5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 9, 2014 4:27 PM by JohnGrigius

    Freezing with Intel Rapid Storage Driver

    JohnGrigius

      Good day to you all,

       

      For the past weeks I have been trying to dig up the cause of my Metro start screen freezing randomly after restart and login. This led me to reformat my PC and reinstall Windows 8.1 Pro.

      After installing some drivers the freeze welcomed itself back again. Doing some googling about the drivers that I installed beforehand made me notice something:

       

      I always install drivers from my manufacturer's website, one of them being the Intel Rapid Storage Driver found here: ASRock > Z77 Pro4

      As shown, the version of that driver on that website is 12.8.0.1016 which is pretty outdated.

       

      After looking on the Intel website (here) for a newer version, I found the following: Intel® Matrix Storage Technology (Don't mind the very old link name, Intel forgot to change it)

       

      What caught my eye in that version is the following resovled issue:

      Resolved issue.jpg

      Now, I don't have this SRT (Smart Response Technology) on my PC so I'm not sure how applicable this fix is to my scenario but this really made me think that this outdated Rapid Storage driver I have on my PC might be the culprit of my freezing problem.

       

      Now I REALLY want to install this updated version but the thing that's worrying me is that it's not uploaded by my own manufacturer on their website. I have read that your manufacturer usually modify drivers to make them 100% compatible with your PC component. That's why I'm scared to install it from Intel and take the risk of getting BSOD's or even my PC not booting up.

       

      Is there a moderator or any user around here who can confirm that Asrock doesn't modify the Rapid Storage driver (specifically for my mobo: Asrock Z77 Pro4)? Is it safe to install an updated version from Intel? If so, WHICH Rapid Storage driver from the Intel site is 100% compatible with my Asrock Z77 Pro4 motherboard?? (I reall can't seem to figure this out)

      I'm using a single harddisk in AHCI mode (not SSD)

       

      Specs:

       

      Windows 8.1 x64 with Media Center

      Asrock Z77 Pro4 motherboard

      Hitachi harddisk in AHCI mode, 1 TB

      i5-3570K CPU

        • 1. Re: Freezing with Intel Rapid Storage Driver
          joe_intel

          Hi JohnGrigius, it is possible that the freezing issue you are having is not related to Intel® Rapid Storage Technology because you do not have the same conditions described in the Release Notes document. You are not using Intel® Smart Response Technology since it requires the SATA controller mode to be in RAID.

          You may use an Intel generic driver; however, I recommend trying to pinpoint the exact driver or application that is causing the issue. You can use a clean boot or simply uninstalling the program in order to determine the culprit software component.

          How to perform a clean boot in Windows

          Using System Configuration (msconfig) - Windows Help

          • 2. Re: Freezing with Intel Rapid Storage Driver
            JohnGrigius

            Hello joe_intel,

             

            Apparently, this indeed did not fix my freezing issue since the Metro UI just hung on me now. It has been a week now trying to figure out what might cause this issue.

             

            A few questions:

            1. What is the Intel generic driver you're talking about? Do you mean the standard Microsoft driver that installs by default?

            2. I'm thinking of doing a clean install of Windows without installing RST. However I want to know if there are any advantages for using Rapid Start Technology if I'm using a single HDD in AHCI mode.

            I read that the only benefit is having NCQ enabled. If that's the case, is there a way I can enable NCQ without installing the RST driver?

            • 3. Re: Freezing with Intel Rapid Storage Driver
              JohnGrigius

              UPDATE:

              Ok, so I did a clean boot as you suggested and surprisingly, the freezing issue still occurred!

               

              Are you sure that the Intel Rapid Storage driver and all of its services are completely disabled at startup when performing a clean boot as provided in that link?

              • 4. Re: Freezing with Intel Rapid Storage Driver
                joe_intel

                For Intel generic driver I meant any version of Intel® Rapid Storage Technology downloaded directly from Intel (instead of getting it from the system manufacturer).


                The clean boot usually helps discarding third party applications as part of the issue. You may also try uninstalling and not using Intel® Rapid Storage Technology for a while, just for troubleshooting purposes.

                 

                However, a clean operating system installation will discard any other software for sure. You may ask Microsoft* in order to verify if the Windows* inbox driver supports NCQ.

                 

                I believe you are confusing Intel® Smart Response Technology and Intel® Rapid Start Technology. Please read the following document for more details:

                Intel 2012 Responsiveness Technologies: Technology Brief

                 

                I have a question: Are you sure the freezing is only occurring while the Metro GUI is displayed?

                It is possible for this to be an operating system or hard drive issue.

                • 5. Re: Freezing with Intel Rapid Storage Driver
                  JohnGrigius

                  I'm sorry, the Intel Rapid Start Technology in my previous post was a typo; my question was what other benefits I would have if I install Rapid Storage Technology for a single HDD in AHCI mode if the Microsoft default driver already enables NCQ by itself (which I just verified in another forum).

                   

                  About the freezing issue: I am pretty positive that the freezing is only occurring at the Metro GUI after login since this problem does not occur if I choose to log into my Desktop immediately (in the taskbar's Properties options).

                   

                  If the clean boot surely rules out RST being the cause of my freezing issue, then I am left with 2 possible causes which doesn't have much to do with Intel drivers:

                  1. Enabling .NET Framework 3.5

                  2. One of the Windows Updates after October 2014 (when my problem started)

                   

                  I just reformatted my PC and installed RST 3.1.0.1058 (which is hopefully the correct version for my Asrock Z77 Pro4 mobo) through the Device Manager. I have not enabled .NET Framework 3.5 just yet and so far the freezing issue did not occur. However, I shouldn't be cheering already since this problem is very random and thus requires quite a few tests (restarts) to be sure if it got fixed.