@BluishHumility dude, THANK YOU. Sorry for the long delay. This issue has had me ripping my hair out and as such, also making many concessions that I normally wouldn't. Actually thought I had responded to this a few days ago, but apparently I never hit submit/reply on this novel length response, which full disclosure has only increased in length since.
I will (try to) post the content of the error messages I receive when trying to update via chroot as you requested/suggested, however, I may not be able to as a new development seems to be that the install that was on my NVMe drive suddenly became lost for a lack of a better way to explain it. Essentially it no longer knew what and where its mount points were. Note that while this was the case I confirmed that the content/data was all still there ...
Fast forward a day or so and suddenly I see my NVMe drive is mounted so I think, "Yay! The "lost mount points" issue seems to have corrected itself," which wouldn't have been all that surprising seeing a s how each time I would boot into the live environment, the status and location of the content/ data associated with the borked install seemed to bounce all over the place. However, on this occasion, what I came to find was that inexplicably the content of my regular SATAIII 2.5" SSD had made it's way onto the NVMe drive, seemingly doing so at the expense of all of the content that had been previously stored there.
I'm quite literally at a loss for how exactly this might have happened. The only thing I've done at all recently with that SATA 3 SSD was try to perform a fresh install over the old Garuda install that was on it and no longer needed. However this attempt failed,I believe while trying to incorporate (an already shared) grub/boot partition. There were several devices capable of booting that were sharing the NVMe drive's boot partition and there was never any issue. For that install attempt I didn't end up trying to get fancy with a manual partitioning scheme on the NVMe, electing to instead just do a "from scratch" install, i.e., erasing/formatting the entire (SATAIII SSD) disk.
The strange thing here is that while I can't access any of the data that was previously on the NVMe drive, the numbers or rather the USED% / FREE% of the drive's 500GiB leads me to believe that there may be hope yet. Though, I'm not holding my breathe and odds are looking pretty bleak
As you could probably guess, at this point I was thoroughly frustrated and fed up so in the interest of just having an install that I could boot to that was not a live environment and would persist, I performed an installation onto a 512 GB USB 3.2 flash drive. In retrospect, I should have just attempted the install in the SATAIII SSD again only creating a separate boot partition on the device rather than attempting to share the previously used GRUB, but this was to be a very temporary solution as it just so happened that while all of this was going down I had a new 2 terabyte NVMe Samsung 970 Evo Plus on its way to me, which has since arrived and is just waiting to be put to work.
I've had TAILS and other similar lightweight OS's installed on a flash drive in the past, in some cases even using ⁵ a USB 2.0 drive but Garuda is not exactly "lightweight." For this reason, I take responsibility for any performance issues that arose for no reason other than the fact that the OS was installed to a flash drive. However, despite this recognition, my tolerance for just about any issue is very low at present and in light of everything else, I'm well into the red and ready to blow a gasket (to be fair, running Garuda off of this particular flash drive has actually worked better than I had anticipated and in a lot of ways is indistinguishable from running off of a more appropriate, installed storage medium, but there were still too many hangs and random stutters to be comfortable with and combined with current frustration levels with my machine, which has basically turned me into a powder keg) and as such, I think it's probably in my own personal and in the best interest of my computers that as soon as I hit reply/submit on this post, I'm going to install the newly acquired 2TB NVMe. My machine only has room for one NVMe drive (being a 4" x 4" HTPC and all) but I have an old Intel NUC that, until recently I had been using as a LibreELEC / OpenELEC / CoreELEC box (which was running off of a 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive ) so I'll be able to continue troubleshooting the problem drive from there.
I know there's a lot to digest here but my biggest concern/question now at this point - do you think there's any hope that the data that was present on the troubled NVMe might still exist somewhere and more importantly, be retrievable? I need to perform a fresh install on this new drive anyway, so fixing the original/broken install (if even possible) is no longer a priority but there were a few folders in particular that I have backed up but foolishly didn't update the backup copies that I have hosted off-device
Thanks a million for any help or insight you're able to provide! I'll see if it's still possible to chroot into the offending install to provide the pacman/Chaotic-AUR errors I was receiving, though if chroot is possible that would suggest that my concern regarding the data should be put to rest.