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Force 3 120 GB issue


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Hello, first off I've been reading these forums for a while now (sorry) and just want to say thanks to all you folks posting help and info I wouldn't have had a clue where to start if not for the methods posted in a easy to understand way here.


I am a complete novice at troubleshooting but I believe I've made some good head way in narrowing down the problem and am just looking for some guidance from people with a far greater knowledge than me about these things (pretty much everyone!)


Problem History


I began having constant system freezes at a rate of around 1 a day after obtaining the drive at the end of October using the 1.3.2 firmware that came with the device. The frequency of these freezes (by freezes I mean the system locks up, powers down my mouse and keyboard and requires a physical restart) increased and was accompanied by hangs which would garble sound before returning to normal.


An important thing to note is that I do not seem to experience BSODs just complete freezes that lock the system


What I've done about it myself so far


I didn't want to start an RMA anywhere until I was sure what the problem was that would be just taking the lazy easy route and knowledge is power after all! So I began reading through the helpful guides here and going through the steps.


Action: I installed the 1.3.3 firmware

Result: System stability improved for a few hours before beginning to freeze again


Action: I SecureErased the drive using PM as instructed here and performed a full clean install of Windows 7 64-bit. I removed the old boot from msconfig.

Result: Again I noticed improved stability for several hours before crashing resumed.


Action: As this is a new build (I've only done a few) I performed the memtest86+ and left it running to get a good sample of 7 passes (instead of just quitting after 1 like you warn about!)

Result: 0 errors were found which I assume means my RAM is all well.


Where I'm at now


I've got a few ideas what to test next and was just wondering if I am heading in the right direction.


1) Play with SATA cables (length etc.) and ports as instructed in your known issues sticky.


2) Disconnect the secondary drive and see if the SSD continues having issues performing on its own.


3) Install and boot from the secondary drive while disconnecting the SSD to see if problems still occur.


4) I know I really need to tweak BIOS settings to cover all angles but im nervous about doing so as I have very little knowledge. All I can tell you is that both drives are connected to the sata 3 6gb/s interface on the mobo and the BIOS settings are to launch in AHCI mode.


Thanks very much for your time!


Additional observations:

System appears to be much more stable while just browsing or using windows functions. Most freezes appear to occur in games, watching videos, listening to music or accessing the other drive (GPU temps checked along with voltage all are fine). Could this be an issue with the Intel Rapid Storage technology?

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since you are using Intel RST I assume that both HDD and SSD are connected to Intel SATA3 ports (gray).


1) I would recommend to connect SSD to the very first Intel SATA3 port leaving the second port blank and connect the HDD to any Intel SATA2 port (blue). Your HDD will barely excess SATA1 speed.


2) Did you disable LPM (Intel RST feature) in registry? In case you did not I attached some reg files to disable/enable LPM. You will need to disable LPM for the port your SSD is connected to (Port 0), you can leave LPM enabled for all other ports.


Maybe this will be helpful.


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I assume you have the disk connected to the native Intel 6Gb/s controller since you were able to update the FW. This is fine.


If you have access to another PC, preferably with different hardware, try installing the disk in that one, also trying out different SATA cables to rule them out. If it shows the same behavior, RMA the drive. It's most likely faulty, and you'll end up wasting a lot of time troubleshooting.


If you don't, you could try things like

-Updating the BIOS on your motherboard

-Uninstalling IRST and let Win7 provide the AHCI driver, or try earlier/newer versions of IRST.

-If you're dead set on using IRST, try the LPM fix.

-Disabling the deeper C-states from within the BIOS (not the C1E state, it does no harm), as they're known to be dodgy. I would, however, update the BIOS first.

-Trying the disk on the other ports. Even the Marvell controlled ones, or the SATA II


Good luck!

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Do you have compelling evidence that these freezes are caused by the SSD? Did you have problems before installing the SSD?


Freezes like you've described can be caused by a host of problems including a loose expansion card, GPU, RAM. or even loose heatsink or CPU. You said you tested memtest so that might not be the problem, but it's tough to narrow down the rest of the components unless you eliminate anything that's unnecessary (do you have an expansion sound card?).


I would certainly test the drive in another system first if you think that's the culprit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello all a very late reply to just let you know the issue is resolved and provide you with a christmas laugh at my expense (I totally deserve it.)


So after reading your suggestions I bought new sata cables swapped things around on the mobo changed hdd bios settings etc. etc. and the issue was still occurring.


Then one day when it happened I immediately opened the case turned off the power supply to tweak a wire. I grazed the metal plate of the GPU and picked up a nasty burn on my arm.


After a bit of basic monitoring I saw that something was stopping the CPU and GPU fans speeding up at higher temps even though they were on auto so I made my own profiles to make them work harder and keep temps down and behold system stable for 2 weeks.


So yes just here to admit a novice mistake and apologise for ever implying my computer fault was anything to do with a fine Corsair product.


I must try harder!


On the plus side I've learnt a lot about computers while working on it and glad I carried on trouble shooting otherwise I would have RMA'd a perfectly fine product and still had the same issue haha.


Merry Christmas from an idiot!

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