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Kilobyte Kid
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Registered: ‎07-09-2013
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Crucial m4 256GB CT256M4SSD3 power cycle help

I have one of these drives in my Asus EP121 tablet... Typically it works awesome for about 30 days.

 

The first one stopped being detected by the BIOS and I returned it as DOA. I recently learned about the power-cycle reset or "garbage collecting" feature to restore these drives...

 

My challenge is this:

 

The EP121 tablet is a PAIN in the a.. to open. How do I achieve the power-cycle function without needing to crack open the case of this tablet every month. (I cannot help it - it's a tablet - occasionally the battery goes dead on me before I get a chance to plug in to A/C, and these drives REALLY don't like unexpected power disruptions) Is this even possible?

 

I really like the performance of the drive, but I don't find it practical (or good for the machine) to need to open the casing every time the drive has a hiccup.

 

JEDEC Jedi
targetbsp
Posts: 7,013
Registered: ‎08-27-2009
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Re: Crucial m4 256GB CT256M4SSD3 power cycle help

It runs Windows right?  You should be able to set it to hibernate when the power is very low from control panel.  I have my netbook hibernate at 3% which is enough time for it to finish hibernating before the power is out.

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Kilobyte Kid
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Re: Crucial m4 256GB CT256M4SSD3 power cycle help


targetbsp wrote:

It runs Windows right?  You should be able to set it to hibernate when the power is very low from control panel...


That will help prevent the situation I'm in right now, but I need to know how to/if I can perform the power-cycle reset on the drive without removing the drive from the tablet. It is not the easiest process to open a tablet (slate-PC) and disconnect/remove a hard drive.

 

Side note: Also, how would I power an mSATA SSD drive externally, anyway?

JEDEC Jedi
targetbsp
Posts: 7,013
Registered: ‎08-27-2009
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Re: Crucial m4 256GB CT256M4SSD3 power cycle help

Does it have a bios screen?  Leaving it in the bios may achieve a similar result.  The goal is to leave the drive with power but not being used.

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bogdan
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Registered: ‎09-26-2012
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Re: Crucial m4 256GB CT256M4SSD3 power cycle help

As far as I understand power cycle correctly it means having the drive powered on with no data transfers during that time. Are you able to switch your tablet on and enter some kind of a BIOS/Setup menu before it would boot OS? If that would be possible you could leave it that way and it could work.

The other thing is drive disappearing after each battery death - it is a pain indeed and it shouldn't work this way imho. Do you know the firmware of your SSD? I have 000F M4 in my desktop and despite some power blackouts (counter says 11) it has never gave me any disappearing problems...

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Kilobyte Kid
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Re: Crucial m4 256GB CT256M4SSD3 power cycle help


bogdan wrote:

As far as I understand power cycle correctly it means having the drive powered on with no data transfers during that time. Are you able to switch your tablet on and enter some kind of a BIOS/Setup menu before it would boot OS? If that would be possible you could leave it that way and it could work.


That part (the power-on without using data) is not a problem. It's the next step "disconnect the drive from all cables..."... That is extremely difficult in a tablet enclosure.

 

The question is, basically, will it suffice to simply power-off the tablet after each cycle and leave the mSATA card installed during the procedure???

 


The other thing is drive disappearing after each battery death - it is a pain indeed and it shouldn't work this way imho. Do you know the firmware of your SSD? I have 000F M4 in my desktop and despite some power blackouts (counter says 11) it has never gave me any disappearing problems...

I have not changed the firmware (yet) from what came preinstalled. I will need to open the tablet enclosure, anyway, to determine the installed firmware. (Unless, there is another way to determine the current f/w ver without physically viewing the sticker)

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Kilobyte Kid
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Re: Crucial m4 256GB CT256M4SSD3 power cycle help

**** UPDATE ****

 

OK, in the event anyone else sees behavior like this with a mSATA SSD in a tablet and has these symptoms:

 

Drive works perfectly until unexpectedly seems to vanish or stop responding. After restarting the drive behaves as if it has bad sectors or fails "SMART" in the BIOS:

 

In my case, the tablet battery died on me while I was using (and not paying attention to the battery indicator) the tablet. Many articles have shown that the Crucial SSD drives DO NOT LIKE LOSING POWER. You must not have "turn off the hard drive" or any power-management settings that would "power down" the drive to save power.

 

Any way this process worked PERECTLY for me and even "recovered" my "bad sectors":

 

1) Power on the machine and go into the BIOS (DO NOT BOOT TO O/S)

2) Leave powered on and in BIOS for 30 minutes

3) Power off the machine for 60 seconds

4) Power on the machine and go into the BIOS (DO NOT BOOT TO O/S)
5) Leave powered on and in BIOS for 30 minutes

6) Power off the machine for 60 seconds

7) Power on and boot into USB drive (or some Windows PE image)

8) chkdsk c: /b/f (or, substitute your drive letter for C:smileyhappy:

   PROCESS TAKES A LONG TIME as it scans the ENTIRE DRIVE

 

After I did this ALL "bad sectors" were reclaimed and the drive is behaving perfectly, again.

 

Hopefully this helps anyone else seeing behavior like this.

JEDEC Jedi
bogdan
Posts: 1,001
Registered: ‎09-26-2012
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Re: Crucial m4 256GB CT256M4SSD3 power cycle help

Good to know, thanks for an update.

As for the firmware revision - if the tablet runs Windows there should be a way of determining it within OS I think. Usually for systems like XP, Vista, W7/8 we suggest installing CrystalDiskInfo - it would show you firmware version and Power On Hours count (that information could be critical for some older firmware revisions). 

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