[Guide] Clean Install Windows 10 on Spectre X360 (No AHCI)

I was trying to install Windows 10 Education on my 2020 Spectre X360 14 (which is preloaded with Windows 10 Home), and I realized there’s a few things to watch out for to make your reinstallation successful — particularly a lack of AHCI mode preventing the installer from seeing the internal SSD. Here’s how you can do it.

These steps are based on the Spectre X360 14 but should also apply to similar HP laptops.

  1. Before beginning the installation, make sure you’ve backed up all your files and plugged in your laptop’s charger.
  2. Create an install USB using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool.
  3. If you’re switching Windows editions, put this ei.cfg file in the \Sources\ folder of your install USB, so that the installer will ask you which Windows edition to install.
  4. Go to HP’s driver page. Under the Driver-Storage category, download the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver.
  5. Open the exe file you downloaded. It should look like this:
  6. Go through the installer. It should unpack some files to C:\SWSetup\SP******.
  7. Go to that folder. It should look like this:
  8. Copy the “dchu_VMD” folder to the root folder of your install USB (ESD-USB).
  9. Turn off the laptop.
  10. Turn on the laptop and immediately press the ESC key. You should see a menu of options.
  11. Press F9 to go to the Boot Menu.
  12. Select to boot from your USB drive.
  13. Proceed through the installer. As of April 2021, the touchscreen and trackpad don’t work in the installer. You can plug in a USB mouse or use the arrow keys, tab and shift-tab, and enter, to navigate the menus.
  14. If it asks you for a product key, you can choose “I don’t have a product key” and activate later.
  15. Choose “Custom: Install Windows Only“.
  16. The list of partitions may be empty and it may say “We couldn’t find any drives.” If so, then click “Load driver“.
  17. Click “Browse“.
  18. Select the “dchu_VMD” folder and click Ok.
  19. Select the “Intel RST VMD Controller” driver and click Next.
  20. Now you should see a list of partitions. Delete all of them and let Windows install on the empty space. It will automatically create the necessary partitions.
  21. Windows will now install and reboot into the setup wizard.
  22. If you want to avoid setting up Windows using a Microsoft account, click “I don’t have internet” when it asks to connect to a network.
  23. After going through the setup, connect to the internet and run Windows Update in Settings, to get necessary drivers (including touchscreen and trackpad). Hint: if you don’t have a USB mouse, you can get to this setting from the Start Menu by using the keyboard keys I mentioned.
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Adam
Adam
2 months ago

I have an HP Pavilion x360 that came pre-installed with Windows 10 Home and was trying to clean install Windows 10 Pro, but I kept running into these exact problems which were extremely annoying. I’ve never had problems like this with installing Windows on any other computer, but your instructions… Read more »

Oguzhan YILDIRIM
Oguzhan YILDIRIM
1 month ago

Thanks bro