Where Did My M.2 SSD Go? – Skylake NUC BIOS v33

BIOS version 33 is now available for Skylake NUCs on Intel Download Center. According to the release notes this will improve POST time, fix an issue with shutting down using an RC6 remote and fix a few RAID / Storage related issues.

However, if you are using an SSD drive in your M.2 slot you might notice after the update that your drive is gone! After the first shock you’ll probably realize it’s not gone really, but Intel just added an option in the BIOS to switch on or off the M.2 slot. And by default the M.2 slot is disabled (go figure)!

nuc6i5syh_bios_33_m2slot

So what you need to do is to enter BIOS, select Advanced -> Devices -> PCI and then enable the M.2 slot and press F10 to save and restart. Your drive should be intact and you can now enjoy the new BIOS version.

I’ve now updated my Skylake NUCs and everything seems to be working ok. Didn’t notice any major differencies though.

44 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    Strange move by Intel. Do you suppose there will be an update v34 to switch the default back to what it should be?

    My 6i3syh is due to arrive today and I reckon I will aplly this update and fix the BIOS settings before doing anything, well after assembly anyway.

  2. Mark says:

    Yeah this caught me off-guard then I re-enabled it. Still I am glad to hear you report this as I wasn’t sure whether it was the BIOS update I’d just done or whether it was due to something else I’d done incorrectly when installing the drive!

  3. John Boero says:

    Yes it figures you wait months for a product to release, order the first one you can find, and then brick it with a borken BIOS flash. Just can’t have nice things :-/ I have to RMA mine. I’d suggest skipping SY0033 for now.

    • Olli says:

      I hope the RMA process goes as fast for you as it went for me when something went wrong with my NUC5CPYH. Failed NUC picked up on Monday, replacement NUC delivered on Thursday.

  4. Bruce Fowler says:

    @Olli – I guess you don’t live on the East coast. Nothing is being delivered anywhere around here. [Monster snow storm, bad slow cleanup.]

  5. Kreuzschlitz says:

    Hi @all,

    If your NUC does nothing e.g. no Power-LED is on, the fan turns fast and there is no signal on the display then you have a broken bios.

    The solution is “recover the bios”.

    http://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/motherboards/desktop/sb/biosrecoveryupdateinstructions.pdf

    This instruction has helped me to fix my NUC.

    Maybe it can help you, if you have a bricked bios.

    Best regards,
    Kreuzschlitz

  6. Schraubenzieher says:

    I noticed quite a few problems with 0033, which went away with a downgrade (via recovery jumper):
    After power on an boot into Windows 10 the HD audio controller was not working and listed in device manager as an unknown device. A reboot brings it back to life. I dual-boot (Arch Linux, Windows 10) and a simple restart in the boot menu also did the trick, so definitely a BIOS initialization bug.
    Sometimes the wifi card would not see my 5GHz AC AP, only 2.4GHz channels in Windows 10.
    Sometimes, after a reboot or power on, the fan would spin at max speed and keep that until reboot or not spin at all and also not spin up until reboot. The latter is dangerous. My NUC did throttle because the CPU reached 100C under high load with the fan not running at all.
    0033 is pretty buggy. It should be avoided.

  7. Matthew says:

    This has been the first negative experience I’ve had with this unit. I wanted to take 033 due to the unit never powering down fully or rebooting when the OS tells it to.

    Trying to upgrade to 033 is the most frustrating process. It seems to do the upgrade but sits there forever blinking red. Eventually the first time after 20-30 minutes I just hard powered it off and back on, and boy that was fun. Eventually it did auto-recover back to 028. I just tried it again via the F7 hotkey at bootup and that has the same behavior. A real WTF moment, I don’t expect this from someone like Intel.

    • Matthew says:

      I can’t even get on Intel’s forums to try to get help, after I registered the site now just sits in an infinite redirect loop on both Firefox and IE. I’m more pissed off at Intel than I can describe in words.

      • Matthew says:

        Well as usual I just had to mess with it solo, so I reformatted my USB stick as a FAT16 partition and redownloaded the BIOS, copied it over. Used F7 and had better luck this time. This time it blinked blue during the process, and I got an on-screen checklist of the update. I’ll let this sit for a while and report back.

  8. Ben Sanford says:

    I used the windows 10 method where you download the exe file, and then just run it in windows – it does a few things and then reboots to something that looks like DOS and goes through about 10 steps before rebooting again. Strange thing was the 1st time it then booted into windows fine, but then when I rebooted again it had “lost” the M.2 drive, and I had to go into the BIOS screens to re-enable it. Now everything seems fine.

  9. Erick says:

    I’ve updated to 033 and installed Windows 10 on a ton of these fresh with no issues. These are all 6i5 models, and with the exception of the m.2 SSD needing to be turned on no issues. Also no issues with powering down etc with either Windows or OpenElec.

    • Olli says:

      Hi Erick,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with the BIOS upgrade.

      I’ve been equally lucky with both NUC6i5SYH and NUC6i3SYH, but there are other kind of BIOS upgrade stories on the internet as well. I don’t know why is that happening. Personally I have moved the BIOS file to a Sandisk USB 3.0 stick, rebooted the system and pressed F7. There are other ways to initiate the BIOS upgrade, but this is what I always do. Not sure if that has anything to do with the failures or not though.

      • Erick says:

        F7 in every scenario, and I have a mixture of Samsung EVO 850 and Samsung SM951 ACHI m.2 drives across the board. In fact, i’m finding that turning on fast boot is a nice speed feature as well, which no one seems to talk about. If enabled, you can get to a boot menu by just holding down the NUC power for a couple seconds until the power light goes amber, and then you let go.

  10. Meniak says:

    I have an M.2 SSD and it doesn’t want to boot in UEFI. Works fine in legacy though. Any idea why?

  11. Meniak says:

    It’s a Kingston SSDNow 240 Gb

  12. Erick says:

    Interesting, I have been using all Samsung. Compatible with the NUC? Why Kingston?

  13. Meniak says:

    I use Samsung a lot, but this SSD was bought in a pack together with the Kingston RAM. Except for the “not being able to find it in UEFI bios” it performs OK.

  14. bcastaneda says:

    I’m using 128GB Samsung 850 EVO M.2, after the BIOS 33 upgrade not able to recognize the ssd. It was working fine with BIOS 28. I have been touch with Intel tech support. Their solution, “wait for the BIOS 34 update”. So, I have that’s been sent back for RMA.

    • Michael says:

      Did you check the box in the bios setting to enable the M.2 drive?
      When you update to bios 33, it is a common problem because it disables the M.2 drive by default.

  15. Matthew says:

    Here’s an interesting update: Mere days after I got 033 working the entire NUC fried itself, and nearly destroyed a managed network switch while it was at it (started dumping voltage into the NIC socket). No idea how that happened when it was running on 028 perfectly for a few weeks, 24 hours a day. Everything was on protected power and isolated from any damaging environment. The ONLY thing I changed was the BIOS -> 033.

    Luckily my HyperX memory and Samsung 850 EVO SSD were undamaged. Had to fight just to get someone to talk to over at Intel support and finally had to return it to NewEgg. They wanted me to wait almost 3 weeks for a replacement (between shipping both ways and 10 days of “processing time”)

    Ended up buying another one and overnighting it. Got it today, populated with all my components and it fired right up with BIOS 028. I’m NOT upgrading it to 033, I’ll wait for the next one.

    • Theo says:

      oh my god you scared me, I’m planning to buy the same unit. I hope to have better luck.

      • Matthew says:

        I wouldn’t be scared, NewEgg was really cool about the return and since I was a premier member with them the return shipping was free and they gave me free overnight on the replacement.

        These units are really nice and feature rich, it’s just the BIOS that’s going through some early growing pains it seems. I can’t directly blame the 033 BIOS for my problems, I’ve never heard of such a thing affecting a unit like that before. I’m just chalking it up to being one of the first public batches to hit the market and flaws probably existed.

        The replacement unit was manufactured in January, obviously a newer batch and zero problems so far.

      • Matthew says:

        Side note, the only reason I moved to the 033 BIOS was to try and fix some bad reboot/shutdown issues I had in OpenELEC… which actually didn’t get fixed with it. The new unit seems to reboot and shutdown just fine with 028, so I think my original hardware was flawed from the get-go.

  16. Erick says:

    Frankly I am mystified by everyone’s luck with these new units. I now have literally dozens of these running Samsung 850 EVO m.2 drives or the SM951 AHCI variant. Also, all running either 8 or 16gb of the Kingtson HyperX RAM. In addition, they all have Windows 10 and the v33 bios update. Without exception, not a single issue. Also, they all boot into Windows in about 5 seconds or less. In some cases, fast boot is on but I find it handy for security.

  17. NUCTX says:

    Has anyone had success adding a Crucial brand M500 SSD to the NUC6i5SYH SATA3 cradle? The following configuration does not recognize the M500 Crucial SSD once installed in the NUC6i5SYH SATA3 cradle. Configuration: NUC6i5SYH | WIN10 Home | SAMSUNG 950 PRO M.2 SSD | Kingston HyperX 16GB RAM | BIOS 028 | Confirmed the SATA 3 plug is firmly attached to the NUC6i5SYH MOB.

  18. Clinton says:

    Does anyone else have the issue of their hdd led not working? I am running Ubuntu 15.10 64 bit with a Samsung 850 EVO SSD in the m.2 slot.

  19. Clinton says:

    Just wanted to say my hdd led is working it is just quite dim and linux seems to access the hdd much much less than I am used to in windows so I never notice it. So I think all is well on that front.

  20. Clinton says:

    Am I the only one who after upgrading their bios to v33 did not have to enable to m.2 slot as the box was already checked? I reset bios to defaults and rebooted after flashing to v33 and when I went to check on the m.2 slot it was already enabled.

    • mrhunter9 says:

      An F9 BIOS Defaults reset is what you should do after every BIOS update. New features get added to the BIOS all the time and may not transfer correct settings when flash updated from a previous BIOS. Once this was done on my NUC, I had no problems seeing the drive .

  21. evangelos says:

    You could change the title to
    Where did bios 0033 go?
    Seems it has status not valid now at Intel download site.

    • Mike Mongeau says:

      Looks like Intel decided to pull 0033 down from the download center. Probably for the best, as review after review (New Egg, Amazon, etc.) all claim how flaky 0033 was for their system, ultimately resulting in device returns, frustrated users, etc. I just received my unit today and was happy to find it setting on 0028. I also think it’s a positive proactive move on Intel’s part to remove the unexpectedly terrible 0033 firmware. I’m confident their get it right on their next release and am looking forward to it.

  22. Pistolgui says:

    Hi,
    I have a NUC NUC5CPYH.
    For me, I want the opposite.
    I need to disable m2 slot in BIOS and to keep the AC 3165 Wireless adapter in position.
    I don’t see the checkbox to enable M2 slot with the version 62.
    Is it possible ?
    Please help.

  1. January 30, 2016

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