How To Install Windows 8.1 On SSD

Solid State Drivers (SSDs) are not only faster than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) but also last longer. While many new PCs that are available in the market today come with SSDs, most of the PCs that have been purchased in the past couple of years can also be upgraded to SSDs to improve the overall system performance.

Installing Windows 8/8.1 on a Solid State Drive is relatively easier and users who have previously installed any version of Windows on a hard disk drive (HDD) should be able to install Windows 8/8.1 on SSD without any issues. If you have recently installed SSD on your PC and want to install Windows 8.1 on that drive, you can do so by following the given below instructions.

Windows 8.1

Step 1: First step is to prepare Windows 8.1 bootable media. If you already have Windows 8.1 DVD or USB, you can skip to the next step. If you don’t have a bootable media and have an ISO file instead, you can follow our how to prepare Windows 8.1 bootable USB drive from ISO file guide or use free tools like Microsoft USB/DVD Download Tool or Rufus to prepare the bootable media.

And if your PC supports UEFI (see how to check if your PC supports UEFI), you need to follow instructions in our how to install Windows 8.1 from USB drive guide to prepare UEFI compatible bootable USB.

Step 2: If you have connected two or more Hard Disk Drives or Solid State Drives, if possible, we suggest you disconnect all other drives except the one that you would like to use for Windows 8.1 install. That is, for instance, if you have connected one Solid State Drive and another Hard Disk Drive, we recommend you disconnect the hard drive to avid Windows from creating any partition on that drive.

And if you don’t want to disconnect, you can still go ahead and install Windows 8.1 on SSD without having to disconnect the hard drive but be sure to backup all data from your drives before proceeding further.

Step 3: Turn on your PC, press the appropriate key to get into BIOS/UEFI. Here, you need to enable AHCI under advanced settings. Once you’re in UEFI/BIOS, look for any entry named SATA Mode Selection and change it to AHCI. Every BIOS/UEFI’s layout is different, so we advise you read your PC’s or motherboard’s manual for instructions to get into BIOS/UEFI and change the SATA mode to AHCI.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step01

Also, when you’re in the BIOS/UEFI, re-arrange the boot priority to enable boot from USB or boot from CD/DVD (again, you need to read the manual for instructions).

Step 4: If there is any data on your SSD, you must backup all data as we need to partition the SSD to create a dedicated partition for Windows 8.1 installation. If your PC is unbootable, you can follow our how to backup data from an unbootable PC guide to backup all data to a USB drive without installing or booting into Windows. And if the SSD is new, you can safely skip this step.

Step 5: Connect or insert the bootable Windows 8.1 media, restart your PC, press any key if you’re asked to do so to begin loading all necessary installation files. When you see the following screen, select your language, time and currency format, and keyboard method.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step1

Click Next button to proceed to the next step.

Step 6: Click Install now button to continue.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step2

Step 7: Next, you’ll be asked to enter the product key or license key. Type in the 25-character product key and click Next button to continue. And if you want to recover the product key from a previous Windows 8/8.1 install on your HDD/SSD, you can refer to our how to recover Windows 8.1 product key from unbootable PC.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step3

Step 8: Accept the license agreement by checking the box titled I accept the license terms. Click Next button.

Step 9: When you see “Which type of installation do you want?” click the second option titled Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) to continue.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step5

Step 10: On the drive selection screen, you need to create a new partition for Windows 8.1 with at least 20 GB of space. We recommend you allocate at least 30 GB of space for Windows 8.1 drive to avoid running out of disk space in near future.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step6

Select the unallocated space of your SSD, click New option, enter the size in MB and then apply button to create a new partition for Windows 8.1. Users who have connected two or more drives must carefully select the drive and create a new partition as formatting a drive will erase all data.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step8

Select the newly created partition for Windows 8.1 and then click Next button and then click OK button when you see the following dialog box.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step7

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step8

Finally, select the newly created partition for Windows 8.1 and then click Next button to begin installing Windows 8.1. That’s it! From here on, you can follow the simple on-screen instructions or our instructions in our how to perform clean install of Windows 8.1 guide to complete the installation.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step9

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step10

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step11

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step12

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step14

Step 11: Once Windows 8.1 is installed, install all necessary drivers for your video card, sound card and other hardware. Most SSD manufactures offer free tool(s) to check for new firmware and update the same. We advise you visit your SSD manufacturer’s website and download the appropriate tool and then follow our how to update SSD firmware to check for firmware updates and update to the latest one, if available.

Update SSD Firmware

For those who are curious, TRIM is enabled by default for SSDs in Windows 8/8.1 and the Defragment and optimize tool in Windows 8/8.1 doesn’t defrag when the drive is SSD. It sends the TRIM command to the SSD instead. So, you don’t need to use those tweaking tools to enable or send the TRIM command to the SSD in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Install Windows 8.1 on SSD Step15

To manually optimize your SSD, type Defrag and optimize when you’re in the Start screen, change search filter to Settings and then press enter key to open the Optimize window. Good luck!



  1. Andy says

    Advise Me: How to manages and install for three operating system OS (windows10, windows8.1, windows7) in to two hard disk (SDD and HDD)

    Hi, I have a new Dell Alienware15 laptop, at bios area boot1 is HDD, boot2 is SSD, please advise me, How to manages and install for three operating system OS (windows10, windows8.1, windows7) in to two hard disk, Current SSD is running at windows8.1(by Dell default), HDD is empty.

    Your cooperation towards this matter is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    With best regards,
    Andy (Mr.)

  2. Chris G. says

    How is that I keep doing these exact instructions and my new SSD fails to boot every time after the installation says it needs to reboot? My Motherboard is UEFI (Biostar TA970) and I have it in ACHI mode. I use diskpart to clean the drive and make sure the disk is unallocated and then I create a partition for system reserved files. SSD firmware is up to date according to the SanDisk utility. The SSD is recognized and in the proper boot order. My previous hard drive I always disconnect from the the Mother board before I try to install. So why is it doing this to me? SDD is a Sandisk Ultra II 480gb and OS is Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit.

  3. aliakbar says

    i install windows 8.1 on ssd drive (adata) every thing fine . windows turning on 4 sec. it’s amazing but there is a problem
    i can’t open metro app . the error is (the app did’t start). in micro soft supprt said its because your ssd . actully is premission. what should i do to fix this?

  4. Pieter says

    I have a system with programs on an (existing) secundary HDD, and want to replace the primary HDD with a fast SSD. If I would follow all steps, disconnect the secundary HDD, reinstall using the above and reconnect the secundary HDD after succesfull install, will I be able to run the programs on that HDD?

    (I’m not a hero on registry stuff, but I’d imagine that would be messed up beyond repair – except for reinstalling each and every program on that secundary HDD…)

    Thanks in advance for your answer!

  5. JustSomeGuy says

    I have a 1TB Samsung 850 pro and followed these instructions and it worked. But now I have 2 small partitions for the OS and “system” files as well as an “E” drive of 900+GB. The problem is that most programs will want to install to the “C” drive, and so will all the Windows updates, but that is only 35GB.

    Is it possible to make one big drive like I used to do with my old mechanical HDDs and have it work on this SSD, or will Windows be buggered up by the constant adding and subtracting of various application and game files? Otherwise I will have to change default loadings to the “E” drive partition to keep things away from Win 8.1. Goodness knows just what other changes I will have to make to have all other programs BUT Windows use the “E” drive.

    Is this “automatic partitioning” thing just a “feature” of Win 8.1? Is there a way around it? I do not want to start loading all my apps on my new computer and find there was a better way.

  6. J says

    I’ve followed this guide to the letter, my SSD is the only drive in my new build, and I keep getting an “Couldn’t create new partition or locate existing one. For more information, see Setup log file” message. Any suggestions?

  7. Annett says

    If you are going for finest contents like I do,
    simply pay a visit this site every day since it presents quality contents, thanks

  8. admin says

    Of course, you can use 256GB for Windows 8.1 install. For that, create a new partition of 256GB (whatever space is available on SSD).

  9. Dave says

    do I need to make a separate partition for Win 8.1 on an SSD as you mention 30GB, I want to use all of 256GB for Win and programs, and another HDD for files etc.

  10. admin says

    Thanks for the info, Koiy. According to Microsoft, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 don’t defrag SSDs but as the article says the bug must be forcing defrag on SSDs.

  11. koiy says

    this is not correct it will defrag in Win 8.1 has bug, check:*ttp://

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