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[Asus Maximus Hero VIII] M.2 and Sata Ports. Old time member needing some help

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Capt Fiero

Dec 7, 2002
Abbotsford BC Canada
I've probably been a member here longer than some of you have been alive. Which is honestly why I need some help.

The quick and short: Which SATA ports am I losing when I plug in an M.2 drive. The book says Port 1 and 2, but I don't know which ones those are. Is there a config change I can make in the bios so I don't lose those ports.

Longer explanation:

I've got an Asus Maximus Hero VIII motherboard with currently 8 physical hard drives in it. IIRC 6 platter and 2 SSd's. A total of about give or take 20tb of storage which I need access to some portion of it at any given time. For the last 5 years I've been fine, but having a single 240gb SSD as my boot drive, I was starting to get cramped, and seeing how fast M.2 stuff was, I checked the manual and saw that in fact I have some kind of slot for an M.2 drive and I ordered one up.

Upon further inspection, it says I am going to lose 2 of my SATA ports on the board, SATA 1 and 2. Which is really crummy as I was hoping to free up a SATA port when I moved to the M.2 drive, not lose one. I honestly don't even know which ports 1-2 are.

So now here is my frustration, is there anyone with knowledge of the Hero 8 that can tell me which ports I should be using to get the best transfer speeds, and any tips or tricks installing this M.2 drive when it shows up. For the record, this is the drive I bought. Hell, I don't even know for sure if it will work but it looked right. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07ZGJYLNL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I had a PCI-E external SATA controller card, but it crapped the bed, so I have just been using the 8 onboard ports. Oh for the Record this is all housed in an Antec 1200 case which I think I bought 10 or 15 years ago. Power supply is an Antec 750w from about 10 years ago. I've got 32gb of HyperX DDR4 ram. I bought the 6600K / 32gb ram / Asus board when it was just released about 5 or 6 years ago.

Its been a year or 2 since I pulled the rig apart for a cleaning but after opening it up, I am going to tear it down and take it out to the shop so I can hit it with my Air Compressor then wipe it down.

the 2 ports that will be disabled are the 2 closest to the 24 pin atx power connector.
the manual says they are disabled if you install A sata m2 drive but remain enabled if you install A pcie m2 drive.
Thank You that was the answer this old guy was looking for. I think the M.2 drive I ordered, (link above) is a pcie m2 so I should be good. However just in case, I sucked it up, and ordered a PCI-E 6 or 8 port expansion card. (see this is how old I am, ordered it 2hrs ago and already forgot the details)

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Direct DL to the manual where it describes which port is which and what ports are disabled when using M.2.


Thank You that was extremly handy.

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This is the M.2 I ordered. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0...=B07ZGJYLNL&linkCode=as2&tag=overclockerca-20

This is the Expansion card I ordered in case I get messed up with the ports. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0836MKFCR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If I end up not needing it, I may just toss in some old SSD's and maybe see if I can't create a "ram drive" or temp storage for commonly accessed media files, heck maybe have a dedicated SSD just for my daughters SIMS games.
My man... if you can't figure out what ports are what from the manual, I wouldn't look into a RAM drive. :p :)
My man... if you can't figure out what ports are what from the manual, I wouldn't look into a RAM drive. :p :)

Man you are probably right, as it just dawned on me, that the last "ram drive" I did was going on 20 years ago, and my memory had it backwards. I allocated some of the RAM to be used as a virtual hard drive. (instead of what I posted above which was backwards) Ugh, my brain is failing me. Good news is that the M.2 drive showed up, so I am about to shut down and attempt to get it installed. I think I am going to simply unplug the current 240gb SSD that is my OS and set it aside. Do a fresh install using Rufus from a USB 3.0 stick, and see what happens. I grabbed the latest ISO from an MSDN FTP server. So I should be good to go. (Yes I do pay for legit keys) I just like having the latest build so there are less updates to deal with.

Well Thank You Everyone you have been awesome, hopefully I'll see ya all on the other side.
Welp, "Im alive and doing fine"

Why in the heck does an NVME drive screw have to be the size of a dang sewing needle, LOL.

Honestly, it could not have been easier, plugged it in, rebooted, booted from my USB, installed to the new drive and BAM. The only hiccup is the Activation key is being rejected, so I've got a message into my MSDN contact. Didn't Microsoft fix that whole issue of, changing PC parts invalidating activation keys, way back in the Windows Vista days?
Winderz keys are typically tied to the MB so you may have that as an issue. Otherwise, you should be able to do it over a phone's keypad; plan C is to learn to listen to an accent.