Stealth 2019 + Core V2 Success! | Razer Insider

Stealth 2019 + Core V2 Success!

  • 11 April 2019
  • 0 replies

TL;DR: I finally made it! I finally got my Core V2 to connect to my Blade Stealth 2019! Here's my adventure...

First, I got the Core V2 thinking it would be completely plug and play, first time out, no sweat, right? No such luck. I bought the Core V2 from Amazon, and received it in a snap. I also bought a Gigabyte GTX 1660 Ti (not in the approved list; but, what the heck, right?) to install into the rig.

My troubles started when I unboxed everything and assembled the unit in a snap. Plug in the Thunderbolt 3 cable, and a whole lot of nothing happened. The GPU fans did not spin up, and the chassis fans were so inaudible that I couldn't tell that they were spinning -- I figured out that they were in fact spinning much later in the process; but, to start, I was not very happy.

Thinking it was an unsupported GPU, and thinking it was my issue to resolve, I went to Best Buy to quickly grab another GPU with the idea I would return the GTX card as simply the wrong card. I opted for an AMD RX 580 at about the same price point. I rushed home to install the card; dice! I did hear the chassis fans this time; so, I knew that the Core detected my laptop at the very least.

Time to contact support! I opened a live chat session and spent a bunch of time trying to nail down whether or not the Core was the issue, or the GPU, or the cables, or the Synapse app, or get the point. At the end of the session -- which, I can say was a good experience despite not having a good outcome -- we agreed that I should submit for a return for a replacement item or opt for the Core X. Being that I had a specific reason to stick with the V2, I opted to get a direct replacement.

Fast forward to the replacement device. Guess what?! Same thing happens. At the end of the tech call, the best we could manage was the LED lights inside the Core glowing for about 10 seconds, then shutting off, and the GPU (GTX 1660) fans spinning at a low idle. No other signs of life in the device manager, no response from the Core USB ports, no nothing.

Top it all off with not very many reliable forum posts or other Internet research to be had, and I was about ready to throw in the towel. The few forum posts were similar to my situation, but not exact; so, I responded to a couple...a couple to vent, and a couple to have someone post if they got it all cleared up.

Out of desperation, and having had my Stealth for only a couple weeks, I thought: "what if this is a Windows driver/updates issue?" So, I factory reset my Stealth to systematically see where the fault might lie, and how to get this thing going in a last-ditch, hail-Mary effort. Now that you have the backstory, here is the step-by-step of how I got a Core V2 to play nice with a Blade Stealth 2019, both purchased in April of 2019...

1. Factory Restore: check. (painful, yes, but managed to eek out some success!)
2. Pre-installed Synapse App: login, update, verify connectivity with other Razer devices; check.
3. Connect Core V2: check; observe never-before seen window asking to allow a new Thunderbolt device to connect. *** Key point: this was a brand new thing that I hadn't seen in prior iterations; so, progress is made! ***
4. Accept Thunderbolt Connection: check; BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH -- "system_thread_exception_not_handled" for "ks.sys"
5. Check Synapse App for Updates: check; updates needed.
6. Connect Core V2: check. BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH (same as prior)
7. Check Windows Updates: check; update from 1803 to 1809 now available, performed update.
8. Check Windows Updates: check; subsequent 1809 updates needed, completed.
9. Apply Stealth EC Updater from Razer: check; recalled this was a thing in earlier troubleshooting, no update needed.
10. Connect Core V2: check; approved the Thunderbolt connection (as above). *** IT'S ALIVE!!! ***
11. Check Device Manager for Status: check; confirmed additional devices are now present but missing drivers.
12. Apply NVIDIA Update from Core V2 Support Site: check; app unable to continue (Wait. What?!)
13. Apply NVIDIA Driver Package from NVIDIA Site: check; installed software and ULTIMATELY SUCCEEDED.

So, it looks like the 13 (lucky) steps might be boiled down to a couple key troubleshooting and remediation efforts:

A) When you plug in your Core V2, does Windows ask you to approve the Thunderbolt device connection? If not: stop there. Something is amiss. I'm not sure what; but, that never happened in my original troubleshooting with Razer. So, I'm not sure how to fix that one. I imagine it's an important first step, though.

😎 Are you all up to date with Windows Updates? I found that you need to be on build 1809 and have every last update following the major release before you can go anywhere. I mean, you're keeping up to date anyway, right?

C) Have you used your Stealth since you got it? In my case, factory restore cleared out any software and/or driver conflicts that existed in my previous experience. So, if all else fails, there may be a hard decision to clean house and start fresh. Luckily, I was in a place where I could do that; but, not everyone can manage that level of starting over.

In the end, I'm happy that I got it up and running, and I hope this tale of struggle might help the community, as well as perhaps helping Razer see where the chain of events leads.

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