I’ve been struggling with an odd issue for a while, and I’m mostly curious if anyone has any suggestions for things to chase as a cause. I haven’t reached the “format the drive, try again” point yet but I’m getting there.
Some quick background:
I have Ubuntu on my NVMe which is what I use 95+% of the time.
I have Windows 11 installed on a 250GB Expansion Card, setup via Rufus’s Windows to Go method.
If/when I want to boot into Windows 11, I reboot the laptop, spam F12, select the expansion card. Otherwise the BIOS is set to auto boot to the NVMe.
When I upgraded from my 11th gen to 12th gen motherboard, I moved my Ubuntu NVMe over, but I did re-install Windows 11, so it’s not a carry over.
So, anyways, when I boot into Windows everything is fine… until I want to reboot. It attempts to reboot, but ends up just sitting on a blacked out display. Hitting caps lock doesn’t toggle the LED, ctrl+alt+del does nothing, all I can do is hold the power button until it hard shuts off. If in Windows I select shutdown, it turns off totally fine. The real problem is I mostly boot into Windows to do updates, which if they need to do a reboot, even selecting “perform updates and shutdown” actually just reboots once or twice then shuts down… which triggers the same problem.
I’ve gone through the event log, and nothing stands out about the shutdowns. I’ve gone through BIOS settings, and nothing quite stands out to me, although admittedly there’s certainly the chance I’m glossing over something. It’s not the end of the world to me, it’s a rarity I’m going into Windows to begin with and I know it’s happening seemingly without consequence so I’ve just been dealing with it, but I’m a long holiday vacation and figure I’ll try to address it but I don’t know where to begin. It’s done it since I got the expansion card installed, so I’ve mostly been waiting for a 12th gen BIOS upgrade thinking it’s probably along those lines but that hasn’t come out yet so no real idea…
Anyone have any ideas for what to chase? I’ll likely be doing a reformat sooner or later anyways just to see if the Windows 11 install is bad, but this feels like it’s probably a specific thing that might be fixable on it’s own and personally I prefer identifying those kinds of things when I can.
I’m the Linux Support Lead, so my Windows knowledge isn’t amazing - it’s been awhile. That said since no one has replied yet, let’s see if this helps.
check that your computer and Windows are actually booting. To do this, press Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + B. This command actually restarts your graphics driver—which might itself fix the black screen—but also emits a beep.
If you hear a beep, then Windows is responsive. However, if you don’t hear anything, it could suggest that your computer isn’t booting.
From a fresh boot,
Press Windows key + X and click Device Manager.
Double-click the Display adapters category.
Right-click your graphics card and select Properties. Go to the Driver tab.
If available, click Roll Back Driver, select a reason, and click Yes. This will take you back to the previously installed driver.
If none of this helps, I’d suggest opening a support ticket. Support for this will be hit and miss over the holidays (details on off days will appear in the ticket reply.
Apologies, I might not have been clear. The PC boots totally fine into Windows. The black screen happens when I try to reboot the PC from Windows. The graphics driver isn’t having any issues or anything.
To try and reclarify: When I boot into Windows, everything is totally fine UNTIL I attempt to reboot the PC. If I tell Windows to reboot, it starts to do so, then just stops and never actually reboots. I have to hold the power button to hard shut it down. If I tell Windows to shutdown, it shuts down without any issue.
Maybe FastBoot can be your problem. As far as I remember, FastBoot means, that Windows doesn’t connect USB- and other devices during the main boot process, but later. Check, if disabled FastBoot in your BIOS solves the problem.
Apologies to anyone waiting for follow up, I was delaying my next update until after I performed a clean install of Windows 11.
So: First off, disabling Quick Boot in the BIOS makes no difference. Again, the problem is not getting into the OS, it’s when the OS is attempting to perform a restart, so I wasn’t certain, but the logic of “The BIOS/UEFI isn’t initializing USB devices fully, and thus the expansion card with the OS may not be loading 100% correctly and not able to close right” was sound, so it was definitely worth a shot.
Second, I followed the manual install guide for expansion cards ( Guide: How to install Windows 10 onto storage expansion card - Framework Laptop - Framework Community) onto a second 250GB Expansion Card I have (used for experimenting with Linux distros, but figured I’d flip them so I can roll back to the other if needed). Once I was in the initial setup for Windows 11 and it performs a reboot after connecting to the network… it did it again. I went through further with the setup and installing drivers just to ensure it wasn’t something like a missing inf, windows update, or something along those lines, and after getting all the way set back up it’s still doing it.
So, it’s not the Rufus Windows to Go install method. I was talking about it with my coworker (we’re both System Administrators with varying past experience in “what the hell is wrong with this machine?” so having his input post-holiday break is helpful) and we agree that it sure feels like the following is happening:
When I ask for a restart in Windows 11, Windows performs it sequence of restart events. When it gets to the final step, requesting the system reset power, it just fails to do anything. The laptop goes into a “waiting for the OS to tell me what to do” state, but the OS is done/stopped, so it just sits there until I hard reset the power. This might be related to Windows Modern Standby in some way, which I’m only thinking because of how many other issues that introduces to Windows.
So at this point I’m just waiting on the Gen12 updated BIOS 3.06 to leave beta I think. Alternatively, I might roll back to Windows 10 as at least on my Gen11 motherboard I never had issues like this.
As posted elsewhere, Windows installs on external storage, such as our Storage Expansion Cards, is not officially supported by either Framework, or Microsoft. While Community members have worked around this, and we encourage our Community to continue to work with each other should this be a hard-stop requirement for them, we have to put the disclaimer out there that this will likely result in problems, and Framework Support, unfortunately, will be unable to assist should issues happen in this specific scenario.
I just wanted to say, on my TrueNAS Scale Media Server (Intel i7 8700K), my MacOS Sonoma 14.2 VM has this exact same behavior (TrueNAS Scale uses KVM and QEMU for vitualization and ZFS for the filesystem.) Since the MacOS VM boot drive is a Zvol, and shutdown works but restart doesn’t (as described here) I think MacOS and Windows don’t like restarting with weird storage setups. Maybe MacOS can’t “Turn Off” the Zvol and Windows can’t “Turn Off” the USB drive that it’s on? I found it so strange that these symptoms math perfectly even though they are such different scenarios. It makes me think that these 2 OSes don’t know how to handle non-standard boot drives.