Question Brand new NVMe was booting to Windows, now I can't even reinstall Windows on it. BSOD with flash-drive installation media ?

Sep 9, 2021
I built this computer about a month ago and have been running fine so far. I've been booting windows from a Samsung 970 M.2 NVMe (which I think may be where the problem lies).

This morning I tried to wake my computer but couldn't. The screen was on, but black. I ended up having to hold down the power button. When I turned it back on, it was stuck on a black screen with an image of my MOBO manufacturer and the Windows spinning white dots underneath. Forever. I power cycled a few more times (some with all USB devices unplugged) until I got the "Preparing automatic recovery" text below the spinning dots. It prepared for a while, then blue screen.

I read someone else had similar symptoms that ended up being an issue with a faulty second drive. I unplugged the SATA cables from my alternate drives (a 2.5 SSD and a hard disk). When I powered back on, it went straight to BIOS. In my BIOS I can see my M.2 under storage devices, but can't set it in boot priority.

Here's what I think happened: The 2.5 SSD I had connected as an alternate drive was my old computer's boot drive, and I may have forgotten to wipe it. I've heard this can confuse Windows Update, so I think an overnight update went wrong.

I figured I'd try to repair my windows installation on the M.2 using an installation media USB. Problem is, when I boot from that USB drive I get the windows logo and spinning circles for a long time, then a blue screen with the stop code: DRIVER PNP WATCHDOG. It says it is restarting, but all I get to is a black screen and I have to power cycle again.

I've tried resetting my BIOS to default. Recreating the installation USB. I've re-udated my BIOS with a flash drive. In my BIOS (MSI B550 Tomahawk, Click Bios 5) there's an option to do an NVMe self-test. It fails, with no other info. There's also an option to erase the SSD but that fails too. I'm out of ideas for what to try. I created this account just to ask you folks because a lot of the similar questions I looked up were posted on here.