Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11, too, is affected by an age-old bug related to Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA).
The bug is related to the firmware wherein an internal SATA drive, be it a slower, mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) or a faster NAND flash-based Solid-state drive (SSD), is misread as removable media in the Windows taskbar.
This issue is really ancient (by technology standards) as Microsoft says it affects anything newer than Windows Vista, ie, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and finally Windows 11.
On a newly updated support document regarding the issue, Microsoft writes:
Internal SATA devices (HDDs or SSDs) may show as removable media in your task bar.
Whether or not a device is considered removable is determined by your system’s BIOS and how it marks the various SATA ports on the motherboard. The inbox driver directly inspects SATA ports and considers devices connected to those ports marked “external” as removable devices. Not all storage drivers do this, which can be a potential cause for corruption or data loss.
Microsoft has also provided a way to fix this issue using elevated Command Prompt CLI. This solution also works on Windows 8, 8.1, and Windows 10:
First, check for and install available BIOS updates from your PC manufacturer. If none are available, you can follow these steps to override the way the inbox driver surfaces devices on certain ports:
- Open a command prompt with administrator privileges.
- In the command prompt window, type the following command in hit Enter: devmgmt.msc
- Under Disk Drives, identify the SATA device you would like the inbox driver to consider internal and open properties for this device by right-clicking and selecting Properties.
- Note the bus number from the properties overview (“1” in the below example).
- For Windows 8 and later:
Type the following command in the previously opened command prompt and hit Enter:reg.exe add “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\Parameters\Device” /f /v TreatAsInternalPort /t REG_MULTI_SZ /d x
Where x corresponds to the Bus Number you noted in step 4.
You may find more details in the support article on Microsoft's website.
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