Microsoft killing HDD boot drive off by 2023: welcomes all-SSD world

Microsoft pushing OEMs to drop HDDs from being the primary storage device in pre-built Windows 11 PCs, and usher in SSDs only.

@anthony256
Published Wed, Jun 8 2022 8:46 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jun 30 2022 10:31 PM CDT

If video killed the radio star, then Microsoft is killing the mechanical HDD as a boot option to Windows 11... at least according to data storage industry analyst firm Trendfocus.

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A new report says that OEMs have said that Microsoft is pushing OEMs to not support HDDs as the primary storage device in pre-built Windows 11 PCs, using much faster SSDs in their place. Microsoft has plans to do this by 2023, so we should expect the world of all-SSD PCs of the future by next year.

Windows 11 minimum requirements from Microsoft are for a "64GB or larger storage device" right now, but this will most likely change when Microsoft makes the big change to drop HDDs as the primary storage option on pre-built PCs with Windows 11. At the moment: Microsoft DirectStorage and the Windows Subsystem for Android both require an SSD, but those features aren't forced on you... you can use a HDD and not use those features.

Microsoft killing HDD boot drive off by 2023: welcomes all-SSD world 515 | TweakTown.com

Trendfocus Vice President John Chen told Tom's Hardware: "The original cut-in date based on our discussions with OEMs was to be this year, but it has been pushed out to sometime next year (the second half, I believe, but not clear on the firm date). OEMs are trying to negotiate some level of push out (emerging market transition in 2024, or desktop transition in 2024), but things are still in flux".

Microsoft on the other hand, "has nothing to share on this topic at this time".

This isn't shocking... most people are using SSDs now, especially as the boot drive. You don't need some super-fast, next-gen PCIe 5.0-based SSD but even a basic 2.5-inch SATA SSD is world's better than a mechanical HDD. Microsoft knows this, we know this, OEMs know this.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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