PCIe 4.0 NVMe RAID Controllers (Bootable)

FAQ's (Supported Products: SSD7505)

1) Motherboard UEFI Requirements & BIOS Settings

Q1: Will my motherboard support a bootable SSD7505 RAID configuration?

A: You will need the following:
a. First and most importantly, your motherboard must provide UEFI BIOS settings. Please check the compatibility list for your SSD7000 controller: SSD7505
b. Next, you will need a mother board with a free PCIe 4.0 (or 3.0) slot x16 lanes.
c. You will need an installation disc for one of the following operating systems: Windows 10 / Windows 2016 / Windows 2019 or a Linux Distribution with Kernel 3.10 and later
d. A USB flash drive for driver installation and the controller’s UEFI RAID Utility Detailed guides are available from the SSD7205 Software Update web pages.

Q2: I want to create a bootable RAID configuration using the SSD7505. What procedure do I follow?

A: Detailed installation guides are available for each operating system, and can be download from the from the Software Downloads web pages for the SSD7505.

Q3: My motherboard does not have a UEFI mode – can I use any of your NVMe products?

A: Yes – HighPoint NVMe RAID cards and enclosures can be used with non-UEFI (Legacy) motherboards that have PCIe 4.0/3.0 capability. UEFI mode is only required for bootable RAID configurations .

2) OS Software RAID Support

Q: Can I use the SSD7505 to support OS-created RAID arrays?

A: This is possible, but we recommend using the RAID controller's interface (WebGUI or UEFUI RAID utility). Our management interfaces provides many functions specifically for monitoring and maintaining RAID arrays and individual drives, such as an Event Log, SMART attributes, and TBW (total bytes written) tracking.

3) Performance

Q1: How can I maximize the performance capability of my NVMe storage configuration?

A: Guides are available for both Mac and Windows platforms, under the Software Downloads page for your SSD7000 series controller.

Q2: If I am using a motherboard with VROC capability, why is it important to disable VROC for the PCIe slot I use with the SSD7000 controller?

A: When using SSD7000 series NVMe RAID controllers with VROC (Virtual RAID on CPU) capable motherboards, it is important to use a slot not dedicated to the VROC feature.

PCIe slots dedicated to VROC are often limited to x4 lanes – this would severely limit the transfer capabilities of the SSD7000 controller, which requires x16 lanes to perform optimally.

Q3: I am experiencing a drop in write performance when using Samsung 970 EVO SSD’s in a Ubuntu Linux environment. What can I do to resolve this?

A: This may be related to the Samsung TurboWrite feature. During a continuous write session, if a certain threshold is exceeded, you may experience a drop in write performance. This threshold varies from model to model (depending on the capacity of the SSD). For example, you may start to notice performance loss at the 20GB mark for a 500GB SSD.

Secondly, this may be related to how the SSD or array was formatted – using the “# mkfs.ext4 / dev / nvme0n1” command multiple times may result in performance loss. After the first mount, the system will begin initializing the disk in the background – this may not be obvious when using the system, but will have a major effect on write performance. For more information, please check the following support article: Link.

Q4: My motherboard reports that x16 lanes are available for the slot I have installed the SSD7000 device into. However, the WebGUI reports that the link speed is only x8. How can I double check which is correct?

A: In this case, we would recommend installing a 3rd party tool, such as HDInfo (Hardware Info) – it can determine the actual link speed and capabilities of the motherboard PCIe slot and SSD7000 device. Please contact our Support Department via our Online Support Portal for more information.

Q5: I am experiencing slower than expected transfer speeds when benchmarking NVMe SSD/arrays in a Linux environment. How can I verify transfer performance?

A: Conventional performance tests may not be able to provide accurate information about NVMe related tranfers. We recommend using a 3rd party utility with the option to specify Que Depth, such as FIO. More information is avaiable  here.

4) Trouble Shooting

Q1: I cannot install an operating system to the SSD7000 controller – the card is not recognized or the SSD/array is not seen by the OS after loading the driver. How do I resolve this?

A: This is often related to the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS settings:
a. Make Secure Boot is disabled – the SSD7505 UEFI feature has not been signed and certified. If Secure Boot is enabled, the controller will not be recognized by the system, which in turn, will prevent the operating system from seeing the card or SSD’s.
b. Make sure the motherboard’s Boot Mode is set to UEFI – The SSD7505 only provides UEFI Boot capability, so the motherboard BIOS needs to be set to UEFI Boot Mode.
c. Make sure the motherboard Option ROM settings are enabled for UEFI Boot Mode – c.– The SSD7505 UEFI capability is not integrated into the BIOS; it needs to be burned into the SSD7505 Flash chip, and then allowed to load by the motherboard BIOS. If the motherboard does not allow it to load, the UEFI Driver will be unable to function.
Some motherboards provide this setting, but the description varies depending on the manufacturer and BIOS version.
For example, many MSI motherboard will not provide this option by default, as Boot Mode: UEFI is the default setting. In these cases, the Storage Device; UEFI Option ROM setting should already be enabled. If you are unsure about which settings should be applied, we recommend consulting the motherboard’s manual and contacting the manufacturer for more information.

Q2: The WebGUI interface cannot start. How do I resolve this?

A: First, check to make sure the card is recognized by the system, and make sure the latest version of the WebGUI and device driver is installed.
Checking the Device Driver:
a. For Windows systems, check Device Manager and expand Storage Controllers – you should see a HighPoint NVMe entry listed here.
b. For macOS, check under About This Mac-System Profile and expand Extensions – you should see the HighPoint NVMe device listed here.
If the driver is properly installed, and the WebGUI will not start, please visit our  Web Support Portal and open a new case.

Q3: I am using the controller with a Windows platform. Disabling the controller entry under Device Manager – Storage Controllers results in a BSOD or error message. How do I resolve this?

A. Please do not disable HighPoint controllers using Device Manager. Doing so may result in a system crash or data loss if an array or disk is active. If you need to disable the controller, please uninstall the Device Driver or shutdown and remove the device for the duration of the test session.

5) WebGUI – RAID & Storage Management Software

Q1: Can the WebGUI be used with a non-RAID configuration?

A: Yes – we recommend installing the WebGUI even if you want to use the SSD’s as individual, single drives. The WebGUI can be used to monitor the health of each SSD. SHI (Storage Health Inspector) is particularly useful, as it provides an interface for checking SMART attributes including temperature readings, and TBW (total bytes written).

Q2: How do I configure the SSD’s if I don’t want to use the RAID feature?

A: If you do not want to configure an array, you do not need to configure the drives using the WebGUI or CLI software – they are purely optional. The operating system will recognize the SSD’s as individual disks – they can be formatted/partitioned like any other drive.

Q3: Why can’t I launch the WebGUI after installing a Samsung NVMe driver for my SSD’s?

A: You will need to reinstall the HighPoint NVMe driver. To clarify, Samsung’s NVME driver does not have to be installed if you are using a HighPoint NVMe solution. The Samsung NVMe driver and HighPoint NVMe RAID drivers cannot coexisit. The last driver installed will overwrite the other.

6) Linux Support

Q: I am unable to install Ubuntu Live to an SSD or RAID hosted by the SSD7202 or SSD7103. I this version compatible?

A: Live release of Ubuntu Linux may not work with the current driver. We recommend downloading another version, which is available here and has been verified:  https://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/19.10/release/ubuntu-19.10-server-amd64.iso

7) Driver & Software Installation - Windows

Q1: Why do I need to install the NVMe driver before connecting the NVMe device or SSD’s?

A: Most modern operating systems include some base level of NVMe support. If the SSD7000 driver is not installed, the operating system will instead load the default support immediately after detecting the SSD7000 device, which will prevent the SSD7000 from function properly.

Q2: When updating the NVMe driver, why must I first remove the device and uninstall the existing driver first?

A: Most modern operating systems will load their default NVMe software anytime the SSD7000 driver is removed. The default NVMe software is incapable of supporting the SSD7000 device - if the SSD7000 is still present when the default support is loaded you may experience a broken RAID array or data loss.

8) Hot-Plug Support

Q: Is there a way to hot-swap NVMe SSD’s in a Windows operating system?

A: No – current versions of Windows do not support this feature. Removing drives while the operating system is active may result in data loss, a broken array or damage to the NVMe SSD’s. You will have to shut down windows and power down the system before removing the drives.