2 Weeks ago I broke my rule not to get any second hand storage media but the price was too tempting.
In short I have 2.5” Intel SSDSC2BF512A5 with Firmware: LB1i which turned out to be Dell OEM version of the drive obviously with custom firmware.
Before I go to the problems and what I did my question is simple is there any newer firmware for this device and can you provide it to me ? I checked Dell drivers section but there are firmwares only for the 2.5” 360GB and 180GB and mSATA 180GB.Any way I executed their setups and they informed that as of their current version there is no newer version of the firmware for my SSD.
I also downloaded and checked 2 of the latest versions of Intel SSD Toolbox and the Intel SSD Firmware Update Tool but they state I’m with latest version of the firmware.
Let me repeat I’m with LB1i Intel lists TG21 as the latest one for the Pro 2500 series (on multiple places says I should use OEM provided firmware for the OEM drives).
The 512GB version of the drive is not listed anywhere as supported by the Toolbox and FW Update Tool so I believe it is intended only for OEMs this is why I’m writing this because I’m unable to find any newer FW since the release of this drive but the rest of the Pro 2500 series obviously received one update.
BOOT - BIOS is not detecting for boot Windows 8.1 64bit from the drive after what I would call soft RESTART (both after Win restart or some other OS or Ctrl+Alt+Del reboot after being in the BIOS). SSD is in MBR style partitions boot is done in Legacy mode. SSD drive is detected but the BIOS is not finding anything to boot in this condition If I have bootable USB drive I can load an OS and can freely copy,paste and modify the SSD.
Problem is not occurring on full Power Cycle (Power OFF and Power ON the machine)
Problem is not occurring with Windows 7 64bit in MBR style
Problem is not occurring when the drive is in GPT style and booth is in UEFI mode.
Let’s say this is solved but still I can reproduce it easily.
Windows 8.1 Freezes / Hangs.
One by one all the open apps are freezing ( I can’t also start new ones) until everything freeze and I need a power cycle.
Nothing in the Event Log for this events (it hangs also and is unable to write errors in the event log , I tried to solve this by redirecting the event logs to external USB storage) but the only 2 times I was able to refresh it before it frezes I could see “Event ID : 129 – storahci resetting raidport0” this error was not recorded and not visible after system reboot.
This is the most annoying problem. After full 2 weeks spending 6 hours every night at home trying a lot of stuff I’m still unable to resolve it.
Let’s clarify system was working without any of this issues with the Lenovo OEM Samsung 128GB SSD drive. Initially I cloned the Win 8.1 from the old drive but afterwards I did clean install in UEFI mode.
System : Lenovo x220 Tablet (model 4299CV8) , i7 -2640m , RAM Lenovo OEM Samsung 4GB + 2GB DDR3 1333MHz
BIOS : 1.43 (latest/modded)
Intel Management Engine Frimware 126.96.36.19972
Lenovo Battery Firmware 1.16
ALL the Firmwares were updated to the latest ones
So what I did so far
Lenovo X220 Tablet updated BIOS from 1.30 to 1.40 to 1.40 modded to 1.43(latest) to 1.43 modded BIOS no change in the behavior at all.
SATA is in AHCI ( I tried IDE It crashes the system just after 5min in idle reboots and drive is not detectable)
From the modded BIOS when in AHCI I set the “Aggressive Link Power” to Disabled and Port 0 “ALPM Mode Select” is Disabled this 2 settings are bringing some stability.
Windows 8.1 settings
SATA Drivers – the default Microsoft ones (edited registry more on that later) the latest one for the system from INTEL AHCI 188.8.131.521 are freezing the machine in no more than 15 min work and 5 min idle in some cases with Blue Screen stating CRITICAL_PROCESS DIED and no dump for this screen/crash it is not going beyond 0% reboots and HDD is not detectable by BIOS (BIOS screams “2100: Detection error on HDD0 (Main HDD)” .
Power Options: All power plans both battery and AC power
Hard Disk – Turn Off hardisk after : Never
I edited the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\0012ee47-9041-4b5d-9b77-535fba8b1442\0b2d69d7-a2a1-449c-9680-f91c70521c60 and here “Attributes” is set to 2 to Expose “AHCI Link Power Management” in Hard Disk power Options.
“Active” It can still freeze.
“HIPM” – freezes very fast sometimes I don’t have the time to get to the Control Panel after boot.
“DIPM” – the most stable one I can get the system up to 12h constant work without letting the machine idling for more than a minute (that is the record without freezeing)
“Attributes” is set to 2 to Expose "AHCI Link Power Management - Adaptive" tried both 0 milliseconds and 300000 milliseconds
PCI Express link power management is OFF
I edited the registry in the following way.
NoLPM – I added the following to the list of devices there
INTEL SSDSC2BF512A5 SATA 512GB*
NoidleD3 : I saw that INTEL SSD?C??????A4* series are added there on Windows 8.1 and in the office I also saw my SSD added on Windows 10 INTEL SSD?C??????A5*
so I copied the settings from my office computer and added my own like this
INTEL SSDSC2BF512A5 SATA 512GB
NoFUACommand – after some reading here and there I understood that most of the SSDs most probably are disregarding this command so I decided to add the following here
INTEL SSDSC2BF512A5 SATA 512GB*
All this changes made the system much more stable and is even capable in 2/3 of the times to enter and exit sleep while solely on battery.
Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorV\Parameters I added new key Port0 and there I added the following DWORDS
LPM = 0
I haven’t felt any change from the last but it was worth trying.
If you gonna ask me about SSD Toolbox SMART shows all OK Media Wear shows 75% left and I have run Quick Diagnostic scan.
I did all the dumb stuff like switching off prefetch , defragment , pagefile , assuring that TRIM is running and all the basic stuff you can think of.
Since the easiest way to hang the system is by letting it go on it’s own in Sleep and wake it up in which cases depending on the configs and drivers is either hanging just prior to enter Sleep or when it get out of it or 10min after it got out of Sleep I believe that the problem is purely in the way the SSD is handling the power states either the SATA ones or the ACPI ones. And my ultimate conclusion given the fact that I saw it added to the Windows 10 NoidleD3 that it has troubles with the D states. In some very rare cases when windows is able to crash with bluescreen after the freeze and restarts the SSD is not visible for the BIOS which means that a soft restart is not able to get it out of the power state it got itself into.
I tried both with and without the Lenovo Power Management driver installed and no difference.
So if someone knows how and from where I can completely disable the power states for the SSD in Win8.1 you are welcome to share it either of this I believe the solutions are Windows 7 (not yet fully tested) or newer SSD firmware in order this system to work in its current config Win8.1 + X220+ Pro 2500.
Fun fact about Intel SSD Toolbox it says that DIPM is not set and when I click Optimize and check the Power Settings I see it set on HIPM