Thunderbolt NVMe SSDs are causing problems in Windows 10

Windows 10 desktop background

If you're running Windows 10 version 20H2 or Windows 10 version 2004, you may well be experiencing problems if you're using a Thunderbolt NVMe SSD. There are also update compatibility holds in place for people trying to upgrade to these versions of Windows 10.

Microsoft has acknowledged an issue that causes such Solid State Disks to generate blue screens in recent versions of Windows 10. People affected by the issue will see an error that reads "DRIVER_VERIFIER_DMA_VIOLATION (e6) An illegal DMA operation was attempted by a driver being verified"; Microsoft says a fix is being worked on.

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Microsoft has provided little information about exactly what is going wrong, but the company does say: "If you are trying to update to or install Windows 10, version 2004 or Windows 10, version 20H2, you might encounter an update compatibility hold and receive the message, " Your PC has hardware that isn't ready for this version of Windows 10. Windows Update will automatically offer you this version of Windows 10 once the issue has been resolved".

On its support pages, Microsoft says:

An incompatibility issue has been found with Windows 10, version 2004 or Windows 10, version 20H2 when using an Thunderbolt NVMe Solid State Disk (SSD). On affected devices, when plugging in a Thunderbolt NVMe SSD you might receive a stop error with a blue screen and "DRIVER_VERIFIER_DMA_VIOLATION (e6) An illegal DMA operation was attempted by a driver being verified." Affected Windows 10 devices will have at least one Thunderbolt port and any currently available version of the driver file stornvme.sys.

To safeguard your update experience, we have applied a compatibility hold on Windows 10 devices with affected drivers from being offered Windows 10, version 2004 or Windows 10, version 20H2. If your organization is using  Update Compliance , the safeguard IDs is 29991611.

The company goes on to say that a fix should be available later this month and advises against "manually [installing the] update using the Update now button or the Media Creation Tool until the safeguard is removed".

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