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  #1  
Old 04-05-2012, 10:01 PM
bbbl67 bbbl67 is offline
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Default SSD Freeze-up Problems Solved!

For those of you having trouble with the random freeze-ups on the Corsair SSD's, after some testing done in this thread:

http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=105745

It was determined that the culprit is the AHCI drivers. With AHCI enabled, we tested disabling TRIM, and write-caching: neither fixed the problem. The only thing that fixed the problem was to disable the AHCI in the BIOS, and reboot using IDE drivers again. There's no disadvantage in using the IDE drivers, as even TRIM support is available through the IDE drivers, you just have to enable it as per this thread:

http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=86403

I think most of us were too concerned that if we don't have AHCI drivers, then we won't have TRIM support either, but that's not the case at all, you can enable the TRIM support under the IDE drivers too. The performance using IDE is just as good as AHCI performance, as I've tested under both ATTO and CrystalDiskMark benchmarks. So let go of the AHCI drivers and don't feel you're missing out on anything, because you aren't!
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2012, 03:11 AM
nvtweak nvtweak is offline
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There are supposedly other benefits to AHCI, such as power management, command queuing, etc. But of course you're right, it's all pointless if the drives have severe freeze-up issues. Hopefully it's something that Corsair is looking into.

I only started having this problem after upgrading a notebook from a brand-name HDD (AHCI) to Corsair SSD (AHCI).
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvtweak View Post
There are supposedly other benefits to AHCI, such as power management, command queuing, etc. But of course you're right, it's all pointless if the drives have severe freeze-up issues. Hopefully it's something that Corsair is looking into.

I only started having this problem after upgrading a notebook from a brand-name HDD (AHCI) to Corsair SSD (AHCI).
The main advantage of AHCI over IDE is the ability to hot-plug drives, but this is mainly useful for external eSATA drives rather than internal SATA ones. As for power management, the only control the OS has over drive power management is idling it or turning it off, as far as I know, which has been around since the days of IDE and probably long before it too. Most of the newer "Green" drives manage their own power internally, beyond the control of the OS.

Now as for performance, they do talk about certain features like NCQ being available only in AHCI vs. IDE. I don't know for sure if that's true, but it probably is. I reran the Windows Experience Index and the hard drive index dropped from an outstanding 7.6 to a still amazing 7.1 (for anything over 7, you're doing well). I'm willing to live with that small drop-off for the increased stability. My previous hard drive had been at 5.9, so no matter what I'm way ahead of that. If Corsair releases another firmware beyond 1.3.3, then I'll probably install it and retry AHCI drivers again at that time. In the meantime, this is a not unsatisfactory workaround.
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2012, 01:59 PM
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As you know, using your SSD in IDE mode saw a drop in performance, due to the loss of NCQ. ATTO always shows the best case performance, and if shows the same performance in IDE mode, it's running at a queue depth of one.

It's a shame that apparently AHCI mode causes issues, but to say performance is the same in IDE mode is really not true.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by parsec View Post
As you know, using your SSD in IDE mode saw a drop in performance, due to the loss of NCQ. ATTO always shows the best case performance, and if shows the same performance in IDE mode, it's running at a queue depth of one.

It's a shame that apparently AHCI mode causes issues, but to say performance is the same in IDE mode is really not true.
NCQ is absolutely irrelevant to SSD's, it's a technology designed to optimize disk head movement on HDD's. SSD's don't have disk heads, therefore it's irrelevant. It doesn't even work on SSD's even when you're using AHCI.

Similarly, TRIM is absolutely irrelevant to HDD's, as you don't need to completely erase a sector prior to writing to it on HDD's. TRIM is only for SSD's, NCQ is only for HDD's.

Since TRIM still works with the old IDE drivers, I'm happy. The lack of NCQ might affect the performance of your remaining HDD's, however those drives are so far behind the ultimate performance of your SATA interface, that it really doesn't make any difference to them.
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2012, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbl67 View Post
NCQ is absolutely irrelevant to SSD's, it's a technology designed to optimize disk head movement on HDD's. SSD's don't have disk heads, therefore it's irrelevant. It doesn't even work on SSD's even when you're using AHCI.

Similarly, TRIM is absolutely irrelevant to HDD's, as you don't need to completely erase a sector prior to writing to it on HDD's. TRIM is only for SSD's, NCQ is only for HDD's.

Since TRIM still works with the old IDE drivers, I'm happy. The lack of NCQ might affect the performance of your remaining HDD's, however those drives are so far behind the ultimate performance of your SATA interface, that it really doesn't make any difference to them.
All I can say is... Wow!

If you are serious about AHCI being irrelevant to SSDs, you have some reading to do. One of the main things NCQ in AHCI mode does that is different than the lack of it in IDE mode, is that multiple I/O requests are sent to a drive, HDD or SSD, in a group, rather than one request being sent at a time in IDE mode. A drive in IDE mode will not receive another I/O request until the previous one is finished. (That in itself is an incredible waste of time that only exacerbates the already slow nature of disk I/O, and surprised me when I first read it.)

While it is true that a HDD will sort those multiple I/O requests in a more optimal order to accommodate the realities of the mechanics of a HDD, and that is unnecessary in a SSD, there is more to it than that. A SSD takes the multiple I/O requests, and performs them virtually simultaneously, in parallel, limited only by the number of internal channels between the NAND memory chips and the SSD controller, and the constraints of the I/O requests. NCQ allows a SSD to operate at it's full potential, which does not happen without it in IDE mode.

AHCI SATA drivers and AHCI capable drives allow commands from the SATA command set that cannot be executed in IDE mode, to be used. If AHCI drivers do nothing for SSDs, why do SSD manufactures recommend their use with SSDs?

I use SSDs from five different manufactures, all used with Intel's AHCI/RAID driver (IRST) in AHCI or RAID mode, and have never had a problem with any of them. FWIW, the WEI is 7.9 on all my PCs using SSDs. Frankly, if a SSD does not function well with an AHCI driver, that is the SSDs problem, or possibly the driver has problems.

It's interesting you should say that NCQ does nothing on a SSD, since very recent reviews of the latest model SSD from a well know manufacture, are discussing the controversial operation of that drives firmware at low NCQ queue depths (number of outstanding I/O requests.) It's firmware is biased towards better high queue depth performance, which is more important in enterprise/professional usage environments, than it is in the PC environment. In short, it operates as if in IDE mode when less than three or four I/O requests are available for processing, and the reduction in performance at lower queue depths is obvious.

I will give you this, the I/O usage pattern and load of many PC users is such that they will not have many large and/or multiple I/O requests occurring at the same time, continually while using their PCs. Therefore NCQ's capabilities are not often used by those users. But to say NCQ does nothing with SSDs is simply false.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2012, 01:10 PM
bbbl67 bbbl67 is offline
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Well, if that's the case and NCQ is still being used with SSD's, then that would explain why so many of us, we're getting those random freeze-ups. My testing has shown that the freeze-ups occur during small disk accesses primarily: those that are less than 16K in length. It would indicate that if those tiny accesses are being optimized by NCQ into one longer request, the SSD can't handle it properly. Whereas if not using NCQ, it handles it properly.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2012, 11:26 PM
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Storage disk I/O and file system interaction is a very complex topic, and by necessity has been highly simplified in articles about it. Native Command Queuing, which is part of the SATA II specification, does not describe or implement the efficient ordering of I/O requests performed in AHCI capable HDDs. That process is actually called Rotational Position Ordering (RPO). NCQ is necessary for RPO to occur on a HDD. Somehow the term NCQ became synonymous with RPO, probably because you can't have RPO without NCQ.

SSDs firmware does not perform or needs to perform RPO. But that does not mean that a SSD cannot or does not use NCQ. SSDs can use NCQ to increase their performance, and we control whether or not that happens by using an AHCI driver, or not.

It's futile for me to attempt to explain how NCQ works, since I certainly don't understand it completely. Intel and Seagate worked together to create the AHCI standard, a protocol for SATA chipset drivers to allow NCQ and other features to work with OS file systems and (originally) HDDs. It is an important advance over PATA/IDE drivers, and will actually be ten years old in 2013. IMO, the change in the file system's and data storage media I/O interaction provided by a AHCI driver, is one of the greatest and relatively unrecognized and unappreciated changes in PC history. Why it has taken so long to become accepted in the PC industry, I don't understand. (Fear of legacy product incompatibility is probably the main one. Intel does not charge a licensing fee for AHCI.)

It seems so odd to me that an AHCI driver should cause your SSD to have issues, but if it does, that's a shame. IMO, I think it is more likely that some other feature of the AHCI driver is causing the problem, such as DIPM. There really aren't that many AHCI drivers in use today, there are Intel's (who wrote the book on them), AMD, Microsoft's, Marvell's (not in the same league IMO) and a few much less known ones, in the Windows environment. How could your SSDs manufacture have not tested their product with at least the first three AHCI drivers I listed?
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2012, 01:23 AM
bbbl67 bbbl67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parsec View Post
It seems so odd to me that an AHCI driver should cause your SSD to have issues, but if it does, that's a shame. IMO, I think it is more likely that some other feature of the AHCI driver is causing the problem, such as DIPM.
Looking it up, DIPM stands for Device Initiated Power Management. Why would this cause the SSD to freeze-up? Especially when it's in the middle of some intense activity, it should not be initiating any power management during that time at all.

Quote:
There really aren't that many AHCI drivers in use today, there are Intel's (who wrote the book on them), AMD, Microsoft's, Marvell's (not in the same league IMO) and a few much less known ones, in the Windows environment. How could your SSDs manufacture have not tested their product with at least the first three AHCI drivers I listed?
I don't know, that's my question. In fact, that's everybody's question that have come to this forum asking Corsair about why their SSD is freezing-up.

I'm personally just using the standard Microsoft drivers, for both IDE and AHCI, and you'd think that that would be the driver that they would have tested above all else.
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:46 PM
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Default Firmware Update to 5.05a fixed freezing

My Corsair Force GT 120GB has been freezing my Win7 system for about 30 seconds over quite a long period of time. This happened to freeze the system (other than the cursor) so it didn't matter what App I had running. Tried a number of things suggested on the various forums but no improvement. Then updated the SSD firmware to 5.05a and it has fixed the problem. Not sure what version I had previously, but had not been updated since I installed the SSD. Hope this helps.
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2016, 09:02 AM
Darknes Darknes is offline
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Hello
I know its old Thread but i have the same problem. The only thing is that i have win 10 x64 and when i try to change AHCI to IDE just before desktop pops up i get blue screen with Error: INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE i'v try to repair with win software but didint help.
Also i'v googled this problem and the only thing i manage to find was "how to change IDE to AHCI" or one thread that was about going to registery and changing value
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci\Start
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Pciide\Start
from 0 to 3 buy this didnt help my as well.
My PC freez-up for about 2-5 sec from time to time when i play games( not all but most new ones) and when im downloading something and watch move at the same time its freezing for 2-4 sec. Also sometimes when im restarting system its restarting forever and i have to hit restart buttom. I don't know what else i can do.
Funny thing is that i have this SSD Force LS 120GB for some time now about year and with games there was never problem but with downloading nad watching moves from start.
I hope that my english is not that bad and someone can help my with this.

PS: Also i'v seen that with game and YT runing sometimes SSD is "thinking" all the time the red light on my case is not blinking but on all time
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2016, 05:35 AM
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Run a benchmark on ATTO or CDM and post the results here.
Have you tried a different SATA data cable and SATA port?

What do you mean by;
Quote:
i have this SSD Force LS 120GB for some time now about year and with games there was never problem but with downloading nad watching moves from start.
The SSD was working fine but after doing "intensive" tasks on the SSD it started to freeze?
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2016, 05:58 AM
Darknes Darknes is offline
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Toasted thank U for respond but it seems that after updating Firmware from Corsair SSD Toolbox its good now. I belive that is the reason why before I didnt have this problem.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:41 AM
Godtr0n Godtr0n is offline
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I had to make an account to thank you for the advice.

I changed SATA to IDE as I was having random freeze/lockups mainly in games and after clean install of gfx drivers to SSD failed on startup. Had already tested all hardware and suspected it was the SSD as was freezing every startup in under 20 seconds.

Now using IDE no freeze at all.


Thank you so much.

Was a Samsung SSD not Corsair. Using Crosshair V Formula Z mobo.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2018, 09:26 PM
LordOfDark LordOfDark is offline
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Hello to everyone,
I wrote to you because i really need help for this problem.
I had the same issue: pc freeze 15-30 sec, 100% usage of ssd, than it go back to work. It happens when i'm playng in some games, when i'm using chrome, skype... It just do that right now, when im writing.
I had to do all the suggestion that there are in the web: power saving of windows to hight, driver update... I follow all the step in this guide https://www.drivereasy.com/knowledge...dows-10-fixed/, but the problem is still here.
The only option that i didn't use is the change ACHI mode, and the problem is that i simply can't. In BIOS ther are only 2 option, ACHI and RAID, and i can't disable all of them at all.
How can i do this? I know that is an old thread but please, you are my only chance. It can be the ssd that has a problem? Maybe i need to replace it?
Sorry for my english, i'm italian and my community is too stupid, so i'll come here for a solution.
Thank you all.
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