[SOLVED] Windows Can't Find My SSD For Install

cloviswhiting

Commendable
Jan 11, 2019
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Hello,

I just built a 100% brand new PC as a gift for someone, and I'm trying to install Windows 11 on it via a USB. The USB has the necessary installation files on it from my current computer.

The issue that I'm having is:

Whenever I try to install Windows 11 onto the new computer, it can't find the new NVMe M.2 SSD as an option to install onto. Any tutorial I have read or watched has said that is probably because the new drive is not formatted or doesn't have the required drivers or something. Assuming that's the case, how am I supposed to get Windows 11 on to the new drive if it's inside of a computer with no ability to access anything outside of the Windows 11 installation setup?

I can't simply plug the new M.2 SSD into MY PC because my PC doesn't have an M.2 slot like the new one does(plus I'd have to remove the M.2 from it's heatsink and I already took the film off of it and I feel like taking the m.2 SSD out of the heatsink and putting it back in after the protective film has already been taken off will make the heatsink not work as well idk). I also can't simply plug my PC's SATA SSD into the new PC to configure the new M.2 drive because I don't have any extra SATA cables which means I'd have to rip apart MY PC and put them into the new PC then put it all back, which would be a massive hassle.

I'm pretty computer savvy, but physically building them is where I have less experience in. Is there any way to fix this problem without disassembling something? I've already spent so much time building the new one, I just have no patience to re-do something unless it's absolutely necessary haha.

P.s., even though I'm not savvy in building PC's, I'm about 99% sure the M.2 SSD IS plugged into the correct M.2 slot. Someone somewhere was saying to be sure it's in the right one, so before someone gives that as an answer, I'm pretty sure that isn't it.
 
Last edited:

cloviswhiting

Commendable
Jan 11, 2019
18
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Try another slot. Worth a try.
Wow, if it didn't just happen I wouldn't believe it. Switching to the middle m.2 slot worked. Weird considering anywhere online, everyone says to use the top slot for maximized performance.

That said, now that windows is installed and working, I should try to switch the SSD back to the top slot to see if NOW it works in that slot, as to not compromise on any performance from the SSD.
 
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Lafong

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Dec 2, 2021
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You should NOT have to format the new drive. Windows will do that as part of the installation process.

Motherboard brand and model?

NVMe drive brand and model?

What's the history of your USB installer?? Who made it and how?
 

cloviswhiting

Commendable
Jan 11, 2019
18
1
1,515
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You should NOT have to format the new drive. Windows will do that as part of the installation process.

Motherboard brand and model?

NVMe drive brand and model?

What's the history of your USB installer?? Who made it and how?
Mobo : Aorus Elite AX Z590

NVME : WD Black SN850 2TB

I used the windows 11 installer that installs a bootable installer to your USB from the Windows / Microsoft website
 

cloviswhiting

Commendable
Jan 11, 2019
18
1
1,515
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Does the motherboard BIOS recognize the SSD?

What are the specs for the system in question (make/model of all installed components)?
No, if I go to BIOS and check all drives, under M.2 if says N/A (and for anything else other than the single USB)

Mobo: Aorus Elite AX Z590
CPU: Intel i5-10400
CPU Cooler: Cooler master 240ml V2 RGB
GPU: GTX 1070
RAM: some RGB ddr4 gskill stuff I can't remember exactly
PSU: Corsair RM 650
M.2 SSD: WD Black SN850 2TB

(Build is meant for medium gaming and fast desktop productivity)
 

cloviswhiting

Commendable
Jan 11, 2019
18
1
1,515
1
Try another slot. Worth a try.
Wow, if it didn't just happen I wouldn't believe it. Switching to the middle m.2 slot worked. Weird considering anywhere online, everyone says to use the top slot for maximized performance.

That said, now that windows is installed and working, I should try to switch the SSD back to the top slot to see if NOW it works in that slot, as to not compromise on any performance from the SSD.
 
Reactions: Sluggotg

cloviswhiting

Commendable
Jan 11, 2019
18
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1,515
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Found the full answer why:

"10th gen Intel cpu's have no extra lanes for storage wired to the first m.2 slot. That's why your ssd wouldn't show up when 10th cpu is installed, whlie 11th gen cpu's have extra 4 lanes for storage."

That makes sense I suppose.
 

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