03-04-2017 01:51 PM
I recently assembled a custom PC, with an SSD M.2 for storage. The thing is, because I got a good deal for a 500gb one, I decided not to get a conventional HDD. I would install Windows 10 and all of my programs and just run off that with an external hard drive for storing large media files (tons of photos and video) After booting it up, I realized I need to download and install a driver for the SSD to work. As of now, I have no drive to install Windows to, except an external one. What are the steps to have windows install and run off the SSD? Is it possible to somehow install Windows and the driver on the external drive and migrate it onto the SSD and have it work? Basically have the SSD run using a driver installed on itself. Is it easier to just get a small conventional HDD inside my pac? Am I making sense or is this too much inception? I couldn't find anything about this from a Google search.
My SSD is a "Crucial MX300 525GB M.2 (2280) Internal Solid State Drive". The required driver is about 230MB to download.
Solved! Go to Solution.
03-04-2017 02:59 PM
Drives, including SSD's, don't actually have drivers. The download from Crucial is a diagnostic and maintenance program. If you were using sata, any relevant drivers would actually be from your motherboard manufacturer for the sata ports on it (or the motherboards chipse manufacturer (intel or AMD)).
I'm afraid I'm not overly familiar with troubleshooting M.2. We plugged a couple of MX300's into a couple of Dells at work and they just sort of worked! Have you checked for a BIOS update for your motherboard? That has on occasion solved issues where asta ports couldn't see the drive.
03-05-2017 04:23 PM
My mistake and assumption, SSDs don't need drivers. But in the BIOS screen after booting, it says my SSD is deactivated. My SSD came with a serial number and "activation instructions":
1. Go to www.crucial.com/acronis
2. Download the software
3. Run the .exe file and follow instructions
4. enter serial number
so i can't actually use it for storage until i do this. Hence why i can't actually install windows on it first in order to download the "software". What should i do?
03-05-2017 11:22 PM - edited 03-05-2017 11:26 PM
Acronis is cloning software. It's used to copy an existing Windows install onto the drive and is not needed to do a new install.
I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say the drive is deactivated in the BIOS. Do you need to enable the M.2 port in your BIOS?
Also, sometimes these ports 'share' with sata ports on the board and will only function if no drives are plugged into those ports. What motherboard do you have?
The drives are supplied unformatted and wouldn't show up in an existing Windows install until - they should show in WIndows setup though. To make them usable you'd either install Windows on them, clone Windows to them (Acronis) or initialise it from disk management (the latter is if you intended to use it as a data drive rather than a Windows system drive)
03-06-2017 10:01 PM - edited 03-06-2017 10:25 PM
Ok a bit of an update and some questions:
I am using an MSI Z170-A PRO motherboard.
I tried installing windows using a Bootable USB. I had to enter boot screen and choose the USB drive. It went to the windows installation and i was able to select the 500 GB SSD drive (the only option). Finishes installing, restarts and just goes to a black screen with a flashing cursor (same as before installing windows). restarted PC and tried selecting the "Crucial MX300 525GB" as the boot device. Same black screen. Again, I am assuming it's because it's disabled and doesn't boot.
I don't know how to enable M.2 port in the BIOS. I havent seen anything close to that option. I have no other drives plugged in other than CD/DVD SATA drive.
I intend to use the SSD as both the boot drive using Windows and the data drive. Searching around i read many people do this.
If Acronis is a cloning software, and the product directs me to go there to download software to "activate" the SSD, does that mean that installing Windows on an HDD and cloning from it is the only option?
03-07-2017 05:21 AM
What port is your optical drive in? According to the boards manual, you cannot use port 1 and 2 if you are using M.2
Though I would have thought either the optical drive or SSD would fail to be seen completely rather than the M.2 slot just not booting
03-07-2017 09:31 AM
Ok I got everything working. put USB back in inital boot order.
Here's where i messed up:
after inital boot into BIOS, I saw the SSD "disabled" under HotPlug and M.2 Genie grayed out, as well as the "activation" instructions that came with my SSD. I assumed that it needed some sort of driver and didnt even bother to look up what HotPlug or M.2 Genie were. I also didnt see the tiny text saying the activation (Acronis) was for moving hard drive.
This was the first time i assembled a PC, or even used an SSD. Ive been working with a mac for the past 6 years.
Thank you for your patience, Targetbsp.
03-07-2017 11:29 AM
No problem, lots of people make the same assumption about a driver. Drives seem to be about the only piece of hardware that doesn't need a manufacturer specific driver for some reason!
Glad you got it sorted.