I wish to report a case of hot-plug failure with TEKQ Cube TB3 NVMe SSD enclosure and NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon).
Attached is a table of test results and test configuration.
When a TEKQ Cube TB3 NVMe SSD enclosure with a Samsung 960 PRO NVMe PCIe M.2 1TB SSD (or 950 PRO 512GB) installed is hot-plugged into the TB3 port of my NUC8i7BEH running Win10 Pro 1809, this external SSD is not recognized by Win10 and disk partitions in the SSD do not come online. Two yellow bang errors appear in Windows device manager, with one belonging to the Intel TB3 controller in the NUC.
Failure rate of this scenario is 100% repeatable. Please note the NUC8i7BEH has no trouble supporting Win10 OS boot from this external NVMe SSD whenever it is pre-attached before OS boot. This device is also properly recognized after booting OS from internal SSD, but only if this external SSD is pre-attached to the NUC before OS boot.
I would like Intel to assist in replicating and troubleshooting this issue.
Alberto, I have just one NUC8i7BEH and one TEKQ Cube NVMe enclosure having this issue. I tried 3 different TB3 0.5m (40Gbps) cables with same results.
BIOS of this NUC8i7BEH has already been updated to 0064 with the jumper recovery method.
The TEKQ Cube NVMe enclosure uses an Alpine Ridge JHL6340 Thunderbolt 3 interface controller and a TI TPS65983 USB-C/USB PD controller. Hot-plugging of the TEKQ Cube working with my NUC7i5BNH (1 unit) & NUC6i7KYK (3 units) but not with NUC8i7BEH was unexpected. There appears to be a compatibility issue between NUC8i7BEH & TEKQ Cube, but only specifically with hot-plug. Other aspects of operation, including getting Win10 OS to boot from the pre-attached TEKQ Cube, are all normal as far as I can tell. We are looking at a corner case here.
I confirm that the Windows 10 Pro 1809 OS installations in all NUCs tested with TEKQ Cube NVMe enclosure are activated: "Windows is activated with a digital license".
I believe it is too early to declare the TEKQ Cube NVMe enclosure being incompatible with NUC8i7BEH. Last night, I managed to reproduce the exact same hot-plug failure symptoms with the TEKQ Cube plugged into the TB3 port of an ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX/AC motherboard, also running Win10 Pro 1809. It is beginning to look like the TEKQ Cube has hot-plug difficulty specifically with Coffee Lake based platforms.
Fundamentally, though, I believe TEKQ Cube NVMe enclosure is well-designed. Booting Win10 OS installed into an SSD inside this enclosure has been rock solid with all my NUCs featuring TB3 port. Successfully tested NUC models include NUC8i7BEH, NUC7i5BNH, NUC6i7KYK for booting OS from this external enclosure. Same also for the ASRock Z390 ITX motherboard. I therefore believe this hot-plug issue is not related to TEKQ or motherboard hardware, but rather a corner case possibly involving device and controller firmware, TB3 device driver or Thunderbolt settings in BIOS. It almost appears some hot-plug related code in Coffee Lake platforms is running too fast and leading to a premature timeout.
TEKQ has not released any firmware update for their Cube.
More testing is called for and I will share more results as they become available. I'll try the TEKQ Cube with more Coffee Lake platforms to see if a pattern emerges. Stay tuned.
Alberto, it looks like my post got deleted again! I saw the post in "review pending" state before it disappeared.
Did you pick up the post before it got deleted? Should I send you a PM with the content?
Thank you for the update.
I have already tested this TEKQ Cube enclosure with three TB3 0.5m (40Gbps) cables (two from StarTech), and there was no difference in issue symptoms among them.
The Amazon web page for TEKQ Cube mentions this device as being "Intel Certified" (in one of the product images). Not sure if this means the device actually completed Thunderbolt certification with Intel. It would be helpful if Intel can look up your Thunderbolt certification database for the TEKQ Cube. A confirmation of the device having passed formal Intel Thunderbolt certification would be a strong vote of confidence for this product.
As mentioned before, the TEKQ Cube uses JHL6340 Alpine Ridge 2C Thunderbolt interface controller and a Texas Instruments TPS65983 USB-C/USB PD controller in its design. Nothing unusual in the hardware design as far as I can tell. TEKQ has not released any firmware update for the Cube.
My next steps:
- Install different NVMe PCIe M.2 SSDs into the TEKQ Cube
- Change Thunderbolt Windows driver revision
I just updated Thunderbolt driver package from 22.214.171.1240 to 126.96.36.1990 for the NUC8i7BEH. HotPlug failure symptoms with TEKQ Cube NVMe enclosure have not changed. The previously mentioned workaround involving a Sleep/Wake cycle is still effective.
BTW, NVM firmware version for the Thunderbolt 3 (15D9) controller in the NUC8i7BEH is 33.00. I believe this is the firmware shipping with Bean Canyon NUCs, and I don't remember having run a Thunderbolt firmware update for this NUC either.
I can't get the Thunderbolt Control Center App installed for my NUC8i7BEH. This may be because I'm running a legacy Thunderbolt driver not a DCH Thunderbolt driver. I also don't use a Microsoft account with this NUC and not sure if that matters for the app installation.
The TEKQ Cube NVMe enclosure has been approved as "Always connect", and works quite well if pre-attached to NUC8i7BEH before booting Windows. Only the hot-plug consistently fails (has never worked even once). Same failure and symptoms also with my ASRock Z390 Phantom gaming-ITX/AC motherboard featuring one TB3 port. No hot-plug trouble with my other Thunderbolt NUCs: NUC7i5BNH and NUC6i7KYK.
Thanks for the update.
Even though all three TB3 devices are based on the same Intel TB3 controller (Alpine Ridge), it is possible the firmware for the TB3 controller in these devices to be different?
This may or may not be a coincidence, but the hot-plug failure with the TEKQ Cube reproduces consistently only with my latest PC platforms: NUC8i7BEH and ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AC motherboard. Both are Intel Coffee Lake platforms.
Also, when observing the hot-plug failure of the TEKQ Cube in action, I noticed there is usually a yellow bang Intel USB 3.1 Host Controller appearing in Windows Device Manager. I find this strange, since the TEKQ Cube should appear as PCIe x4 root port linked through TB3 back to the host, but there should be no USB 3.x host controller, especially since NVMe M.2 SSDs don't talk USB protocol. The yellow bang appears to be a spurious USB device appearing then disappearing during the hot-plug, and Windows reports a device status of "not present". I suspect that a deeper investigation of this issue should help determine whether this misbehavior is on the host-side TB3 controller or the device-side TB3 controller.
I've been testing with TB3 driver 188.8.131.520 which still appears to be the latest, and the TB3 firmware on the 3 NUC models are also up to date. I'd be happy to test newer TB3 driver and/or firmware against this hot-plug issue.
Lastly, I discovered that the TEKQ Rapide NVMe SSD (240GB, 480GB, 960GB) and the TEKQ Cube NVMe SSD TB3 enclosure use the exact same circuit board inside, so the TEKQ Rapide should be usable to replace TEKQ Cube + NVMe SSD for testing purposes. I do not have a TEKQ Rapide SSD nor do I plan on getting one. I also won't buy another TEKQ Cube enclosure at least until this hot-plug issue comes to some kind of closure.
An updated test table is attached.
I work with Ronny and have been the one doing most of the testing on this issue. I want to apologize. I did not test this issue thoroughly enough before Ronny posted last week.
The good/bad news, I was able to see the issue, kind of. Also, we got the TEKQ so now I've tested 3 enclosures and they all act the same way.
Here's what I found:
You are correct. In the BIOS, if you set Thunderbolt Security Level to Legacy, you are not able to hot-plug any of the enclosures.
However, if you set it to the default setting, Unique ID, I am able to hot-plug all 3 enclosures without issue.
First, I will have the BIOS/engineering team look at the legacy issue to see what's going on.
Second, does Unique ID work for you? If so, is there a reason you can't use it? Just curious. :)
Lastly, whether the driver is DCH or not doesn't matter, at least if you're using Unique ID.
As soon as I have anything on Legacy either Ronny or myself will post it here.