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B550 Motherboard Not Recognizing Any Storage Drives


Supercrumpet

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So here's a fun problem that leaves me a little stumped. Happened yesterday evening, coincidentally on the same day I decided to be more active around here again. A little context and what happened so far:

 

1. Last weekend, I noticed Forza Horizon 5, installed on my D drive (2.5" SSD), had incredibly slow loading times. I tried a handful of fixes, none of which worked. I ended up reinstalling the game on my C drive (M.2 SSD) and this completely solved all issues. Based on this, and some other context from attempted fixes, I assumed this meant I had a dying 2.5" SSD, and would avoid using it as much as possible, and just upgrade/replace it over Black Friday.

2. Booted up iRacing yesterday and wanted to mess with some wheel settings in Fanatec software. iRacing and both pieces of Fanatec software are installed on my C drive. iRacing opened fine, but neither Fanatec software opened (stopped responding error before I could even interact with them). Decided to restart my computer.

3. PC refused to boot. The first time, one one monitor, I got the motherboard logo with the spinning Windows icon. On another monitor, I was getting cycling black, white, red, green, and blue screens with nothing on them. The third was blank. This continued indefinitely.

4. Restarted again. Only got the motherboard logo with spinning icon. Other two monitors blank.

5. Repeated restarts, each time unplugging my D drive, and then again with my 3 TB HDD backup E drive unplugged as well. Same results.

6. Checked motherboard bios. All three of my drives, M.2 or SATA, are no longer recognized. Only the Windows boot manager, or whatever it's called.

 

Never had anything like this before, and I'm kinda stumped. Maybe it's the motherboard? Maybe one drive is faulty and messing up the whole thing? Maybe one drive somehow messed up the others? In the next day or two, I think I'm going to more or less disassemble the whole thing and then reassemble it to be sure nothing's come unseated since this is my portable PC that I drive around from time to time. Otherwise, I'm in need of some suggestions for things to investigate. Motherboard is an MSI B550M Mortar wifi, CPU is a 3700X. I may have a spare, compatible motherboard to try swapping out.

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MOTHERBOARD: [Asus] ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3600
SSD/NVME: [Western Digital] Black 512 GB NVMe SSD
SSD/NVME 2: [Team] 4x 1 TB 2.5" SSD
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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML240L
MOTHERBOARD: [MSI] MAG B550M Mortar Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3200
SSD/NVME: [Crucial] P2 500 GB NVMe SSD
HDD: [Western Digital] Black Series 2 TB HDD
HDD 2: [Western Digital] Caviar Green 3 TB HDD
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Did it ever fail to boot to bios without any storage drives plugged in? 

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2 hours ago, UltraMega said:

Did it ever fail to boot to bios without any storage drives plugged in? 

 

Nope, it can always get to BIOS, I just didn't think to try that until after messing with unplugging drives. So currently, I think it's just reading the Windows Boot Manager partition of the C drive M.2, but it can't find the partition of the actual Windows installation.

 

I forgot to mention in my OP, when I start it up for the first time, it has the Windows-generated messages of "diagnosing issues" and so on, so the boot manager knows something is wrong but can't seem to do anything about it. It just prompts me to restart and then goes into the loop I described.

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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 9 3900X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML360R
MOTHERBOARD: [Asus] ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3600
SSD/NVME: [Western Digital] Black 512 GB NVMe SSD
SSD/NVME 2: [Team] 4x 1 TB 2.5" SSD
HDD: [Western Digital] Black Series 3 TB HDD
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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML240L
MOTHERBOARD: [MSI] MAG B550M Mortar Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3200
SSD/NVME: [Crucial] P2 500 GB NVMe SSD
HDD: [Western Digital] Black Series 2 TB HDD
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Odd. The screen color flickering sounds like a hardware issue, but everything else sounds like it could just be software.

 

How inconvenient would it be for you to reformat? Seems like it would be a good idea to wipe the C drive and reinstall at this point. Would rule out a lot of things. 

 

WWW.MICROSOFT.COM
WWW.MICROSOFT.COM

 

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6 hours ago, UltraMega said:

Odd. The screen color flickering sounds like a hardware issue, but everything else sounds like it could just be software.

 

How inconvenient would it be for you to reformat? Seems like it would be a good idea to wipe the C drive and reinstall at this point. Would rule out a lot of things. 

 

WWW.MICROSOFT.COM
WWW.MICROSOFT.COM

 

 

Yeah the color scrolling does seem like a hardware thing, and Googling led me to find that it does happen on some rare occasions, and seems to typically be a hardware issue, but could also be software. Especially odd is that only happened once, and I can't reproduce it.

 

It'd be pretty inconvenient to reformat since I have a bunch of racing sim-related software set up on there, and it's kind of a pain to set up and all play nice together. That being said, I know it'd do me a lot of good since it's been a few years since my last one, and it may be a requirement for this. I'm just really hung up on the fact that the BIOS doesn't recognize any of my drives. If nothing else changes, and I boot up with an installation USB, would the Windows install software even see the drives to put anything on? (Rhetorical question for me to find the answer to.) I've also considered creating a trying a USB Windows recovery drive. I'll try to get around to my first thought of re-seating everything tomorrow or Friday though.

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RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3600
SSD/NVME: [Western Digital] Black 512 GB NVMe SSD
SSD/NVME 2: [Team] 4x 1 TB 2.5" SSD
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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML240L
MOTHERBOARD: [MSI] MAG B550M Mortar Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3200
SSD/NVME: [Crucial] P2 500 GB NVMe SSD
HDD: [Western Digital] Black Series 2 TB HDD
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31 minutes ago, Supercrumpet said:

 

Yeah the color scrolling does seem like a hardware thing, and Googling led me to find that it does happen on some rare occasions, and seems to typically be a hardware issue, but could also be software. Especially odd is that only happened once, and I can't reproduce it.

 

It'd be pretty inconvenient to reformat since I have a bunch of racing sim-related software set up on there, and it's kind of a pain to set up and all play nice together. That being said, I know it'd do me a lot of good since it's been a few years since my last one, and it may be a requirement for this. I'm just really hung up on the fact that the BIOS doesn't recognize any of my drives. If nothing else changes, and I boot up with an installation USB, would the Windows install software even see the drives to put anything on? (Rhetorical question for me to find the answer to.) I've also considered creating a trying a USB Windows recovery drive. I'll try to get around to my first thought of re-seating everything tomorrow or Friday though.

That is an interesting question that I'm not sure there is a consistent answer to.

 

Usually what I do in this situation is unplug all the drives and then install windows to a spare ssd that I keep laying around for this purpose. From there, if windows installs and works normally on the spare ssd, I would plug the other drives back in, boot off the spare ssd, and inspect the drives from the new windows installation. 

 

SSDs are cheap now, if you don't have a spare just grab a $30 500GB ssd off Amazon and use that, if you don't want to be forced to reformat right away. 

 

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Be sure to run disk check if your disks show up from the new OS environment. 

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6 hours ago, UltraMega said:

That is an interesting question that I'm not sure there is a consistent answer to.

 

Usually what I do in this situation is unplug all the drives and then install windows to a spare ssd that I keep laying around for this purpose. From there, if windows installs and works normally on the spare ssd, I would plug the other drives back in, boot off the spare ssd, and inspect the drives from the new windows installation. 

 

SSDs are cheap now, if you don't have a spare just grab a $30 500GB ssd off Amazon and use that, if you don't want to be forced to reformat right away. 

 

 

Gotcha, I like that suggestion - I should definitely have some spare SSDs lying around from past upgrades.

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RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3600
SSD/NVME: [Western Digital] Black 512 GB NVMe SSD
SSD/NVME 2: [Team] 4x 1 TB 2.5" SSD
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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML240L
MOTHERBOARD: [MSI] MAG B550M Mortar Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3200
SSD/NVME: [Crucial] P2 500 GB NVMe SSD
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Folding@Home Staff - Team Lead

First thing I would do is try and clone those drives externally to new drives, just in case it's the drives dying. There's an nvme cloning kit on amazon for dirt cheap.

 

But it sounds like something screwy with the South Bridge chip. They run really hot on AM4 already and that might make them more prone to fail.

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6 hours ago, damric said:

First thing I would do is try and clone those drives externally to new drives, just in case it's the drives dying. There's an nvme cloning kit on amazon for dirt cheap.

 

But it sounds like something screwy with the South Bridge chip. They run really hot on AM4 already and that might make them more prone to fail.

 

I don't think I'm too concerned about losing what's on them, but I'll keep that in mind if I remember that I do have something on there that I don't want to lose.

 

I'd forgotten about that on AM4 though, good thing to know as well.

 

6 hours ago, schuck6566 said:

Make sure it's not 1 of the issues I ran across with my x470.

 

 

Very interesting, good info. I totally missed that thread, thanks for bringing it up again!

 

6 hours ago, Avacado said:

You wouldn't have happened to update your MOBO bios recently have you?

 

I haven't, actually never updated it. Just checked and it's 7C94v12, from August 2020. One of the earliest versions. Worth updating?

 

I also went through my stash of stuff and found that I have an old MSI B350 mATX motherboard that's been chilling in its anti-static bag for a couple years. Guess I can try swapping that in too, likely also with a BIOS update.

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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML240L
MOTHERBOARD: [MSI] MAG B550M Mortar Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3200
SSD/NVME: [Crucial] P2 500 GB NVMe SSD
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I don't think B550 boards have any thermal issues like X470 did, generally speaking. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I finally had time to look into this last weekend and just did what I mentioned in my OP to start: disassemble most of the PC, or at least the wiring, and redo it just the same as it was. Believe it or not, it works just fine afterwards. Can't imagine what it was exactly since everything felt secure before I unplugged it, but I'll take it. Runs and loads games fine, opens and moves files, all drives appear as they should, and shuts down/reboots and goes to sleep/wakes just fine. I should do some more drive checks this weekend though just in case.

 

However... a new issue has appeared. I found that only some of my mobo USB ports, and intermittently front panel USB, actually work. Currently I jankily have 6 things hooked up to an active USB hub, all going through one rear USB port, and things work fine. All of this, combined with a few other previous issues that have somehow been miraculously fixed by unplugging cables and plugging everything back into the same place have me still a little suspicious of the board, but I'll be cautiously optimistic for the time being. I'd really like for this PC to hold together until sometime next year when I have a good opportunity to update to a more recent platform. Just in case though, I fortunately found an old mATX AM4 motherboard that I can use if I really need to, would just have to get some additional wifi solution.

 

Stay tuned till next week when this PC inevitably craps itself in some new way lmao.

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SSD/NVME: [Western Digital] Black 512 GB NVMe SSD
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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML240L
MOTHERBOARD: [MSI] MAG B550M Mortar Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3200
SSD/NVME: [Crucial] P2 500 GB NVMe SSD
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Does sound like a board issue. You check the warranty? 

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  • 2 months later...

Oh, just to update this thread again on the off chance anyone else comes by with something similar.

 

The USB issue fixed itself the next time I shut down and moved the PC, so it's been back to working normally for the past month and a bit, fortunately.

 

I did check on the warranty, and it was just about to run out, but I couldn't find any clear cut information on a replacement or anything. The intermittence of the issues I was having didn't give me enough confidence to try to get a replacement or anything in time.

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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 9 3900X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML360R
MOTHERBOARD: [Asus] ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3600
SSD/NVME: [Western Digital] Black 512 GB NVMe SSD
SSD/NVME 2: [Team] 4x 1 TB 2.5" SSD
HDD: [Western Digital] Black Series 3 TB HDD
GPU: [EVGA] RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming
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CPU: [AMD] Ryzen 7 3700X
CPU COOLER: [Cooler Master] MasterLiquid ML240L
MOTHERBOARD: [MSI] MAG B550M Mortar Wifi
RAM: [G.Skill] Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3200
SSD/NVME: [Crucial] P2 500 GB NVMe SSD
HDD: [Western Digital] Black Series 2 TB HDD
HDD 2: [Western Digital] Caviar Green 3 TB HDD
GPU: [EVGA] RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Hybrid Gaming
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