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WD SN850X NVMe SSD that beat Samsung, Seagate, and Hynix is BSODing and freezing Windows 11

A modified red Windows 11 logo indicating a known issue

A few days ago, an interesting performance report was published by PCPartPicker which showed massive slowdown, by upto 53%, in speeds of NVMe on some of the most popular SSDs from the biggest brands like Samsung, Seagate, Crucial, SK hynix, and Kingston. While the test may or may not have been fully conclusive, it was interesting to see that only the WD_BLACK SN850X managed to easily best the rest as it exhibited only a 7% slowdown. And although that was a sweet victory for the SN850X, there are widespread online reports that the 850X is having issues mainly on Windows 11 version 22H2.

According to these reports, users are facing blue screen of death (BSOD) or system freezes and restarts with the error "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\RaidPort" message on their WD_BLACK SN850X SSDs. Some believe it is the default Windows NVMe driver that could be causing the problem as people who have forced-installed Micron drivers on their SSDs claim the issue has been resolved. Here's what user dhnguyen writes on the WD community thread discussing the problem:

I reported this problem more than 1 month ago, the response is that the issue has been known, a new firmware will be released to fix, but no ETA. I fixed it myself by force installing another NVME driver instead of default Windows one.
I’m using this one:
64bit Micron NVMe driver v2.1.19.0 WHQL
The error code is gone and no crashes at all.

Western Digital (WD) is seemingly aware of the problem and a firmware is in the works. Reddit user reddimus_prime says that WD responded with the following response to their support request:

We are aware of the issue and have a planned firmware release soon to address it. The error is not a fatal flaw and does not affect the drive or performance/computer other than adding messages to the event viewer.

No exact ETA but a firmware will be released though Western Digital Dashboard soon.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Sincerely, Brandon G Western Digital Customer Service and Support

Firmware information and other related details related to your WD SSD can be found on the Western Digital Dashboard. The company recommends backing your data when conducting a firmware update just in case.

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