Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

Kilobyte Kid

Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

Hi there,

 

I recently purchased (like 1 week ago) Crucial MX500 SSD to replace the really dog slow Toshiba MQ02 series 5400rpm drive in my Dell Laptop.  The SSD was on an older version of the firmware, so I upgraded the firmware to the most recent release (June 19th) and proceeded to image the SSD from a Macrium image I'd taken earlier in the day.

 

The image restore completed successfully so I swapped drives, taking the Toshiba out of the Dell and put the SSD in.  The image was stored to the SDD which was in a 2 bay external USB3 SATA dock, while the image itself was stored on an external 2TB portable hard drive.for the record.

 

Anyway, I booted up the laptop and well the difference between the old 5400rpm hard drive and the SSD, you can imagine I'm sure.  I could log into the desktop within 30 seconds, as opposed to the 4-5 minutes plus when booting from the HDD.  Performance wise, very very happy, however.....

 

Over the course of the next few days, I discovered a small issue where I would fire up the laptop, leave it running for a while, come back to it and find it powered off.  This became a pattern, where each time I powered it up, it performed a full cold startup, i.e. it hadn't suspended or gone into low power mode.  Then on Wednesday last week I actually experienced the laptop just switch off completely, no warning, no BSOD, no visible sign of anything being wrong. Just one minute I'm editing a code file and the next second, BAM, screen's gone black and powerlight is off.  It didn't matter whether I had it plugged in or running on battery, same result.

 

I need a reliable laptop, so I switched over the drives and put the HDD back in again.  Since then I've had no problems with the laptop suddenly and without warning powering down. 

 

Which begs the question, Is Crucial aware of any potential firmware compatibility issue between the MX500 (on the latest firmware) and the Dell Latitude E5550 laptop that would cause behaviour like this? 

 

Has anyone else experienced any issues with the MX500 and a Dell E5550 similar to this?

7 Replies
JEDEC Jedi

Re: Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

Have you looked in Event Viewer?  Windows stopped showing bluescreens years ago because most people can't interpret then.  Instead it logs the bluescreen details as a 'bugcheck' to event viewer and restarts.

 

If you have the option in the BIOS (you probably won't on a laptop!) enable hot swap for the drive.

 

Try swapping the sata driver from your chipset manufacturer (such as Intel RST) to Microsofts AHCI driver or vice versa.

If using Intel RST -try different versions. You may need to get these direct from Intel ratehr than rely on Dell to bother keeping things up to date - because they won't.  The newest ones likely won't work on older computers but you'll find older ones compatible. https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/55005

 

In Intel RST, go to performance and disable link power management.

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

Thanks for the quick response, there wasn't anything noticable in the Event Viewer, the only entry I saw was a Kernel-Power log entry indicating the system was recovering from a sudden power loss.event.  The laptop is using the Intel RST drivers at the moment.  I'll see if there's a later version available directly from Intel and try that, then try swapping to the Native Microsoft driver if that doesn't help.  Actually, the Intel RST driver is v14.8.1 and the most recent available is v16.02 so definitely worth a shot.

 

The only snag I can think of is that I'm pretty certain the BIOS is configured for SATA mode not AHCI, so would installing the Microsoft AHCI driver make any difference?  Presumably if the OS was originally installed on the HDD using the SATA mode then unless I want to carry out a reinstall of Windows on the SSD or somehow alter the default installed driver, it would have to remain in SATA mode in the BIOS.

 

I used to be up to date on all these things and spent hours ekking out as much performance as I could, but I don't have the time these days and just want things to work reliably.

 

Thanks again and I'll come back with an update when I know more.

JEDEC Jedi

Re: Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

Newest isn't always necessarily the best with Intel RST.  I had a Dell in which basically only the 10.x series were compatible with it and the drive in it.  Drivers earlier and later didn't like some part of my system config.  Having said that - my two systems since having largely worked with any version so it may have just been a troublesome computer!

 

You want to be on AHCI for an SSD.  It's much more important to it than it was for hard drives.

 

Google presented this as a guide: https://triplescomputers.com/blog/uncategorized/solution-switch-windows-10-from-raidide-to-ahci-oper...

I have to say, I haven't tried this.  In the olden days this required registry changes.  But all the top hits on google are this procedure these days.

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

Well, I tried the latest Intel RST driver and it caused a BSOD on first boot up.  Thinking it may have been a one-off, I let it boot up again, and BAM, same point, it BSOD.  Clearly the latest Intel RST drivers aren't going to do the job.

 

I also found that same guide last night to change the storage driver and have tried following but I have two problems wihile the SSD is inserted into the primary SATA port on my Dell E5550.

 

1) The laptop won't boot up while the SSD is installed *AND* the power cable is plugged in.  Unplugging the power cable allows me to start up the laptop - go figure, I'm confused as **bleep** over that one.

2) The SSD is encrypted with Bitlocker Encryption so in order to get into the Windows installation on the SSD I need to get into Safe Mode.  This requires me to enter the recovery key to unlock the drive.  Now I get as far as typing the 4th group of numbers before the laptop shuts off, consistently....

 

On the plus side I have managed to remove the Intel RST driver on the HDD, that is now running the standard SATA  Storage Controller driver.  Right now, the HDD is back in the laptop and everything is working all be it slowly - compared to the SSD.

 

So, I'm kind of stuck for options now.  I'm in the middle of a project which isn't scheduled to finish until mid-September, I can't afford the 2-3 days of effort it's going to take to reinstall Windows (using AHCI mode), Hyper-V and install/configure the standard development environment I use (MSSQL, VS2017, Virtual Machines etc).  I hadn't anticipated an issue like this hitting me, as previous experience with SSD upgrades has been pretty seamless and easy to do.

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JEDEC Jedi

Re: Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

yeah, I can appreciate the effort that will take.  I spent 2 days last week just updating our dev environment templates. I hate to think how long it'd take to clean install the environment!

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

Just wanted to update the thread on the latest status of this.

 

Currently I'm using the SSD in an external USB 3.0 enclosure and the SSD has run without issue since the last post I made.  However, the transfer speeds are well below what the drive is capable of (around 150MB/s, but that's possibly down to the enclosure not being fully UASP enabled), but still significantly quicker than the installed HDD so running Hyper-V images from the SSD is still a better option then running from the HDD which creates a Disk I/O bottleneck for significant periods of time.

 

It's a pain though having to keep plugging in an external enclosure though (plus remember to plug it in/remove it if putting the laptop into sleep/suspend mode) and I really miss the benefit of the SSD for normal everyday OS use, i.e. boot up speed, general Windows OS tasks and web/email etc.

 

I've now ordered another 1TB SSD from an alternative manufacturer, which I'll be installing tomorrow hopefully.  I'm hoping that the replacement SSD works realiably without the shutdown issue I had with the MX500.  I'd love to do a fresh reformat of the SSD Drive and reinstall Windows 10, etc and get it setup as a clean install, but I just don't have the time to do that.  Cloning to a different brand of SSD is the quickest solution for me right now (assuming I don't get a repeat of the shutdown issue with the new SSD).

 

If I do experience the same issue, well it's likely going to be something firmware or mainboard related between my Dell E5550 and any SSD attached via the SATA bus.  Either way, in my mind it'll be useful to know the outcome and maybe help or guide others in the future as to what action they can take should they see this issue for themselves.

 

 

Kilobyte Kid

Re: Crucial MX500 1TB with a Dell Latitude E5550

I took delivery on the replacement SSD over the weekend and set about cloning it and swapping the HDD for the replacement SSD and since then all has been well. I've had no issues with the Laptop suddenly shutting off like I did with the MX500.  

 

I suspect there's some silliness going on between the Power Management functions on the Dell E5550 and the MX500 but right now I don't have time to diagnose it.  That said, the MX500 is currently doing well in the USB3 enclosure with with the only negative being that the max transfer speeds are nowhere near the full potential of the drive.