ASUS X555LA laptop BIOS doesn't see ANY Hard Drives. Is loading Windows 10 on USB stick only option?

I have an ASUS X555LA laptop. It has a problem that BIOS doesn't recognize any hard drives connected to the board. BIOS flash did not help the issue. I suspect that controller chip that reads SATA drives is fried. It was malfunctioning intermittently, and unplugging and plugging the separate PCB board that reads the drive from the main motherboard would sometimes make HDD visible again. For like a few days to a week. Then it would stop recognizing it again. Eventually it stopped functioning period. Won't read ANY drives. It's otherwise a good laptop with Intel I7 CPU. Everything else seems to work. DVD drive is readable. What are my options (other than throwing it out or using it for parts)?

I have a 128 GB M2 drive. Is there a way to somehow put it in (in place of DVD ROM for example)? Or is there perhaps a connector I can use to install an SSD/HDD in place of DVD ROM? Finally - if none of this is possible, can I enable boot from a USB drive, and install Windows 10 on the USB drive? What would be clear disadvantages of doing this? How badly would it impact the speed?

I appreciate any ideas you guys could throw my way. Thanks in advance
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  1. Best answer
    Since the DVD drive works, just buy an HDD Caddy, remove the DVD drive and swap with an HDD or even better with an SSD. It works 100%, many people do remove their DVD from laptop for SSD. Booting from USB is not a good option, read/write speeds are substantially slower. What you have to do first though, is to check that the fault is indeed on the motherboard controller/connector and not on the drive itself.
  2. It's definitely not the fault with the drive. I connected 4 different drives to it, including 2 new out of the box HDDs. The end result was always the same. I fix computers for people, and over the years there were 3 laptops whose SATA controller was faulty, all 3 were only a couple of years old and made by ASUS. Needless to say, I will never buy another ASUS product again. These issues are the worst, because this SATA controller failure issue always began as an intermittent one, failing out of the blue, whenever it wants to fail, randomly. All you know is that the drive is unreliable, as it failed the manufacturer's long test, so naturally, - you swap the HDD for a new one, put the OS on, run Prime95 tests for well over 24 hours, you do Memtest and a whole bunch of other tests, and the end result is the same - no BSODs, no issues. You give it back to the customer, charge him for the work, and in a week's or a month's time - the SATA controller on the board fails out of the blue and the new HDD you put in is again - invisible, just like the old HDD you took out. Of course, the customer is upset, having paid you for work and the drive he now has a brick. And it makes you feel guilty, even though, what could you really do as a technician, when you cannot cause their hardware to fail no matter what you do while the laptop/desktop is in your possession?

    Anyway, I am getting carried away. I will check out your link, Tolis_GR. Thank you for your help!
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