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Enabling Optane with fresh Windows 10 install - SOLVED

I just had a bit of an issue getting a 16GB Optane drive working with a fresh Windows 10 2004 build. Hopefully this solution helps others.

Some sites/people say that you need to load the F6 drivers (Intel RST) before the Windows 10 install. This made no difference in my Windows install (Optane was still disabled) but it MAY have helped facilitate my ability to get it going.

The issue that stopped me was the fact that enabling Optane REQUIRES ~5MB of free, unallocated space at the end of your system drive. What makes this issue difficult to diagnose is that the Intel RST (or Optane memory and storage management) software doesn't tell you this. It just fails with a generic error code when you try to enable Optane. Only one of the 4 different softwares that you can use to enable Optane gives an error code that is traceable back to info regarding the need for unallocated space at the end of the drive. Of course, it was the last one I tried.

Issue #2 - you can't use Disk Management to shrink the recovery partition that Windows 10 loves to put at the end of your disk. Argh! Luckily, third party tools have no issues with shrinking the recovery partition. Once you have a bit of unallocated space you should be able to use the Optane memory and storage management software to properly enable your Optane Memory.

You can verify that it's enabled by looking under Disk drives in Device Manager. If enabled, you'll see 'Intel Optane+238GB' (where 238 is whatever size your SSD drive is).

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