Solved! X1 Carbon 5th Gen SSD Failure. Can't Afford to Have it Fail.

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Dec 2, 2019
I have an emergency case where I think my SSD is about to fail and I can't afford to lose my data. I have a lot of data that I didn't back up and I just can't lose. I need your help.

My machine: X1 Carbon 5th Gen with Win10 Pro, 7th Gen Core i7, 16GB memory, 512GB SSD.

Current Problem: Can't login into my Windows 10 Pro. All restore remedies were tried and failed. Can't reset the computer (with or without Keep Your Files option), can't perform system restore (multiple restore points), can't get Windows to start on safe mode. If I let Windows boot, it would load then take me to the screen where you swipe your fingerprint or click anywhere to load the login screen. When I click, it takes ages freezing on a fading screen with the fan blasting at max speed and the wifi not available. If I leave it for 10-15 minutes, it would load my name and allow me to enter my pin code. When I enter the pin code (whether the correct one or otherwise), it takes 10 minutes to return to the login screen without telling me anything (like the pin code is incorrect). When I click I Forgot My Password link, a message pops up saying something to the effect of "Can't load user profile" then it shuts down by itself.

How it started:
I was working then all of a sudden I hear the usual noise that comes with installing Windows updates. Then the screen froze on me. I let it do its thing for 10 minutes but it won't unfreeze so I forced the laptop to shutdown. Started it again and that's when all it happened.

What I tried (after entering my BitLocker recovery code every time):
  1. System Restore: I tried multiple recent and old restore points. All would fail and give me the same error.
  2. System Reset: Tried resetting the system with and without the Keep Your Files option. It failed immediately.
  3. Safe Mode: Tried to start Windows on safe mode. Couldn't get past the first screen where it gives me a restart button where it's supposed to redirect me to the screen where I choose the safe mode options list. It just restarts and goes straight to loading Windows without giving me the safe mode options.
  4. Startup Repair: Performed a startup repair but it failed immediately giving me a message stating "Startup Repair couldn't repair your PC" "Press Advanced Options to try other options to repair your PC or Shut down to turn off your PC" "Log file: C:\Windows\System32\Logfiles\Srt\SrtTrail.txt"
  5. Uninstall Updates: Tried both the Uninstall Latest Quality Update and the Uninstall Latest Feature Update options. Both failed.
  6. Command Prompt: Tried Chkdsk, SFC and both failed citing disk write protection issue. Tried the bootrec commands (fixmbr, fixboot, scanos, RebuildBcd) and all failed citing the same write protection issue. I was able to see and copy some of my data using the command prompt though. However, the xcopy command would quit mid operation stating a unavailable file path error which made me fear losing my data.
I did perform hardware diagnosis test using Lenovo tool and it gave me the following issues:
Device Read Test: Failed
NVMe Controller Status Test: Passed
NVMe SMART Temperature Test: Passed
NVMe SMART Spare Space Test: Warning
NVMe SMART Reliability Test: Passed
Result Code: UHD00F2000020-U07XWE

Other hardware diagnosis tests yielded no problems. Could these error messages be a result of Windows going crazy and not an actual physical failure in the SSD hardware? In other words, if I fix Windows, will these error messages go away?

What other options do I have to fix my PC without losing my data? My priority now is to preserve my data. Are these symptoms of a failing hard drive? What steps should I take? I'm not that tech savvy so be gentle on me for my ignorance.
Dec 2, 2019
Sounds like you can still read drive. I would purchase one of these and connect to another computer with enough storage available, save what you can. Then put it back / replace and get it to boot. I've had good luck saving data from platter drives this way, all my SSD's just bricked.
In case someone finds themselves in a similar problem, here is what happened: I took it to a professional tech just to be on the safe side in terms of preserving my files. He looked at it and we went through all the solutions I tried. He was positive it was an imminent hardware failure and that I needed to take advantage of our ability to copy as much of my data as I could before the hard drive dies completely.

He went to the Startup Repair screen before Windows loads, clicked on Command Prompt and entered my BitLocker recovery code. Used xcopy to copy as much of my data as he could to an external hard drive (about 45GB of 50GB). Many files gave errors while copying (something to do with file path couldn't be found). Anyway I was extremely relieved to have recovered at least the most important files.

Then he removed the dying Intel SSD and installed a new Corsair one and installed Windows using USB media. He mounted the dying SSD on a desktop and tried to retrieve the rest of my files but he couldn't. Windows on the host PC asked for my Bitlocker recovery code and he entered it. He was able to access all the files on the drive but not the folders under the Users folder (Windows gave an error message stating that the files were protected). Anyway lesson learned: Never use BitLocker unless it's someone else's problem to worry about if it goes wrong.
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