Is your ASUS UX32A or UX32VD not detecting the iSSD?
You’re not alone. Read on…
Yesterday the iSSD on my Zenbook died. It wouldn’t be recognised by the BIOS, within Ubuntu, live boot of gparted or even get in to Windows. The POST would just hang for a good 10-15 minutes before it reached GRUB, and even then it wouldn’t go into Windows as the UX32A makes use of ExpressCache and Intel Rapid Storage Technology with the iSSD, so it couldn’t access the boot files. Turns out I’m not the only one with this issue.
Check out how jaminbird hacked away at his to remove the iSSD. By removing the iSSD, it prevented the BIOS from even attempting to read it. Resulting in the bypass of the prolonged 10-15 minute wait at POST, and skipping straight to the bootloader on the HDD (you will have to install Windows again on the HDD without Intel Rapid Storage Technology).
I was able to successfully remove the iSSD from the motherboard. First a little back story. My iSSD went out about 6 months ago (a few days after my 1 year warranty expired). Tried everything I could find online, fdisk, gparted, ect, however, my window’s system would still hang and boot times were horrible. Tried to re-install windows off a usb and couldn’t even get to the installation dialogue as it would hang. I was able to run Ubuntu without any issues as it seems to ignore the corrupted iSSD properly. However, I recently bought a new laptop and want to sell my UX32VD.
So today I opened up the back to see if I could physically remove this stupid thing. I used ifixit’s teardown to locate it, turns out I didn’t even have to take out the battery. Then I used a soldering iron to heat up the back side of the iSSD chip and gently pried it up with a chisel. It came loose pretty easily. I flipped the laptop over over, held my breath, and hit the power button. Booted right up and the evil ScanDisk SSD i100 was nowhere to be seen in the BIOS.
Here’s a few pictures of the before and after. Obviously don’t try this unless you’re ok with the possibility of completely ruining your machine.
If you have the time, I highly recommend you to read the entire forum post on the issue. It dates back to 2012 where people were having these issues with the older UX32VD model, but yet they’re still occurring now with the ‘newly updated’ UX32A – disgusting. I am a fan of ASUS’s products but I think I’m seeing a different kind of light now.
Not that you’d care about my laptop, you only want to fix yours, right? But I’ve submitted an insurance claim that I still have on it, hopefully they’ll sort me out a new one. I requested not the same model (and brand!) but I doubt that will happen. It seems the iSSD lasts ~12 months so by then I’ll be on a salary and get myself a Mac. 😛