Posts : 10
    Windows 10

    1) The NVMe drive does not need to be connected at the time you create clover. It detects drives upon booting.
    2) There isn't much detail for that utility (as far as I remember). But it is so simple to use, not much is required.
    3) I have not checked out BDU from a security point of view. But I have not personally had a problem using it in the past (that I am aware of).
    4) You can clone with Macrium of Samsung Magician (if you have a Samsung NVMe drive). If you are currently using legacy BIOS to boot that may cause you a problem (because you are going to HAVE to switch to UEFI to boot from the SSD).

    I guess based on the fact you have Windows 7 you are using MBR instead of GPT, which I think will be OK, but I am not 100% sure. Personally having executed the BIOS modification on three separate machines now I would go that route and ignore Boot Disk Utility.

    5) USB 3.0 won't make any difference to the speed of Boot Disk Utility - it is tiny. I didn't know there was a USB slot inside the OptiPlex 7010. I have looked inside my one and cannot see one, where is it?
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  8. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,513
    trying to install win10


    If your win7 is up to date, it should already have the ms nvme updates. If not, they are attached to my sig at sevenforums. Just boot into your win7 unzip the linked file and run the two included .msu files
    Last edited by SIW2; 3 Weeks Ago at 14:02.
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  9. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,513
    trying to install win10

    If you ever want to use win7 boot media ( winpe.wim/winre.wim/boot.wim ) they also need the two updates integrated to be able to recognize nvme disks.
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  10. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,513
    trying to install win10

    If your current disk is mbr, I doubt you will be able to direct clone to gpt disk.

    There are several ways round it.

    One way is to image and restore instead of clone/copy.

    Another way is convert the source disk to gpt before cloning.

    Yet another method would be to clone as mbr and then convert the target disk afterwards.

    First method is probably simplest for people not experienced with cloning/imaging/converting.
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