Yes, those were early format OEM drives and then NVMe drives took over. It may be that ROCK, which has very scaled down set of drivers, actually doesn’t have the needed drivers for the M.2/AHCI combo. It might be expecting an NVMe drive in that slot.
I know Windows does, having used this drive in various machines back in '15 and '16 which is why it worked for the NUC when it was running Widnows. Another Linux distro, Ubuntu, might also have no issue.
Out of curiosity, I’m still wondering why you left the Windows install that was working. It is not like ROCK is bringing any benefit to SQ or really speed.
I do too. I have horror stories about some of the other brands.