Windows 11 Clean install with more than one NVME drives


Keith Weisshar

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My motherboard has two NVME M.2 slots. If both slots have WD SN750 2TB installed, which slot will I use when I install to Disk 0? Is there a 50/50 chance that it will use either the top or bottom slot each time I boot the Windows 11 installer and choose Disk 0? Having two identical drives can easily cause a confusion.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
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    Digital Storm
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    Intel Core i9 9900K 3.8GH
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    ASUS Z390 Maximus XI Hero Wi-Fi
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    16GB DDR4 2666MHz
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    WD Black SN750 2TB
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Ghot

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My motherboard has two NVME M.2 slots. If both slots have WD SN750 2TB installed, which slot will I use when I install to Disk 0? Is there a 50/50 chance that it will use either the top or bottom slot each time I boot the Windows 11 installer and choose Disk 0? Having two identical drives can easily cause a confusion.


Couldn't you just temporarily remove one of the M.2 SSDs?
 

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    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22000.675
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    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
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    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
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    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
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    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
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    (onboard) Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
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    Dell U3011 30"
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    2560 x 1600
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    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
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    Built by Ghot®
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
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    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
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    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
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    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
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    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
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    up to 2048 x 1536
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    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
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    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

Keith Weisshar

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It's not as easy as removing the SATA drive they are hidden under the motherboard M.2 heatsink covers and it also requires unplugging AC power and waiting for all capacitors to discharge and also requires a screwdriver. M.2 screws are tiny and easily lost.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Digital Storm
    CPU
    Intel Core i9 9900K 3.8GH
    Motherboard
    ASUS Z390 Maximus XI Hero Wi-Fi
    Memory
    16GB DDR4 2666MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA RTX 2060
    Sound Card
    Realtek Onboard
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    ASUS VG-245H
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    Hard Drives
    WD Black SN750 2TB
    PSU
    850W
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    Cooler Master HAF-932
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    SteelSeries Apex M750
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cereberus

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It is not clear what you are asking. You can set whichever drive you wish as boot drive in bios. The old disk 0 conventions died out years ago.
 

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    Yep, Laptop has one.
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Ghot

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It's not as easy as removing the SATA drive they are hidden under the motherboard M.2 heatsink covers and it also requires unplugging AC power and waiting for all capacitors to discharge and also requires a screwdriver. M.2 screws are tiny and easily lost.


I realize that, but you would only have to remove one of them, just during the Win 11 install.
 

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    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
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    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
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    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
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    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
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    (onboard) Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
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    Dell U3011 30"
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    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
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    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    LG GH22LS30 CD/DVD Burner
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    Built by Ghot®
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
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    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
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    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
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    up to 2048 x 1536
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    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

CornishRattler

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Does your documentation not tell you which is the primary slot and which is the secondary slot?
 

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    Windows 11 Pro Beta, 11 Dev, W10 VHDX Triple Boot
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    Dell Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R6
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Ghot

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Does your documentation not tell you which is the primary slot and which is the secondary slot?


It doesn't. I just downloaded them and checked.
Well the top slot is numbered 1 and the bottom slot is numbered 2.

Image1.png
 

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    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22000.675
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    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
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    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
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    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
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    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
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    (onboard) Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
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    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
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    LG GH22LS30 CD/DVD Burner
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    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
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    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
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    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
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    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
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    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
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    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
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    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
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    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
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    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
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    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
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    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

Ernimus Prime

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Look in your BIOS. It should give you a list of your drives installed.
 

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RFS

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When you install it asks you which disk you want to use - your choice. My PC has two SSD disks - NVME and SATA. The NVME is disk 1 and the SATA is disk 0 but it always boots correctly from the NVME disk.
 

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    Intel I3-10100
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    MSI H410M-PRO
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    Samsung EVO 970 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
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    ATX 450W
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    Self-build
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    Intel i3-8100
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    Gigabyte Z370 D3
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    16 Gb
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    Nvidia GT 720
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    Samsung 960 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
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humbird

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On my Huawei laptop, I have only one nvme disk but it is at the edge of the large heat sink like your #2 slot looks to be. I actually removed the original nvme drive by removing the screw and lifting the heat sink just slightly and sliding out the drive so I could replace it with a larger drive. To put the drive back in lift ever so slightly and slide it into place. Are you able to do that on your motherboard with the one labeled #2? You must be very gentle and make sure the drive is seated. leave bottom open till sure it all works. Put the screw in and boot up. Make sure drive shows. #1 disk is probably your boot disk.
 

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    Huawei Matebook X Pro
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    intel 8250 I5
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    8gb
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    Acer A515-43-R6DE
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    AMD Ryzen 7300U
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    16 GB DDR4
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    512cb PCie NVME SSD
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Hazel123

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I seem to remember from years ago, with a machine with two drives, that even if you install it on the one that is not seen as the main boot drive - you can change that in bios afterwards. I still have disk 0 and disk 1 in disk manager.

When you install, just choose disk 0 (it probably doesn;t matter though). Then after install, check in bios, which is the drive that is set to boot from. If it doesn't boot, it's the other drive!

But as others have said, maybe look in bios first and see what the set up looks like.
 

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    Windows 10 Pro
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    HP Pavilion 14-ce3514sa
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    Core i5
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    8gb
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    Samsung 970 evo plus 1TB
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    Could be better
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    Originally installed with a 500gb H10 Optane ssd
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
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    Asus Eee PC 1015PX 10" netbook
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    Intel Atom N570
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    2gb
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    Samsung Evo 860 250gb ssd
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Winuser

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My motherboard has two NVME M.2 slots. If both slots have WD SN750 2TB installed, which slot will I use when I install to Disk 0? Is there a 50/50 chance that it will use either the top or bottom slot each time I boot the Windows 11 installer and choose Disk 0? Having two identical drives can easily cause a confusion.
The slots will not change. When you do the install, you can use either disk you want. The install doesn't have to be disk 0. On my new desktop Windows is installed on disk 0. disk 0 is the NVMe drive that came preinstalled. Disk 1 is an SSD that I installed later. On my old desktop Windows is install on disk 1. Disk 1 is an NVMe drive that I installed to replace the Optane drive that came with the computer. Disk 0 is an HDD that I use as my data drive. You might have to go into the BIOS and select the boot partition.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11
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    PowerSpec B746
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    Intel Core i7-10700K
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    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
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    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
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    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
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    Realtek Audio
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    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
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    1920 x 1080
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    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
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    750 Watts (62.5A)
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    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
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    Logitech M185
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    Windows 11 Dev
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    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
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    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
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    16 MB DDR 4-2666
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    AMD Radeon
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    15.6"
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    PCIe NVMe M.2 512GB
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NavyLCDR

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My motherboard has two NVME M.2 slots. If both slots have WD SN750 2TB installed, which slot will I use when I install to Disk 0? Is there a 50/50 chance that it will use either the top or bottom slot each time I boot the Windows 11 installer and choose Disk 0? Having two identical drives can easily cause a confusion.
I'm at a loss as to what difference it makes if it is the top or bottom slot?
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11
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    PC/Desktop
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    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
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    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
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    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
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    32GB
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    Nvidia Geforce MX150
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    Realtek
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    17"
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    1920 x 1080
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    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
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    Fast!

Dru2

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I realize that, but you would only have to remove one of them, just during the Win 11 install.
Yeah. But on my system, I'd have to remove the PC from its cubby, open the case, remove the GPU, then 4 screws, a shield panel, another screw holding the NVMe drive in. Then I'd have to install the GPU, hookup monitor, install the OS. Disconnect monitor, remove the GPU again, install screw, panel, screws, GPU; close everything back up again, and hope I don't have to do a reinstall o_O

No. I simply disable SATA drives via BIOS, leave the other NVMe drive alone, and install the OS. Easy. Done. Next :wink:

That's me.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 (22000.613)
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    Custom built
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    Intel i9-9900K
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    Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme
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    32G (4x8) DDR4 Corsair RGB Dominator Platinum (3600Mhz)
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    Radeon VII
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    Onboard (ESS Sabre HiFi using Realtek drivers)
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    NEC PA242w (24 inch)
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    1920 x 1200
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    5 Samsung SSD drives: 2X 970 NVME (512 & 1TB), 3X EVO SATA (2X 2TB, 1X 1TB)
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    EVGA Super Nova I000 P2 (1000 watt)
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    Cooler Master H500M
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    Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
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    Logitech Craft
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    System used for gaming, photography, audiophile media center, work.
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    Win 11 Pro Dev build 22454.1000
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DigitalGoat

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It depends on the generation support on some motherboards, top slot tends to be newer (so Gen4, Gen5) while bottom slot tends to be older. If using two identical drives, both supporting the same Gen then it doesn't really matter for general use, but you may want the newer Gen drive/ Slot for video editing/ rendering apps to use as a scratch drive, so installing Windows to the other (slower) drive makes a sort of sense.
If you really must know which drive is which then check the serial numbers in Disk part then compare to same in BIOS next to each drive/ slot.
 

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NavyLCDR

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You can also use hwinfo64 to determine if SSDs are connected to a PCIe 4 or PCIe 3 slot. hwinfo64 also gives you drive serial numbers. I don't think diskpart shows disk serial numbers, though.
 

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Dru2

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I'm at a loss as to what difference it makes if it is the top or bottom slot?
It depends on the generation support on some motherboards, top slot tends to be newer (so Gen4, Gen5) while bottom slot tends to be older. If using two identical drives, both supporting the same Gen then it doesn't really matter for general use, but you may want the newer Gen drive/ Slot for video editing/ rendering apps to use as a scratch drive, so installing Windows to the other (slower) drive makes a sort of sense.
If you really must know which drive is which then check the serial numbers in Disk part then compare to same in BIOS next to each drive/ slot.

The "difference" can also be whether one NVMe slot disables SATA ports or not. The other difference is heat - as some NVMe ports sit directly under the GPU (lots of heat). There's also the fact that some NVMe ports disables SATA ports; also, may only support PCIE on certain m.2 slots while others don't. Depends on board, features, and design - cheaper boards can be more restrictive than more premium boards.

This info will be in the owner's manual and may even include a matrix as my Gigabyte Z390 and Z270 boards do.
 

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NavyLCDR

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The "difference" is whether one NVMe slot disables SATA ports or not. The other difference is heat - as some NVMe ports sit directly under the GPU (lots of heat). There's also the fact that some NVMe ports disables SATA ports; also, may only support PCIE on certain m.2 slots while others don't.

Depends on board, features, and design - cheaper boards can be more restrictive than more premium boards.
OK. But the OP has the same make/model SSD installed in each of the M.2 slots. So the SATA ports (if any) are disabled anyway regardless of which SSD Windows is installed on.
 

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hsehestedt

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here are trick you can use to determine which NVMe is which. This assumes that there is data on those NVMe disks now and that one of them has the OS on it already.

Boot from your Windows installation media.
At the first static screen, press SHIFT + F10 to open a command prompt.
Run "diskpart"
Run "list vol" and note what vol number is associated with drive letter C
Run "select volume 4" (NOTE: substitute the volume number you found above. It just happens to be "4" on my system)
Run "detail volume"

This will tell you the disk number associated with that volume.

Run "exit" to quit diskpart.

If the OS is not on one of those drives, simply drop a file on one of those NVMe drives from within Windows. Boot into your install media, open a command prompt, and locate that file. Use diskpart to determine what drive number setup sees that disk as being. Just be aware that what shows up as disk 0 (or any other number) in Windows setup may not be the same drive letter in a running instance of Windows.
 

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Dru2

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OK. But the OP has the same make/model SSD installed in each of the M.2 slots. So the SATA ports (if any) are disabled anyway regardless of which SSD Windows is installed on.
It's not about the drives but how the m.2 is setup to handle the drive - Example on my Z270 board having two m.2 slots will only allow one to use all SATA ports when used. The table below for my Gigabyte GA-Z270X Gaming 8 board shows only the bottom (M2P_32G) allowing all my SATA ports to be used with that slot filled. Using the top (M2M_32G) will cost me two SATA slots...

Gigabyte Z270 NVME Matrix.png
BTW some m.2 ports will also downgrade certain PCIe slot speeds. Again... owner's manual.

But yes, if you don't use SATA ports, no issue, but if you need SATA ports, it "could" be an issue. It simply depends on needs.
 

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