No NVMe boot - work around?

I have a Lenovo x3250 M6 1U server I’d like to run TrueNAS Scale on.

Only four SATA ports, but that’s all I need.

I had a small NVMe drive on hand, so I put in an NVMe to PCI adapter and that drive for the system drive.

I booted from a usb stick and installed to that NVMe drive just fine, but afterwards, I can’t get the motherboard to see the NVMe drive as a boot choice.

I’m guessing that uefi doesn’t have the right drivers to support it.

I have read that installation to USB is not recommended with Scale.

Can I somehow boot an OS that does see that drive, and chain load TrueNAS thru it?

Or is there another option I haven’t thought of?

Welcome to the forums!

Yes, and no. Part of the issue with USB are very cheap flash drives that wear out quickly.

However, using a USB to SATA, or USB to NVMe adapter do seem to work well for boot devices. If you have your choice, get one with the UASP feature, it improves the transfer speed by using the better SCSI protocol, instead of the old USB block protocol.

Even good quality USB flash drives work well for boot drives.

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Thanks for the clarification.

I could not get the thing to see even a usb to nvme adapter.

BUT I did have a USB to SATA adapter kicking around, so I’ve installed that and came up with a SATA boot drive, and it’s working just fine. Looks a bit janky if you lift the lid, but it is working fine.

Because I am using a commercial NAS appliance as hardware which has zero expandability (Terramaster F5-221) and it has an internal USB port, I bought a USB SSD drive - physically it looks like a USB flash drive but is a genuine SSD - and although it is not supported, in practice it works fine.

However, for the hardware you described my advice would be for you to use a PCIe LSI HBA card to give yourself more SATA ports and to use a small, cheap SATA SSD for booting. This will make you fully supported and also provide additional SATA ports for later expansion if needed.

Hi - Protopia!

I just picked up a very inexpensive F5-221 - I wonder if you would share how you set it up with Truenas scale - I found your hard drive but wonder how you ‘manually added large Apps pool’ -? I am not sure if you can pm on this forum - just joined.

Phil in Canada

You reduce the size of the boot pool as follows:

  1. Attach a monitor and USB keyboard to the F5-221.
  2. Edit BIOS settings to do only UEFI boots.
  3. Boot from the TrueNAS installation flash drive.
  4. Before installing use the option to go into the command line and edit the install script to reduce the space allocated to the boot pool to (say) 16GB.
  5. Exit the command line and install TrueNAS.

The remaining space is then available for e.g. an apps pool. Since this is not mirrored, I do a daily replication of this pool to my RAIDZ1 HDD pool as a backup.

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