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Random restarts

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November 11, 2011 12:47:05 AM

I've recently upgraded a good deal of my system, including nearly all internals. I'm now running Win 7 SP1, and every day or so I'll return to my computer having restarted and not booting. My OS, SSD, MoBo and RAM are all new, so any of these may be the culprit. The only lead I have is when the system restarts, the BIOS won't list the drive at all. I'll power down, re-seat the plugs and power up, then it works fine. I've tried different SATA cables, different headers on the MoBo, and a different plug from the power supply. I'm starting to believe it's the drive, or how it handles the power profile from Windows, though less likely as it's set to "always on." I may have noticed it prior to restart when a couple times it just seemed like an old XP "explorer.exe" crash with no taskbar. But wouldn't that also be the case if only the RAM was responding?

I've tried to check the event viewer, but I'm not too versed there, so I probably missed something. Is there any other way to tell what's the last thing happening before it faults? Should I just re-install Windows? Other ideas?

My system info should be in the sig, hopefully...

More about : random restarts

a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2011 2:33:53 AM

There are a few boards with classic restart issues due to a bios problem, but it's relatively rare. At the post screen, write down your bios file number at the top using the "pause" key. See if any newer bios files are available on your board's webpage. Then look for any "fixes" listed beside the bios file. If you've never flashed before, you have to disable any boot block settings in the bios and sometimes windows firewall before flashing. I always use a windows compatable flash program written by your board manufacturer. For asus, it's ez flash 2; for msi it's "live update". You may be prompted to save your old bios file; you can do this with a usb flash drive or floppy; once flashing starts, leave it alone; it will reboot or tell you when you can reboot automatically. The flashing sometimes resets your bios settings so you have to go in and check the boot order and personal settings after it reboots, save and exit. Before flashing, try each stick of ram, one at a time, in dimm slot one. If possible, test each one for errors with memtest, a free program; my old biostar board had it in the bios, but it's an easy download. If you are trying to reuse a windows install after changing the motherboard, I would format and do a fresh install if you haven't done it yet.
November 11, 2011 3:45:59 PM

Thanks for the reply o1die. Everything was a fresh install with the new parts, just with some old HDDs still in the mix. I did update my BIOS to 2.0, the most current, prior to writing.

After posting, I re-checked my power scheme and found that with the installation of the AS Rock Instant Boot program, some parts of my power profile had changed. The hard drives were set to power down after 20 mins, so it could have been a problem with them waking up. I switched back to "never," and don't have a problem yet this morning. I also exchanged a firewire card that was incompatible with my outboard audio gear, but I believe the problem was more an error from coming out of sleep. I'm not giving it a pass after just one night, and it doesn't explain why it would be invisible in the BIOS still after rebooting.

So we're better, but not out of the woods yet.
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a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2011 4:12:01 PM

What are your full system specs?

My first thought when I read your post was overheating and my second thought was a failing PSU.
November 15, 2011 2:22:59 AM

I haven't had the problem since changing the HDD sleep settings, but I should expect that even if my drive was set to sleep, it should still wake properly, right?

I just thought of this as I was typing, but I just checked and there is a firmware update for my drive that specifically lists "Drive Recovery from Sleep/Hibernate failures." I'm going to update the firmware and set it back to sleep mode. Hopefully we'll be good after this. I guess if nothing else, this thread could serve as a help to remind people to check for firmware updates. I don't believe I ever have on a HDD, but this is my first SSD. The site for the firmware was: http://patriotmemory.com/support/driversp.jsp .

I'll update the firmware and turn sleep back on and report. The PSU may also be an issue as I'm running a lot of drives now. Didn't think about that. Thanks for the ideas, guys.


Full Specs:
AS Rock P67 Pro3 (B3) BIOS 2.0 MoBo
Intel Core i5 2500k (Sandy Bridge)
16GB G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600 F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus

HDDs:
Patriot Pyro PP120GS25SSDR 120GB SSD (OS)
WD Raptor 1500HLFS
Samsung EcoGreen F4 HD204UI
Seagate ST3750330AS

Optical:
LG BH10LS30 BD Blu-ray burner
Sony Optiarc DVD Burner AD-7280S-0B

Video:
PowerColor Go! Green AX5450 512MK3-SH Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar)

PCI:
SoundBlaster Audigy SE 7.1 PCI
SIIG NN-440012-S8 Firewire card (connected to MOTU Ultralite Audio Interface)

Power:
PC Power Silencer 420 ATX
a c 1102 ) Power supply
November 15, 2011 3:20:56 AM

It's very doubtful that the power supply is the problem.

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer Series 420 ATX, with its maximum +12 Volt continuous current rating of 30 Amps, has more than enough capacity to handle your system configuration.

My suspicion is the SSD.

Is your Patriot Memory Pyro PP120GS25SSDR (120GB) running with Firmware Revision 3.3.2 or are you using an earlier revision?

There are known problems with most SandForce SF-2281 controller based SSDs with most, if not all, manufacturers releasing firmware updates in an attempt to fix the problems.
November 15, 2011 3:39:06 AM

I did download the fw updates, but now they won't install. I've run the installer as admin, even tried installing 3.2.0 instead, as I'm still at 3.1.9. It'll scan the drive, say it's installing, and finish. But even when I rescan, it's still 3.1.9. Any idea why it won't upgrade?
a c 1102 ) Power supply
November 15, 2011 3:44:13 AM

lurch101 said:
I did download the fw updates, but now they won't install. I've run the installer as admin, even tried installing 3.2.0 instead, as I'm still at 3.1.9. It'll scan the drive, say it's installing, and finish. But even when I rescan, it's still 3.1.9. Any idea why it won't upgrade?

Try booting from an OS on an HDD and then apply the firmware update to the SSD. If the SSD is a primary boot disk it is usually locked and firmware updates cannot be made to it while it is in use.
a b ) Power supply
November 15, 2011 4:13:16 AM

PC Power and Cooling are a pretty respectable brand around here.

That being said, even Antec feels the ravages of time.

How old is the PSU?

Also, sleep mode doesn't use 12v rails. Only one power cable is delivering juice in sleep mode and that is the +5vsb which has a mere 2.5a.

It is indeed possible that there is something wrong with this line, perhaps normal wear and tear, that is causing it not to be able to do what it is supposed to do.

Learning how old the drive is will be helpful in judging the likelihood of that.

The older it is, the more likely it is the source of the problem.

I wouldn't rule it out just yet.
November 15, 2011 7:04:26 PM

ko888 said:
Try booting from an OS on an HDD and then apply the firmware update to the SSD. If the SSD is a primary boot disk it is usually locked and firmware updates cannot be made to it while it is in use.


That does make a lot of sense. I think I have an external enclosure about, so I'll give that a shot from the wife's laptop.
November 15, 2011 7:15:07 PM

Raiddinn said:
PC Power and Cooling are a pretty respectable brand around here.

That being said, even Antec feels the ravages of time.

How old is the PSU?

Also, sleep mode doesn't use 12v rails. Only one power cable is delivering juice in sleep mode and that is the +5vsb which has a mere 2.5a.

It is indeed possible that there is something wrong with this line, perhaps normal wear and tear, that is causing it not to be able to do what it is supposed to do.

Learning how old the drive is will be helpful in judging the likelihood of that.

The older it is, the more likely it is the source of the problem.

I wouldn't rule it out just yet.


Going through the Newegg invoices, it looks like the PSU was purchased 10/2008. If it does happen to be that, I'd say it had a good run. Being as the firmware update mentioned my problem, I've got hope that the update will fix it, but this is now looking like the next option. Do you suppose a local computer repair store would have one on hand? I'm just thinking that if it is shot, I can use the money for the tester on the new PSU. I don't think I'd use it much after my own test.
a c 1102 ) Power supply
November 15, 2011 8:44:10 PM

+5VSB does not have anything to do with boot drives not showing up during boot.

There's no electrical connection of the +5VSB power circuit to the SSD or any of your HDDs.

+5VSB is always powered on when the power supply's main AC power switch is on. It provides a power source for circuits that must remain operational when the main DC output rails are in a disabled state. Example uses include soft power control, Wake on LAN, wake-on-modem, intrusion detection, or suspend state activities.

The SSD and HDDs are only connected to the main DC output rails.

You should be able to prove if the power supply is or isn't the problem by disconnecting the SSD and using a hard disk drive in its place as a boot drive. If you don't encounter the missing boot drive problem anymore then the power supply is not the problem and that would indicate that the SSD was the problem all along.
a b ) Power supply
November 15, 2011 11:28:38 PM

He said early on he had problems coming out of sleep mode, that is +5SB.

That is why I thought/think that it is the PSU.

Not to mention most of the time you have any issues where something used to work and now it doesn't and a lot of the time when you have restarting issues then it is the PSU.

Any place people go to get their computers repaired will likely have a power measuring device on hand.

That being said, you should probably just buy one for $15, use it, then take it right back to the store you got it from if the computer place won't test it for free.

Best solution

a c 1102 ) Power supply
November 15, 2011 11:58:41 PM
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Quote:
lurch101: The only lead I have is when the system restarts, the BIOS won't list the drive at all.
If the +5VSB was the problem the system wouldn't even start up, but the OP is obviously able to wake the system from sleep mode and see the POST screen as well as get into the BIOS setup. It's just that the SSD won't wake up/resume.
Quote:
lurch101: I'll power down, re-seat the plugs and power up, then it works fine.
The Sandforce controller based SSD that the OP uses is known to have problems of not being able to resume from sleep mode. In fact to get the SSD recognized again a full power down is required to get the SSD to reset itself. This is the exact symptom that the OP is experiencing. There really isn't a need to re-seat the cables though. A firmware fix for the SSD is available that is suppose to resolve this problem.
a b ) Power supply
November 16, 2011 12:23:36 AM

I couldn't get the latest firmware from ocz to load on my sandforce ssd. If that's the case, start using your power switch until the update works and stop using sleep mode for awhile.
November 16, 2011 6:27:12 AM

Again, thanks to everyone for the replies. I'm going to take the drive in to work tomorrow and try the fw update there since the updater program couldn't find the drive on USB. I'm working quite a bit over the next 4 days, so it may be a minute til I get back with results, so please bear with me.

Below is the text from the Patriot website regarding what's fixed in the update. Being that it specifically states "Drive Recovery from Sleep/Hibernate failures," it would appear that this issue is known and hopefully resolved. I'm hoping for good news when I get back to y'all. Wish me luck.

Notes:
3.3.2 Release Notes

-Added Nand Support
-Addresses Drive Timeout Issue
-Fixed SMART attributes log calculation -Optimizes Drive Read to improve ECC errors
-Improves Secure Erase operation to ensure Drive is Idle for improved stability
-Addresses S3/S4 power cycling issue on boot drives which resulted in BSoDs
-Addresses issues with READ/WRITE commands during power up
- Addresses issues during Firmware Updates
-Changed firmware Identify Parameters during commands
- Addresses Trim support issue which resulted in the drive freezing
- Addresses issue on primary boot drives waking from sleep mode and hanging


Rev 3.2.0

-Improves Drive Management after unsafe power cycle.
-Improves Drive Recovery from Sleep/Hibernate failures.
-Adds support with specific Raid Cards.
-Enhances Drive power management.
a c 1102 ) Power supply
November 16, 2011 12:29:13 PM

The SSD firmware update requires that the SSD drive be operating in AHCI mode on a SATA controller. Going through a USB port using an external drive enclosure will not work since the USB bus has no clue what AHCI is.
November 18, 2011 4:38:23 PM

Noticed that... though I didn't know why. I've been on a tear of doubles at work and keep forgetting to bring the drive in, so I apologize for the delay in results.
December 1, 2011 7:08:50 PM

So after installing the firmware update and leaving it for a week over Thanksgiving, the system is still running with no restarts or hangs. I'll put the sleep back on to test, though I may just keep the drive on. So as of now the firmware update seems to have worked.

If I forget to update from here, assume the sleep mode is working. Thanks to everyone for the help.
December 14, 2011 6:24:59 PM

Best answer selected by lurch101.
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