Not sure if Sofware is the right place since it's hardware related just as much, but I'm having some issues with my laptop and Windows.
The laptop is ASUS Zenbook UX32VD, running Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit.
The other day I turned it on and it got stuck in the boot screen. Happened once before, turned it off and on a couple of times and it just "fixed" itself. This time, no luck. It would alternate between getting stuck on the boot screen with Windows logo, or getting stuck while trying to perform Automatic Repair.
Anyway, long story short, turns out the problem is not software related. It seems that the 32GB cache SSD that came with the laptop has a tendency to give up. I tried (and succeeded) booting Ubuntu from a USB drive. GParted doesn't even report the cache drive, but when fiddling with partition options during installation, it reports the /dev/sdb (cache drive), I just can't do anything with it, reports errors when I try to partition it. Ubuntu's boot screen also flashed a few lines while booting, also reporting errors with /dev/sdb.
The thing is, whatever the particular failure is, it still reports the device in BIOS under a SATA port, and I guess Windows gets confused with it. I've literally left it booting for a couple of hours, no luck (people online with the same hardware issue only reported a slight slow down in boot time, speaking of minutes, but they managed to boot Windows, just not use the drive anymore). When I try to do a fresh install, the setup hangs at the first screen after the language selection. That's the screen where it does hardware analysis.
As I said, the drive is visible under BIOS, but there are no options to disable a port. What's worse, it's soldered onto the motherboard.
I'd personally just like to remove the drive and throw it out and get on with my day, but I can't to that.
Is there a way to somehow make Windows ignore the SATA port in the pre-setup stage? Everything else hardware-wise seems to be okay. I'm now running Ubuntu, but I need Windows for work. Shipping the laptop off for repair is as good as throwing it away considering I need to have something to work on, and my best bet right now is running Windows inside of a virtual machine.
Any help greatly appreciated.