M4 freezing randomly

Kilobyte Kid

M4 freezing randomly

3 Weeks ago I assembled a new system, using my 1 year old M4 as windows 8 bootdisk. I am experiencing freezes since then. Despite the system freezing, I can use the mouse and can even move the taskmanager window around the screen. Clicking on things doesn't work, obviously. Freezes last somewhere between 30 - 60 seconds. After that the system works properly. The first weeks the freezes occurred especially after booting the system and Windows being loaded, within 1 - 2 minutes. At other moments they could occur too, but sometimes not at all, or after 3 hours. Sometimes 3 times in a row. Lately the freezes don't happen after booting anymore though; they happen even more randomly now. Making it even harder to determine the cause. Also the system freezes more totally sometimes now; a restart is necessary then. Just resetting isn't good enough then; I have to shut the power down before restarting. I can't find anything related in Windows event manager.

 

I checked a lot of things to find out where the problems originates, but can't find anything plausible. I did discover that the M4 is at 100% activity when a freeze occurs though. I checked the M4 with Crystal disk and Hard disk sentinel; they both didn't find any problem. Disk health is good, trim is enabled and functioning fine. I forced garbage collection last night, just to be sure.

 

Another thing could be worth mentioning. I also installed 2 (6 year old) HDD's at the same time in this system. Al disks where not having any problem in the old system. After booting a partition of one of the HDD's appeared to be unreadable; windows saw it as a RAW partition. I reformatted the partition an it seemed to work fine, but checking it with Crystal disk returned errors. Repairing was not possible, so I removed the drive. Could be a coincidence the drive being not very young and all, but I wonder if something in the new system did cause this to the HDD and the M4...

 

I can't think of anything to solve my problem, it is giving me headaches. Maybe it even isn't the M4 that's causing the problem, could be another part of the PC that's stressing the M4, I just don't know anymore.

 

Any help would be deeply, deeply appreciated...

20 Replies
JEDEC Jedi

Re: M4 freezing randomly

[ Edited ]

Is your system freezing with only SSD connected? Please check the firmware version, if it is 0001, 0002 or 0009 it is possible it should be updated.

Also what is your motherboard's exact model? In case it is Intel based you should try to install Intel RST Driver (Rapid Storage Technology) either from mobo manufacturer's site or from Intel site.

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: M4 freezing randomly

Hello Bogdan, thanks for your reply. Mobo is ASRock 970 Extreme3 with latest bios update.  This an AMD based mobo, with a FX-6300 processor. Firmware of the M4 is 070h. And yes, the system freezes also with only SSD connected...

 

Anyway, while composing my first post the whole system froze (without BSOD or anything like that), but this time permanently, so I lost my post and started over again after rebooting. 1 hour later it froze again in the more 'regular' way, and in the next half hour 3 times more. Frustrating part is that I can't find anything about it in the eventviewer. Except for the reboot crash. But again, nothing to be found about a possible cause...  Been more than a hour since last freeze, so I better start backing up this reply Smiley Frustrated

JEDEC Jedi

Re: M4 freezing randomly

So AMD storage driver could be relevant I guess ;-) Is it a clean Windows installation or did you install anything from Asrock site?

As for the AMD driver I would probably try the latest 13.12 version too - http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/chipset?os=Windows

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: M4 freezing randomly

[ Edited ]

I found the following solution with my two M500 240GB SSDs, so maybe your issue is related.  On the first SSD I did a clean install of Windows 8.1 Pro on an HP G60-230US laptop and everything worked perfectly.  I then cloned it to my 2nd M500 and it wouldn't even boot.  I cloned it again and although it appeared to work correctly at first, after running for about 2 minutes the disk usage would jump to 100% even though the task manager did not show any process with anywhere near that much activity.  The system stayed so bogged down the only thing I could do was a forced power off.  I then cloned it again but the results were the same.  Finally I simply wiped it and did a clean install, and as if by magic it worked perfectly like the first M500.  My 1st cloning was done with EaseUS TODO in the SSD mode, the 2nd cloning was done with EaseUS TODO in the non-SSD mode, and the 3rd cloning was done with Macrium Reflect.  I don't know why a cloned drive shouldn't work properly, but it obviously didn't in my case.  I believe that SSDs and cloning software probably have a long way to go to be completely reliable together.

Kilobyte Kid

Re: M4 freezing randomly

[ Edited ]

I have a similar problem. I has a Extreme 3, FX 990 which I RMA's due to a faulty HDD light. So I got a Fatality 990 fx in place of it with a AMD 8350 processor.

 

I had the problem with the Asrock Extreme board, and the Asrock Fatality board with a platter HDD.

 

I just recently bought a ssd m500 240G for my Falality board, did a clean install of Win7 and I have some freezes, still! 

 

It freezed for about a minute with varous messages like "windows stopped responding" or maybe nothing. Sometimes as I click around I get a white screen. (a symptom of a hung program that has to time out) But since things are frozen there is no documentation to go back to.

 

I'm suspecting it's not the SSD.

 

I'm suspecting it's my Seamonkey (Mozilla variant).

 

And I'm running out of ideas. So if you solve it, I'm all ears! Maybe we can determine if we both have the same causes for the freezes. I share your frustration.

 

Fatality Killer FX990 Board
AMD 8350 CPU
GTX 670 Video card
8 gigs Corsair DDR3 1333mz
M500 240G SSD
Antec TP3-650 Power Supply
Kilobyte Kid

Re: M4 freezing randomly

Is a AMD storage driver supposed to be included in the 13.12 driver package?

I am a bit confused here, the AMD link in your reply leads to a specific AMD Chipset drivers page, but when installing it only Catalyst is installed. And also MS Visual C and a AMD USB filter driver. IMHO Catalyst is meant for graphics. Isn't this package just the same as http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Windows+7+-+64, but named differently? I already had that last package installed. 

 

I did a clean Windows install without any Asrock stuff, only drivers from the Asrock site I installed are Realtek LAN and Audio drivers.

JEDEC Jedi

Re: M4 freezing randomly

To be honest I don't know, only refer to the information I could find.

For sure I would consider them different drivers as what I can see is:

 

AMD Chipset Drivers 49.7 MB 13.12 9/18/2013  
Description:
This package is for motherboards with 700 series or newer AMD chipsets, and includes:
AMD Chipset Drivers
AMD AHCI Driver
AMD USB 3.0 Driver

 

Catalyst Software Suite 203 MB 13.12 12/18/2013  
Description:
Package contains the following graphics drivers and dependent/required software for the products specified in the current version's official release notes for the 64 bit version of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1:
Display Driver ver. 13.251
OpenCL(tm) Driver ver. 10.0.1348.5
Catalyst Control Center ver. 2013.1206.1602.28764

 

Since LAN and Audio are the only drivers you have installed from Asrock I can guess proper chipset drivers might have been missing in action :-) 

Asrock list: AMD all in 1 Drivers 12.8 10/17/2012. It seems they are Chipset/AHCI/USB drivers but older revision of them.

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: M4 freezing randomly

Thanks for your extensive reply Smiley Happy I noticed those differences too, of course. Strange thing is that those drivers (AMD Chipset Drivers, AMD AHCI Driver, AMD USB 3.0 Driver) just don't seem to be installed when installing that package, only the ones I mentioned earlier. I would like to do so though; I think you're quite right about those drivers being necessary.

 

I guess I have to give the older package a change then; I did not notice them before as they are not shown in the Windows 8.1 section...

 

 

Kilobyte Kid

Re: M4 freezing randomly

I found out that my disks  were setup as IDE instead of ACHI in BIOS. When trying to change that using the 'registerhack' I found out Windows was already setup for ACHI. The BIOS is default setting up as IDE, I found out. No idea why Windows would see it as IDE ... Chancing it all properly to ACHI did not work though, so now I'm reinstalling Windows with the right settings.

 

Can it be that this has led to my system freezes, or is that a weird idea?