Question Can't install Windows 10 with USB Boot on SSD (Legacy BIOS). Need help.

Jul 16, 2021
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Hello, I am having trouble installing Windows 10 from scratch to my new SSD.

I want to discard my old computer later on this year but i've decided to buy a very cheap SSD until that time to boost performance a little.

Here are my specs:
Processor: Intel Core I5 CPU 760 2.80GHz 4 cores
Very old motherboard: ASUS P7H55-M LE (it supports only legacy BIOS and not UEFI)
BIOS has the latest update for that motherboard from official ASUS site: American Megatrends 0801 2012
My new SSD: Apacer AS350 Panther 128Gb (min 4096 bytes) - Sata 1 (don't have Sata 0).
I have also have one old HDD 1 Tb (NTFS, MBR, 512 bytes) - Sata 2

Both are connected to Sata (My motherboard is Sata II, SSD need Sata III but i've read that they are backwards and forwards compatible, there is only some speed loss).

My system is currently installed on HDD in IDE format, booting in AHCI doesn't work.

Cloning and creating image of the system did not work because of the size of the drives (1tb and and 128 gb) and unit size (512 bytes vs min 4096 bytes).

I've created USB Boot thrice: once through Windows Media creation tool (oldest Windows 10 build) and twice with Rufus (Windows 10 2020 version 20h2 and and 2019 version 19h2). None of them worked. In Rufus i've specifically set to create USB Boot file with MBR NTFS and Legacy Bios compatibility.

I have disabled my HDD before installing Windows 10 from USB.

In the installation window when you have an option to choose the drive for system to install to i get a message that "Windows can't be installed to this drive".

If I try to get more info it says that "hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menu".

I've tried everything, setting the storage formats to IDE compatible, IDE enhanced, AHCI, nothing solves that problem. The computer sees SSD and can write on it, format create partitions through disk manager, etc. It just doesn't want to install the new system on it.

I've tried cleaning the disk with cmd line "diskpart" before the installation. Used NTFS system, tried both MBR and GPT formats - nothing.

Solutions on the internet forums mention trying creating a partition and setting it to primary on the new disk, also nothing. I've tried cleaning, creating partition, set it to primary, activated the disk and assigned letter to the disk before installation - new problem appeared, now it says in the installation window that it "can't find/create partition on the disk".

I've also found solutions for that on the internet: tried creating primary partition of the USB size (create partition primary size=) and xcopying all the usb boot drive contents to it and then trying to install from it. Nope.

Is all hope lost? Should I accept that my motherboard simply doesn't not permit the system files to be installed on this SSD? That's quite strange since it can see and store and activate programs and applications on it.

What can I do to resolve the issue?
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Have you ever clean installed win 10 on this PC before? Just wondering if its a case of win 10 not having the drivers for the motherboard.

I can't find much evidence you can boot off ssd on that board.
 
Jul 16, 2021
2
0
10
0
Have you ever clean installed win 10 on this PC before? Just wondering if its a case of win 10 not having the drivers for the motherboard.

I can't find much evidence you can boot off ssd on that board.
I did but it was more than 4 years ago. Bios has the latest update. Not sure about other drivers though. Which drivers should I check?
 

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