Frequently Asked Questions about Installation and Configuration for Intel® Optane™ Memory

Documentation

Install & Setup

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06/07/2019

Learn about requirements to install, enable, and configure system acceleration with Intel® Optane™ memory.

Check to see if your system is Intel® Optane™ memory ready and capable.

Click or the question for details:

What are the software and hardware requirements for system acceleration with Intel® Optane™ memory?

View the complete requirements to ready a system for Intel® Optane™ memory.

The SATA drive you're accelerating must contain:

  • GPT partition
  • 512B Sector format
  • Windows® 10 64-bit operating system with at least 5 MB of continuous unallocated space at the end of the boot volume
Note
  • With Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) driver version 16.x or later, a secondary SATA drive can be enabled for system acceleration on select Processors/Chipsets. Find complete information. With earlier versions of the Intel® RST driver only the boot SATA drive can be selected for system acceleration 
  • PCIe* NVMe* drives not supported for system acceleration.
What software do I need in order to install Intel® Optane™ memory and enable system acceleration?

See what software enables acceleration with Intel® Optane™ memory. You need:

  • The Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) driver
  • Intel® Optane™ memory-supported user interface
I have enabled system acceleration on my Windows 10 boot drive and created an Intel® Optane™ memory volume. Can I install Windows 7* on the Intel® Optane™ memory volume now?

No. System acceleration with Intel® Optane™ memory is only supported on the Windows 10 64-bit operating system. The drivers that support and manage this volume aren't supported on any other operating systems.

Attempting to install another OS, like Windows 7, will leave the Intel® Optane™ memory volume unusable and could result in data loss.

Why am I getting a message saying there's no space on my SATA drive to enable Intel® Optane™ memory, or that my partition can't be resized?

There must be at least 5 MB of continuous available space on the SATA drive to enable acceleration. The devices reserve space to store metadata used to pair the drives together. If you receive this error, determine:

  • If your system has a locked partition at the end of the SATA drive
  • If your drive doesn't have enough free capacity to support system acceleration
For more information, see Unsupported System Drive: Last Partition Unable to Resize Error.
Can I use Intel® Optane™ memory to accelerate my secondary drive, instead of the primary boot drive?

With Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) driver version 16.x or later, a secondary SATA drive can be enabled for system acceleration on select Processors/Chipsets. Find complete information. With earlier versions of the Intel® RST driver only the boot SATA drive can be selected for system acceleration

Can I enable system acceleration with Intel® Optane™ memory with a PCIe NVMe drive?

No, system acceleration can only be enabled with a SATA HDD, SSD, or SSHD. Enabling PCIe NVMe devices isn't supported.

My Windows 10 installation is on a master boot record (MBR) partition, can I still enable system acceleration?

No, a GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition must be on the SATA Primary Boot drive you want to accelerate. It might be on an MBR partition because the system BIOS was set to Legacy Boot mode instead of UEFI during operating system (OS) installation. Or, UEFI boot media wasn't used.

To resolve, you may be able to convert your current partition from master boot record (MBR) to GPT by following these steps.

Or, you can reinstall the OS after confirming the system BIOS is set up with the proper settings listed in the Installation Guide.

Note
  • Before proceeding, we recommend backing up all data.
  • GPT partition is also a requirement when accelerating a secondary/data drive. (See details.)
I have the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) application installed. Can I install the Intel® Optane™ memory application as well?

No, you can only install one of these applications at a time. However, you may use the latest Intel® RST to enable and manage your Intel® Optane™ memory.

Note: The Intel® Optane™ Memory and Storage Management application will install, even if one of the other Intel® Optane™ memory supported applications is already installed.  But this is not a recommended configuration, as only one application should be used to manage the storage devices for the best functional experience

How can I disable acceleration with Intel® Optane™ memory?

You can disable system acceleration using the Intel® Optane™ memory user interface or with the Intel® RST user interface. Some motherboard vendors provide this capability through the BIOS. Refer to the Intel® Optane™ Memory Installation Guide or video guide for more information.

In my system BIOS under the Intel® RST section, I see an option to Deconcatenate and Preserve Data Yes or No. What do these mean?

Deconcatenate is available in the system BIOS to disable or separate the Intel Optane memory volume. It's the same process done by pressing Disable in the Windows* OS in the Intel Optane memory or Intel RST applications. Make sure to save your BIOS settings after the process is complete before exiting the BIOS. If you don't, the disk boot order may not update properly, resulting in the system not booting into the OS.

Note Preserve Data relates to the preservation of data on the SATA disk and Intel Optane memory module after the disks are separated. Typically, we recommend selecting yes. If you select no, then data isn't preserved on the SATA disk or module, and you can't access data after separation. We only recommend selecting no if there's no data you want to recover after separation.
Once the Deconcatenate process starts, the system BIOS is unresponsive. Is this expected?

Yes, the process can take from two minutes to two hours depending on the capacity of the module used. Once complete, the system BIOS shows the disks as separated. Don't attempt to power down or remove the disks during this process as data loss could occur.

Can I enable system acceleration on my SATA drive that contains more than one volume (for example, a boot volume and a data volume)?
System acceleration of a SATA drive that contains one boot partition/volume and also data partitions/volumes is supported.

A SATA drive with multiple boot partitions/volumes isn't a supported configuration or use case. Results can't be guaranteed and we don't recommend the configuration.
Can I migrate or clone my current Intel® Optane™ memory volume to another Intel® Optane™ memory configuration?

We don't recommend direct data migration from a current Intel® Optane™ memory volume. Instead, we recommend you:

  • Backup all data.
  • Disable the Intel® Optane™ memory volume.
  • Use your preferred third-party cloning or migration software to copy the data from one SATA drive to another.
  • After migration is complete, re-enable the Intel® Optane™ memory volume.
Note We recommend backing up all of your data before migrating. Intel isn't responsible or liable for data loss or data recovery.
Can Intel® Optane™ memory accelerate a SATA drive connected to a non-Intel Chipset SATA AHCI Controller?

No, you must connect the SATA drive to the Intel® Chipset SATA AHCI Controller.

Can I set up acceleration with Intel® Optane™ memory after installing my operating system?

Yes. As long as you install the operating system with the proper system BIOS settings for Intel Optane memory support. If you don't update these settings before OS installation, the Intel® Optane™ memory user interface may be able to update these settings for you. It depends on your motherboard BIOS support. Refer to the Intel Optane Memory Installation Guide or video for more information.

Note: If using the Intel® Optane™ Memory and Storage Management or Intel® RST applications, the BIOS settings must be properly set before the installation of the OS

During Intel® Optane™ memory set-up, should I install the operating system on the SATA drive or the Intel® Optane™ memory module?

You should always install the operating system on the SATA drive you're accelerating. The Intel® Optane™ memory module is completely erased when enabled for system acceleration. It can only set up on a system with the OS installed on the SATA drive.

Are Windows recovery and restore points supported with an Intel® Optane memory volume?

The Intel RST driver shipped with the Windows* OS image doesn't support Intel Optane memory by default. You can add the Intel RST 15.5 driver to the Windows recovery image before Windows installation. This driver supports Intel Optane Memory. See System Configuration, Installation, and Management on a Computer Without the Operating System Installed for more information.

Note With Intel RST driver versions 15.7 or later, the updated driver is injected into the recovery image for Windows. So there is no need to inject manually as detailed above with earlier drivers.
Related topics
What Software Enables System Acceleration with Intel® Optane™ Memory?
Frequently Asked Questions for Intel® Optane™ Memory
Intel® Optane™ Memory Software and Downloads
More Information on Intel® Optane™ Memory