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I have plugged in a PNY XLR8 500GB M.2 NvMe drive in a Delock PCIe card and stuck it in Riser 3 on my Poweredge r630 - Although the drive doesn't show up anywhere in BIOS, I could boot the Ubuntu installer from a USB thumb drive and the installation saw the drive just fine. It installed successfully and after a reboot I get a new option in my UEFI boot menu "ubuntu" - but it is greyed out!

If I go to system settings -> Boot settings I can see the system recongizes the drive/os but it is listed as "Unavailable: ubuntu"

If I try to tell the system to boot from this drive regardless, it will say something like "Booting from ubuntu - boot failed"

How come UEFI can see the installed OS / drive just fine (it seems) but fails to boot from it? Is there something I can toggle somewhere to make this work?

I found a post on Reddit where a user had the same problem but he offered no solution except some vague suggestion that one could try to boot from a USB stick first and then hand over boot to the NvMe drive - but how that would work exactly I am not sure.

Any suggestions are most welcome!

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After much trial and error the answer is simply: A Poweredge r630 server will not boot from any consumer-grade SSD you stick in it, whether it's M.2, PCIE or Sata - so don't waste your time doing it. It is however possible to bootstrap such a setup by booting from SAS/Sata drive and then handing things over to the OS. I have posted some information on this and what else I found, at the Dell forums:

https://www.dell.com/community/Rack-Servers/Unable-to-boot-from-PCIE-NvMe-device-What-does-quot-unavailable/m-p/7520923/highlight/false#M6176

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