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7760 and OEM Samsung PM9A1 2TB


Rinconmike
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Here is an issue I have experienced with the Samsung P9A1 2TB on a 7760 and need to decide to replace it or not.   My concern on removing the PM9A1 on the Gen4 slot is wind up having the disappearing drive issue and need to look at @Aaron44126 fix.

 

Long explanation.

 

I have a 7760 with the OEM Samsung PM9A1 SSD 2TB in the Gen4 slot.

 

Last month (around 1/22/22) I ran the Dell firmware update recommended by Dell Command Update (from 7129 to 8129).  I was not experiencing any issues but the update showed up on the Dell Command Update so I ran it.  Back in December I previously updated to the 7219 and did not see any issues. The 8129 fix noted is: "- Improved the solid state drive data management to prevent data integrity issues." 

 

The system is booting UEFI.

 

I did suspended bitlocker before running the update although the installation directions did not require it like a bios update does.  The update reported it was successful and did not ask to reboot. I rebooted and on this first boot the drive was not seen by the system. I rebooted again and the drive was found and booted fine.

 

After the update I confirmed in Device Manager, under SSD Properties, Device Hardware ID that the updated firmware was listed.

 

In windows both Crystal Disk Info and HD Sentinel report the drive is healthy and no issues found.

 

I then ran the Dell Boot Diagnostics and the drive failed the short test (noted Short self-test unsuccessful, error code 2000-0142). I ran it several times and same error each time. I did not run the Dell Diag before I did the firmware update so I do not know if this error would have happened before the update..

 

Although the drive failed the Dell short test, when in windows, I did not see any issues.  Both Crystal Disk Info and HD Sentinel report the drive is healthy.  The only issue at the time was the Dell short test fails.

 

As part of trouble shooting, this drive I had bit locker enabled and I decided to turn it off. I started the bit locker decryption process and it got stuck at 77.7%.  I spent a day trying to figure it out. With bitlocker stuck, the computer was essentially frozen.  I could move the mouse and if I tried to open explorer it would open after around 10 minutes.  I eventually figured out that after a force power off and reboot, I could quickly go into command prompt, run "manage-bde -pause C:" and it would pause the bitlocker process.  Trying a resume bitlocker did not work and the system would lock up.

 

All my data files are in Dropbox.  I unlinked DB to prevent synching to DB.  Unlinking did not solve the bitlocker issue.  I then deleted all my DB files (around 500GB).  Once the files were deleted, I resumed bitlocker and the decryption continued and then finished.  The drive was now fully decrypted. 
 
Note I use smart synch with DB so although I had 500Gb on the drive, there were many files where it is not the complete file, just a place holder (it is how DB works).

 

I then rebooted the system and ran the Dell Diag and now all tests pass.  No failure on the short drive test.  I rebooted around a dozen times and ran both the short and thorough tests and no issues found.  Both Crystal Disk Info a HD Sentinel find no issues. 
 
I also ran chkdsk /f and also chkdsk /r and no bad sectors found.  I also ran sfc /scannow and no issues found.  I think I ran the chkdsk and sfc/scannow also before I got the decryption to work (with bitlocker paused) and no issues were found then either.

 

I then turned bitlocker back on.  I did a full drive encryption and not just no used space.  Took around an hour to finish.  I installed DB with selective synch and starting to fully synch some files.

 

Also while troubleshooting I did downgrade the firmware to 7129 and then back to 8129 (I forget at what point I did this, I think before I got bitlocker to work).  

 

I did the over 2 to 3 days (1/22 to 1/24).

 

Now 2/20/22. I still have the Samsung Drive in the system.  Dell did send me a replacement since they are not sure if it is a faulty drive or not.  However, I have been hesitant to change it due to the disappearing drive issue.  If I do replace it, I will use Acronis to mirror the drive.  I am making daily Acronis backups now.

 

Along with monitoring the drive with Crystal and HD Sentinel, I have run the Boot Diagnostics 2 to 4 times a week and also ran the supportassist diag a few times (installed and then uninstalled supportassist) and no drive errors.

 

So the question is, can I assume there are no issues with the drive and the issue was that something got corrupted with the firmware update or the firmware update corrupted something with bitlocker and once I successfully turned off bitlocker the issues is resolved?

 

Strange that I had to delete files to get bitlocker to finish.

 

Or is this indeed a hardware issue that may come up again and I am best to replace the drive?

 

Anyone successfully change the OEM drive in the Gen4 slot and not have the disappearing drive issue?  That is my concern with changing the drive.

 

Also thanks to @Aaron44126 who helped with when I was troubleshooting the issue.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike


 

Dell 7760 | Xeon W-11955M | 64GB, 2x32GB, 3200MHz, ECC | RTX A5000 | 17.3" IPS UHD IR Cam | Boot Drive PCIe 4.0 Slot: Samsung 2TB PM91A | AHCI in Bios | Two Samsung 2TB 970 EVO Plus
Dell 7710 | Core i7 6920HQ | 40GB DDR4-2133 | NVIDIA Quadro M5000M | IGZO UHD | Primary Drive: Samsung NVMe 980 Pro 1TB SSD | Windows 10 booting UEFI with AHCI

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Recommendations...

  • The fact that you couldn't finish the BitLocker decrypt tells me that there was some issue with the drive reading or writing to a particular spot.  If this happened to me, I would consider the drive "suspect" and definitely replace it if possible.
  • Regarding the "disappearing drive issue", it seems like Dell has actually come up with a fix for this — it was to remove the switch from the motherboard altogether.
  • If you replace the drive, you will know pretty quick (within a few hours) if it is going to be subject to this issue.  If the PCIe4 drive is your boot drive, the issue will probably manifest itself as a system lock-up.  (Mouse might move around, but nothing will work, probably similar to what you saw when it was locked up with the BitLocker decrypt.)  If it is a problem, you can just immediately move the drive to one of the PCIe3 slots as a temporary fix, until you put a permanent fix in place.
  • The permanent fix would be something similar to what I did to keep the switch pressed down, or having Dell replace the motherboard.
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Dell Precision 7770 (personal) • Dell Precision 7560 (work) • Full specs in spoiler block below
Info posts (Dell) — Dell Precision key postsDell driver RSS feeds • Dell Fan Management — override fan behavior
Info posts (Windows) — Turbo boost toggle • The problem with Windows 11 • About Windows 10 LTSC

Spoiler

Dell Precision 7770 (personal)

  • Intel Core i9-12950HX ("Alder Lake"), 8P+8E
    • 8× P cores ("Golden Cove"): 2.3 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading
    • 8× E cores ("Gracemont"): 1.7 GHz base, 3.6 GHz turbo
  • 128GB DDR5-3600 (CAMM)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 16GB (DGFF)
  • Storage:
    • 2TB system drive: Samsung 980 Pro, PCIe4
    • 24TB additional storage: 3× Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 8TB, PCIe4 (Storage Spaces)
  • Windows 10 (Enterprise LTSC 2021)
  • 17.3" 3940×2160 display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX211 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth)
  • 93Wh battery
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Dell Precision 7560 (work)

  • Intel Xeon W-11955M ("Tiger Lake")
    • 8×2.6 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading ("Willow Cove")
  • 64GB DDR4-3200 ECC
  • NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB
  • Storage:
    • 512GB system drive (Micron 2300)
    • 4TB additional storage (Sabrent Rocket Q4)
  • Windows 10 (Enterprise LTSC 2021)
  • 15.6" 3940×2160 display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX210 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth)
  • 95Wh battery
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Previous

  • Dell Precision 7530, 7510, M4800, M6700
  • Dell Latitude E6520
  • Dell Inspiron 1720, 5150
  • Dell Latitude CPi
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Thanks.  I did ask dell pro support about the disappearing drive issue and they stated that they have nothing in their records on it.  Both the rep on the case (Senior Technician, Technical Support) and another rep the initial rep reached out to that has a title of Technical Support Engineer 2.

 

One thing i have not tried is to turn off bitlock to decrypt the drive and see if I get the same issue.   I will do that before I replace to drive if I go that route. 

 

 

 

 

Dell 7760 | Xeon W-11955M | 64GB, 2x32GB, 3200MHz, ECC | RTX A5000 | 17.3" IPS UHD IR Cam | Boot Drive PCIe 4.0 Slot: Samsung 2TB PM91A | AHCI in Bios | Two Samsung 2TB 970 EVO Plus
Dell 7710 | Core i7 6920HQ | 40GB DDR4-2133 | NVIDIA Quadro M5000M | IGZO UHD | Primary Drive: Samsung NVMe 980 Pro 1TB SSD | Windows 10 booting UEFI with AHCI

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For whatever is worth, on the 7560 Precisions I ordered, the motherboard is deprived of this switch.

Maybe they did the same and released a revisioned motherboard for the 7760 as well.

Now while a dab of solder would bridge the circuit, I consider it too early to do it, I would ask support if they could replace your motherboard with a switchless one.

As for the drive, I agree with @Aaron44126, I wouldn't count on it anymore.

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I am still using the old drive and have not swapped it out yet.  Yesterday I turned off bitlocker and it decrypted the drive fine in 20 minutes.

 

Been using the system an see no issues.  I will eventually swap it out, but have not been in a rush.  I am making daily images in case and shutdown dropbox when not using the system to make sure nothing syncs if an issue happens when I am not using the system.

 

 

Dell 7760 | Xeon W-11955M | 64GB, 2x32GB, 3200MHz, ECC | RTX A5000 | 17.3" IPS UHD IR Cam | Boot Drive PCIe 4.0 Slot: Samsung 2TB PM91A | AHCI in Bios | Two Samsung 2TB 970 EVO Plus
Dell 7710 | Core i7 6920HQ | 40GB DDR4-2133 | NVIDIA Quadro M5000M | IGZO UHD | Primary Drive: Samsung NVMe 980 Pro 1TB SSD | Windows 10 booting UEFI with AHCI

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