*** The Official 2019 MSI GS65 Stealth with RTX GPUs Owners and Discussions Lounge ***

Discussion in 'MSI Reviews & Owners' Lounges' started by JRey, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. allquixotic

    allquixotic Newbie

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    Hey guys,

    First post here ... I have a MSI GS65 Stealth-666 (i9-9980H / 240 Hz display) that I’ve been using for about 40 days. Since the day I got it, I’ve frequently tried to use it with an eGPU: a Sonnet Breakaway Box 650 and an RTX 2080 Ti.

    When connected to the eGPU, I got fairly frequent whole system hard-locks. The mouse cursor and keyboard would completely freeze up, the screen would stop refreshing, and sound playback would permanently stutter on whatever was in the sound buffer. This would happen between once and four or five times per day.

    I started trying to troubleshoot this freeze by updating drivers (motherboard, Nvidia, Thunderbolt 3), by changing the physical Thunderbolt 3 cable connecting the laptop to the eGPU, updating the BIOS and EC... to no avail.

    My next troubleshooting steps were to use Right Ctrl + Right Shift + Left Alt + F2 in the BIOS to look at the Thunderbolt controller settings under the hood. I tried experimenting with a few option settings, and then when I rebooted, the Thunderbolt controller stopped responding.

    At this point, my Thunderbolt/USB-C port is completely dead in all possible ways. USB devices do not recognize. Thunderbolt 3 devices do not recognize, whether cold or hot-plugged. In the BIOS, it says the Thunderbolt security status is “Unknow status” (typo is intentional), and it doesn’t change when I set the security between “None” and “User authorization”.

    I’ve tried all kinds of things to restore Thunderbolt to working again:

    • Reset the BIOS by holding in the power button for 60 seconds with AC power disconnected.
    • “Load Optimal Defaults” in the BIOS.
    • Re-flashed the latest BIOS update from the MSI website.
    • Re-flashed the latest EC update from the MSI website.
    • Tried 3 different versions of Thunderbolt 3 drivers in Windows 10 v1903.
    • Booted into an Ubuntu 19.04 Live USB environment and checked if Thunderbolt devices (or USB devices plugged in via the USB-C port) were recognized there. They weren’t, despite verifying that the right drivers and kernel modules were loaded. I was unable to “force on” the Thunderbolt controller using WMI, either.
    • Looked for a Thunderbolt firmware update on the MSI site, but they don’t seem to have one for my laptop at all (not even the “original”). I’ve never tried flashing the Thunderbolt NVM (firmware) before, by the way.
    I’ve ruled out software by trying two different operating systems. I’ve ruled out the system BIOS. I’ve ruled out hardware by trying different USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 devices with different cables, including an external SSD and two different eGPUs with two different eGPU enclosures. I’m 100% sure that the problem is the Thunderbolt 3 controller not recognizing.

    The Thunderbolt settings in the BIOS are set to defaults now because I reset the BIOS, so it’s not due to my customizations (unless an earlier customization somehow broke the Thunderbolt controller or its firmware).

    When I try to change the “Windows 10 Thunderbolt” setting in the BIOS, it gives me a prompt that suggests the BIOS needs to communicate with the Thunderbolt controller to store a setting, but it immediately fails and says host could not be reached — like the Thunderbolt controller is not responding to the host system.

    Is there any way to force it to reset back to defaults, or can anyone provide me a way to forcibly flash the latest Thunderbolt firmware? If not, is my only option to RMA the unit and wait weeks for it to ship back and forth from City of Industry (on the exact opposite side of the country from where I live)?

    The rest of the system functions fine, but I’m not going to continue to use a $4899 laptop (I paid for several expensive RAM and SSD upgrades from a system integrator) with a broken port when I have a top-of-the-line eGPU that I want to use for higher performance.

    Also, anyone else having issues with Thunderbolt 3 eGPU stability, or is that just me? Could be the TB3 controller was bad on arrival...
     
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  2. Kevin@GenTechPC

    Kevin@GenTechPC Company Representative

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    It's hard to tell what was changed in the Thunderbolt options under the BIOS and many times one of these options can upset the controllers.
    I would first try resetting the settings back to defaults if you can find out what the default options were.
    Also, have you checked with MSI Tech Support to possibly obtain the TB firmware and try updating it?
     
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  3. allquixotic

    allquixotic Newbie

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    I remember what the defaults were, so I set them all back to defaults. But I actually did an experiment to determine if the options were “host-side” (stored in the UEFI BIOS settings) or “NVM-side” (stored in the Thunderbolt controller) — I changed the settings to mostly their opposite values, wrote them down, then flashed the latest system BIOS, which wiped out all of my BIOS settings... When I did this, all of the Thunderbolt settings reverted to their out-of-the-box defaults. That means all the settings available in the BIOS are host-side, with the exception of the “Windows 10 Thunderbolt Support” option that is either Enabled, Enabled + RTD3, or Disabled... this one seems to try to program the Thunderbolt NVM (and fails). It defaults to “Enabled” out of the box no matter what it was set to before the BIOS flash, but I assume that’s just the host side default if it can’t communicate with the TB3 chip.

    I have a web ticket open with MSI to get the original firmware, but I’m not hopeful of being able to actually flash the firmware, because the method of forcibly applying power to the TB3 controller under Linux, that seems to work for everyone else to make the Linux Thunderbolt drivers recognize the controller, didn’t work for me.

    For further debugging: I know it’s not the Thunderbolt 3 *port* in the machine itself that’s damaged, because when I plug in the TB3 cable from my eGPU enclosure, the eGPU’s power supply’s relay clicks on, and the GPU’s fans start to spin. So the eGPU is aware that it’s connected to a valid port, electrically, but the controller it’s talking to is “braindead”.

    BTW, the system's full part number is GS65 Stealth 9SG-666US-BB9988H32GXXDX10PH.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  4. allquixotic

    allquixotic Newbie

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    Does MSI just submit form replies to everything? It's like they didn't even read my request. Wow.

    Thanks, MSI, for confirming that I should've bought a Razer or stuck with Apple.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kevin@GenTechPC

    Kevin@GenTechPC Company Representative

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    Try calling them directly.
     
  6. eurodj101

    eurodj101 Notebook Consultant

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    So i got my GS65 today..its the BB 240hz/2060/32gb/512gb one..do the tweaks in the 8750h guide apply to the 9750h?
     
  7. seanwee

    seanwee Notebook Evangelist

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    I posted a short optimisation guide here recently. Try going back a few pages.
     
  8. eurodj101

    eurodj101 Notebook Consultant

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  9. eurodj101

    eurodj101 Notebook Consultant

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    Do u guys limit the turbo multiplier in TS?
     
  10. seanwee

    seanwee Notebook Evangelist

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    Limiting clock speed is for the weak :p
     
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