So I recently purchased the ASRock X99 Extreme4 motherboard ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157543 ) and I have been reading through the instruction manual. In the manual it lists "M.2 SSD (NGFF) Module support list", under the list there is only one entry for Samsung SSDs and it reads
Samsung XP941-512G (MZHPU512HCGL)
I also managed to find a supported devices list for the Extreme4 on their website ( http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/X99%20Extreme4/?cat=Storage ). On it, it lists 3 Samsung modules
Samsung 256GB PCIe3 x4 2280 SM951 (MZHPV256HDGL) Samsung 512GB PCIe3 x4 2280 SM951 (MZHPV512HDGL) Samsung 512GB PCIe x4 2280 XP941-512G (MZHPU512HCGL)
The issue I am facing is that I also purchased a Samsung 950 Pro ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147467 ) which does not seem to be on the list of supported devices.
From what I understand M.2 is just a protocol. If two pieces of hardware support M.2 then they should be compatible. Is the manufacturer just bragging that it can support "all these devices" or is there some reason they might have to implement specific software for each devices?
EDIT: I have some more information. After finally booting up and entering the BIOS I can see the Samsung as a possible boot option. Though under the "Advanced -> Storage Options" there is an entry "M.2 Ultra" which reads "No device installed". Further more when booting into the Windows 7 setup I can only view my HDDs, the Samsung drive is not in the list of drives to install the OS to.
EDIT: I might have found a solution. Though I don't have time just now to try it out.
The rep from microcenter that helped me get all my parts responded to me and confirmed my suspicions that Win7 does not have an NVMe driver by default. I did find a link to the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe driver on their website (4th one down http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/mi... ) but this is a windows installer, I really needed the driver files themselves. The rep managed to find a download for the files themselves and linked me ( https://mega.nz/#!IJcSDIIB!xdxM-atprqjeTTN6ZxSfyh2dJZXVSi5GsJeIy3iVNk4 ).
So tonight I am going to try to use this driver within the Win7 setup which should be able to identify the SSD. Along with the partial solution ( http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/186875-uefi-unifie... ) I should be able to install Win7 on the SSD.
As far as the Extreme4 not recognizing the device in the M.2 port. After watching this youtube video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No-ct8pQcIg ) I think it should recognize it after the install. Around the 2:08 mark the speaker says "You'll now notice that the windows boot manager recognizes your AHCI M.2". I hope this means that the motherboard should recognize it, though I am not sure how the windows boot manager and the motherboard interact.
I will post later, hopefully, with a successful install!