Question Motherboard no longer detecting M.2 drives after being installed in another system

Mar 24, 2020

A few weeks ago, I spent a day exchanging M.2 drives between my main PC and an Intel Hades Canyon NUC that I have recently received.
However, after the M.2 drives have been installed and running in the NUC, they are no longer being detected and booted on my main PC once I moved them back over. The drives do work perfectly when placed back into the NUC, though.

When troubleshooting one of the drives as an experiment, I found that, from a windows 10 bootable USB, diskpart detected the drive and the problem was completely fixed once I formatted and reinstalled the OS on it.
I do not wish to format my other drives, since they hold my primary Windows 10 boot and other files that I do not want to lose/transfer. Could there be any alternative solutions to this issue? I have heard that some OEM boards do some odd firmware stuff to components that are installed onto it, and I am unsure on how to revert this without clearing all of my data. Also, when trying the defaulted NVME drive that came with the NUC, this exact no-booting issue still occurred, so this is where I have concluded that the NUC is doing something with the M.2 drives.

If this helps any, the specs on my main PC are:
X399 Taichi ATX Motherboard
Ryzen Threadripper 1900X
32GB Trident Z 3200MHz (8GB in quad channel)


In any computer system, when you first install Windows on the designated boot drive, what you get is a totally customized Windows. The Install process first surveys the entire hardware setup of the new system and ensures that all the device drivers it requires are installed. The mobo itself contains quite a number of devices that all are needed. It does NOT install all the device drivers in the world.

So, if you simply move a fully functioning boot drive to a new mobo, it is almost guaranteed that, at first boot time, it will discover that it has a bunch of drivers it does not need, but MOST importantly it does NOT have several drivers for devices it finds that never existed before in its former home. This normally results in failure to boot.

Sometimes it is possible to run a process that discovers and solves all the "missing driver" problems so that your old drive can work. But sometimes that fails, too. By far the most reliable way to deal is to do a fresh new Install of Windows in the NEW system. In fact, that's what you did in your experiment. The only problem with that is that none of your old machine's systems are installed on that working boot drive. What you really need to do now is to do new Installs on that drive of all your old application software. Once you have that all working again, you WILL be able to install in your new machine your old boot drive, and from that copy all your user files to the new boot drive. At that point, I suggest you might remove the old boot SSD and store it safely for a while, until your experience says you really DID copy over everything you need. THEN you can re-install it, wipe it clean, and use it as a fresh data drive.

In the meantime, you also have a third NVME unit supplied with the new machine, and it needs to be Partitioned and Formatted for use.