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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello ya'll, first time poster here. Like many first timers, I have a problem I can't fix.

I have a win 7 64 bit pc I built myself. 1 year, no major problems. My computer is now, however, hard crashing VERY often. It will hang up, freeze, and either I will have to hold the power switch, or the screen will throw up a bunch of craziness (odd colored pixels / total chaos) and then restart the PC.

This started when I downloaded a game on steam (specifically, Deux Ex: Human Revolutions). I, admittedly, began uninstalling other programs while that program was installing. The game then proceeded to do what I described above: hard freezing. Weirdly, I could still alt tab and have some access to my PC. The game, taking up monitor 1 wouldn't go away, but if I had a browser open on monitor 2 I could access the web until the system ultimately buckled. I thought this was limited to the game's instability. I began to get more worried however as these crashes started happening more often.

Recently, whenever I left my computer alone, I would come back to it having crashed and restarted. It appears it could no longer go into sleep mode. After more and more of this, I decided to do a fresh install and delete all the info on the drives.

I've done that, and am currently using a fresh install of windows 7. I'm downloading drivers, all is good...and then freeze up. I restart, start updating again, downloading, browsing the web, etc.... until I refresh a website. I notice it isn't loading. I try google (to test internet connection) and it is starting to "lag" as though my connection failed. I go towards the start menu, mousing over my task bar. The minimized applications "preview" window comes up, but the start menu button is non functional, and then I freeze. No ctrl-alt-delete, or alt f4 works. Weirdly, the preview windows is still working. I could watch my download from steam happen in the little preview window on the task bar. After about 60 seconds, the computer gave a quick windows screen (I think the ctrl-alt-delete screen, not sure. very quick) and then the PC crashed.

Windows is installed on an SSD drive, and I have a 750gb HDD for most everything else. I was installing a game on the HDD when the computer crashed.

I don't know if I have a corrupted HDD, or a corrupted SSD, or a broken mobo.
Lastly, we do get more than a fair share of power outages here. I wouldn't be surprised if, even after only a year, something just got worn out. A lightning strike about 6 months ago fried my cable modem and the ethernet port on the mobo.

Any help is appreciated. -- John Stevens
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Hard Crashing in win7

UPDATE: I just ran a check disk on my HDD, with both "automatically fix file system errors" and "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" enabled. Midway through, the computer screen went garbled, froze, and I had to power down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Hard Crashing in win7

UPDATE: As my HDD is a Western Digital, I downloaded their diagnostic tool and ran a full scan (this is why I'm just now checking back. THX FOR REPLY PJB!)

About midway through I got an error:
Searchprotocolhost.exe
instruction 0x000...(some string) at 0x000...(some other string) was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of 0x000009d. Click OK to close the program.

The scan still continued despite this error, so i just ignored the dialog box. Upon completion, the result seemed ok. I chose the program option to "view results". This did not work and seemed to start freezing the PC. I managed to get to Start Menu --> Shutdown. This process completed....but the HDD never shut down. I had to force it to power off. I restarted, and went to check the logs. The result was the HTML file the program tried to import simply wasn't there (i.e. the HTML generated file was never generated).

This is feeling more and more like HDD failure. I just want to rule out mobo and SSD and...anything more scary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Hard Crashing in win7

UPDATE: I ran the following SEATOOLS tests and all were passed:
S.M.A.R.T. Check
Short Drive Self Test
Short Generic

I'm really wishing something would definitively pop up and say this thing is corrupted :\
 

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Re: Hard Crashing in win7

Hi,

0x000009d is a BIOS related issues, it's essentially saying your BIOS is having issues communicating with the hard disk.

1. Ensure your BIOS is up to date.

2. Check all physical connections to the hard drive (sata, controller connections, etc).

3. Ensure SSD is on its latest firmware, that is the most important thing for SSD's.

Have you had any blue screens?

Regards,

Patrick
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Hard Crashing in win7

Thx for the reply PJB. After reinstalling everything again, my SSD suddnely did not show up in BIOS. Now I'm thinking it is the culprit. I installed windows onto the HDD and so far I have MUCH better system stability.

I've downloaded all important software, and even downloaded and played a 7GB game. I had one game crash, but it didn't freeze the system.

Tomorrow I will check the hard connections between the SSD and the mobo to make sure I don't need a new wire. My BIOS and SSD firmware were never updated, but that wouldn't explain the sudden complete failure of them (would it?) I did try to update the firmware on the SSD earlier today before posting here, but the system kept crashing and I was unable to do this. Now, the drive not even appearing makes that moot.
 

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Re: Hard Crashing in win7

Thanks for the update!

It definitely sounds like your SSD is the problem here. If you tried to update the firmware but you got issues, it's the SSD itself.

Regards,

Patrick
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Hard Crashing in win7

Yep, my system has been far more stable now with it all on the HDD. New SSD is in the mail. Thx PJB :)
 

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Re: Hard Crashing in win7

Hi,

My pleasure, thanks for the update.

If you feel or are confident enough that your problem is solved, please navigate to 'Thread Tools' at the top of the thread and select 'Mark this thread as solved'.

Regards,

Patrick
 

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Re: Hard Crashing in win7

Hi John:
Interesting thread, but the solution to your problem has been noted before here on TSF and other Internet tech forums as well. SSD is not proving a reliable technology for use as Windows boot drives (c: drives)! :nono:

I've commented on at least a half-dozen home-built pc's here on TSF where they were using or insisted on using SSDs for their boot drives. It's still not a Mature Technology, and the laptop guys are ruining their reputations by use of these drives without the bugs being worked out of them. Gamers and other pc enthusiasts building high performance systems are getting sucked into the "newer is better" paradigm by blindly following reviews in Tech magazines whose reviewers get paid big bucks by the SSD manufacturers to push their products. :nonono:

I worked for 2 of the biggest hard drive manufacturers and helped design the modern HDD & controller technology used for the last 30 yrs. I am NOT IMPRESSED with the SSD stuff. At least on the low end; they are still being used experimentally in big data centers on network server farms, and even those guys still haven't converted over to SSD techology totally. You'll have to ask yourself the $64,000 question; "Why Not?". The answer is "Reliability, or lack thereof!". :hide:

Enough said, you found this solution out the hard way. Maybe we need a Sticky in one or more of the TSF forums to discourage people from using this Technology until it's proven itself over time. :facepalm:

Glad you resolved your problem!:4-clap:

BIGBEARJEDI
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Hard Crashing in win7

I'll mark this as solved :) Thx for the help and advice ya'll.

Hey Bigbear, I'm super impressed by your credentials! You helped design the modern HDD? Holy crap.

I was sold on the idea that the SSDs were supposed to be super resistant and long lived. The final replacement all the mechanical parts of a pc. Ah well. I've already bought a replacement drive so, might as well use it as long as I keep my data backed up.

To their credit, they ARE lightning fast. Their small size leaves plenty of room for SOME solution to this seeming unreliability to be bootstrapped on (at least in PC's).
 

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Sure thing, JN. Glad I could give you some insight. You are absolutely correct about the line of Marketing Hype we've been given about the "...final replacement all the mechnical parts of a pc...etc". What's also intesting is that the original SSD technology was developed in AT&T Bell labs back in the late 70s; and later sold to the Integrated Circuit manufacturers such as Motorola, TI, Intel, etc. to develop. It was supposed to become the panacea for hard drives being one of the main failure points in modern pc or microcomputer technology (Mac & IBM-pc architecture). :flowers:

When I first read the article in the trade journals way back then, I was hopeful and excited they could do what they claimed. Unfortunately, the last few years, since I retired from the IT industry I've seen these devices more and more, but as they started showing up in new computers, laptops, and notebooks I repair now, my opinion of them isn't too good. :uhoh:

I'm guessing these are showing up in personal readers like Kindle, Nook, etc. but those are still pretty new, and people have started to bring the broken ones to me yet. So far, so good but wait until all those devices begin to hit 5 yrs. of age or older. We'll see how well they hold up to age and abuse that mobile devices take.

Cheers!
BBJ
 
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