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ProTools Windows DAW with 2 ssds Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 25th March 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

ProTools Windows DAW with 2 ssds

So, I ordered a new Dell XPS 8930 earlier this year, it is the new 8086 I7 CPU version and 32Gb ram. I had a 1TB NVME SSD installed (Dell installs Intel ssds) I also got a 2TB 7200 rpm SATA HDD factory installed.

Then, I ordered and installed a StarTech 4x PCMCIe adapter to install a 2nd SSD, I ordered a Samsung 970 nvme to use with it. I installed the adapter and the SSD and windows saw (sees) the 2nd ssd and I have been using it as my Audio Drive for my Protools and Cubase files. Everything seemed to be working just fine, I have done several sessions and the system is quick and loading files is really fast ... .being a 4x PCMCIe NVME ssd it is much faster than a Sata SSD, 4-5x faster.

Now here is where the trouble showed up. I had to do a couple of updates to the system and when the computer would reboot, it would just hang, no video, nothing, the power light is on (but nobody's' home LOL)... it just hangs, So I have to hit and hold the power button do a hard shutdown and then cold boot, the system loads from a cold boot no problem. At first I had read alot of issues with Dell on the video (on board) HDMI so Dell suggested I go out and buy a Display Port to HDMI adapter which I did, still the same thing....

Like I said, cold start up and everything works fine, run all the diagnostic tests and everything works fine... It is just the darn reboot. I got to the point that if I was told I have to reboot, I just do a soft shutdown and restart... that works fine...

So, my question is, is there anyone out here using a windows based Windows 10 machine with 2 NVME SSD's installed using a PCIE adapter? If so, did you have the same issue.

Hope to hear back from folks that have this set up... Yes, I know, I can use a SATA SSd but like I said, the NVME is 4 x quicker so I'd like to stay with that!
Old 25th March 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
All your bios settings correct? I would simplify your boot settings in your bios to the minimal, ie only your boot drive as an option, and disable any kind of accelerated boot options. That's my first thought.
Old 25th March 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Your problem is probably with the StarTech.
Try switching it to a different PCIe slot and make sure any "boot" options in the BIOS ignore the drives on the StarTech.

Any reason why you didn't get one of Dell's PCIe NVMe adapters?
Old 26th March 2019
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Pentagon, You could be correct, but, if I put the card in the computer with out the SSD installed everything is fine... I need to get out and check the boot sequence... didn't get out there today... but, you brought up an interesting point.. which PCIE Dell adapter are you refering to? The Tech at Dell I am working with never mentioned one offered by them... Only one that I saw was about $400 with the SSD included.. I'd be open to look at options. Thanks for your input.
Old 26th March 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidki View Post
Pentagon, You could be correct, but, if I put the card in the computer with out the SSD installed everything is fine... I need to get out and check the boot sequence... didn't get out there today... but, you brought up an interesting point.. which PCIE Dell adapter are you refering to? The Tech at Dell I am working with never mentioned one offered by them... Only one that I saw was about $400 with the SSD included.. I'd be open to look at options. Thanks for your input.
I'm not saying remove it completely. I'm saying move it to a different PCIe slot.

As for the Dell card: They are all sold under the "Dell Ultraspeed" brand of cards. They can be bought without any NVMe drives all the way up to 4 drives included. They come in different models too with how many drives they can host (single, dual, or quad.) We use the Ultraspeed Quad cards in multiple systems with Samsung NVMe drives.
Old 26th March 2019
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Morning Pentagon, well the Dell XPS 8930 has only 1 x4 PCIE slot in the system, so moving it is not a choice for this system. I'll check out the Ultraspeed cards today, the one that I had noticed actually was for a x16 Pcie slot... but, I"ll check them out.

Again, with the card and the SSD installed, everything works, the drive is really fast in the x4 buss, the only issue is if I need to "Reboot" Or "Restart" the computer it is just hanging ... On a Cold Boot after a "Shut Down" the system boots correctly. Dell is looking in to the different of "Reboot-Restart" vs cold boot in the system bios and software... It would be nice to get it working.

According to Dell, doing a "Shutdown" should not cause any issues, it's just a little longer to get back up and running.. . so far, I've not lost any data or had issues... But, It may have caused a firmware update to the Intel SSD not to load ... but, now that update is done.

Last night I went and downloaded all the lattest drivers, firmwae and files on the Samsung 970 site and I am going to go out and see if everything is up to date ... I hope to get to that today...

As a back up I bought a PCIe NVME external enclosure with USB C connection, I may load it in there and take a look at the performance of that drive... Im sure it would be faster than the Seagate HDD that is in the system now as an data drive.. but, it won't get to the speeds of a PCIE x4 performance or even close to it is my guess!

Thanks again for your suggestions...

As for the question of using a ProTools System builder to build the unit... I had given it some thought but didn't know which one to use or contact.... Oh Well!

By the way I want to make sure that I was clear, I am not looking at this SSD to be a Boot Drive, ONLY an SSD Audio Drive for my ProTools and Cubase protects. I have of course other opportunities, Install a SATA SSD (which I also have available) or just use an external drive .... either one of these would probably be fine...

Last edited by davidki; 26th March 2019 at 01:31 PM.. Reason: add a comment
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