NVME Bootable Support without modding ANYTHING sort of....

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by calmasacow, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. calmasacow, Sep 1, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018

    calmasacow macrumors member


    Jun 13, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Ok so after looking at all of the voodoo that was being required to make NVME bootable I found a work around and it is super easy with High Sierra. the solution as it turns out is actually pretty cool!

    I bought the LT whatever it is call PCI-e NVME adapter card on amazon and got a Samsung EVO 960 500GB SSD. I couldn't get it to boot I could install to it but I never could get it to boot. After doing some research I found that it wasn't bootable without a lot fo firmware hacking stuff that was WAY more complicated than I was comfortable with. Anyway one of the comments thought sparked an idea. it was about using a SATA SSD to boot because those systems started earlier in the Boot rom before the NVME was active. I Though about it and wondered if I used coreStorage and created a Fusion Drive would it force the loading of the NVME. Well it works!
    I have a 1.5TB fusion drive that is booting and running at the full advertise speeds of the NVME when I test it with BlackMagic Speed Tester

    Just when you boot your USB installer open the terminal and follow the instructions


    Once you have the Fusion drive created click "install new copy of OSX" and select the fusion drive!

    Now I have space and speed!
  2. tsialex macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2016
    Yep, Fusion drives will work if you don't want to inject NVMe. It's a know workaround.
  3. JedNZ macrumors 6502


    Dec 6, 2015
    Deep South
    So I'm guessing that a small SSD, like a Samsung 860 Pro 256GB paired with a Samsung 960 EVO NVMe 500Gb would work? If so then that would give me a bit more room for my boot drive.

    Would a generic PCIe M.2 adapter work okay for the NVMe blade (that's what I've currently got), or would I have to go for something more exotic like the LT thing?
  4. tsialex macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2016
    Any supported AHCI drive, even an old hard drive, will work to provide boot with a NVMe SSD.

    Remember that with a Fusion drive setup you will double your chances of failure. It's not a secret that even Macs originally configured from factory with Fusion drives fail an leave people in dire straits. So, have a backup.
  5. MIKX macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2004
    Fusion is Fusion = two drives. . . . . . . NVMe M.2 or SSD booting is NVMe booting = one drive.

    I had Sierra FUSION booting with my NVMe M.2 960 EVO with a USB 3.0 stick doing the ACTUAL BOOTING = TWO drives.

    Now I boot from the same M.2 blade ONLY in High Sierra. = one tiny, very cool, very fast NVMe blade !

    Plus now I have one extra USB port free.

    No pain = no gain.
  6. Aiwi macrumors newbie


    Oct 21, 2010
    Sounds great! So if I understand you correctly, we just make a

    Fusion Drive consisting of:
    - Simple SATA SSD
    - NVMe M2 SSD

    Install macOS on this and you get both a bootable drive and NVMe speeds (except on a small part of the fusion drive). Plus something that isn't sensitive to EFI/System updates.

    The increased chance of failure surely isn't a big one. It's not mechanical drives we're talking about anyway.

    I can't believe I haven't seen this advice in the Mac Pro Upgrade Sticky..

    Great find!
  7. FredF67 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2018
    I tried it with my Toshiba 1 TB NVMe drive and I couldn't get it to boot. I married it just like the instructions said and when I look at it in Disk Utility , It says it's not bootable. Any suggestions? Help.
  8. tsialex macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2016
    Install BootROM, it has native NVMe support.

    Read posts #1554 and #1569, or wait until Apple releases 10.14.1 this week.

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8 September 1, 2018