Boot Windows XP from PCIe SSD (e.g. Samsung 950 Pro NVMe , SM951 AHCI)?

Hi, I’m looking into the possibility of installing a Samsung PCIe SSD and booting into Windows XP from it.
I suspect it isn’t going to be possible but before I throw in the towel I’m doing a bit of research. Google searches are proving useless, so I’d appreciate it if someone could point out what the obstacles are.

I currently have an 850 evo and use the Samsung Magician software to manually optimise it, which gets around the lack of TRIM support in XP.

My motherboard is a Gigabyte Z77X- UD3H, which is what forum member adam_sandler claims to have successfully modified (added the NVMe modules) to boot into Win 10 using an Intel 750.

Forum member xxstrikeholo has also provided a guide to booting from an Intel 750 using a similar motherboard (Z77X-UD5H) but it’s for Windows 7,8 or 10. Maybe XP is absent because it’s old, or because it’s not possible?

I don’t have any PCIe cards installed (I’m using the onboard graphics), so presumably I could install an adapter in either of the PCIe 3.0 x16/x8 slots where a graphics card would go. If that connects directly to the CPU rather than going through the Intel Z77 does that mean I wouldn’t need an Intel Driver? Are the PCIe slots OS dependent (i.e. would using XP cause them to be slower?).

I’ve got a USB floppy drive that allows me to add drivers when installing XP by pressing F6. But that’s assuming I can get an NVMe driver that will work with XP. The driver that Samsung provides on their website for the 950 Pro is for Windows 7, 8 or 10. Out of curiosity I downloaded it but it wouldn’t install. Does that mean that the driver definitely won’t work or just that the installer is told to check the OS version? Is getting hold of the driver and installing it manually a possibility?

I’ve also read a bit about the SM951 (AHCI version).
I’d still need to modify the BIOS to boot from it wouldn’t I?
Does it mean I could use the AHCI drivers that I’ve already got?
Apparently Magician software has been wrecking these drives. Does that still apply?
I’m confused about the random read/write statistics for these drives. They appear worse than the 850 evo.

I will look into what UEFI boot driver means.

What else have I naively failed to consider?

There are a lot of questions there, so I appreciate it if you made it this far and any help would be great - I’ve given myself a headache.
P.S. I’m aware of the lack of security fixes for XP.

You will be able to boot off a PCIe connected SSD, since you have an Intel 7-Series Chipset mainboard, but you will not be able to boot into Windows XP on it. For details please read >this<.

I have an nvme SSD on a pcie card in a XP machine and it shows up in the Bios as a PCI device and I don’t have drivers for it

I tried using the x86 Windows 7 driver and it shows as a plextor nvme SSD but it says device cannot start

Are there any generic XP nvme SSD drivers out there that I could use so this device would be seen and so that I can use it as a storage drive not as the primary drive not as a drive with the OS on it and definitely not the boot from but just so that I can access the drive and store files on it?

Thanks for the help


There are no NVMe drivers for XP.
With AHCI PCI-e you could try a generic “unofficial” AHCI, but it may not work if it doesn’t have IDs added for your drive.

@Radicalbill :
Hello Bill,

welcome to the Win-RAID Forum!

Which are the HardwareIDs of the related NVMe Controller (should be listed wirhin the “Storage Controllers” section of the Device Manager)?
Anway I agree with agentx007 regarding the usability of any NVMe driver while running Windows XP.

Dieter (alias Fernando)

NVME AHCI drives are older technology now so i wouldnt buy one, i would try it if i already had one otherwise i would not bother.

XP works well with solid state drives. I have had xp installed on a hdd but with programs running from Sandisk Cruzer USB2 drives. These are not quick drives by any standard, 20MBs writes and reads(or less) but the seek times are still excellent with Prefetch disabled and Nero 8 startup is almost instantaneous. What i would to is get modern sata Samsung 860 or Crucial MX500 ssd’s and run them in AHCI mode, worst case scenario they should work in IDE mode too. You wont have the outright write and read speeds but you will have modern drives with all the latest improvements and those excellent solid state seek times. Just my opinion. :slight_smile:

What are “NVMe AHCI drives”? NVMe and AHCI are completely different data transfer protocols.

Sorry Fernando, i may have used the wrong terminology. M2(?) drives, i have seen older Samsung SM or earlier ssds that were AHCI.

@EmmaRoyd :
Ok, Windows XP is able to handle the AHCI protocol, but an XP compatible AHCI driver, which supports the M.2 AHCI mode SSDs resp. their specific AHCI Controller, doesn’t exist.
The only available driver for these M.2 AHCI SSDs is the MS Win8/10 in-box AHCI driver, but this generic driver is outside Win8/10 without any digital signature (a *.CAT file is missing and not even mentioned within the associated *.INF file).
To be able to get such driver installed while running Windows XP, the related INF file has to be modified and the missing *.CAT file with a valid digital signature has to be added.

I wouldnt even try driver modding, i dont know enough about it. XP is like that old but comfortable pair of jeans you just wont get rid of. Unless there is a technical reason for sticking to xp like you must use a certain piece of hardware or a software requirement then go w7 or even w8.1. I can whip any modern windows os into shape pretty quickly and without too much fuss. :slight_smile:

If there should be a demand, I would try to create mod+signed variants of the generic MS Win10 NVMe and AHCI drivers for test purposes, but I am rather unsure, whether they will work with Windows XP.

They may work but they could be unstable. The demand will be close to none but i would suggest you give it a go because you are well known as The driver guy and if you say something is not possible then people will not question it. :slight_smile:

Users, who are interested to test them, may send me a PM.


If you have a win XP 86 driver that would work so I can use this drive as a secondary storage drive, that would be great

@Radicalbill :
Who is the manufacturer and which is the exact model name of your NVMe SSD?

@Fernando There is also this driver :
But I do not know how it compares to M$ driver.

Also : Why not use Vista or Win 7 as base for XP generic AHCI driver (I thought older WDDM should work better for XP) ?

@agentx007 :
Thank you very much for the link to the generic SATA IDE/AHCI drivers, which have been developed by the UniATA Group.
Unfortunately I cannot test them, because I don’t have the required time.

If the customized generic MS Win10 in-box drivers shouldn’t work, this can be a good alternative.
What I would need are the original MS Vista/Win7 in-box AHCI drivers named msahci.sys with the related INF files.

Guten tag, Fernando! I’m from Syberia. I have winXP x86 on Asus P5K. 120GB SSD and 3TB Seagate works fine. But I take a gift from friend- Samsung EVO 960 with M2 to PCIe adapter. Can I test your driver for try to work with NVMe?

@igel :
Welcome to the Win-RAID Forum!
You will not be able to use the Samsung 960 EVO as bootable system drive, because your mainboard has no UEFI BIOS. I am not even sure, that Windows XP would detect the NVMe Controller of your Samsung 860 EVO.

You can test any of the drivers I am offering within this Forum, but the question is, whether they will work with your system or not.
Which one of “my” various mod+signed drivers do you mean? For which purpose do you want to use the NVMe SSD?
Dieter (alias Fernando)

I understand it. If it wasn’t a gift, I was never buy this SSD because of price.

So where find them?

on 1st page of topic You offer to test.

I making videos about gold, trusts, banks so for video editing- cache and swap.
I have about 30TB info on HDDs but PC is 12 years old because all that time I live in Taiga Great Forest
my chan