Question Intermittent I/O failures with solid state storage devices in new system ?

Dec 4, 2021
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Hello everyone, I recently assembled a new PC and a series of very perplexing issues presented when trying to install an operating system. Worse yet, the issues are intermittent and do not follow any pattern that has helped me resolve them or narrow down a specific cause beyond a general I/O fault with storage devices. First I will share the components list, then my observations about the behavior of system, then all troubleshooting and remediating actions I attempted.

Asus Prime Z590-A motherboard
Intel 11700k CPU
Corsair Vengeance DDR4 RAM 16Gb x2 (3600)
Corsair RM850x 850 watt PSU
Samsung EVO 870 SSD x3
Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM HDD
Cooler Master 360mm AIO
Gigabyte Rx 6900xt GPU
140mm case fans x6

Once assembled I had no issues starting the system and reaching the BIOS, where I saw all drives listed. I was also able to connect a USB boot device after the initial startup and install an operating system (windows 10). The second startup is where I noticed the first irregularity, one of the SSD drives was no longer listed in the BIOS. I began the installation of the OS and once finished I checked to see if all drives were present, they were not. From this point on the BIOS would sometimes detect all drives, sometimes no drives, and everything in-between changing whenever I cycled power. Sometimes it will fail to output video, and this has occurred with the GPU removed. I have changed SATA ports, swapped cables, and still couldn't determine how to correct the issue with certainty.

The system will POST with no drives connected, and even seems to work fine with just the HDD connected, but as soon as an SSD or USB drive is connected it is a roll of the dice whether it will start up, whether I can access the BIOS, and whether it will even output video. The RAM and CPU seem to be fine, I triple checked to make sure there is sufficient power, the motherboard works fine with no drives connected, and it's extremely unlikely that all 3 SSDs are faulty. This is especially true considering I know my USB drive is fine and that will prevent the system from starting up properly sometimes. It seems to be the motherboard but I can't be sure. The faults change each time power is cycled as well.

To attempt to resolve the issues I have swapped SATA ports and cables, tried each drive individually with all others disconnected, I have removed the GPU entirely to see if it was a power or compatibility issue, cycled power many times, tested the CPU, updated the BIOS and SATA firmware, and still the results were as described above.

Any help will be appreciated, even a simple "it's the motherboard dummy" will help a lot in moving forward as I am incredibly frustrated with this and unsure what to do. Thanks.
 
Hello everyone, I recently assembled a new PC and a series of very perplexing issues presented when trying to install an operating system. Worse yet, the issues are intermittent and do not follow any pattern that has helped me resolve them or narrow down a specific cause beyond a general I/O fault with storage devices. First I will share the components list, then my observations about the behavior of system, then all troubleshooting and remediating actions I attempted.

Asus Prime Z590-A motherboard
Intel 11700k CPU
Corsair Vengeance DDR4 RAM 16Gb x2 (3600)
Corsair RM850x 850 watt PSU
Samsung EVO 870 SSD x3
Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM HDD
Cooler Master 360mm AIO
Gigabyte Rx 6900xt GPU
140mm case fans x6

Once assembled I had no issues starting the system and reaching the BIOS, where I saw all drives listed. I was also able to connect a USB boot device after the initial startup and install an operating system (windows 10). The second startup is where I noticed the first irregularity, one of the SSD drives was no longer listed in the BIOS. I began the installation of the OS and once finished I checked to see if all drives were present, they were not. From this point on the BIOS would sometimes detect all drives, sometimes no drives, and everything in-between changing whenever I cycled power. Sometimes it will fail to output video, and this has occurred with the GPU removed. I have changed SATA ports, swapped cables, and still couldn't determine how to correct the issue with certainty. The system will POST with no drives connected, and even seems to work fine with just the HDD connected, but as soon as an SSD or USB drive is connected it is a roll of the dice whether it will start up, whether I can access the BIOS, and whether it will even output video. The RAM and CPU seem to be fine, I triple checked to make sure there is sufficient power, the motherboard works fine with no drives connected, and it's extremely unlikely that all 3 SSDs are faulty. This is especially true considering I know my USB drive is fine and that will prevent the system from starting up properly sometimes. It seems to be the motherboard but I can't be sure. The faults change each time power is cycled as well.

To attempt to resolve the issues I have swapped SATA ports and cables, tried each drive individually with all others disconnected, I have removed the GPU entirely to see if it was a power or compatibility issue, cycled power many times, tested the CPU, updated the BIOS and SATA firmware, and still the results were as described above.

Any help will be appreciated, even a simple "it's the motherboard dummy" will help a lot in moving forward as I am incredibly frustrated with this and unsure what to do. Thanks.
Just to make the pot smaller.
Remove the gpu and connect to the mobo.
One stick of ram in the proper slot.....see the manual.
Unplug all disk.
No flash stick.
Power up and down a few times to make sure you can get to the bios.
If that works add the flash stick and test powering up and down a few times.
 
Dec 4, 2021
14
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Just to make the pot smaller.
Remove the gpu and connect to the mobo.
One stick of ram in the proper slot.....see the manual.
Unplug all disk.
No flash stick.
Power up and down a few times to make sure you can get to the bios.
If that works add the flash stick and test powering up and down a few times.
I have tested with the GPU removed and all drives disconnected, but it is mentioned later in the post where I listed my observations and remediating actions and perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could've been. I have tried everything mentioned and after each configuration change. It worked fine with both DIMMs installed in the primary slots so I saw no need to remove one, should I? The issue seems to occur only when connecting storage devices. Thanks for responding, I am rarely stuck like this when it comes to troubleshooting.
 
I have tested with the GPU removed and all drives disconnected, but it is mentioned later in the post where I listed my observations and remediating actions and perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could've been. I have tried everything mentioned and after each configuration change. It worked fine with both DIMMs installed in the primary slots so I saw no need to remove one, should I? The issue seems to occur only when connecting storage devices. Thanks for responding, I am rarely stuck like this when it comes to troubleshooting.
It's your call how you want to sort this.
I was just making things smaller as a starting point to make sure that works.
If it does then start adding stuff a little at a time to try and make sense out of it.
 
Dec 4, 2021
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It's your call how you want to sort this.
I was just making things smaller as a starting point to make sure that works.
If it does then start adding stuff a little at a time to try and make sense out of it.
I appreciate the help. I guess it can't hurt to repeat what I did before with only one DIMM installed to see if any changes occur. I am currently preparing dinner so I will have to do so a bit later. Thanks.
 
Dec 4, 2021
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It's your call how you want to sort this.
I was just making things smaller as a starting point to make sure that works.
If it does then start adding stuff a little at a time to try and make sense out of it.
I tested with only one DIMM installed and it worked. Swapped it out to make sure both worked and they did. I decided to test the one SSD on my working PC and it booted but behaved strangely, so I assumed it was the SSD and started testing the new PC with the other drives. I was able to boot from the HDD, so I added an SSD. It booted fine. I added a second SSD and it failed to POST. I disconnected that SSD and it failed to POST again, which made no sense. I disconnected the first SSD so only the HDD which booted earlier was connected, and it failed to POST still. I disconnected all drives and it failed to POST. I cycled power at the PSU after power off at the chassis, and it failed to POST. I cycled power the same way again and it entered BIOS, albeit very slowly. I decided to cycle power multiple times and check how many times it would fail, it failed 2 out of 6 times. It seems the issue is an intermittent fault in the motherboard, and I should have cycled power more than I did towards the beginning of this process after each configuration change. I would have seen the intermittent fault sooner. You mentioned to cycle power multiple times and I thought I had done so enough times but apparently not as this particular issue seems to occur around 1/3 or less of the time with no storage devices connected, increasing in frequency with the number of devices. Hopefully this doesn't happen to you, but if it does I figured I should share my experience.

TL;DR
Intermittent fault in motherboard with 1/3 or less probability of occurring with no storage devices connected, with increasing likelihood of failure for each additional storage device connected.
 

Lafong

Prominent
Dec 2, 2021
723
128
590
10
BIOS at defaults?

Any indication online that this is a known problem for this board?

A newer BIOS conceivably could resolve an issue, but that would be rank speculation if there is no mention of your issue online or at the motherboard web site.

Is it known if these various storage devices work as expected when connected to some other PC?
 
Dec 4, 2021
14
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10
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BIOS at defaults?

Any indication online that this is a known problem for this board?

A newer BIOS conceivably could resolve an issue, but that would be rank speculation if there is no mention of your issue online or at the motherboard web site.

Is it known if these various storage devices work as expected when connected to some other PC?
Yes, I set the BIOS to default. I did find compatibility issues with Samsung EVO drives, but only with AMD boards and not what I have (intel). I could not find anything online relevant to my issue. I already installed a newer BIOS and SATA firmware yesterday, and no change. I connected one of the drives to another PC and it acted somewhat strange but it did boot. That PC is 7 years old and has been giving me issues lately which is why I want to replace it though. The post above yours is my current status, I believe it to be the motherboard but I'm still open to any ideas.
 

Lafong

Prominent
Dec 2, 2021
723
128
590
10
I connected one of the drives to another PC and it acted somewhat strange but it did boot.
Strange in what way? I'm not clear on why connecting a data only drive to some other PC would cause that other PC to act somewhat strange. Or does "it" mean the drive acted strange rather than the other PC acted strange?

CMOS cleared and reset on the new PC?

It is odd that no one else online has reported an issue on this board.
 
Dec 4, 2021
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Strange in what way? I'm not clear on why connecting a data only drive to some other PC would cause that other PC to act somewhat strange. Or does "it" mean the drive acted strange rather than the other PC acted strange?

CMOS cleared and reset on the new PC?

It is odd that no one else online has reported an issue on this board.
Strange in what way? I'm not clear on why connecting a data only drive to some other PC would cause that other PC to act somewhat strange. Or does "it" mean the drive acted strange rather than the other PC acted strange?

CMOS cleared and reset on the new PC?

It is odd that no one else online has reported an issue on this board.
In a way, both the PC and the drive acted strange. With the drive connected, the PC hung up on the BIOS splash screen for 20+ seconds. Also, when I tried booting from the drive the first couple times it booted from the other drive. When it finally did boot, it was not displaying the proper resolution/aspect ratio and completely locked up the system when left idle while I was running a file integrity check (which passed btw). Once the drive was removed, the PC booted without hanging up on the BIOS splash screen (or whatever its called). I'm not sure why a data drive would do that either, it makes no sense to me which is why I came here lol. Never before have I encountered issues like this. Whatever is wrong with the motherboard, IF something is wrong, it must be something like a bad component or something is just slightly out of tolerance. It only fails about 1/3 of the time or less.
 
Dec 4, 2021
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Strange in what way? I'm not clear on why connecting a data only drive to some other PC would cause that other PC to act somewhat strange. Or does "it" mean the drive acted strange rather than the other PC acted strange?

CMOS cleared and reset on the new PC?

It is odd that no one else online has reported an issue on this board.
I didn't use a jumper or anything but yes I reset the BIOS to default settings, I also updated it to the newest version. No change.
 

Lafong

Prominent
Dec 2, 2021
723
128
590
10
Can you run the "clean" or even "clean all" commands from Diskpart in Windows on all of these possibly suspect drives to remove whatever the hell is on them?

If the old PC stalled at the splash screen when you connect a suspect drive, that indicates to me that the PC sees something on them and is thinking about booting from them.......rather than immediately ignore them and boot from the Windows install on the old PC.
 
I tested with only one DIMM installed and it worked. Swapped it out to make sure both worked and they did. I decided to test the one SSD on my working PC and it booted but behaved strangely, so I assumed it was the SSD and started testing the new PC with the other drives. I was able to boot from the HDD, so I added an SSD. It booted fine. I added a second SSD and it failed to POST. I disconnected that SSD and it failed to POST again, which made no sense. I disconnected the first SSD so only the HDD which booted earlier was connected, and it failed to POST still. I disconnected all drives and it failed to POST. I cycled power at the PSU after power off at the chassis, and it failed to POST. I cycled power the same way again and it entered BIOS, albeit very slowly. I decided to cycle power multiple times and check how many times it would fail, it failed 2 out of 6 times. It seems the issue is an intermittent fault in the motherboard, and I should have cycled power more than I did towards the beginning of this process after each configuration change. I would have seen the intermittent fault sooner. You mentioned to cycle power multiple times and I thought I had done so enough times but apparently not as this particular issue seems to occur around 1/3 or less of the time with no storage devices connected, increasing in frequency with the number of devices. Hopefully this doesn't happen to you, but if it does I figured I should share my experience.

TL;DR
Intermittent fault in motherboard with 1/3 or less probability of occurring with no storage devices connected, with increasing likelihood of failure for each additional storage device connected.
Make it smaller.
On a piece of cardboard.
Psu/mobo/cpu-hsf/one stick of ram/monitor.
Power up and down multiple times.
 
Dec 4, 2021
14
0
10
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Make it smaller.
On a piece of cardboard.
Psu/mobo/cpu-hsf/one stick of ram/monitor.
Power up and down multiple times.
I suppose it's worth a shot, I have to take the whole thing apart again regardless. I will report back with any findings. Oh, not sure if this helps any but I ran memtest86 on the CPU and it had 0 errors.
 
Dec 4, 2021
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Make it smaller.
On a piece of cardboard.
Psu/mobo/cpu-hsf/one stick of ram/monitor.
Power up and down multiple times.
Worked fine the first 3 tries, on the fourth try it failed to POST. 1 DIMM, cooler + radiator fans, monitor, and power are all that's connected. Oh and it's on a piece of cardboard outside of the case to rule out any potential grounding issues or shorts.
 
Dec 4, 2021
14
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Make it smaller.
On a piece of cardboard.
Psu/mobo/cpu-hsf/one stick of ram/monitor.
Power up and down multiple times.
I wanted to double check to make sure it wasn't just slow even though I must've waited around 20-30 seconds, and I just cycled power at least 10 times and it worked every time.... I'm starting to get frustrated because now I'm questioning my own memory. It's not normal for a newer motherboard to take more than a few seconds to output video though right? It sometimes takes this thing 15+ seconds to display anything. My 7 year old PC is booted up and I'm logged in by that time.
 
Last edited:
Dec 4, 2021
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Make it smaller.
On a piece of cardboard.
Psu/mobo/cpu-hsf/one stick of ram/monitor.
Power up and down multiple times.
OK, so now at something around the 20th time cycling power I'm getting no video output at all and it's been sitting for a couple minutes like that. I definitely wasn't just being impatient.
 
I wanted to double check to make sure it wasn't just slow even though I must've waited around 20-30 seconds, and I just cycled power at least 10 times and it worked every time.... I'm starting to get frustrated because now I'm questioning my own memory. It's not normal for a newer motherboard to take more than a few seconds to output video though right? It sometimes takes this thing 15+ seconds to display anything. My 7 year old PC is booted up and I'm logged in by that time.
Yup....intermittent faults can be a stinker.
I suspect that time to display will vary quite a bit between machines.
Keep testing.
If nothing else it will test your patience.....just kidding.
 
Dec 4, 2021
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Yup....intermittent faults can be a stinker.
I suspect that time to display will vary quite a bit between machines.
Keep testing.
If nothing else it will test your patience.....just kidding.
This is a higher end model and should be faster than 15 seconds just to output video, it's nicer than my older motherboard was 7 years ago haha.

Oh it has already tested my patience, I am generally very patient and this thing nearly had me throwing stuff yesterday because it made no damn sense and was not giving any sort of consistent results haha. Bringing back memories of being a technician in the military working with those awful systems that made me want to pull my hair out at times (mostly because it was up to me to fix everything because nobody else was very competent, or they just pretended not to be so I got stuck with all the troubleshooting and corrective maintenance). Thanks again though, I am definitely more confident that it is the motherboard. I wanted to be as close to absolute certainty as possible and make sure I didn't overlook or forget about something. Time to return this thing while I still can and get a new one.
 
This is a higher end model and should be faster than 15 seconds just to output video, it's nicer than my older motherboard was 7 years ago haha.

Oh it has already tested my patience, I am generally very patient and this thing nearly had me throwing stuff yesterday because it made no damn sense and was not giving any sort of consistent results haha. Bringing back memories of being a technician in the military working with those awful systems that made me want to pull my hair out at times (mostly because it was up to me to fix everything because nobody else was very competent, or they just pretended not to be so I got stuck with all the troubleshooting and corrective maintenance). Thanks again though, I am definitely more confident that it is the motherboard. I wanted to be as close to absolute certainty as possible and make sure I didn't overlook or forget about something. Time to return this thing while I still can and get a new one.
Ah! the good old days.
Working for Uncle Sam and then the main frames where paper tape and tab cards were king of the road.
 
Dec 4, 2021
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Can you run the "clean" or even "clean all" commands from Diskpart in Windows on all of these possibly suspect drives to remove whatever the hell is on them?

If the old PC stalled at the splash screen when you connect a suspect drive, that indicates to me that the PC sees something on them and is thinking about booting from them.......rather than immediately ignore them and boot from the Windows install on the old PC.
That's what I was thinking, I determined that the motherboard is bad on the newer PC and that was where I installed Win10. I had to remove Win10 partitions and reinstall on that drive once already, so I'm willing to bet it did something to the install again and that may be why the drive is causing issues when connected to the other system. This has been a pain, that motherboard failed more often the more devices were connected to it making it look like something else was the problem. With only 1 DIMM and the bare essentials, it only failed about 1/10 or 1/15 times compared to the 1/3 with only the storage drives disconnected and nearly every time with everything connected....
 
Dec 4, 2021
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Ah! the good old days.
Working for Uncle Sam and then the main frames where paper tape and tab cards were king of the road.
They had just upgraded from using tape reels for backups on the one system. It was a frankenstein of milspec and COTS items thrown together in a cabinet. If I remember right, the "new" system used HPUX processors operating at a couple hundred MHz only 10 or so years ago, due to how slow the whole process of engineering and approval is because of all the red tape, contractors, and bureaucracy haha.
 

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