Question Can't boot from M.2 / corrupted ssd?

Dec 1, 2021
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Hi all !
This story is a little bit complicated, basically my ASUS ROG decided to update Windows to 11 which I was fine with, then it threw me "Windows 11 can't support this processor". Then some updates popped up, optional BIOS update and I decided why not.
That was a mistake, but I still can't figure out what went wrong.
Laptop would stuck at ROG logo, no F1-12 keys work, no Esc/Del. Cannot even open BIOS! Can't boot from USB. I went to local UbreakitIfixit (there's nothing else here) and they suggested to reinstall Windows on a new SSD.

I figured I'll try copy files via WinPE before buying new SSD, so I asked them if they could boot from USB (they didn't even try). They were able to afterwards, so I took laptop home, pulled the SSD out and was able to boot from USB.

I tried to hot plug in the SSD but it won't be detected by WinPE. I went to BIOS and noticed that it updated to version 310 which is known to be unable to boot from SSD in M.2 slot (which I have, Samsung Evo 850).

Tried downgrading via USB, I could start flashing utility but it won't accept the older version. There are hacks online but some say that it stops in the middle for 310 so I'm not risking it.

I went to Amazon and bought cheaper ADATA M.2 SSD and M.2-to-USB adapter.
Old Samsung can be read on a different PC via adapter but only system drive, the other drive is not accessible.
I created a flash card with fresh Windows 10 installer, plugged new SSD into Asus and successfully installed windows on new SSD. And booted. So 310 update shouldn't have been a problem!

I used adapter to plug old SSD into USB and boot like that. I was able to get into Windows recovery after few restarts, then chose to Reset PC, reinstall Windows with saving all data.
And it did, I can now boot from that SSD but only when it's plugged into USB. If I plug it into M.2, I get same issue again. The other drive is still inaccessible.

My suspicion is that BIOS update is coincidental but I don't know for sure. I tried to use Samsung Magic tool to update firmware / check SSD but it doesn't see it from other PC. I'm still surprised that Windows can't boot from M.2 for this particular SSD, did something remove UEFI position? Or corrupted it? Do you know if I can get that partition back?

The SSD has lot of work which I'm trying to recover.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Stop trying to boot from the old drive.
Put your efforts into just reading it and copying whatever data you can get from it.

Later, work on trying to get that drive to boot. Or give up on it and start over with a fresh install.

The SSD has lot of work which I'm trying to recover.
This speaks to - Why do you not have a good backup of this?
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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Tricky one. It sounds like your partition table and master boot record might have been corrupted. Very difficult if not impossible to get those back without wiping the drive completely.

You would probably have best results putting it in a desktop PC and using something like R-studio to recover the lost data. After you do that it would be safe to wipe the drive and start over, it should be bootable again.
 
Dec 1, 2021
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I have backed up some but not everything. I cannot really access that other non-system drive whichever way I try this or other PC. It's just gray and no space information. Thinking to send it to some recovery company like OnTrack, but thought maybe I'm missing something simple.

My hopes&wishes are that if I was able to boot from M.2 properly, maybe I could access that non-system drive
 
Dec 1, 2021
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Restored most of files, so now I'm just trying to make the SSD work.
Tried to format, diskpart to remove partitions, clean, convert to gpt.
When I try to boot from flash drive with SSD in M.2 it just gets stuck at ROG logo. Tried to plug it to USB and install Windows from flash - installer says cannot install it on disks connected via USB.

At this point I'm not sure what else I can reset on this SSD, any suggestions?
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Apr 24, 2021
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Restored most of files, so now I'm just trying to make the SSD work.
Tried to format, diskpart to remove partitions, clean, convert to gpt.
When I try to boot from flash drive with SSD in M.2 it just gets stuck at ROG logo. Tried to plug it to USB and install Windows from flash - installer says cannot install it on disks connected via USB.

At this point I'm not sure what else I can reset on this SSD, any suggestions?
seems that the drive is faulty.
 

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