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12945 Discussions

NUC11TNHi7 HDD LED Stays ON with Inland Performance Plus 2TB SSD


Intel NUC11TNHi7

Firmware 0064 (latest)

All BIOS Settings Default

Windows 10


We have over 10 NUC11TNHi7's and were on the verge of deploying them, until this problem happened:


While the NUC power button led can indicate drive activity, it goes dark / turns off when there's a lot of disk activity, possibly giving the impression the computer is powered off, when in reality, it's super busy reading or writing data, which is the exact moment the computer should not be turned "on" (off) to avoid data corruption.


So, we attached a PC HDD LED to the nuc's motherboard front panel header. Initially, the LED light turns on and flashes indicting drive activity, BUT the nuc is not playing nicely with the Microcenter Inland Performance Plus 2TB Gen 4 x4 SSD. 


Incredibly, although BIOS settings are default, the nuc seems to treat the HDD LED as a power light keeping it turned on all the time, never flashing. Even after a reboot or Windows shutdown/power on, the HDD LED is still solid. Sometimes, it's possible to get normal HDD LED behavior by unplugging power from the nuc for at least 1 min, but not always. For example, right now, several of the nuc's continually boot with the HDD LED turned on solid, even after resetting BIOS settings, powering off, and unplugging power.


We are now heavily invested in the SSD's, past the days when they could be returned. Plus, otherwise, they are great performers and have been 100% reliable in all other computers makes and models for a long time.


Intel, can you persuade the BIOS to get along with this SSD?  If you need a sample to test and develop a fix, I'll send you one. Just let me know, either way.  Time is of the essence, please.


BTW, after extensive testing, we have ruled out other drives in the nuc being the culprit, and the problem is readily duplicated across multiple nucs and SSD's.



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4 Replies

csi, Thank you for posting in the Intel® Communities Support.

In order to provide the most accurate assistance, we will do further research on this matter, for us to be able to do that, please provide the following details about your system:

Are these new Intel® NUCs?

When did you purchase them? (For Warranty Purposes)

By any chance, do you have the model or a picture of the PC HDD LED?

Just to make sure, this problem, started and only happens while using "Microcenter Inland Performance Plus 2TB Gen 4 x4 SSD", correct?

Did you make any recent hardware/software changes, besides installing the "Microcenter Inland Performance Plus 2TB Gen 4 x4 SSD" that might cause this issue?

Does the problem happen at home or in the work environment?

Please attach the SSU report, from one of the Intel® NUCs affected, so we can verify further details about the components in your platform, check all the options in the report including the one that says "3rd party software logs":

Any questions, please let me know.


Albert R.

Intel Customer Support Technician


Hello Albert, thanks for your reply!

Brand new NUCs, purchased within the past 60 days from Microcenter. No changes made to NUCs.

PC Computer Case HDD LED


The situation has changed, unfortunately, not for the better.

Yesterday, I purchased multiple brand new NVME Gen 4 SSD's and installed them in the NUC one at a time. To my surprise and chagrin, none of them solved the solid, always on HDD LED problem. The HDD LED stays on all the time. So, the issue is not the fault of the Inland SSD. The problem happens with all SSD's.  The only commonality is the problem occurs when a NVME SSD is installed.

Also installed in my NUC is a NGFF SATA SSD in the 2242 SATA port, and a 2.5" SATA SSD. But, the always on HDD LED problem does not occur with either or both of these drives. Believe me, I've tried and tried and tried to duplicate the problem with these drives (multiple restarts, shutdowns, and powering up, plus BIOS settings changes, etc).

So, the culprit is the NUC!

I'm using a typical 5v HDD LED light and cable that comes with a typical PC case. Nothing unusual or non-standard.

The problem occurs with fully updated and all drivers installed Windows 10, and base Windows 10 1809 before any updates, drivers  or any other software, including 3rd party, installed.

In fact, the always on HDD LED problem happens the moment the NUC is powered on. The LED turns on and stays solid.

My suggestions is for you to duplicate my simple configuration with a 2242 SATA SSD, a (probably non-Intel) NVME Gen 4 SSD, attach a HDD LED to the motherboard header pins 1 & 3, power on the nuc, go into BIOS settings, press F9 to reset to default, change the HDD LED Brightness to 100%, and then try a bunch of shutdowns, restarts, power ons, windows logins, etc.  Really push it. I bet you'll see the problem.  BTW, the problem occurs most often after making a change in BIOS settings. So, do that a bunch, save and restart the NUC.

Also, there might be a correlation between Windows shutting down (and/or because of the bad graphics drivers, the nuc power light not going off) and this HDD LED problem. The problem is exacerbated when Windows is shutdown, but the Power Button Light doesn't go off, and the NUC has to be forced to power off. After that, the NUC LED problem seems to occur more often.

Again, as I have for hours and days, do a bunch of iterative tests to see the problem.

If you want to avoid setting up your own lab bench, I'm open to doing a Zoom so you can see my setup and I can easily and quickly show you the problem on multiple NUCs.

Let me know if any questions. 

Super User Retired Employee

You cannot reliably use those Case LED cables with the NUCs. They are designed for motherboard connectors with 2.54 mm pin pitch. The connectors on the NUC motherboards, on the other hand, are 2 mm pitch. You need a conversion cable (like this: to handle this.

Hope this helps,



Thanks for the helpful suggestion and link.  I would have never found that unique part.

I was about to order, but not wanting to wait, I pulled the HDD LED wire female terminators out of the 2.54 mm pitch casing, wrapped them in Kapton, and plugged them directly into the NUC motherboard header. No luck. HDD LED still stays on all the time, anytime after going into BIOS settings and restarting. The problem isn't that the HDD LED doesn't work or has a weak or intermittent connection.

As mentioned before, if the NUC is powered down, power cable unplugged for at least 1 min, then the HDD LED might behave normally (flashing to disk activity) when the NUC is turned on again.

BUT, after 2 or 3 cycles of power on, Windows boot / login, power off (by pressing the power button set in Windows to Shutdown), wait 5 seconds and power back on, the HDD LED stays on solid again, and won't get out of that mood until shutdown, power cable unplugged for at least 1 min, rinse/repeat.

Arrggh!  I just want a simple HDD LED light that works normally and reliably. Shouldn't be too much to ask for something that's been standard since the 1970's.