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Trying to diagnose SSD vs motherboard (sorry it is so long a post...tried to include everything)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I haven't been on the forums in a while, but my rig is still as listed in my signature from when I built it last fall. I have a Crucial M4 64gb on an Asus P8Z68 V board. (I also have a secondary WD 500gb.) Everything has been running fine since last fall. No problems at all. It even went 1400 miles in the back of my car about 8 months ago (moved) and it has been perfect. Until last night.

I've had several different symptoms, so trying to sort through them to figure out root cause has not been easy. And, even though I have my settings set to generate minidump files, there are never any created.

Anyway, I walked away from the PC for about 30 minutes last night and when I came back I had a lovely black screen that said there was no boot device. So apparently it had rebooted itself and was not seeing the M4. So I went into BIOS and sure enough, no M4 seen. I powered off, powered back on and it was seen and booted fine.

Started looking through event viewer...nothing except that the previous shutdown was unexpected. As mentioned above, no dmp files. So, no clues. Then it hung. Hard drive light goes solid, system stops responding, mouse sometimes will respond/move initially but then that stops too. Sometimes it will reboot...only twice did it actually show a BSOD...other times I have to hard power off. Regardless, no dmp files are ever created. One time it didn't hang, but just immediately rebooted and once again, M4 was not seen in BIOS.

Troubleshooting I've done...updated BIOS, updated firmware on SSD, ran malware/malabytes, ran sfc, ran chkdsk, disabled avast. Once this behavior started, the longest it has stayed on without hanging/crashing is roughly 20 minutes. It even stayed up long enough once that I was able to ran Macrium Reflect to grab a backup. But when Macrium was downloading WAIK to make a PE boot disc it hung during that process. I was able to finish creating the PE media after a reboot but soon after that it crashed again. I was in safe mode several times and I will say it never crashed on me in safe mode...but I wasn't in safe mode for more than 20 minutes or so.

It was initally plugged into SATA port 2 (SATA6) and in course of troubleshooting, I've moved it to port 1 (SATA6) and ports 3 and 4 (SATA3). No change.

One of the BSOD messages was: "A process or thread crucial to system operation has unexpectedly exited or been terminated." 0x000000F4. Nothing in event viewer after that and no dmp.

Another time, it hung, didn't actually reboot and an error on the screen was for BCU.exe...instruction @ referenced memory required data not in memory...i/o error state 0xc00000e. On reboot from that error, the drive was not seen in BIOS.

Only one time did I have event messages in event viewer and it event id 11 and mentioned a controller error on HD2/DR2 (at which time the SSD was plugged in to port 2).

The only thing I can think of to try which I haven't yet is to swap out the SATA cable. Other than that, I am at a loss.

I will say that my other drives (DVDRW and my WD500gb) which were originally plugged in to ports 4 & 6 (and currently on 5 & 6) have always shown up in BIOS even when the M4 doesn't.

With all of that said, I'm still not sure if problem is the M4 or the Asus board...though I'm leaning towards the M4.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
    
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post #2 of 15
If the OS is on the SSD and the SSD drops out of the system (so it doesn't show up as a drive any longer) then you will get crashes like you are experiencing. I had similar problems with the SSD I have for the OS in my file server - it would disappear from the BIOS and then WIndows would crash and if you soft-booted it would be missing. A power off would fix it though, and the SSD would show up again. That was fixed with a firmware update (it was a Adata drive) but if you've already updated the firmware and tried different ports then it might just be a bad drive. Try a new cable first though.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
You would think with everything I wrote, I would have remembered to confirm it, but yes, the OS is on the SSD.

I'm about to try a different cable now and will update. And yes, I did flash the firmware and it still crashed after mad.gif
    
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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well...I know people always *say* it could be the cable...but I never truly really think that would be the cause. But...I may have to eat my words. Though the jury is still out.

On the first power up after I swapped the cable, the drive was not seen by BIOS. I did Ctrl-Alt-Del and then it booted fine. It stayed up for just over an hour when I shut it down. I came back an hour and a half or so later and powered up and it booted just fine. It has now been up for almost 3 hours...a good 6 times as long as it would make it last night. We'll see what continues to happen...I'll definitely be doing some additional reboots and power downs.
    
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post #5 of 15
Yeah, could just be a bad/loose wire in it, or a connector that's a little loose. I have one of those internal to external brackets, and one of the two ports on it is unusable because the cable (or connector) is bad. Rare, but it happens.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well...the PC has been on for about 9 hours so far today and has not crashed or hung or rebooted. So, unless it starts crashing again real soon apparently it was just the cable.
    
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post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, so much for that. It crashed again. I had left it up all night...it was fine. Then I went to make lunch. Came back to find it had crashed/hung/frozen either while or after the screen saver had come on. My screen was a graphics nightmare...You could see the screensaver was in there but with all sorts of garbage on the screen too. Went to take a pic, but my camera and memory card were not in agreement.

Powered off.

Powered on.

SSD not seen in BIOS; no boot. (Again, 2nd drive and DVDRW were still shown in BIOS.)

Warm reboot and I'm back up and posting here.

So I guess we're back to motherboard or SSD...and SSD is easiest to replace.

Being it's only been in service 14 months, I'll RMA it to Crucial. But I'm debating on taking this opportunity to upgrade to a 128.

Crucial, Samsung, or Intel?
    
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post #8 of 15
That's unfortunate. Given that you've tried other ports and the other drives aren't affected, it sounds like a bad controller on the SSD. If you are looking to replace it (rather than just take the RMA) I'd look at a Samsung 830 - great performance, solid reliability, and some great pricing on sale.
post #9 of 15
What firmware does it have?

Have you tried reinstalling the OS?
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Le Main Rig
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post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
In course of troubleshooting I updated it. 010G

I have not tried reinstalling the OS. Given the intermittent problems with it showing up in BIOS, I presumed the inherent problem to be hardware not software?
Edited by texas_nightowl - 11/13/12 at 2:59pm
    
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