MINIX NEO G41V-4: Installing Windows 10 Pro on SSD

John_S

Administrator
#1
Please note, the Windows 10 Pro product license key is stored within the BIOS on NEO G41V-4.

Follow below instructions to install Windows 10 Pro on SSD:

1. Go to the BIOS.

Attach a conventional wired/wireless keyboard to the NEO G41V-4, boot/start the Mini PC and immediately press the "DEL" key/button.

2. Disable the eMMC.

Go to “Chipset > South Cluster Configuration > SCC eMMC Support”, and disable the eMMC.

Video Instructions can be found here:

.

3. Install the SSD - see attached reference photo.

List of compatible SSDs that have been verified by us:

Foresee S40JF128G 128GB
Samsung MZ-N5E120 120GB
Samsung MZ-NTY1280 128GB
Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
SanDisk SD7SN6S 128GB
SanDisk SD8SN8U 256GB
SanDisk SD8SN8U 512GB
Intel SSDSCKHW120A4 120GB
Intel 540S 256GB
Lenovo GXB0M41970 128GB
Kingston SM2280S3G2 120GB
Kingston SM2280S3G2 240GB
Kingston SM2280S3G2 480GB

4. Double-check the SSD is in "Boot Option #1".

Power on the device and go to BIOS again to double check if the SSD is in "Boot Option #1".
If not, change to "Boot Option #1". This is very important.

5. Install the Windows 10 Pro image onto the SSD.

Instructions can be found here: https://theminixforum.com/index.php...ows-10-pro-os-installation-instructions.2158/

6. The process is now complete, you can now boot Windows 10 Pro OS from the SSD.
 

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ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#3
Should I initialize my new SSD in disc manager before Step 4? I don't have SSD as an option under "Boot Option #1"
Some additional information would help others to help you!! What exactly are the circumstances? What's worked or not worked? What are you currently doing?

.....Presumably, the situation you've found yourself in is you've installed a SSD in to the M.2 slot on the underside of your G41 but it isn't being detected in the BIOS? (Did you definitely disable the eMMC before beginning? Just in case, did you also try disabling the eMMC, saving that change & exiting the BIOS? (Then, after the reboot immediately enter the BIOS again. Does that then allow the system to see the added SSD?)

Is your SSD one from MINIX already preloaded with Windows 10, or a new SSD sourced separately yourself? (If the latter of these two, is your USB flash drive for installing Win 10 definitely formatted in NTFS & the volume name definitely changed to WINPE?

So, it sounds like after the system failed to detect the SSD you've left the SSD installed in the slot but re-enabled the copy of Windows on the eMMC & booted back into the system that way? (Can you confirm if this is what you've done or have you gone with another option?)

Once in to the Windows again, it sounds like you've accessed the disk manager whereby that is seeing the SSD, but it hasn't yet been initialised or partitioned, etc., etc? Sound right or have you removed the SSD & put it into an M.2 SSD caddy with another Win PC or something?

Details help ;)!!
 

Villa

Administrator
#4
Is your SSD one from MINIX already preloaded with Windows 10, or a new SSD sourced separately yourself?
Thank you for helping. I've bought SAMSUNG 860 EVO 500GB M.2 SATA after reading your post. Now I know much more about SSD drives :)
It's already arrived! Amazon rules! BIOS can see it. and I could see it from Disk Management. Will try to transfer Windows on it today's evening.
Thank you again!
 

Villa

Administrator
#5
Should I initialize my new SSD in disc manager before Step 4? I don't have SSD as an option under "Boot Option #1"
Do not disable the eMMC first. You have an SSD without Windows installed.
Boot as normal from eMMC, initialise the SSD just so for piece of mind that it shows up!
Then clone the eMMC to the new SSD using Macrium Reflect.
Then you can disable the eMMC and boot from the new SSD.
When you succeed you should be able to re-enable the eMMC and boot from the new SSD.
Now you can format the eMMC and use it for extra storage.

https://theminixforum.com/index.php...talling-windows-10-pro-on-ssd.2160/post-20642

Another option to Macrium Reflect is the Samsung Data Migration Tool.
https://www.samsung.com/uk/memory-storage/860-evo-sata-3-m-2-ssd/MZ-N6E500BW/
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#6
If his BIOS can in fact see the SSD as normal what's the problem lol :)?

Indeed :). Either clone/migrate Win from the eMMC to the SSD or just carry out a fresh installation of the official MINIX Win 10 image to the SSD as normal which will format & configure the SSD in the process :).

(I'm guessing he's double posted elsewhere on the same topic or is this the same guy that previously ordered the NVMe drive lol? (I seem to remember the comment about "the replacement SSD arriving from Amazon so quickly" in another post elsewhere a few days ago lol?))

(Or I'm going nuts ;).)
 
#9
Just a quick note on this: I bought one of these boxes along with a SanDisk SD8SN8U-512G SSD. Installed the SSD before firing the box up first time. Set Windows up, downloaded (and paid for) EaseUS Pro, it had a wizard for cloning the eMMC to the SSD, that took less than 10 minutes; I didn't even have to initialize the drive first. Then changed the BIOS to disable the eMMC and boot from the SSD. Worked first shot. Rebooted and reenabled the eMMC, formatted that drive. Painless.

Couple of notes: For whatever reason it takes me a couple or three tries to get into the BIOS, seems there's a pretty short window between seeing the BIOS screen and loading Windows. Chrome is a memory hog, unless there's a way to upgrade the RAM then it will pay to be economical with tabs and running programs. Box works great though, love the fact that I can use the Windows remote desktop feature, no need to wrestle with Teamviewer.

I'm using it as a combination NAS server and media/streaming box, and have it set up to act as a backup to my primary system if things go belly up. Working fine.
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#10
Just a quick note on this: I bought one of these boxes along with a SanDisk SD8SN8U-512G SSD. Installed the SSD before firing the box up first time. Set Windows up, downloaded (and paid for) EaseUS Pro, it had a wizard for cloning the eMMC to the SSD, that took less than 10 minutes; I didn't even have to initialize the drive first. Then changed the BIOS to disable the eMMC and boot from the SSD. Worked first shot. Rebooted and reenabled the eMMC, formatted that drive. Painless.

Couple of notes: For whatever reason it takes me a couple or three tries to get into the BIOS, seems there's a pretty short window between seeing the BIOS screen and loading Windows. Chrome is a memory hog, unless there's a way to upgrade the RAM then it will pay to be economical with tabs and running programs. Box works great though, love the fact that I can use the Windows remote desktop feature, no need to wrestle with Teamviewer.

I'm using it as a combination NAS server and media/streaming box, and have it set up to act as a backup to my primary system if things go belly up. Working fine.
Thanks for sharing your info :).

Nice to hear some feedback with some praise rather than other reasons. Glad you're enjoying the device too & you have it configured how you need/like subjectively.

They are indeed very useful & capable devices to have around as a backup too in case a main desktop rig or laptop should suddenly go tit's up ;). They cost peanuts to have constantly running if required as well, (by my standards at least lol). I frequently have one of my collection of MINIX mini-PC's running 24/7 doing various things in the background. (I run dedicated NAS servers personally, but they're also absolutely ideal for this purpose too in their own right due to their small size. They can easily be tucked away out of sight behind or even mounted on the back of a TV, or any other unused crevices ;). Attach a number of external HDD's & they'll function perfectly well as a NAS/media server system as you've also discovered. The entire range are incredibly useful & versatile wee devices, (not just the G41).

Whichever method you prefer or you're happiest with to get your Win 10 OS onto your new SSD at the end of the day :). (Either method is straightforward enough for the vast majority to understand to get the job done, whether that may be downloading & installing the official MINIX Win 10 image available here on the forum, or cloning the same image from the eMMC over to an SSD. Obviously downloading the Win 10 image & installing onto a SSD is completely free as well, but there are also free cloning tools available too if that's what the end user prefers & they don't have access to the same software you used to get the job done :).)

Unfortunately, the RAM can't be upgraded with the G41V-4, although it was intentionally designed as such so that it could remain completely silent with passive cooling alone. (Obviously the N42C-4 or J50C-4 are the direct alternatives which can both be upgraded to 16 GB RAM if required.) I also prefer Chrome for most applications too to make life easier switching between Win/Android devices, but I do sometimes use Firefox (with/without Tor) on my Win devices as well. As you've mentioned, Chrome can sometimes get a little top heavy with sys resources with multiple tabs active. (It's not normally a problem unless you constantly have a number active, (which I certainly do quite frequently), but having Firefox for certain tasks can help in that regard. I often have an instance of both browsers running simultaneously which as you've noted, can actually be lighter on resources than Chrome alone running those extra tabs. (Give it a trial, see if it helps for your circumstances or not. If not, nothing lost & just uninstall Firefox again :).)

What sort of keyboard are you using? (I.e. wired, wireless?) I often have to start spamming the delete key on my wireless Logitech K400+ literally as I'm pressing the power button on the device or I can sometimes miss the window to access the BIOS with all 3 of the different MINIX models I have too. (If I use a wired keyboard I get ~1-2 extra seconds leeway, so that could also be a factor for you.)

Enjoy :).
 
#11
Thanks for sharing your info :).

Nice to hear some feedback with some praise rather than other reasons. Glad you're enjoying the device too & you have it configured how you need/like subjectively...etc.
I'm really still getting to know the device, set it up the day before I posted. I was fully prepared for the limitations of this device, and thought they'd be a good trade-off from waiting for the J50C-4 to become more readily available. Note that I might pull the trigger on one of those if memory is a persistent problem on this box, which I don't expect.

At the moment I have it sitting on a shelf on one of those TV stand component rack flat pack cabinets. It's not too inconvenient to get to but I wanted it down and out of the way rather than on top next to the TV. I'm still of an age where I can get down on the (carpeted) floor as necessary, so this arrangement is satisfactory.

Frankly, I think setting up then cloning the eMMC is the way to go. Each step is complete and verifiable before you start the next one, and the system is in a usable state before and after you take each step, so if the next step you take goes pear-shaped, the box still works. YMMV.

Never thought of Firefox as lighter in weight than Chrome, might give that a whirl. I'm not especially married to Chrome, switched over in protest when Firefox eliminated its tab group support.

Using a Logitech 920-008971 wireless kb/mouse combo (like the MK270, maybe a Walmart-specific part number). Not especially worried about accessing the BIOS, now that the box is set up I probably won't access it again.

I found the kb/mouse response a bit choppy in Win10 as well (maybe this is related). Changed Windows power settings to "high performance" to see if that would help. I sit ~8ft from the entertainment center so wired gizmos are not an option. I may pick up a higher-quality KB/Mouse setup if range turns out to be the problem.

So far, so good.

BTW, I went to this box because I wanted something more flexible than the U9-H, to include the NAS and remote desktop functionality; never got Teamviewer running properly after upgrading the OS. I like the U9-H as a media streamer though, and it's now connected to my bedroom TV. It seems to me that an Android-based box will be hard to keep updated and compatible with current apps, but that's a discussion for another thread. I think after finishing this reply I'll pop over to the U9-H section and see what's new. :)
 
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#12
By the way, one thing I should mention is that I installed Norton 360 onto the box. I have not found it to be a resource hog on my other machines, but I'll be watching it carefully on this one. This is potentially an issue with Norton (which they've worked hard to mitigate), not with the box, and if I have to downgrade to a lesser antivirus (or none) I can do that without worry.
 

ArcticWolf

Trusted Helper
#13
By the way, one thing I should mention is that I installed Norton 360 onto the box. I have not found it to be a resource hog on my other machines, but I'll be watching it carefully on this one. This is potentially an issue with Norton (which they've worked hard to mitigate), not with the box, and if I have to downgrade to a lesser antivirus (or none) I can do that without worry.
I subscribe to McAfee's Total security suite myself although I've also used Norton in the past too. Same issues ultimately, albeit at a snail's pace they have streamlined the suite so it's not as resource intensive as it once was. (I've seen it bring several half decent systems with considerably more resources completely down to their knees.) It runs perfectly well on my N42C-4/J50C-4 without any undue issues at all, but admittedly I haven't got around to installing it on the G41.

As you've noted, I also think it will be OK in general but it could become an issue if running multiple other tasks simultaneously. (Trial & error on that one really, & how flexible you're prepared to be with an alternative solution if the fully loaded security suite should start to bog things down in some way.)
 
#14
Quick update: The box and I are getting used to each other. It serves its purpose perfectly, and I'm satisfied that I made a good decision.

A couple of small but significant discoveries:

- The choppy wireless keyboard/mouse performance seems to be due to the box being down low, and the signal being partially blocked by the edge of the table they're on. I'm considering moving the box to the top of the component cabinet, where it will be more or less at the same level as the table. It's not a big deal though and I kind of like it down and out of the way. Not really a problem either way.

- Discovered that Chrome REALLY didn't like streaming 1080P video unless/until I lowered the Windows display resolution setting from 3840x2160 (4K) to 1920x1080 (2K). This came as a slight surprise to me because I had been streaming 2K content to my 4K resolution Windows video using the MLB.TV website. If I understand correctly, that website loads its own video player, which accounts for the difference I'm sure.

I made the latter discovery about 10 minutes ago, which prompted this post. This observation might be very helpful to other G41V owners. It also might explain some of the occasional streaming problems I've had with my U9, which is another part of why I made this post. If that sounds right, and/or if it might explain streaming problems with other platforms, please let people know.
 
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#15
I have a MINIX NEO G41V-4 and a new Kingston 480 gb SSD and I want to perform the surgery to make the Kinsgston the main drive for Windows 10. I've read these posts, but the back and forth (plus some sideways motion) leave me somewhat unsure how to proceed.

Here's my best guess for a recipe:
1) Install the Kingston and do the rigmarole so the PC shows the volume in File Explorer. (Questions:
When initializing do I pick MBR, GPT or it doesn't matter?
Do I assign a drive letter?)

2) Use a tool (eg Macrium Reflect) to clone the eMMC to the SSD. (Samsung tool says only for Samsung products.)

3) In BIOS, confirm there's a Boot Option #1 and set it to the SSD.

4) Reboot and confirm that Windows is running from the SSD.

5) In BIOS, disable the eMMC. (I'll probably leave it unused as an emergency OS if the Kingston acts up. I presume I can remove the SSD, enable eMMC and be back at square 0.)

LMK if I missed any steps or if there are better tactics.

Thanks,
Joe
 

Villa

Administrator
#16
I have a MINIX NEO G41V-4 and a new Kingston 480 gb SSD and I want to perform the surgery to make the Kinsgston the main drive for Windows 10. I've read these posts, but the back and forth (plus some sideways motion) leave me somewhat unsure how to proceed.

Here's my best guess for a recipe:
1) Install the Kingston and do the rigmarole so the PC shows the volume in File Explorer. (Questions:
When initializing do I pick MBR, GPT or it doesn't matter?
Do I assign a drive letter?)

2) Use a tool (eg Macrium Reflect) to clone the eMMC to the SSD. (Samsung tool says only for Samsung products.)

3) In BIOS, confirm there's a Boot Option #1 and set it to the SSD.

4) Reboot and confirm that Windows is running from the SSD.

5) In BIOS, disable the eMMC. (I'll probably leave it unused as an emergency OS if the Kingston acts up. I presume I can remove the SSD, enable eMMC and be back at square 0.)

LMK if I missed any steps or if there are better tactics.

Thanks,
Joe
1) GPT Doesn't harm to assign a drive letter.

2) Read these posts for guidance:
https://theminixforum.com/index.php...talling-windows-10-pro-on-ssd.2157/post-21825
https://theminixforum.com/index.php...talling-windows-10-pro-on-ssd.2160/post-20642
https://theminixforum.com/index.php...talling-windows-10-pro-on-ssd.2160/post-20648

4) & 5) should be the other way round. Disable the eMMC first.
 
#17
Thanks to the instructions and clarifications, I'm 99% complete with the M.2 installation. Windows 10 boots with the Kingston as c:.

The only sticking point is something I expected to be trivial. I can't find the option to disable the eMMC. I've browsed the BIOS screens and I expected to see something that said "eMMC" with an enable/disable dropdown list.

Where in the BIOS should I be able to disable the eMMC?
 
#19
LOL! I looked _almost_ everywhere. The North Cluster option was useless so I presumed it wasn't better in the South Cluster. So close.

Of course that worked instantly. All good now. Lap of luxury with 400+ GB free.

Unexpected Bonus: I turned of the beep.

Thanks a lot,
Joe
 

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