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NVMe driver so that Western Digital M.2 drive can be seen under Windows 7 / 8.0

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c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I need NVMe drivers for Windows 7 / 8.0 for a Western Digital M.2 drive.

My other OS partitions Windows 8.1 and 10 see the drive out of the box but Windows 7 and 8.0 which I use for testing/miscalenous cannot see M.2 drives without a driver. Companies like OCZ (great job) offer NVMe drivers for Windows 7 / 8.0 but Western Digital, probably in cahoots with Microsoft, once again uses this to force upgrades to operating systems still in Beta testing stages like Windows 10.

Does anyone know where I can get NVMe drivers for Western Digital drives?
There were some allegedly on Microsoft Windows update pages a while ago - but they of course took those down, once again, to force upgrades to Windows 10.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Thank you for a very informative and useful page link.

It turns out that Hotfixes are indeed for Windows 7 only and not Windows 8.0 (they are not needed for Windows 8.1 - just 8.0)
I can't even find any info talking about 8.0, since people use either 7 or 8.1.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
So after some serious hacking I figured it out, using an unsigned driver. So wish I could get a signed one to avoid all this. It is so unnecessary for WD not to have their own download like some other companies do.
Anyway here it goes, it's a bit complicated.

Unsigned driver location will be:
C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\nvme.sys

WARNING: UNINSTALL unsigned driver before reversing these settings, otherwise you may not be able to boot in. If this happens and you cannot boot in, Windows will display the location of the unsigned driver file that prevents it from booting in. Delete or move the listed file away to fix the problem. This would have to be done from another OS of course.



* To disable Digital Driver Signing:

Start > Search for: Command Prompt >
Right click on Command Prompt > Run as administrator >
bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON

Must REBOOT to take effect!
after which:
*** You will get a Test Mode water mark in the lower right corner of the screen ***

This is the unsigned driver:

View attachment NVMe_v1.5_20180719.zip


Control Panel > Device Manager
Under Other Devices you will see a yellow exclamation mark next to a PCI Device

Recognize the WD drive by right clicking to see its Properties > Details
Hardware Ids:
PCI\VEN_15B7&DEV_5006&SUBSYS_500615B7....

Now to install the driver:
Right click on PCI Device > Update Driver Software > Browse my computer for driver software > Browse...button to get to the driver folder > Next

Windows Security window pops up > Install this driver software anyway > Close


Now this is how to remove the water mark, use this:
My_WCP_Watermark_Editor.exe can remove the watermark without disabling Digital Driver Signing:

View attachment My_WCP_Watermark_Editor.zip



By the way...
This is how to reverse these settings and remove the water mark without that program, but the driver signing requirement will remove the unsigned driver, as well as the water mark:

bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF

Must REBOOT to take effect!


What a time consuming nightmare.
Western Digital is not a user friendly company.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Western Digital says:
"Please allow us to inform you that this is not a WD drive limitation. This is a Windows limitation. Windows 7 and 8 do not support NVMe drive and are not compatible with the new NVMe technology drive.
The hotfix for this issue is provided by the operating system manufacturer. Western Digital does not provide any drivers for the SSD. All the required drivers are pre-installed on the computer. You will need to contact the OS developer for assistance."


Other manufacturers DID and DO provide drivers for the very reason that they are not found on Windows 7 or 8.0.
I suspect this has all to do with unnecessarily forcing people to update to Windows 10, in cahoots with Microsoft.

I would rather use signed than unsigned drivers but I haven't been able to find signed drivers for Western Digital, just unsigned ones as posted above.


LoLed at "Windows 7 and 8 do not support NVMe drive and are not compatible with the new NVMe technology drive."

That's why drivers are needed. Why did we ever need drivers all these years!? Every manufacturer could have just told customers, meh ask Microsoft, we don't know.



Just to see what they'll say, I just also asked them:
"Thank you.
And what is the official reason that Western Digital does not allow customers to view Life Remaining data of Western Digital drives under still supported Windows 8.1?"
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
they cant say that nvme cant be used in windows 7! I have drivers for plextor and samsung and the ocz rd400 drives and they all have worked in windows 7 and at full speed, actually greater speeds than windows 10 (newer win10 drivers allow for more comparable speeds vs a year ago or so)
 

RJARRRPCGP

Member
Joined
May 30, 2004
What makes me triggered, is that 8.1 is treated like 8.0, while there is a notable difference between the two! 8.1 was what 8.0 should have been!
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
I think with windows 8.0 that microsoft wanted to force everyone to adopt a smartphone-like OS so they could then have familiarity with an MS phone OS. Was a complete loss to me (worthless). windows 8.1 on the other hand was not horrid. For me, drive speeds in win 7 were great, win8.1 was basically as good and then for the longest time on win10 drive speed sucked. Not win10 seems to be the equivilent of the older 2 OS's
 

RJARRRPCGP

Member
Joined
May 30, 2004
I think with windows 8.0 that microsoft wanted to force everyone to adopt a smartphone-like OS so they could then have familiarity with an MS phone OS. Was a complete loss to me (worthless). windows 8.1 on the other hand was not horrid. For me, drive speeds in win 7 were great, win8.1 was basically as good and then for the longest time on win10 drive speed sucked. Not win10 seems to be the equivilent of the older 2 OS's

Were you bit by the storahci.sys bug, which was likely with 1511, where Windows 10 would hang with the drive light lit solid with an SSD and log a message about the SATA port being reset and a message about the drive being retried?
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I think with windows 8.0 that microsoft wanted to force everyone to adopt a smartphone-like OS so they could then have familiarity with an MS phone OS. Was a complete loss to me (worthless). windows 8.1 on the other hand was not horrid. For me, drive speeds in win 7 were great, win8.1 was basically as good and then for the longest time on win10 drive speed sucked. Not win10 seems to be the equivilent of the older 2 OS's

Dude, we've been over this ad nauseum. Classic Shell
http://www.classicshell.net/downloads/
makes Windows 8 the best, most stable Operating System even today.

If you have a license for 8, and unless you have a very specific excuse of using something incompatible with 8, it is a measure of intelligence or rather lack thereof, to give up [8+Classic Shell] and use 10 instead.

Yes 8 without Classic Shell is unusable. But if Microsoft integrated Classic Shell with 8 as an option (just an option) - 8's percentage share of the market would be stratospheric today.

Why anyone chooses to roll the dice twice a year, every year with 10 when [8+Classic Shell] is permanently stable (and very usable with Classic Shell) is beyond me. 8 will have security patches available for three more years (!) Classic Shell makes the User Interface way better than 10 or any OS.


With Classic Shell, you never (ever) see the despised tiles in Win 8 (although they are available with a single click if you want them).

You can customize the Start Button to whatever you want it to be. I personally made a Windows XP looking start button for 8 from scratch:

StartMenu8.png


And I even use Classic Shell on my Windows 10 partition:


StartMenu10.png
 
Last edited:
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
So under Windows 8.1 and 10, Western Digital drives can be seen but their Dashboard only works under Windows 10, not Windows 8.1, proof:

Unsupported.jpg


Kicked this all the way up to higher level support and waited for days - only to get this:

"Thank you for your patience.... WD does not have or provide any OS drivers... You will need to contact the [PC] manufacturer or Windows developers for assistance. If you experience any further issues or require any type of assistance, please feel free to reply to this email. We will be happy to assist you further."



I ran the motherboard utility and it's all up to date.
As for contacting "Windows developers", has anyone of you ever heard of such a thing... Contacting Windows developers. :screwy:


Every time I contact Western Digital - they harp on about contacting Microsoft. I once told them:

Okay.
I bought Windows 8 Retail at Office Max, I have a receipt and own a retail license for Windows 8 - my Windows 8.1 is not even OEM, I own the actual Windows 8 installation retail disc, which I purchased at a local Office Max store.

There is no such thing as "cross checking with Microsoft" or "asking Microsoft" - that's just what companies say to get you off their back - there is no such thing as contacting Microsoft unless you pay for support - and no one in the real world pays for support - if we buy Windows (like I did) - that's it. There is no contacting Microsoft, and if there is, where and how do regular WD customers contact Microsoft?



 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
maybe move away from companies that dont want to support their own products
 

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
@c627627,

I'm getting kinda fed up with W10. Going to dual-boot with Ubuntu MATE again soon because when I'm not gaming windows is just frustrating. You think 8 is better. What do you recommend for a daily driver OS? 8 or 8.1?

Before switching to linux on everything in 2016 I ran 8.1 & classic shell for two years or more. I also run classic shell on win 10, and disabled all the telemetry BS. But it still doesn't feel totally right.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
If you choose to go Windows 8, you would definitely want to go with 8.1 since 8.0 is not supported any more.

Immediately install Classic Shell and only download it from here, not from anywhere else: http://www.classicshell.net/downloads/
Classic Shell can be customized as you please.
 

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Only annoying thing I just realized is that I do not have a valid (legal) product key for 8.1... Only reason I have a Win 10 license is because I had a copy of Win 7 Pro. Can a 7 pro key be used for 8.1? Guessing not, but I have no idea...
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
It cannot.
There was a thread around here about cheap 8 licenses. I don't have the link.
 

lingrapher

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
I have similar issues, I am trying to install win 8 using a flash drive onto a new NVME ssd, do you think you approach would allow the win 8 to see the NVME drive during installation?
Thanks a lot.




So after some serious hacking I figured it out, using an unsigned driver. So wish I could get a signed one to avoid all this. It is so unnecessary for WD not to have their own download like some other companies do.
Anyway here it goes, it's a bit complicated.

Unsigned driver location will be:
C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\nvme.sys

WARNING: UNINSTALL unsigned driver before reversing these settings, otherwise you may not be able to boot in. If this happens and you cannot boot in, Windows will display the location of the unsigned driver file that prevents it from booting in. Delete or move the listed file away to fix the problem. This would have to be done from another OS of course.



* To disable Digital Driver Signing:

Start > Search for: Command Prompt >
Right click on Command Prompt > Run as administrator >
bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON

Must REBOOT to take effect!
after which:
*** You will get a Test Mode water mark in the lower right corner of the screen ***

This is the unsigned driver:

View attachment 211540


Control Panel > Device Manager
Under Other Devices you will see a yellow exclamation mark next to a PCI Device

Recognize the WD drive by right clicking to see its Properties > Details
Hardware Ids:
PCI\VEN_15B7&DEV_5006&SUBSYS_500615B7....

Now to install the driver:
Right click on PCI Device > Update Driver Software > Browse my computer for driver software > Browse...button to get to the driver folder > Next

Windows Security window pops up > Install this driver software anyway > Close


Now this is how to remove the water mark, use this:
My_WCP_Watermark_Editor.exe can remove the watermark without disabling Digital Driver Signing:

View attachment 211541



By the way...
This is how to reverse these settings and remove the water mark without that program, but the driver signing requirement will remove the unsigned driver, as well as the water mark:

bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF

Must REBOOT to take effect!


What a time consuming nightmare.
Western Digital is not a user friendly company.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Other than looking into how to load a driver into Windows Installation media, I would probably install it on a regular hard drive then use drive imaging software to clone partitions from mechanical HD to NVMe - but this is very complex and requires deep knowledge on how partitions work and how to use software like
https://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/
EasyBCD to edit BCD information on hard drives connected to your PC just so you can edit BCD for use on another system.



To edit the boot menu on a separate hard drive [drive disconnected from its system and temporarily connected to your system], use EasyBCD to correctly set the booting process on the temporarily connected drive:
https://neosmart.net/Download/Register/1
[Scroll Down and use any Name & Email to Download]

Assign a drive letter to SYSTEM RESERVED PARTITION in Computer Management if it isn't assigned.

EasyBCD > File > Select BCD Store >

1. First Browse to the ROOT directory of the SYSTEM RESERVED PARTITION of the temporarily connected drive
2. Then type
BOOT\BCD
Then click on Open

This will open the *.bcd file inside the hidden BOOT folder on the temporarily connected drive and inside its BCD subfolder.

Optionally delete existing entries then
Add New Entry > SELECT: Windows Vista/7/8/10 then SELECT its current drive letter on the existing system being used right now > Add Entry

*WAIT* then see that it's inside Edit Boot Menu > THEN FIRST SAVE THE NEW SETTINGS AND THEN File > Exit from EasyBCD.

Then remove the drive letter you assigned to SYSTEM RESERVED PARTITION in Computer Management.


NOTICE: If you cannot add a drive letter, then use a partition program which should allow you to
1. Right click on the partition
2. Change drive letters and paths...
3. Add a new folder on an existing partition that will serve as path (if drive letter cannot be added).


Now use that folder as a path inside EasyBCD.

Don't forget to remove the path after finishing (inside the partition program).