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idata
Community Manager
2,825 Views

X25-M Issues - 680i the culprit or just a bad drive?

To summarize my problem I'm getting random system hang/freeze lockups where (in some cases) part of the system is still responsive (can move mouse and taskbar will animate but nothing will start). Sometimes though, when attempting to reinstall an OS, the OS setup will hang/fail (happened on both 7 & Vista). It's even reandomly created an additional, system 100Gb partition out of nowhere and shows random errors on a scandisk check after one of these freezes. There's no rhyme or reason to it.

I imaged my wife's old drive to the new X25 and she is seeing the hanging described but it lasts a short period of time then the system becomes accessible again (typically).

So, not sure if it's the same issue or different, but I'm betting it's something related to the X25-M and its interactions with the 680i and/or NCQ/AHCI.

Also let me note that both systems worked flawlessly prior to the install of this drive, and if I switch back to the Raptor as primary on both they continue to work just fine, so the problem is related to the X25-M drive. So the question is how to fix it when it's causing hangs/crashes/lockups before I ever get windows installed in some cases? I don't want to return this to Intel for a refund so hopefully there is a known solution for this.

Thoughts?

Here are the specs of our two machines:

Box 1:

 

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 @ 3.2Ghz

 

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro w/AS

 

EVGA 680i SLI

 

Corsair XMS2 Dominator CAS4 DDR2 800

 

2x EVGA 8800 GTX SLI @ 600/950

 

Primary HD: Intel X25-M 160Gb FW: 8820

 

Secondary HD: WD Raptor 150Gb

 

Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatality

 

Lite-on 20X DVD/CD R/RW USB 2.0 Drive

 

Corsair 1000HX 1000W Power Supply

 

Logitech G9

 

Logitech G15

 

Sennheiser PC155

 

Samsung T260 & 225BW

 

Old Creative Labs 5.1 speaker system

Vista Ultimate x64

Box 2:

 

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 @ 3.2Ghz

 

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro w/AS

 

EVGA 680i SLI

 

Corsair XMS2 Dominator CAS4 DDR2 800

 

2x Zotac 8800 GT SLI

 

Primary HD: Intel X25-M 160Gb FW: 8820

 

Secondary HD: WD Raptor 150Gb

 

Lite-on 20X DVD/CD R/RW USB 2.0 Drive

 

OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W

 

Logitech G7

 

Logitech G15 Gaming

 

Sennheiser PC165

 

Samsung T260 & 226BW

Vista Ultimate x64

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9 Replies
idata
Community Manager
130 Views

Lots of views but no responses. No one has any ideas?

idata
Community Manager
130 Views

That's quite interesting since I'm experiencing exactly the same behavour with my brand new 160GB X-25M with an unibody MacBook Pro under MacOS. Everything is fine for hours and suddendly the disk stops responding. In some cases this will last for about 15 seconds and afterwards everything is fine again. What makes it really a problem is that these situations are repeating more and more frequently rendering the system unsusable.

Restarting does not really help. It takes time. Yesterday evening it was completely unusable. I powered it off over night. This morning everything is working great - probably not long...

idata
Community Manager
130 Views

Ok, I think I've discovered the issue here. For whatever reason some chipsets seem to struggle with this (and other) SSD's. Apparently Command Queuing (or NCQ) tends to be the culprit here. First I assume you have the latest chipset/IDE/SATA/etc. drivers installed as that should be step number one. After that in Windows Vista & 7 RC1 I was able to simply go into Device Manger --> IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers --> NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller --> Properties, for the controller that's running my SSD, then uncheck the "Enable command queuing" checkbox. After a reboot I no longer see th is problem. Now, to actually install Windows I was forced to copy the contents of the "sata_ide" portion of the IDE folder of the latest nForce drivers (just extract/install them on an existing PC to gain access to them, or goto nVidia's website as they have a walkthrough on the download page for the drivers in PDF form) to a floppy. Then during the windows install utilizing F6 I was able to piont to the disk and have Windows setup use them on the install. That seemed to get me by until Windows made its first boot which is when I was able to make the change above. I'm sure you could make the change automatic with a littler driver config/ini work.

Nevertheless I've had no problems since disabling command queuing so I highly recommend this as a solution to this issue, although it's obviously not an ideal one as you should be able to leave CQ enabled.

idata
Community Manager
130 Views

Ok, I contacted Intel support regarding my problem. The answer is posted below. For those who don't speak German, here is a rough summary:

Intel seems to be aware of certain problems regarding the compatibility between Intel SSDs and nVidia chipsets. However, they refuse any support with the note, that one could not guarantee compatibility with all chipsets. The staff member adviced me to contact Apple. Great idea.

>>

Sehr Geehrter Herr ...,

Vielen dank für Ihrer Rückgabe.

Leider sind wir nicht in der lage dieses problem zu unterstutzen.

Offensichtlich wird dieses problem verursacht durch inkompatibilität zwischen den Intel SSD und Ihr Macbook,

 

dieses problem wurde anscheinend nicht behoben durch ein neuer Firmware version.

Leider kann Intel nicht garantieren daß die Intel SSD's mit alle systemen oder Komponente von anderen Hersteller einwandfrei funktionieren.

 

So können Wir auch nicht garantieren daß komponente von anderen hersteler immer einwandfrei funktionieren mit Intel Motherboards.

Apple soll Sie informieren bezüglich Kompatibilät bezüglich dieses problems.

Wir bedauren Sie nicht anders informieren zu können.

Für weitere Fragen stehe ich Ihnen gerne zur Verfügung.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen

 

(...)
idata
Community Manager
130 Views

Interesting. At this point I've got the drivers working in both machines, so that's enough for now. Once the next gen quad or 8x core CPU's come out I'll probably upgrade anyway, so this will get me by til then.

Try the NCQ change if you can Moepi, that should help.

idata
Community Manager
130 Views

I can't. There is no way to disable NCQ in MacOS, at least I don't know any way and aunt Google didn't help either...

idata
Community Manager
130 Views

It sounds like some have had success disabling AHCI too, so that might be an option. Might have to go directly to Apple on the NCQ one though. Since they're so proprietary that might be your only option.

idata
Community Manager
130 Views

I don't give up that fast although I'm a bit disappointed by Intel. Ok, they are not directly responsible for the problem but concealing problems one is aware of isn't a good practice...

For the time being: Which nVidia Chipset do you use? Has it onboard graphics? If yes, do you use it?

I searched the web especially for problems regarind the X25-M and the unbody MacBooks - nothing. On the other hand there are a few reports that everything should works fine. Since I had similar (worse) problems with an OCZ Vertex hard disk I'm very sure that the drive itself is perfectly fine. At the moment I'm experimenting with settings I have influence on - e.g. disabling the onboard VGA. Furthermore it seems that the problems are arise more quickly if I'm operating on big files (e.g. Virtual Machines running or File Vault activated).

idata
Community Manager
130 Views

Mine is a 680i SLI. The spec's of the two boxes I have are in my original post if you want to review them. Hope that helps.

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