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Community Manager
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Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD hangs/freezes in Windows 7

About a week ago, I bought Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 80GB SATA II MLC from NewEgg.com.

I plugged in the new SSD as my main (OS) drive (all my specs are in my sig.) and started installing Windows 7. During install I split the drive into 2 partitions: 20GB for win7 & the rest. On the first attempt win7 install froze at "completing installation" stage, iirc. As it was only my 2nd attempt to install windows 7, and first attempt to install it on the desktop pc, I waited for it to "unfreeze" or continue for ~30 min. Finally I gave up and had to push the reset button. I did my first windows 7 install that very same day on my Acer AO751h netbook and it went smoothly and pretty **** fast (and is still working perfectly).

On the second attempt I was able to install windows 7 successfully. I deleted partitions during second install and recreated/formatted only 1 partition 20GB for win7. The 2nd partition I created/formatted already in windows 7. Just after installation, on my first log in to windows 7, I installed Acronis True Image Home 2009 and tried to create an image of my fresh win7 OS partition. That is something I always do, I like having last fresh windows install image for quick "fresh restore", especially in this case, as I knew there are numerous tweaks to be made, to optimize SSD drive usage. Creating the image failed, as True Image software froze and shortly after-wards windows completely froze as well. At that point I had 5 Seagate 1.5TB (ST31500341AS) drives connected to my pc. Knowing the story behind those drives and from my own experience (from the 17 Seagate 1,5TB drives I had, 2 developed freezing/hanging problems), I obviously suspected the problem was one of them. I disconnected all drives, but Intel's SSD and tried to make partition image again. I probably tried 5-6 times and all attempts failed. By now I wasn't sure, maybe True Image was not working properly on windows 7, so I gave up on making image. I used windows 7 for a couple of days, applied tweaks for SSD, like moving paging file, temp files, disabling system restore, hibernation, indexing, superfetch, defrag, firefox memory cache, etc. Windows 7 was flying, I was ecstatic seeing the performance of windows. Though time from time, windows would just freeze up and nothing helped, but the reset button.

I started googling for solutions. All I could find, that maybe Intel SSDs have trouble with nForce chipsets (ironically, neweeg product review that was posted just yesterday put me on this track).

The questions I would like to ask:

What software should I use to diagnose this SSD? I could not find any tools on Intels site, and googling for SSD diagnostic tools gave me nothing.

Is the incompatibility of nForce chipset an Intel SSD the main and only reason for these hangs and freezes? Does the new G2 drives have this problem as well? If it is, I need to think about returning this drive.

Any other ideas/solutions?

I'd be very disappointed to return it, after experiencing the performance boost it delivered, when it was working

Thanks in advance.

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Please post your S.M.A.R.T. data

You can use speedfan online service or anything you want (speedfan http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php Open SMART tab, select drive and press "perform an in-depth online..." and post link given under "The link to get back and see a new report about this hard disk in the future is http://www.hddstatus.com/hdrepshowreport.php?ReportCode=3920166&ReportVerification=C6D4E975 this." in opened http://www.hddstatus.com/hdrepanalysis.php http://www.hddstatus.com/hdrepanalysis.php ) .

Message was edited by: w00thisButtonDo

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I have the exact same drive as you also running on nForce and I have the same problems. Sometimes it will run for 5 minutes, sometimes it will run for 45 minutes but all the sudden it will just freeze...even the mouse. I upgraded the firmware last night but it didn't make a difference and I tried using the nForce drivers for my mobo and the ones from nVidia and nothing seems to work.

I am using Windows 7 x64 (RTM) and haven't tried x32 but I don't have this problem with the X25-E.

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I have this exact same problem.

I couldn't get vista 32 to even install on the drive. It would hang or crash during install every time. So I did a fresh vista install on WD Caviar Black 1TB drive (on a 50gig partition of that drive) anthen patched it all up and cloned the fresh install to the SSD to get it up and running. It worked fine for a while and then would randomly freeze the entire system.I tried multiple fixes and couldn't get any of them to work so I reformatted and installed windows 7 instead.

The Windows 7 install worked flawlessly (and very quickly) and the drive got up and running just fine. At this point, however, it began behaving in the same way the others in this thread report. It freezes at random intervals, occasionally it will run for an hour before freezing the entire system (can't move the mouse, can't ctrl+alt+del, nothing. Have to hit the power switch) but most often it runs for between 5 and 25 minutes.

Any help would be awesome because I'm pretty close to RMAing it.

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RMA it ASAP. There is no simple way to fix it.

But please post your S.M.A.R.T. data too before RMA

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Does anyone else have any more information on this problem or advice about how to deal with it?

The last reply seems to imply its a known issue, is this true? If so is there somewhere I can get more information? I assume if I'm being told to RMA then its faulty hardware, is there any more info out there?

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I am hoping that this is just a problem that new firmware will fix but right now it does indeed seem like the drives are incompatible. Nonetheless, we have some G2 drives on order and I will be testing Windows 7 again once those arrive.

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It's looks like faulty hardware or compatibility problem, that's why I asked your S.M.A.R.T. data - does it show something wrong with drive or not. If it is compatibility problem and you returning it to Intel, I hope intel replaces it with g2 drive.

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Magellan, did you have any luck with the Generation 2 drives? I contacted Intel about the issue and they ask me to RMA the drive even though I told them I couldn't find fault with the hardware.

The new G1 drive just arrived and its doing the same **** thing. I'm about to RMA this one to the Retailer and I need to decide if I want to request a refund or a G2 drive in exchange. Any update you could give me on your experience would be appreciated.

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Yes, I installed it yesterday and so far so good. I did have one lock up but I think it was because of the Video driver (I had beyond TV up). The nVidia driver for Windows 7 x64 is a bit unstable for the 7900GTX card so I removed it and I am using the standard Windows driver for nVidia (which works great). Even when it locked up, it wasn't the same as before with the other drive, this time none of the icons would respond but I still had control over the mouse and keyboard.

The drive I am using is SSDSA2MH080G2C1 and I am definitly keeping my fingers crossed. I wanted to wait a couple of days before I re-posted just to make sure. If something changes I will let you know.

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I am having this issue as well. I have the Gigabyte P35-DS3R motherboard using the drive in AHCI mode. My machine would freeze every time I would resume from S3 sleep. It was a kinda weird freeze though. Applications were still running, mouse was still moving, and the gui was generally responsive, until I tried to dive deeper into anything, as if it hung while accessing the drive. At first I thought it was my overclock, so I reset that, no dice. It now will freeze even when I'm not resuming. I'll hop into Aion and be playing for random amounts of time when it'll happen. The game will freeze up, then come back again, then ultimately freeze up until it BSOD's. At BIOS post after the BSOD, I'll get a SMART command failure on the Intel X25-M line of the SATA detection screen. It won't go away until I actually shut the machine down and turn it back on.

Last point, when it starts to freeze, the hdd activity light is on solid.

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Folks,

Just a suggestion, but Windows 7 is supposed to have support for the SSD related "trim" command built into it. I read somewhere that the X25-M SSDs were currently not capable of supporting this function, until some sort of firmware update comes out (down the line a bit). The issues that are being experienced with these drives "might" be related to this. Windows 7 somehow thinking that the Intel SSD has support for the command built in and working. It's supposed to be a background process that marks certain parts of the SSD for re-use. As a background process, it would kick in at different times... kinda like indexing etc.

Just an thought.....

Scientia

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I don't think that is an issue. Windows would only implement trim on drives that had hardware calls that would reply back acknowledging their support for trim. Windows doesn't just have a list of names of drives and when it sees the intel drive installed, ASSUMES that it must then have trim. Especially since, until Intel tells them otherwise, their drives do NOT currently support trim. The fact that they've stated there will be a firmware update available wouldn't mean somehow Microsoft read that press release and hardcoded Windows 7 to force trim on those drives.

More importantly, that theory wouldn't explain the symptoms. I believe it's a compatibility issue between the AHCI driver (potentially the ncq portion) and the drive. There's also the possibilty that Windows 7 is part of the compatibility problem, but it's unlikely; your driver should be the complete solution for a specific version of hardware to run on a given OS. There's also the possibility that there's issues with specific hardware revisions of the SATA controller that can't be remedied with an updated driver.

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Hi, we have the same problem. We have recently built 2 machines exactly the same spec except the graphics cards.

Motherboard Gigabyte P55M-UD2

Proccessor i7 Quad core

Ram 4 GB

HDD Intel X25-M Mainstream 80GB SSD

Graphics card Machine One is a Radeon HD4670 1024MB DDr3,

Machine Two is a ASUS EAH 3650 246MB DDr3

Machine one has windows 7 on and his completly ok and stable.

Machine two however is far from it, loaded windows 7 on once and it failed to allow any windows updates, so thinking it was only a quick install i installed it again, this froze at the gathering updates stage, went to run setup again but it would not boot, so turned of AHCI and reisntalled windows all seemed ok reloaded again with ahci turned on and it was completly unstable, blue screened every 5 minutes with a page file error, reloaded once more and all seems ok accept now it crashes and freezes at random intervals and i am no clsoer to fixing it, does anyone have any ideas ?

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Someone reported a problem using driver in Windows 7 that was fixed using the Intel driver.So those of you experiencing issues might want to update your AHCI driver from Intel. Give it a try and report here.

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That was the first thing I did when it didn't work. Sorry, the driver didn't help.

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I had the same problem when I had a pair of X25-E's attached via Raid 0 to my ASUS P5E3 Premium motherboard running Vista Ultimate. After over a week of investigation I came the the conclusion that the Intel ICH9/ICH10R chipset could not handle the load so I went out and purchased a RocketRaid stand-alone card and was very happy when the problem went away. A friend then referred me to the following thread. It is a very long thread BUT it basically proves that there is something wrong with the Intel Matrix Driver version 8.9. To cut a long story short, all I had to do was move back to the previous revision of the driver and the problem went away. Windows 7 ships with version 8.9. I don't know how to wind it back to 8.8 on Windows 7. The reason I suspect that you are all suffering the same fault is that the failure you are describing is consistent ie freeze on one application and then degradation until everything freezes. If you check your event logs you will find the error in there. (Check through the thread to see the full details). I am aware that most of you aren't Raid users but when I tried an X25-E without Raid I found the same problem. Let's face it, with a high performing SSD you are certainly stressing any controller.

If you have the time, read through the thread and you will notice the common theme.

Whichever way you look at it, Intel has a problem!

/thread/5036?start=120&tstart=0 http://communities.intel.com/thread/5036?start=120&tstart=0

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Hi folks,

 

I think I'm having the same problem and would like to ask if this issue confined to Windows 7, as I am running Vista x64 Ultimate.

I'm using an Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1C 80GB SATA II MLC connected to a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P (Intel® P45 + ICH10R Chipset). The drive is connected to the onboard Gigabyte RAID mode (but running as a native SATA drive). I am NOT running it in AHCI mode. Drive has been updated to latest firmware revision

Previously I had been using a pair of WD RaptorX 150GB drives in RAID on the system and it worked flawlessly.

The system occasionally hangs and then resets itself, usually without any warning (occasionally I'll get a BSOD complaining about NTFS). I have even had it reset during HDD detection in the BIOS once. Occasionally applications will become unresponse for 10-15 seconds and the hard disk light will go solid. There does not seem to be any specific action that is causing the system to hang.

I've run memtest x86 and it found no problems.

I would consider myself a power user and usually have a couple of virtual machines running XP, so the SSD has been used moderately over the 2 months it has been installed.

Also, do we have any info if the G2 revision fixes this kind of issue?

Thanks in advance.

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I do not want to patronize anybody giving some help is the purpose, I'm seeing a lot of complaints about SSD's in raid configurations and even a one SSD installation; malfunction blamed on the drives regardless Intel or other brands.

Most users are not familiar installing SSD's, installation is a bit different bios settings are different, raid connections are different than with regular HDD's, for example raid using sata port 0 and 2 or 1 and 3 or 4 etc will work with HDD's not with SSD's connect to 0 and 1 works great update your Mobo with the latest bios before you start, check your SSD (s) for the latest firmware etc. In 99% of the cases there is no problem with the drives. Problems are related to incorrect configuration or installation. A fact though: Intel's manuals and help files are not the best. SSD technology is still very new. I believe Intel has done a great job; their SSD's are amongst the best.

Installed about 400 Intel SSD's in our data center, different kinds of raid plus additional ones in workstations & desktops, still have to encounter the first malfunction.

So friends before you start installing your SSD (s) get your ducks in a row and everything will work fine.

Hope this helps,

Roland

My system in raid 0

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I'm one of the one's having problems. If you also look at this thread: http://communities.intel.com/thread/5036?start=0&tstart=0 you'll see this is wide-spread. I don't post until I tried everything out myself. I've tried every sata jack, even though it SHOULDN'T make a difference. I've tried AHCI and legacy mode; legacy mode works, but is slow. I checked firmware and drivers. I have no raid configuration to worry about and it still hiccups, freezing the whole system in the same way as others. That's the part that is making us band together, it's a similar issue with consistent symptom patterns among all of us. It's not my fault and I have my ducks in a row. I worked as an engineer at Micron on the memory they made these new SSDs with. With all due respect, which isn't much, I doubt that all the people on here are all simultaneously at fault and the answer is that we all deserve a stupid award. Some people without your luck have put quite a bit of time into this and to have someone who doesn't have this problem come in and say it'll work if you just do it right and then continue on to post how great your numbers are is a bit pretentious or, as you already claimed, patronizing. And to say that SSDs are different and only work in certain sata channels is just plain wrong. The bios settings affect sata drives the same because you're only dealing with configuration settings with the sata interface which is one layer abstracted from the actual media itself. The only thing that matters is that you plug the drives to be raided into ports that are all connected to the same raid controller. I would care less about your cavalier attitude if I hadn't spent so much time on this and seen so many others with the same unique failure pattern. I'm happy yours works and you have such high numbers though.

On a side note, I was able to recover once from the dreaded pauses and inevitable lockup by quickly unplugging and re-plugging in the sata cable connector while it was trying to die. And NO, it wasn't a bad connector or not pushed in all the way. The system started to hang, the activity light came on solid while not doing anything and then lost response from the system except for the mouse and apps that were already open and not needing to access the hard drive. I quickly unplugged, plugged back in and it came right back. I haven't tried since. I had the idea after reading about timeout issues with the drives causing similar symptoms.

At least Intel is appearing to hear us as they've set up a slew of test machines to track this down, specifically those with ICH9/ICH10 sata controllers with the 8.9 driver. Again, see linked thread above for status.

Don't know if I've mentioned this before, but mine's a G2 drive.

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