BSOD F4 Caused By - SSD Firmware Version??

My previous theories about power management being at the center of my BSOD F4 instability with Win7x64 has now been shown to be plain WRONG.

I upgraded my MS-7522 X58 Core i7-920 system to the max 24GB RAM and thought that was initially the culprit. Then I did a buncha reading on the interwebs and decided it was caused by power management settings - C1E, EIST, HPET, BFD, OMG and too many other acronyms to mention.

Well, I was wrong, and this is how I know:

The latest BSOD left the hard drive light on the box lit solidly. It just stayed ON. And instead of turning off the PC as I had always done, I pressed and released the RESET button.

Lo and behold, when the system restarted, THERE WAS NO BOOT DEVICE (SSD).

I turned it off, waited 30 seconds, then powered back on, AND EVERYTHING WAS FINE. Booted from SSD just like it always did.

OK, I started thinking about the MicroCenter 60GB SSD I had installed and wondered if there might be a newer firmware out there. My studies say that this is a rebranded ADATA S599 drive with Sandforce 1222 controller and YES! There IS a newer firmware. I was at 3.1.0. and the one at the ADATA website was 3.4.6.

I had made up my mind to return the drive and replace it with one of the super Samsung models, so I took the chance at upgrading the firmware to see if it made any difference.

Turned off antivirus, but forgot about WinPatrol which was running when I did the upgrade. The flash utility hung, and my heart dropped, thinking WinPatrol had prevented something from being written properly (Scotty was saying he was checking my "new startup program" - oh boy!).

I turned the box off, then repowered it and was greeted by several cycles of on for three seconds, then off, then on again for three seconds, then off. This repeated a dozen times and I thought "It's a goner. Shut her down and let's give this one up."

So I pressed and held the power button, and instead of turning OFF like it normally would, the system came on AND STAYED ON and booted to a full desktop where a balloon told me that a new device had been configured (the SSD) and I needed to restart.

Holy Moses, Batman. Was this gonna work, or what?

Long story short, it worked, the system has been stable for over 48 hours, and my faith in experimental techniques has been renewed.

Thank you, Google. Thank you, Tom's Hardware.

So far, so good!

Atlanta, GA
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  1. There have been issues with the Sandforce controlled drives on older firmware so maybe you are right.
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