Restart Issues in Windows 11 on Storage Expansion Card

Hi all.

Recently purchased a 250GB expansion card SSD and intended to run Windows 11 off it on my 12th gen intel framework laptop.

After messing around using DISM and diskpart in the Windows installer to get it to install to a “USB Device” everything seemed to be fine. However, I have noticed that I can’t restart my laptop anymore.

I’m hoping somebody has experienced this or has any idea would be causing this?

If I press “Restart” in Windows, or if I run windows updates and it restarts itself later on it’ll start the process, finish its bits and switch off and the LED keyboard and power button stays lit like I’d expect but it never comes back on. It just stays frozen like its “off” but all the LEDs are still lit. Holding the power button until the lights go out then powering on again works fine, and it’s like it never happened in Windows. It’ll carry on working on updates like it’s just restarted normally.

Which is sort of what i’d expect? Like Windows does it’s thing and “goes off” from that point on it’s BIOS and post when the laptop comes back on before handing over to Windows as normal. From Windows’ point of view, it just turned off and came back on like I told it to.

Also, I’ve noticed over power functions like sleep and hibernate don’t seem to be working either. If I open a few programs to test, and press “Sleep” or “Hibernate” it flashes up briefly saying something like “Hibernating” and the swirly logo appears before powering off, and all the lights go out like I’d expect. However, when switching back on it’s like a clean startup, none of the programs I had open have been there. And I timed it, it took the exact same amount of time to switch on after hibernating or sleeping, as it did just powering on from being fully shutdown as normal.

There are logs in event viewer about previous shutdowns being unexpected and going into hibernation failing. error 0xc000007b seems to be the only code being generated.

I’m going to do some more testing, I have since done a “Reset This PC” and it was doing the same thing this time without the framework driver bundle installed, but pre-reset I did have the driver bundle.

fyi shutdown is working fine. It turns off and the LEDs go out too.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m not sure if this is a symptom of installing Windows 11 strangely initially, or using the expansion SSD as my boot drive.

It sounds like it’s not shutting down all the way so I’m not sure how helpful this might be, but Windows has some boot fixer commands that have unstuck strange shutdown issues for me in the past.

Bootrec /fixmbr
Bootrec /fixboot
Bootrec /scanos
Bootrec /rebuildbcd

This is probably a symptom of installing to a USB device.

thanks, i’ll give them a try!

Before I do, it says fixmbr, is that the same for an install of Windows on a GPT disk rather than MBR?

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My bad, my laptop that last had an issue had windows 7 initially so I had that command in there. /fixboot is the equivalent for GPT so you can skip the /fixmbr command.

This will wipe any non-Windows boot loaders on the Windows EFI partition though, but I’m assuming your internal M.2 is where something like GRUB or systemd-boot would be with your configuration.

Thanks, in an attempt to remove complexity I didn’t have my m.2 connected when installing Windows because in the past I’ve had it where windows writes the efi to another disk and I just caused problems down the road

That’s the smartest approach. In fact, Linux installers had a bug around when I got my Framework where they’d install bootloaders to the first drive they found with an EFI partition, which gave me headaches when I was setting up the reverse of your setup (Windows m.2; Linux expansion card).