XPS Desktops

Last reply by 02-12-2023 Unsolved
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667

XPS 8940, after Boot file issue, no longer booting from NVMe

Background: This XPS 8940 desktop is 14 months old, running Windows 11 on a 256GB Samsung NVME SSD that I installed myself as Drive a year ago. Here's what's happened:

0) The PC ran some updates overnight, and it created a series of problems:

1) I awoke to find the PC in a reboot loop. The Dell logo would appear for 1.5 seconds then the PC would shut down and restart.

2) Clicking F12 I got into Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery, where I ran diagnostics and got "Boot Files: An Issue was Detected."

3) I allowed SupportAssist to repair things, and the PC finally booted up, but it was running the original installation of Windows that is still installed on the original HDD C: drive. It was  I N S A N E L Y  S L O WWW, almost non-responsive. Opening Task Manager showed the C: Drive working at 100% active with pathetic read/write speeds (10MB/s or less).

4) With some patience, I got it to run Samsung Magician, updated the software to the latest version, and ran diagnostics on the SSD, and checked that the Samsung firmware is up to date. Everything is healthy. 

5) I restarted and clicked F2 to bring up the Boot Menu. I don't see the SSD or drive showing up as a boot option, so I'm not sure how to get it to boot from the SSD.

6) I am now trying to install the dozens of recommended cumulative Windows updates to the HDD C: I figured I should do that before trying again to change the boot sequence. It's going slowly. The HDD is still churning at close to 100%. In the Windows Update screen, Cumulative Windows Update says "Downloading - 0%" Another Windows Update says "download error." An Intel System update says "Install error." Others say "Pending install.".

What next?

Replies (18)
8 Platinum
428

If you are lucky, the XPS-8940 experienced something like a partial power failure during those updates and just has soft-errors. If un-lucky, your Samsung NVMe-SSD is crashing. Retail drives have at least a 3-year warranty.

Run something like Crystal Disk-Info or Passmark's (free) SMART status . If it passes, continue. If it fails, replace SSD.

Make it 100%-pass ePSA Diagnostics.

In either case. then do this to clean-install Windows. Completely erase disk first as it, (and any re-install archives) are likely now compromised. 

https://www.dell.com/community/Windows-General-Wiki/Guide-to-migrate-to-a-New-Windows-11-computer/ta...

 


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424

Thanks. It did finish the update after many hours but nothing changed.

So, ugh -- I shouldn't trust Samsung Magician, and need to do a clean install?  OK. I'll do whatever it takes.

But before I do, what's doubly confounding is that this PC is running so extremely slowly right now -- not just HDD slow. It will barely load a web page. That's all while ignoring the SSD. So would it makes sense that the SSD isn't the problem?

390


@QuakerWildcat wrote:

Thanks. It did finish the update after many hours but nothing changed.

1. So, ugh -- I shouldn't trust Samsung Magician, and need to do a clean install?  OK. I'll do whatever it takes.

2. But before I do, what's doubly confounding is that this PC is running so extremely slowly right now -- not just HDD slow. It will barely load a web page. That's all while ignoring the SSD.

3. So would it makes sense that the SSD isn't the problem?


1. It works fine for it's limited uses. It doesn't check for damaged files or soft-errors (AFAIK). I uninstalled it because I was done with it and didn't care for it auto-starting constantly. I forget if it checks SMART, but those others are better for that.

2. Yeah weird. Hopefully it's just something with that drive (a bad drive can drag whole computer down). Or corrupt Windows, maybe a bad cable ... once you exhaust all that you get down to major stuff like motherboard, etc.

3. I would not be jumping to any conclusions. 

Re-Read that last couple of paragraphs in the Wiki I linked you to. 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
370

Thanks. Appreciate the detailed response.

I haven't had a chance to get back to it today but the good news is that after running for 24 hours after the rese, it's finally "settled down." The HDD isn't churning liked crazy and grinding everything to a halt.

Which means I can at least use the PC until I find the time to test the SSD and reinstall the OS on it. (and that's good because I've only done it once and have to go back to school on how to do it) 

4 Beryllium
366

I'm wondering if you have the beginnings of a battery problem (low voltage)?

That could explain the loss of the SSD as the boot device?

Next time you boot, use F12, not F2, to get to the boot menu.

Bring up the one-time boot menu by pressing F12 key
The one-time boot menu displays the devices that you can boot from including the diagnostic option. The boot menu options
are:
Removable Drive (if available)
STXXXX Drive (if available)
NOTE: XXX denotes the SATA drive number.
Optical Drive (if available)
SATA Hard Drive (if available)
Diagnostics

Does the SSD show there?

In the BIOS itself, F2 entry:

Boot Sequence
Boot Sequence Displays the boot sequence.
Boot List Option Displays the available boot options.

Do you see the SSD there on either of these? If you do, then the SSD could probably be read, but you lost the configuration due to a weak battery. Although they normally have a 3 to 5 year life?


===================================

I am a Dell TechExpert. I am not a Dell employee. I enjoy using my free time to help the community. If you find my posts useful, you can thank me by clicking on Kudos!

Thanks,

Irv S.

362

The SSD does not show up in the Boot list for either F12 or F2.

3 Silver
355

In the Boot Setup menu, I see an option to "Add Boot Option."

The choices that appear there under "File System List" are:

  • PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x17,0x0)/Sata(0x0,0x0)/HD...

  • PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x1B,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x0)/?/HD...

Is it possible that the 2nd one is the SSD, and if so, should I try that?  Or is that something else to be ignored?

335

@QuakerWildcat 

I don't know what you are seeing there? I can't see that in 8940. I do not have 2 bootable drives. Although I bought it with an SSD and a 1TB HD, only the SSD was bootable.

Also, I have to do a TOTAL clean install of W11 when Support was working with a boot problem I had initially.

However, from the data above, and I'm guessing, you still only have ONE disk that can be booted? The SATA one, and the 2nd is Pci which I assume (I could be wrong) is the Network adapter? You are allowing Wake On Lan option in BIOS.

More telling would be to use the Windows Key + R and enter 'diskmgmt.msc' and SEE if the SSD is even active? I suspect not? However, for a reference, here is what I see:

ispalten_0-1675864878392.png

 

If you don't see the SSD there, either it is damaged, loose on the motherboard, BIOS or battery problem is more than likely the cause?

If you DO see it, then the problem could be a corrupted Boot Loader that could have happened during a power loss, lock up, invalid forced shut-down?

 


===================================

I am a Dell TechExpert. I am not a Dell employee. I enjoy using my free time to help the community. If you find my posts useful, you can thank me by clicking on Kudos!

Thanks,

Irv S.

330

Thanks. I should have been clearer about that. The nvme SSD is definitely working. It's there in disk management as drive D just at it has been since I installed it. I can use Windows explorer to navigate to the drive and see all the "alternate universe" folders from the past year -- the Windows files and Docs and Downloads and application folders...

But the SupportAssist recovery process seems to have restored the PC to a state from before I installed the SSD (thankfully I never erased the original Windows installation on the C: (HDD) drive). It's was missing a year's worth of updates but otherwise is functional.

The ONLY problem (now that all the windows updates are caught up) is that the   (SSD) drive isn't showing up as a boot option in the BIOS.

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