Windows (7 or 8) does not detect SSD during installation, Linux does

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Problem :

Since a few days I’m trying to install Windows (tried 7 and 8) on a new SSD (Crucial M550). However, the disk is not listed in the target device selection, nor is it listet when using diskpart -> list disk. I have two other HDDs connected (configured as “fake RAID” Mirror) to the same south bridge based SATA ports on my mainboard(Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P) which are listet immediately (Win 8) or after loading the appropriate driver (Win 7) from USB. The installation files are stored an a USB stick created with the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.

The mentioned SSD replaced an older one where I successfully installed Windows 7 with this method. Also I installed Linux (Xubuntu 14.04) on the new one without any problems, so there seems to be no prolem with either the SSD nor the general approach I’m taking here.

During my research to solve the problem I read about improper MBR format/GPT and Windows not liking 3 or 4 primary partitions to be already on the disk. However, it seems that in any of these cases the disk is 1) listet in the selection screen but Windows refuses to install or 2) at least listet from diskpart. In case of 1) usually there is a problem with the setup of different disks being connected to the system. I tried disconnecting the Mirror which Windows lists with no gain. In case of 2) a “clean” command is recommended. Obviously I cannot do that because the disk is not listet and I don’t want to lose the data already on it.

At some point I tried to install Windows on the RAID array, but I got a message saying that “setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition”. So maybe there is some other problem not directly related to the SSD. I have an internal USB multi card reader connected which is listet as several disks by diskpart. But I cannot recall disconnecting it when installing Windows onto the SSD’s predecessor. However, I didn’t give it a try this time yet.

It’s hard to believe that a widely used System as Windows 7/8 cannot handle the hardware setup while Linux is running smoothly, so maybe there is some stupid detail I’m just missing here. Any suggestions?

Solution :

You should try disabling AHCI from the BIOS and also temporarily remove all the other drives during the installation. Also, you could try the other SATA ports (coming from a different controller) and different drivers (from the manufacturer’s website) for those controllers.

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