Question External monitor detection failure with SSD installed ?

Mar 18, 2021
I added a 1TB Crucial 2.5" SSD to my ASUS ROG 751J laptop (2015) running Win 10 Pro. The install went fine and I was able to get the drive recognized and working correctly within minutes. However, since installing the SSD, my laptop no longer recognized the external monitor that I normally use (Monitor: Check Signal Cable). The monitor is an older Samsung 24" LCD (Model 2430H) connected via HDMI (no adapters in use).

I updated the NVIDIA drivers for the internal GTX 870M and no luck. Cold reboots, restarts, disconnecting/reconnecting cables, cycling monitor inputs/power, etc. and no dice. I removed the SSD and the monitor instantly started working again. I tried a different SSD (Samsung EVO M2 this time) and the exact same behavior occurred. As long as an SSD was installed, my external monitor would not be recognized.

Anyone seen behavior like this before? I've tried several configuration changes and attempts to force recognition through the NVIDIA control panel with no luck. I really need the extra storage, but also really need the external monitor. There doesn't seem to be any other issues with the system or graphics card. Again, everything works perfectly when the SSD is not installed.