Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11 users are also experiencing a strange error with SATA hard drives that has already been seen to plague Windows 10 (and in fact Windows 8.1 and 7).
Neowin reports that Microsoft told us this issue affects Windows 11 via a support document that discusses the flaw, and advises users on what they can do about it.
The error causes an internal SATA drive – this can affect both hard drives and SSDs installed inside your computer via a SATA connection – to be detected as removable media in the Windows taskbar, as opposed to a permanently attached drive (Which, of course, is very much).
Microsoft explains: “Whether or not a device is removable is determined by your system BIOS and how it identifies the different SATA ports on your motherboard.
“The inbound driver directly scans the 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 of corruption or data loss.”
Analysis: Fortunately, there is a solution available
The good news here is that many modern systems won’t be affected by the bug, since most SSDs these days aren’t SATA — and hard drives are a piece of technology on the way out, and frequently cause wear and tear.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of computers with a SATA drive, even if only an old hard drive is set in the mix for media storage tasks, for example.
The good news is that Microsoft provides details of the fix in the support document. As Microsoft advises, the first thing you need to do is check for a BIOS update for your motherboard. If you haven’t got the latest version, update it, and keep your fingers crossed as this might fix the problem.
If not, or you’re already using the latest BIOS – don’t condone installing any beta BIOS, which, by the way, isn’t worth the risk – then Microsoft outlines instructions for manually dealing with the problem here.
Note that you will have to enter a long command (it looks a lot like gobbledegook) so make sure you get this right. It’s a touch annoying, and involves tampering with the registry, so a typo could be bad news — just be very careful when you type exactly what Microsoft says in the last step (for Windows 8 or later, which obviously includes Windows 11 users).