Question Boot Drive started not showing unless I unplug/replug the PC before booting

Feb 24, 2018
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1
4,515
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This issue started out of the blue yesterday and I'm having a really tough time diagnosing. After months of working just fine the PC booted to the windows repair screen. After trying to do a system restore with no luck, I used the command prompt and found that it said my nvme drive was empty (boot drive). I unplugged all of my other drives and unplugged the pc from the wall. I replugged and booted with just my nvme drive in and it booted fine. I've tried a combination of everything I could think and the results are below. Truly confused and any help would be appreciated.

Normal boot - Goes to Windows Repair. Boot drive appears empty when looking at cmd directory
Power Down
Unplug all drives except NVME (boot drive). Reboot. Goes to Windows Repair. Boot drive appears empty when looking at cmd directory
Power Down
Unplug PSU and plug it back in. Boots fine.1 Drive
Restarting - Says Boot drive is not available.
Power Down
Unplug power, plug in 2nd ssd, replug power - Boots fine2 - Drives
Restarting - Goes to Windows Repair. Boot drive appears empty when looking at cmd directory
Power Down
Unplug power, plug in 2TB HDD, replug power - Boots3 - Drives
Restarting - Goes to Windows Repair. Boot drive appears empty when looking at cmd directory
Power Down
Unplug power, plug in 1TB HDD, replug power - Goes to Windows Repair. Boot drive appears empty when looking at cmd directory4 - Drives
Power Down
Unplug power, unplug 1TB HDD, replug power - Goes to Windows Repair. Boot drive appears empty when looking at cmd directory

System specs:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 36000x
Motherboard: ASRock X570M
Ram: Corsair Vengeance 16gb
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB NVME, Intel 730 Series 2 TB SSD, 1 TB HDD (old), 2 TB HDD (old)
GPU: GTX 1080 8gb
PSU: EVGA G3 650W 80+ Gold
 

avg9956

Commendable
Apr 7, 2019
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When you get the boot drive working again, I would not miss the chance to backup any important data from it.
It might be that your boot drive is on its way out of its life.

Typical behavior of SSDs when they're going to die OR died, they show up as empty, suddenly experience problems, etc. The keyword here is sudden, hence it is always important to backup your data. Usually its the NVMe SSD's controller that breaks down. When this happens, you may not be able to access your files anymore.

Once you have back up your data you might want to check the TB Written of your NVMe SSD
Since you're using Samsung 970 Evo for boot drive, download Samsung Magician and run it. From there you can see the drive health, TB Written, etc.

After months of working just fine
How many months have you used your Samsung 970 Evo 1TB NVMe boot drive?
 
Last edited:
Feb 24, 2018
6
1
4,515
0
When you get the boot drive working again, I would not miss the chance to backup any important data from it.
It might be that your boot drive is on its way out of its life.

Typical behavior of SSDs when they're going to die OR died, they show up as empty, suddenly experience problems, etc. The keyword here is sudden, hence it is always important to backup your data. Usually its the NVMe SSD's controller that breaks down. When this happens, you may not be able to access your files anymore.

Once you have back up your data you might want to check the TB Written of your NVMe SSD
Since you're using Samsung 970 Evo for boot drive, download Samsung Magician and run it. From there you can see the drive health, TB Written, etc.


How many months have you used your Samsung 970 Evo 1TB NVMe boot drive?
Thanks for the help. Luckily its mostly games on that drive so I'm all good there. I've been using the NVMe for about 6 months now. I downloaded Samsung Magician and took a screenshot of the drive info.
 
Reactions: avg9956

avg9956

Commendable
Apr 7, 2019
211
45
1,640
10
Your NVMe looks fine according to samsung, but just be wary to back up any important data you have on it just in case.

I also have the same boot drive as you, but only 4 months used and 8.80TB written. I don't keep any data on it and rather put all my data on my HDD. Then I make backups of that data to an external HDD. In case my boot drive fails, I have nothing to lose and just simply swap it out for a new NVMe SSD. No issues yet with it, but I try to keep idle temps down to as low as 35C.
 
Feb 24, 2018
6
1
4,515
0
I fully took apart my PC, cleaned everything, and plugged everything back in except for the drives. This fixed the need to unplug the PC in between power cycles. It restarted fine. Adding my other SSD to the mix didn't impact anything. It booted and rebooted. Adding the HDDs is what triggered the issue again. I plugged them in and it booted to the windows repair screen. I unplugged them and its back to working. Fortunately I don't need full time access to them so I may go the route of using them as external. So I didn't fully fix it but I'm calling it. Thanks for the help.
 

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