Tech

Faulty Windows driver update causes blue screens on AMD systems

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Microsoft has recently been distributing the updated driver “SCSIAdapter 9.3.0.221” from AMD on some Ryzen systems via Windows Update. For computers with an AM4 mainboard with an X570 chipset from Gigabyte and an NVMe SSD, the driver update ensures that Windows 10 no longer starts after the subsequent restart.

The operating system only reports the error “INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE” via blue screen. A reader had drawn our attention to the problem. He had recreated our construction proposal for the luxury PC from c’t 24/2019, in which the Gigabyte Aorus X570 Ultra is.

If the Windows update installed the AMD SCSI adapter 9.3.0.221, you should not restart under any circumstances.

We were able to reproduce the error in the c’t laboratory. The driver update incorrectly replaces the standard Windows NVMe driver on Gigabyte X570 boards with an NVMe SSD. As a result, Windows can no longer find the path for the system SSD after a restart. Contrary to what the name suggests, it is not a driver for a SCSI device, but the SATA RAID driver from AMD.

We couldn’t find out why Windows Update incorrectly replaces the NVMe driver. In addition, the defective driver update also reset the BIOS in our system. However, the driver was not offered to us on a Gigabyte board with a B550 chipset, which is why the problem did not occur there. We are still checking whether X570 motherboards from other manufacturers are also affected. [Update 07.05.2021 18:55] With the Asus Pro WS X570-ACE, the faulty driver was not offered via Windows Update. [/Update]

The wrong AMD driver on the left, the correct Windows driver on the right.

(Image: c’t)

To ensure that Windows boots correctly again, you must first restart it three times. Then the automatic repair function of Windows loads. There you can roll it back to the most recent restore point. The operating system then starts again successfully with Windows’s own NVMe driver. The Windows Update immediately started again with overwriting it with the AMD driver.

Now you should not restart under any circumstances, but open the properties of the “AMD RAID Bottom Device” in the Device Manager under Storage Controller. Under Driver, click “Previous Driver” and you can retrieve the Windows NVMe driver. A restart then worked without any problems, and the correct name as “Standard NVM Express controller” appeared in the device manager.


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