13 Replies Latest reply: Oct 9, 2012 9:28 AM by Starchild RSS

Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems

Starchild Community Member
Currently Being Moderated

I received my Intel SSD 520 240 GB mid-June, and since then, I have been nothing but frustrated with this SSD and Intel's email support.

 

First off, let me start off with my system specifications:

Asus U20A Notebook

Intel Dual-Core ULV SU7300 1.3 GHz

Mobile Intel GS45 Express Chipset + ICH9M

4 GB DDR2-800 RAM

Intel GMA X4500MHD Graphics

 

Before upgrading to this SSD, I ran a 320 GB HDD in AHCI for 3 years on Windows Vista, and later, Windows 7 with absolutely no problems. After upgrading, I freshly installed Windows 7. The installation went without issue, but upon booting up into Windows, my system would frequently pause/freeze/stall for a minute-or-so, then resume for a few minutes only to pause again. I could still move the mouse, but running application would become completely unresponsive.

 

After multiple re-installations of Windows, updating Windows (which took all night with all the frequent pauses) and installing IRST 10.8.0.1003 drivers, the problem still remained. After installing Intel SSD Toolbox (took 15 minutes) and running a full diagnostic scan on the SSD, it came up with read errors within a few seconds. I RMA'ed the SSD only to have its replacement do exactly the same thing.

 

So now I'm thinking maybe it's my notebook. So I tested the new SSD in my older desktop with the following specifications:

Shuttle SG33G5

Intel Core 2 Quad

Intel G33 Chipset + ICH9DH

4 GB DDR2-800 RAM

Intel GMA 3100 Graphics

 

The SSD ran perfectly.

 

So with the SSD back in my notebook, and after some troubleshooting, I discovered that if I run the SSD in IDE mode, the pauses do note happen. Still unsatisfied, as obviously the SSD is much slower in IDE mode, I took to the forums in-search of a fix as Intel's email technical support is totally and utterly useless.

 

I found on Corsair's SSD support forums that one of their SSD that also uses the SandForce controller was suffering from similar pauses. The fix (discussed here) was disabling Link Power Management (LMP) and it worked. Since then, Corsair has released a firmware update that addresses this issue. You also need to disable Device Initiated Power Management (DIPM) in the Intel SSD Toolbox, or else the pauses come back.

 

The fix is specific to the IRST drivers and involves modifying values within HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor.

 

With the pauses fixed, now I am having another issue: I am getting a BSOD with STOP 0xF4 after resuming from sleep. Again, I took to the forums, and unsurprisingly, an OCZ SSD that also uses the SandForce controller was suffering from the exact problem (discussed here). Just as Corsair did, OCZ released a firmware update to address these issues.

 

So besides disabling sleep, how do I fix the this BSOD STOP 0xF4? When is Intel releasing a firmware update to address these SandForce-related issues?

 

Also, below is my email communique with Intel technical support, just in case anyone is thinking that they will be useful.

 

Hello Marc,

Thank you again for contacting Intel Customer Support.

It is not necessary, they are in the previous emails.

Sincerely,

Mark B.
Intel Technical Support


Original Text

From:<<snipped>>
To:support.replies_@mailbox.intel.com
CC:
Sent:07/18/12 09:41:39
Subject:Re: {ticketno:[8000475687]} - Your Intel Customer Support Inquiry

 

Can you please reiterate your recommendations?

On Jul 18, 2012 12:33 PM, <SUPPORT.REPLIES@mailbox.intel.com> wrote:


Hello Marc,

Thank you again for contacting Intel Customer Support.

Sure I can explain it to you.

The definition for isolate in the dictionary is:

• To set or place apart; detach or separate so as to be alone.

Applying it to computation, when you isolate the issue is because you are setting apart one component as the cause of the problem, meaning that if you remove this component the problem will be fixed.

Now after explaining that, I can answer your question and I need to quote “how a minor edit to registry entries specific to the IRST drivers (which actually makes the drive usable), does not isolate the problems to the IRST drivers, the controller, or the SSD itself?”, you are not isolating the issue to one component, you are mentioning three different component, it means that you do not know which is causing the issue, and I can even add another one but this topic is getting out of the main idea, solving the issue.

I already provided my recommendations base on your system information and the behavior of the issue to help you out and it is up to you to take them or not. Changing the registry of the Operating System was not one of them, if you decide it is necessary to change the registry on your own, you need to know what you are doing and if any issue comes as a result of it my best recommendation is that you contact Microsoft for support.

Sincerely,

Mark B.
Intel Technical Support

 


Original Text

From:<<snipped>>
To:support.replies_@mailbox.intel.com
CC:
Sent:07/17/12 11:17:59
Subject:Re: {ticketno:[8000475687]} - Your Intel Customer Support Inquiry

Please explain to me how a minor edit to registry entries specific to the IRST drivers (which actually makes the drive usable), does not isolate the problems to the IRST drivers, the controller, or the SSD itself.

Best regards,
Marc

 

 


On Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM, <SUPPORT.REPLIES@mailbox.intel.com> wrote:

 

Hello Marc,

Thank you again for contacting Intel Customer Support.

I appreciate your feedback but base on the information provided we cannot say it is the controller of the SSD, the behavior that you are presenting on your system is not reflected to us.

Intel does not discuss any information about unreleased firmware, including dates and detailed fixes.

Besides, you already mention the SSD worked fine in another system and changing the registry of the Operating System does not isolate it to the SSD, it only opens more questions like what if the new problem that have now is because of the changes on the registry instead.

Sincerely,

Mark B.
Intel Technical Support

 

 

Original Text

From:<<snipped>>
To:support.replies_@mailbox.intel.com
CC:
Sent:07/15/12 10:18:51
Subject:Re: {ticketno:[8000475687]} - Your Intel Customer Support Inquiry

I fixed the frequent pauses by disabling Link Power Management (LMP) within HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor in the registry and not allowing Intel SSD Toolbox to enable DIPM.
But now, I am having another issue: I am getting a BSOD with STOP 0xF4 after resuming from sleep (see attachment).
Actually, the problem is the SandForce controller. I found the fix for the frequent pauses on a Corsair SSD support forum. Their SSD with SandForce controller also suffered from frequent pauses and they have since issued a firmware update that fixes the problem (http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=96663).

 


Additionally, an OCZ SSD that also uses the SandForce controller is also suffering from BSOD STOP 0xF4 after resuming from sleep and they have also issued a firmware update that fixes that problem (http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?93140-Random-BSOD-0x000000F4-with-Vertex3-120GB).


When is Intel planning to update their firmware to fix these SandForce controller-related issues?


Best regards,

Marc

 

 


On Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM, <SUPPORT.REPLIES@mailbox.intel.com> wrote:

 

Hello Marc,

Thank you again for contacting Intel Customer Support.

The SSD is backwards compatible but there are some component that are meant to be upgraded and some are not depending on what you are purchasing and the manufacturer of it, they just need to remove features that come on parts like chipsets or processors and the only way to upgrade it after this is done is to purchase a new one, most of the desktop board are meant to be upgraded but most of the laptops are not meant to be modified, but this topic can get deeper and it will not solve the problem.

If you think it is a problem of the IRST, the only option to make sure is if you run a total different Operating System like Linux* and if it does not presents the same problem we will be talking about a driver issue and not a BIOS issue related to the chipset.

Sincerely,

Mark B.
Intel Technical Support

 

 

Original Text

From:<<snipped>>
To:support.replies_@mailbox.intel.com
CC:
Sent:07/10/12 10:11:12
Subject:Re: {ticketno:[8000475687]} - Your Intel Customer Support Inquiry

My desktop, in which the drive worked perfectly, has a Core 2 Quad and Intel G33 Chipset + ICH9DH that is also SATA II. It is also my understanding that the SATA interface is backwards compatible. So I do not think this consideration is valid.

 

 

Something needs to be fixed, either the BIOS or Intel Rapid Storage Tech drivers. I have also read of other people installing SSD from Corsair into this specific notebook with no problems so maybe the IRST need an update.

 

What are your thoughts?


Best regards,

Marc

 


On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM, <SUPPORT.REPLIES@mailbox.intel.com> wrote:


Hello Marc,

Thank you for contacting Intel Customer Support.

According to the information provide I can say that the chipset used in this computer is very old, it is from 2008, the SSD that you have is from Q1’2012.

We need to take in to consideration that this SSD is new technology, this SSD posse its own controller to store the information received from the chipset, taking advantage of the AHCI mode, something that can be point out is that your chipset works with SATA I and SATA II but this SSD is SATA III.

Base on your previous email, you mentioned that the SSD works fine in a different system so the SSD is not the issue.

The problem seems that the controller in your laptop does not communicate with the SSD properly, and most of the times it is because the BIOS does not have all the proper ROMs to work with this SSD, my best recommendation is to verify if the manufacturer of the laptop has created a BIOS update including the proper ROMs for this SSD so the BIOS can work fine with it, and the only way to verify that is contacting the system manufacturer.

Sincerely,

Mark B.
Intel Technical Support


Original Text

From:<<snipped>>
To:support.replies_@mailbox.intel.com
CC:
Sent:07/09/12 14:44:50
Subject:Re: {ticketno:[8000475687]} - Your Intel Customer Support Inquiry

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your response.

 


Chipset: Mobile Intel GS45 Express Chipset

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3 Ghz


If you require further information, please do not hesitate to ask.


Best regards,

Marc

 

 


On Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM, <SUPPORT.REPLIES@mailbox.intel.com> wrote:

 

Hello Marc,

Thank you for contacting Intel Customer Support.

I understand that your Intel® SSD 520 is not able to work in SATA AHCI mode  in your laptop but it works fine in different desktop computer.

In this case please provide more detailed information so we can better isolate your issue:

System configuration:
• Chipset Model:
• Processor:

Sincerely,

Mark B.
Intel Technical Support

 

========
Intel Customer Support

Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

A representative of Intel may subsequently contact you by email in order to obtain your feedback on the quality of the support you received. If you do not wish to participate, simply delete the survey email.

*********************PLEASE DO NOT DELETE*********************
Your service ticket reference number is: {ticketno:[8000475687]}
You must include this text in any reply to this email. Thank you.
*********************PLEASE DO NOT DELETE*********************

 

Original Text
From:<<snipped>>
To:
CC:
Sent:07/08/12 18:20:54
Subject:Intel(R)+SSD+520+Series+(240GB%2c+2.5in+SATA+6Gb%2fs%2c+25nm%2c+MLC) Email Support Request

 

##ERIGNORE##
First_name: Marc
Last_name: Andrews
Email: <<snipped>>

Customer_type: End User
Product: Intel(R)+SSD+520+Series+(240GB%2c+2.5in+SATA+6Gb%2fs%2c+25nm%2c+MLC)
Product_id: 3473
OS: Windows 7 Enterprise, 64-bit version*
Survey_opt_in: Yes
country: Canada
Phone Number: 416 823 2224
Company :
Bios_version:
device_density_flash:
Firmware_Version_Flash:
modelnumber:
serial_number_flash:
did_you_try_web_first: Yes
Error_message:
Issue: I just upgraded the hard drive in my Asus U20A notebook to an Intel 520 240 GB SSD followed by a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate. However, when I enable SATA AHCI mode ("enahnced") in the BIOS, running programs frequently pause (0 reads/writes) for about a minute or so, and then resume. Changing to SATA IDE mode ("compatible") solves the issue, but of course, the performance is not as fast as with SATA AHCI.

The previous HDD that came with the notebook ran in SATA AHCI mode with no problems.

The Intel Matrix Storage or MS AHCI drivers do not appear to fix the problem.

I have installed the SSD in my desktop with SATA AHCI enabled and there were no problems.

I am running the latest BIOS (209) for the notebook and the latest firmware for the SSD.

How do I enable SATA AHCI mode with my new SSD?
region: geo#=NAMO
Form_id: 129

  • 1. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    Josh Green Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Starchild is not the only one having this issue. Last Thursday I received my brand new Dell Precision M6600. Before I started to use the system I upgraded the hard drive to an Intel 520 Series..

     

    After dropping in the SSD, I was ready to install Windows 7 Pro. I first went into the BIOS and left the setting on RAID. After reading tons of forums, this seemed like the right way on installing the hard drive. Once complete I installed all the necessary drivers (which is a story in its self!). After, I went on the Intel website and ran the driver utility make sure everything is up-to-date. I also installed the SSD toolbox to optimize the drive.

     

    After dealing with the BIOS not always detecting the SSD and the occasional OS freeze, I made my way into the Intel control panel. I noticed the hard drive was only running at 3GB/s, I thought that was kind of odd since the computer is capable of running 6GB/s. I decided to change the BIOS to AHCI and reinstall 7..

     

    Once complete I still had to deal with the BIOS not detecting the SSD and 7 freezing up every so often. Anywho, once I re-installed all drivers and utilities. I now see the hard drive running at 6GB/s. I was a very happy camper until I started to use the computer. I noticed it freezed up the more I use it.

     

    Finally, after I finished reading all documents I could find on the internet on my trusty apple. I decided to post this issue on the Intel forum. Approximately 13 hours later, Starchild wrote me back two possible ways of correcting the issue. One was the power management options in windows and the other was a registry modification. I couldn't find the power management option; skeptically I went ahead and modified the registry. After I rebooted the computer now works perfectly!

     

    Intel (typing this while simultaneously shaking my pointer finger) you have a serious issue with your SSD. You need to post a firmware update. Not only to fix the issue with 7 but, also so folks who have M6600 and other affected laptop/desktops; who decide to buy your SSD, can just turn on the computer and have it boot up normally. 


    Thanks Again Starchild..

  • 2. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    phil_l Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi

     

    Please note that if not using RAID, you do not need, and should actively avoid the Intel RST drivers. There is zero performance difference between using the Windows built in ACHI drivers or the Intel ones. I've had several issues over the years using Intel drivers for ACHI including blue screens that have all been fixed by using the Windows built in drivers.  Check out Intel's own release notes, they often document known issues for various problems and are being updated every few months in a desperate attempt to fix issues, whereas Windows built in drivers rarely require updates and when they do, they are part of a very heavily tested service pack or update.

     

    Regards

     

    Phil

  • 3. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    Starchild Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I switched to MS' AHCI drivers and the pauses returned. With all the pausing, it took more than an hour, but I was finally able to enable control of DIPM/HIPM in Power Options via the registry (discussed here). From there, I disabled DIPM/HIPM for each Power Plan and the pauses stopped. I have also successfully resumed from sleep without a BSOD STOP 0xF4. Additionally, I went from 7.7 to 7.8 primary hard disk Windows Experience Index subscore.

     

    So far, switching to MS' AHCI drivers have solved all my problems. Thanks for the help Phil!

  • 4. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    Josh Green Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks Phil and Starchild for the additional help, I'm still new to troubleshooting these issues so I really appreciate all the feedback!! I'm currently using the "Intel(R) Mobile Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller",  I will try the "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller". Hopefully soon Intel will come out with a revision that solves all issues.

     

    Also, I have heard a lot about TRIM how can I tell if the TRIM option is running?

     

    Thanks again

     

    ***update***

     

    The computer is still having issues, it continues to freeze while surfing the web.. On the bottom it says "waiting for cache"

  • 5. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    Starchild Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I also spoke too soon, as I am still getting STOP 0xF4 after resuming from sleep. I will make a new thread for this specific issue.

     

    Josh: You can check if TRIM is enabled by opening a Command Prompt as an administrator and typing:

    fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

     

    0 means enabled while 1 means disabled.

     

    To enabled TRIM, type:

    fsutil behavior set disablenotify 0

     

    I believe TRIM is enabled by default.

     

    Are the pauses only happening with your browser?

  • 6. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    Josh Green Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks Starchild, yes, TRIM is enabled. and yes, the freezing only happens in the browser (Chrome).. At the bottom of the browser it reads "Waiting for Cache". I haven't had a chance to push the computer but, I will this weekend!!! Photoshop, games, run-of-the-mill operations.. I'll let you know how it turns out. 

     

    ****UPDATE*****

    Its just happened!!! outlook was checking for mail and I was cruising the internet.. Anywho.. I will send more updates as things happen.

  • 7. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    randallt Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Unfortunately, I can't stop the freezing either in a Lenovo W520 Win7 system. I have the LMP set to active / active in the windows power options, and the SSD Toolbox says DIPM isn't supported. However, I still had the drive hang in the on state (LED lit) over the weekend. It seems more likely to happen when I login remotely, but it also can happen right after reboot while actively loading up programs (so I don't think any type of power management comes in to play there). Any other ideas on how to fix this? Should I just RMA?

  • 8. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    Josh Green Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I still have the freezing problems too.. But, since I followed the recommendations of Starchild.. it seemed to be freezing less.. I wish Intel would come out with a fix, I had the drive for over a month and I haven't seen any new updates. My opinion would be to return it and get a different brand.. or just hope something comes down the pipe soon.

  • 9. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    shadenz Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I have these issues too, on a Lenovo W520.

     

    I had a 160GB 320 series and that ran fine and never froze.

     

    Then I upgraded to the 520 series and got a 180GB - started freezing. Tried to fix it but assumed the disk was faulty so I grabbed a 240GB as well, the 180GB is in another PC and works great but the 240GB is having the same symptoms/issues as you.

     

    Please fix this Intel!

  • 10. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    shadenz Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Returned the 240GB and swapped it for a Samsung 830, ended up being $70 cheaper and works great!

     

    Problem solved. Kinda

  • 11. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    Starchild Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm still testing, but it seems like all of my issues (periodic freezing and BSOD 0xF4 after resuming from sleep) have been fixed after upgrading to IRST 11.6.0.1030.

     

    It also seems like this IRST disables HIPM/DIPM and LPM.

  • 12. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    jaywalkra Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hey starchild, I also had the same issue as you on my 520 drive. It seems that after swapping to the RST drivers, all issues went away. I also had my own thread about it; Re: [HELP] Repeating BSOD Intel 520 180GB

     

    After further research about Intel Chipset drivers, MS AHCI drivers and Intel RST drivers, I stumbled upon a thread on the Intel forums (though not in SSD sub-category) which the user explains in a small portion of his actual problem regarding Intel SSDs being used in laptops. That particularly helpful thread is included in my own thread in a quote.

     

    Cheers to our 520 drives!

  • 13. Re: Intel SSD 520 240 GB problems
    Starchild Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm glad it worked out for you.

     

    Unfortunately, it appears that updating to the latest IRST corrupted my SSD, causing explorer.exe and other Windows components to crash constantly and requiring the SSD to be scanned before each boot to recover bad sectors.

     

    This was the last straw.

     

    I sold the SSD and, like shadenz, purchased a Samsung 830 and I've never been happier.

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