• Our team is working to address issues posting quotes or media to the forums. Please bear with us as we get this sorted out.

Question Clean install of Win 10 from USB on M.2_2 drive on Asus Z390-A fails

Aug 9, 2019
Hi Guys

I just built a gaming/editing PC using the ASUS Z390-A Motherboard and the Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1Tb M.2_2 drive.
My only other computer is a Mac and I used this to create a bootable Win10 USB. I couldn't use unetbootin because I'm running 10.15 beta, I make the USB bootable in the Terminal (using
diskutil eraseDisk MS-DOS "WIN10" GPT disk2 etc) and copied the Win 10 install files to it - it boots up OK.

My problem is that the Windows Setup process can't install files to the drive after it's created the partitions.
Regardless of whether I delete all the partitions from the setup and let Windows create them, or use DISKPART in the console to do it... I get "We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one. For more information, see the setup log files"
The setupact.log file says of the main partition: "The selected disk space is not of type ESP"

After a lot of messing around I think it might be an issue people have discussed where Windows gets confused about which drive is the boot drive, and tries to install Windows to the USB instead of the newly partitioned drive. I can't change the boot order to fix this because while the NVME shows up in the BIOS, it isn't something I can set the boot order of.

if I use DART in the Rewpoair section I can see a C: (Recovery), D: (the install USB) and X: (Boot) drive

I've been through a lot of the troubleshooting steps I've found online, including:

Making sure CSM is disabled
Unplugging all other drives
Updating the BIOS
Using DISKPART to manually create the partitions... but you cant make GPT partitions bootable and Windows won't install on MBR

My BIOS settings are:

Intel RST On
PCH Storage Configuration -> SATA Mode Selection: AHCI
Onboard Devices Configuration -> Hyper M.s X16: Disabled
USB Configuration -> Legacy USB Support: Enabled
USB Configuration -> XHCI Hand-off: Disabled
CSM: Disabled
Secure Boot: Other OS
Boot Option #1: UEFI USB Stick Partition 1
Boot Option #2: UEFI USB Stick Partition 2
AMI Native NVMe Driver Support: On

Any ideas what I can try next?

Many thanks in advance!
Aug 9, 2019
Turns out once I formatted the USB as exFAT and re-created the Win10 image on it, it installed fine. Wasnt the PC at all.
Thanks for reading tho!
Aug 14, 2019
I'm having the same issue I just built a Prime Z390-A but with an Intel 660p SSD and the install keeping getting stuck on copying files, and then an error of not being able to complete the install. I also have made my install files from a Mac. Is there anything else you tried?
Aug 9, 2019
Things to try include:
  • Use a USB 2 stick
  • Use another stick
  • Put Windows 10 on the USB stick another way, or use another tool like Rufus
Let me know how you get on :)