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Crucial M4 occasionally disappears, Legacy IDE fixes

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#1
In brief:
Installed Crucial M4 with the SATA controller in RAID mode, drive not in raid. No other SATA drives attached. Installed Windows 8 which ran without issue for quite a while until (no hardware or driver changes), it would occasionally crash and fail to identify itself in BIOS. Rebooting a few times would cause it to reappear, but it would try to load Windows, then BSOD. Clearing the BIOS and setting my old settings again changed nothing, but I HAVE managed to get it stable by setting the SATA controller to "Legacy IDE". Now my speeds are terrible (150 MB/s) and everything feels slow, but I don't have to worry about it not recognizing.

All Googling efforts have turned up something to the effect of "Flash the new 0009 firmware. It's much more stable!". The M4 came from Newegg with 040H firmware, which is currently the latest firmware available.

I've occasionally see people suggest "Do a secure wipe and reinstall", but I don't quite see how that would affect it being recognized in BIOS.

I'm wondering if simply re-flashing the same firmware will help. It seems like something's borked in that department.

Info:
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 (AMD 790FX, SB750)
Crucial M4-CT256M4SSD2, 040H Firmware
Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

Troubleshooting steps already taken:
Swap cable
Swap port
Prime95, Memtest, etc
Unplug drive for an hour
SMART short self test ("Completed without error.")
 
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#2
flashing will help, my friend has an m4 in his laptop and had many issues, I updated his firmware all problems vanished.

just backup first.

I reread and you said reflash same , that might not help.

I would go back to windows 7.
 
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#3


It would appear that it won't let me update since it's already at the latest firmware. (I was hoping it would just flash over it.)

Edit: Derp. Helps to accept the license agreement.
 
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#4
In brief:
Installed Crucial M4 with the SATA controller in RAID mode, drive not in raid. No other SATA drives attached. Installed Windows 8 which ran without issue for quite a while until (no hardware or driver changes), it would occasionally crash and fail to identify itself in BIOS. Rebooting a few times would cause it to reappear, but it would try to load Windows, then BSOD. Clearing the BIOS and setting my old settings again changed nothing, but I HAVE managed to get it stable by setting the SATA controller to "Legacy IDE". Now my speeds are terrible (150 MB/s) and everything feels slow, but I don't have to worry about it not recognizing.
Did you try [AHCI], with both [SATA Hotplugging] and [SATA link Power Management] on disabled? At least the latter option seemed to mess terribly with my Kingston drive if that option was enabled.
 
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#5
A new firmware was supposed to come out on jan 16th it says to correct many issues like you stated. I don't see it posted yet. I dl the firmwares for win 7/8 and were dated nov and dec 2012. Maybe this week something will turn up.

jan 16th 2012 =( man this firmware stuff is confusing

ok there are 2 firmwares if you install windows 7 you possibly can reflash that one. or maybe try to flash win 7firmware using win 8.

this is all I can think of. if anything ssd might be defective.
 
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#6
These are the only relevant settings I can think of.





..and the result:


After power cycle..

..followed by a lot of loading and a BSOD.

Legacy IDE will make it reliably show up under the main BIOS like so.
 
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#7
{scratches at the back of the head}

After you selected [AHCI] and so on, did the drive immediately appear in the list of connected devices (in the BIOS menu itself)? It mght be handy to check whether the settings are entered correctly after the reboot, save (even if the drive shows up!) and reboot again.
If you think it is worth the risk, flash your motherboard BIOS to the latest version, if a newer version is available. And best keep an eye out for the firmware update (that james888 referred to).
 
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#8
I had trouble tracking this BIOS down since DFI isn't doing consumer enthusiest motherboards now. It's currently running the latest one (just barely supporting the X6). I managed to get the BIOS from the official site though.

Settings are saving correctly. I'm fairly familiar with what each setting does and what the expected results should be (except for the generally very advanced wichcraft, aka: stuff I've yet to Google).

After a few attempts to boot in to Windows in AHCI mode, it's back to not wanting to boot (and now occasionally locking up in POST), freezing on the loading screen. I suspect file system errors though.

Just remembered this, in RAID/AHCI mode, I had issues booting to the Windows 8 DVD. It would usually load to the welcome screen, but would always freeze at various points as I tried to get command prompt open.

I'll shoot an e-mail off to Crucial support if I don't see a new firmware released soon.
 

rosesawin

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#9
me too,i think so,my friend has an m4 in his laptop and had many issues, I updated his firmware all problems vanished.
 
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#10
I tried booting to my original RAID array and had disturbingly similar results. I moved the SSD to a similar computer and am writing this post from it now. No issues.

So now, I'm trying to take a close look at my motherboard. Booting from CD with nothing plugged in to SATA works excellently. Booting with anything plugged in to SATA in seems to have issues.

Does anyone have a suggestion of a utility that would test the SATA controller? I've slightly bumped all voltages to encourage stability. If that doesn't work, I plan on lowering FSB/bclk to encourage more stability. I'm currently running memtest and heading out for coffee while I wait.

Thoughts? Suggestions? All appreciated.
 
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#11
SATA is controlled through the South Bridge if I am not mistaken. Better not bump the voltage on that, those things easily freak out AFAIK. Resetting the BIOS to defaults first may be best. Then we will troubleshoot further.
BTW, how is the thermal paste on the SB? Is it the original "chewing gum" or did you add paste to it yourself? If it is the latter, the paste may be needing reapplication, if it is the former then rather don't touch the SB heatsink sink.

BTW, I am starting to get the feeling that soon I will start pulling things out of my ass, if I am not already starting to do so. So let's hope somebody with more skills and knowledge arrives here soon.
 
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#12
I've reset the BIOS a few times, but I've always set most of my settings back. Memtest came back clear (just did one pass). CPU stress for about an hour passed.

I've just now cleared the BIOS via jumper and battery pull and have only changed SMART to enabled and the SATA controller to RAID mode (since I have my two mechanical drives hooked up now, which exhibited the same issue). Everything else is as default as default can get.

The southbridge heatsink hasn't been touched. The heatsink looks like it's making good contact and feels warm to the touch. I think there's a southbridge temp sensor in the BIOS and it showed all good. The hottest device was 45c (northbridge?).

I'm a bit at my wits end too. I've seen the integrated Dell diagnostics utilities that seem to claim that there are ways to test drive controllers (I assume just the buffers on the drives and/or interrupts?). Right now, I'm just looking for anything to stress out the drive which (should) stress out the controller too. I just need something that can pinpoint the problem and can consistantly find that error. If it takes Windows less than 30 seconds to fail, one of these tests should find it pretty quickly, right?

Ultimate Boot CD - ViVARD verify of two Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB drives in RAID 0.
 
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#13
If nobody else seems to know the answer here, I suggest asking tech support (of the mobo brand) for assistance.