Nucleus+ sadness ("a problem with the hard drive has been detected" > SSD removed > NO nucleus+ found)

Roon Core Machine

Nucleus+ rev B

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Simple network with 6th gen Apple AirPort Extreme router.
Direct wired ethernet connection from router to Roon Nucleus+ and a direct wired ethernet connection from router to my Apple Mac Pro.

Connected Audio Devices

Lumin U1 streamer, with Roon Ready feature enabled, direct wired ethernet connection to the router and a AES/EBU digital audio out cabled to a Lampizator Baltic 3 DAC.

Number of Tracks in Library

Zero currently because my hard drive died and I don’t yet have a replacement to restore my music from my backup (thank goodness I have a non-Roon backup of all my music files).

Description of Issue

This week my roon nucleus+ went missing on my network. The Roon app on my computer cannot find my Roon core. And there is NO presences of the nucleus+ showing up on my network, as verified by the handy “IP Scanner Pro” app I use for such occasions.

So next I cabled up a monitor to my nucleus+'s HDMI port A and cabled up a usb keyboard to one of the nucleus+'s USB ports. However, the monitor showed nothing, even after a few presses of the shift key on the keyboard to ensure the nucleus+ was “awake”.

So I then decided to power cycle the nucleus+ by briefly pressing the power button. The nucleus+ then powered off.

Once powered off I waited a few moments before powering it on again.

After briefly pressing & releasing the power button the Nucleus+ started booting up. And during boot two different messages posted to the monitor I had connected.

The first of these messages said…

Press <CTRL + P> to Enter MEBX setup menu

Port 0 : INTEL SSDSA2CW600G3
S.M.A.R.T Status Bad, Backup and Replace.
Press F1 to Resume . . .

However, this message didn’t persist on the screen but only stayed there for a few moments and then another message appeared on the monitor saying…

The following are warnings that were detected during this boot.
These can be viewed in setup on the Event Log Page.
WARNING : A problem with the hard drive has been detected.

Like the first message, this message also did NOT persists, but only lasted for a few moments.

After this I’m not sure what the nucleus+ was doing because it never posted anything else to the screen and it also never showed up on the network. Even after I waited over an hour, still nothing on the display and nothing on the screen.

I next decided to power off the nucleus again by briefly pressing the power button.

After it was powered off, again, I setup my phone camera to record the screen output of the next boot. Once my camera was in place I started recording and then briefly pressed the power button. The nucleus+ powered on, started booting and posted the same message to the screen in the same order and then the screen went blank again while the nucleus+ stayed on. Then the computer monitor eventually went to sleep and no keystrokes would “wake it up”.

Next I decided to again power off the nucleus+ by briefly pressing the power button (the only method I had this whole time to power off the nucleus+ since it couldn’t be found on the network, which mean the web ui wasn’t available, and the roon app couldn’t ever find it).

After the nucleus+ was off, I disconnected the power, and removed the 2.5 inch Intel SATA SSD drive used for media (the drive that was bad according to the above mentioned error messages).

After removing the bad SSD and knowing the Nucleus+ could still boot and function without a media drive I power up the nucleus+ and waited to see what would happen. This time NOTHING ever posted to the HDMI connected monitor and the nucleus+ is still NOT seen on the network.

This is the current state of things and I don’t know what to do next. …any help would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!

I think port 0 would be your boot drive, not the drive you removed.

This is probably just a generic and misleading error message.

Let’s see what @support says.

I too would think port 0 would be the boot drive, however, the boot drive is a Kingston NMVe SSD and the media drive was an Intel 2.5 inch sata SSD.

So maybe the NVMe drives are enumerated separately from the SATA drives. And the boot drives is port 0 on the PCI bus. As opposed to port 0 on the SATA bus. :thinking::man_shrugging:

And thanks for @mentioning support. …was that something I should have done in my OP?

Not necessarily. Sometimes it speeds things up.

Don’t understand why, if it’s not the boot drive, that you are having problems booting up.

Good luck.

A quick search on Google confirms that the reported INTEL SSDSA2CW600G3 drive indeed is a 600 GB SATA SSD. So you are right to suppose that the error message refers not to the boot NBMe drive. Even so, it is perfectly possible that both drives went bad at the same time… I don’t own a Nucleus, but I also believe it should boot just fine even without the SATA drive.

I will reclassify your support request into the Support/Nucleus category. Good luck!

Please remove both SSD from Nucleus+, and then check whether you see anything from the HDMI.

Do you still have warranty for the Nucleus+?

Separately, assuming you have a PC, please connect the Intel SATA drive to the PC, install a free SMART Report tool from PassMark or Crystal, get the detailed SMART report (with raw values) for the Intel drive, and post the report (or send it to me). I’d like to manually confirm what the BIOS says about bad SMART status.

Ok, so I got a chance to remove the NVMe M.2 SSD and power on the Nucleus+ & this time I got to see, for the first time, the roon name appear in white on a black background.

Then the following appeared…

Intel(R) Boot Agent CL v0.1.10
Copyright (C) 1997-2013, Intel Corporation

CLIENT MAC ADDR: blah-blah-blah GUID: blah-blah-blah…blah

PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel Boot Agent.

Reboot and Select proper Boot device
or Insert Boot Media in selected boot device and press a key_

Additionally I downloaded “SMART Utility” app for MacOS and ran it with the Intel SSD connected to my Mac via a SATA to USB adapter. The Intel SSD didn’t show up in the SMART Utility tool. Hmm…

So I opened up the Disk Utility app in MacOS (native to MacOS) and saw the drive listed and mounted just fine. But when viewing details about the drive I see it says “S.M.A.R.T. status: Not Supported”. Interesting.

…and as for whether or not my Nucleus+ is still under warranty, how would I check? I looked and my email receipt shows I purchased it Jan 2022. So would it still be under warranty at this point?

I think that’s the case here, although they don’t need to go bad at the same time.

One could be slowly failing for some time (this is normal), and the other just failed completely suddenly (this is common).

You should still have warranty. In that case, you may send the Nucleus (with the m.2 boot SSD reinstalled) back to the dealer for RMA.

Alternatively, you may purchase the cheapest model of m.2 Samsung 970, install ROCK and make sure everything works, then request support to turn it back to Nucleus firmware by providing serial number and proof of purchase.

Two possibilities:

  • The SATA to USB adapter does not pass SMART status (this is very common)
  • Your Intel SSD, being a 2011 design, may not have reliable SMART status (less likely)

Anyway, if the Nucleus showed that your Intel SSD had a bad SMART status, and given it’s a 2011 design, that’s very likely to be true and needs to be replaced. See if you can retrieve music from it using a computer before it dies completely.


Six months and the M.2 failed?

For an M.2 to fail so fast means either it was a piece of junk to begin with or Nucleus sans fan doesn’t really address heating problems, in spite of its case design.

For comparison, I buy the cheapest M.2 available. I think the one in my desktop NUC is 256GB Adata brand which I bought for $40 (?) 3 years ago. I never turn the NUC off.

If you decide to replace the M.2 yourself, buy one that has heat mitigation built in or get some M.2 custom fins to do the job.

I purchased my Nucleus+ directly from and can’t find any way to engage roon labs support directly. All indication points to ONLY this forum being the place to get support.

On the one hand, I’d love to RMA the whole thing because this is not what I expected when I migrated from a 2014 Mac mini running roon core to Nucleus+. I migrated primarily so I’d have to do LESS troubleshooting. :face_with_raised_eyebrow::woozy_face: …yet on the other hand, I don’t want to give up until I know why things went sideways. :sweat_smile:

Interesting, that’s probably what’s happening then. Especially since I can’t get any of my drives connected via USB to report SMART status. I even threw the Kingston M.2 NVMe into an NVMe to USB adapter to see what I could see…

…and even this drive didn’t report any SMART status…

…of course my macOS couldn’t mount any of the partitions, but since this is the Nucleus+'s OS drive I don’t need any data off it anyway.

That’s a good point. There are no heat spreaders on this M.2 NVMe OS drive for the Nucleus+, let alone one with fins. And like any music server, I never shut it off, but leave it on 24/7/365 because it MUST be available to stream music to me on a moment’s notice at any time. :notes::metal: :sound:

As for next steps I’m interested in how I might install ROCK, and if so doing will void my warranty. And is ROCK the same or different from what runs on the Nucleus+ natively?

…and THANKS to everyone here who’s been offering helpful thoughts and suggestions! :raised_hands:

Not on a Nucleus. The Nucleus OS has specific code to moderate thermal temps. ROCK does not as it relies on the motherboard BIOS and case Fans.

Then you’ll have to contact support if you wish to send it back for RMA. I’m sure support will respond to you after the weekend / holiday.

Nucleus+ the hardware is a customized fanless turnkey offering from Roon Labs based on NUC7i7. Nucleus(+) the firmware is different from ROCK software in that the former has thermal management to work better in a fanless case, and has automation feature. ROCK does not have these features, but is free to install on NUC5 to NUC10 (but of course you need a Roon license for it to work).

No, you can send an, but support will get probably back to you on the forum after the long American holiday.

As others have pointed out, Nucleus OS is different from ROCK and one loses what benefits there are to Nucleus heat mitigation without the Nucleus OS.

Still, if a lousy M.2 is the root problem and you want to buy and install one yourself, Roon support has a way to make the Nucleus software available to you. Don’t know what a user purchased and installed M.2 would do to what’s left of your warranty, however.

Hello @the1010boy ,

Thank you for reaching out and for your patience here while we’ve caught up on queues following the 4th of July holiday.

If there is no HDMI output on the Nucleus, it is likely that there is a hardware error at play and unfortunately, the unit needs to be sent in for RMA to our service center to determine the exact fault.

It sounds like you purchased this unit earlier this year, so you are well within the 2-year warranty period, and we can certainly resolve this issue for you as a warranty repair case.

I will follow up via a private message here on the forum to gather purchase and shipping details, and then once these are collected, the rest of the process will be over email.

Please check for a green notification from me on the forum notifications center and let me know the requested purchase/shipping info there, thanks!

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