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Question Unable to Load Win10 on NVMe - will run on 2.5" SATA SSD

Jul 6, 2020
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I'm building a PC with the same parts I usually use. Of course, over time, the model numbers change.
  • Gigabyte B365M DS3H
  • Intel Core i3 9100
  • Crucial Ballistix DDR4-2400 8 GB (4GB x 2) (matched to the mobo on Crucial.com)
  • Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 250 GB SSD
  • Thermaltake Smart 500W 80 plus SPD-0500P
  • Apex TX-606 Case
  • Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
This particular time, I built two (2) identical machines at the same time. There was one difference - the case. Amazon availability has been an issue at times, and the usual Apex case was out of stock. I had one on hand, so I ordered an Antec VSK3000E-U3 case.

I built them side by side. The first system loaded Windows, all updates and apps flawlessly. The second one (in the Antec case) wouldn't boot. I checked all connections, etc. Finally got it to boot. Loaded Win10 via USB, and received about six (6) random errors during each install attempt, each of them generic and not pointing to a specific issue. I did discover that Windows Boot Manager wasn't loading/installing for some reason. Rather than attempt to fix it, I continued to re-check everything, swap a part and reinstall. WBM should configure automatically, so I wasn't inclined to chase that tail - if it wasn't setting up properly, something had to be causing it!

  • I ran both systems side-by-side and went through the BIOS line by line.
  • I stripped the system to the minimum (no SSD, no audio/USB headers, 1 memory stick, etc)
  • I swapped parts one at a time with the working system
  • I ordered new parts
I eventually delivered the working system, and that system is still working flawlessly. Those parts, when installed in the "problem child" system, didn't make any difference. I concluded that it must be the case (only thing different).

Now that I have ordered and received a tried and true Apex case, this system still will not boot without some poking and prodding. When it boots, it's a crap shoot if Windows will successfully load. If it does, it will run for a while, then it will freeze, flash a BSOD for a split second and go into a restart loop, freezing and restarting every 2-5 minutes or so.

I can get this system to run perfectly. If I plug in an old SanDisk 2.5" SSD, Win10 loads without a hitch and the system will run for 24+ hours, even with apps and all updates installed. Once I switch back to an NVMe drive, it won't run properly.

So... this build has seen at least three (3) of each part (mobo, CPU, memory, NVMe drive, power supply, case, USB installation drive) with no success. The only way it will run is if the NVMe drive is removed and an old SATA SSD drive is used. I again revisited the BIOS, and compared it to several other running systems. I cannot find the problem!

This system has run in three (3) different cases: two (2) Apex and one (1) Antec. It is currently running on my bench with no case (eliminating the grounding out theory). I have also used three different USB drives to install Windows, each known to work on other systems, and a fourth newly created/imaged USB drive (v 2004). The Media Creation Tool was used to create each of them. Three different versions were used - 1909, 2004 and 1803. The 1803 was an older drive, but I tried it as a last resort. It installed smoothly, but missed several drivers. I'll guess it's because the motherboard is newer than 2018. Once I downloaded the drivers and installed them, the system upgraded to 1903, then to 1909. After an hour or so, it froze and restarted. It is currently in the freeze/restart loop on my bench.

There isn't much in the event logs. Warnings / Errors pertaining to unexpected shutdowns, warnings about the volume (drive) being at risk due to improper/unexpected shutdowns, and the licensing service not finding a user license. I won't enter a product key until I know the system is stable.

Why will this system run flawlessly with an old SATA SSD, but not an NVMe drive? Is it something to do with the SATA / PCIe interface settings? I've looked a dozen times in the BIOS and cannot see any differences between the systems.

Thanks in Advance!
 
Jul 6, 2020
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UPDATE: I did a clean install of Win 10 Pro with the v1803 USB drive. It loaded fast with zero issues. It immediately updated to Windows 10 v1903.

I did NOT let v1909 install. The computer has been running perfectly with v1903 for over 24 hours. A few apps were installed (Adobe Reader, Firefox, etc) and all updates for v1903 are installed. No issues.

I am beginning to wonder if the issue is related to Windows 10 v1909 and/or v2004 and a PCIe driver... but the fact that several other systems are not having this same issue makes me think otherwise.

If I allow the upgrade to v1909 or v2004, it will begin to freeze and crash.

Thoughts?
 
Jul 6, 2020
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UPDATE: Well, the success with Windows 10 Pro v1903 was short lived - about 24 hours. The machine started to randomly restart. Again, the log files don't show much. The only consistent events that I saw right before the shutdown messages were from the W32TM service, where it made minor adjustments to the current time (fractions of a second).

I'm back to being without an idea to continue troubleshooting. Thanks in Advance for your Input.
 

Ferimer

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Aug 19, 2011
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Sometimes even though you may order the exact same parts and everything they are manufactured at different times. It could be that you have a version of a mobo that may not be compatible with the parts or just a fault NVMe Drive or a Faulty NVMe SSD. You have two options. ask for a replacement NVMe SSD or a Motherboard.
 
Jul 6, 2020
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Sometimes even though you may order the exact same parts and everything they are manufactured at different times. It could be that you have a version of a mobo that may not be compatible with the parts or just a fault NVMe Drive or a Faulty NVMe SSD. You have two options. ask for a replacement NVMe SSD or a Motherboard.
Thanks Ferimer.

I have had:
  • three (3) motherboards
  • three (3) NVMe drives
  • six (6) 4 GB memory modules (singularly and in pairs)
  • three (3) power supplies
  • three (3) cases
  • four (4) CPUs
  • five (5) Windows 10 USB Install drives
All were the same model, with the exception of one of the cases (noted in original post). The only way the system works is if I replace the NVMe drive with a cheap 2.5" SATA SSD. While it works, it negates a lot of performance (6 gbps vs 32 gbps drive speed), and it is not what I promised my client. This fact alone points to the PCIe and/or SATA interfaces. The BIOS settings have been compared with several other systems (I have dozens of these builds on the street). The BIOS has been reset, reflashed and even updated with a Beta version (I usually don't use betas, preferring to wait for a final release).

The original parts were all returned except for the case (having an issue with the seller on Amazon accepting returns) and the NVMe drive (it worked in another system flawlessly).
 

Ferimer

Distinguished
Aug 19, 2011
638
45
19,040
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Thanks Ferimer.

I have had:
  • three (3) motherboards
  • three (3) NVMe drives
  • six (6) 4 GB memory modules (singularly and in pairs)
  • three (3) power supplies
  • three (3) cases
  • four (4) CPUs
  • five (5) Windows 10 USB Install drives
All were the same model, with the exception of one of the cases (noted in original post). The only way the system works is if I replace the NVMe drive with a cheap 2.5" SATA SSD. While it works, it negates a lot of performance (6 gbps vs 32 gbps drive speed), and it is not what I promised my client. This fact alone points to the PCIe and/or SATA interfaces. The BIOS settings have been compared with several other systems (I have dozens of these builds on the street). The BIOS has been reset, reflashed and even updated with a Beta version (I usually don't use betas, preferring to wait for a final release).

The original parts were all returned except for the case (having an issue with the seller on Amazon accepting returns) and the NVMe drive (it worked in another system flawlessly).
SO you could be having an issue with the MOtherboard then if the NVMe is having 0 issues on another build. Not every part you order is going to work. COmpanies accept the fact that 1-2% of their products are gonna be faulty, they can handle the cost for that. You have done all the proper checks to ensure the concerns. You just may have a faulty part in the Motherboard and may need a different one.

Also I have never heard of an issue where the type of case has caused the computer to just not work.
 

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