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Computer Crash. No BSOD. SSD not found.


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#1 mudwub

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 11:22 AM

Hey everyone,

I am going to link my previous thread from a couple weeks ago to save some time.

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2348825/locate-s...

The title pretty much says it all though. Out of nowhere my computer crashed. I was not doing anything differently. It has been a couple weeks since my computer crashed like this. Since then I fully formatted both my ssd and my hdd and i even replaced the PSU with a more reliable brand. Everything was going perfectly until the exact same crash happened again. No blue screen, no error code, everything just locks up and the little spinning wheel shows up. Can't alt-tab, cant minimize. I was in skype with a friend when it happened and was still able to communicate with him until i force restarted my computer. After restarting I went into the BIOS and lo and behold, in SATA information my SSD, where the OS is installed, no longer showed up. The only two boot options were my HDD and my disc drive. 

I immediately shut the computer down and opened it up thinking a cable had come loose. When I was checking the cables, though, nothing was unplugged or even loose. Every cable was pretty firmly in place. I unplugged a few and plugged them back in, but other than that, every thing inside the case was fine. 

I turned my computer back on and went to the BIOS and, like magic, my SSD showed up again and I was able to boot from it. Nothing was deleted or anything like that. It was the same desktop, nothing changed, other than that it crashed. I am currently on it now and everything is running fine again. All the temps of the hardware are great, nothing is over heating. I checked the disk partition screen and it says both drives are healthy.

The only thing that I was doing differently today was I installed drives for my xbox one controller for windows 8.1 on my computer and was using the controller to play some games. I had it plugged in while I was playing a different game than the one I used the controlled for. Although I don't know if that's an issue or not. 

Has anyone on here ever experienced anything like this? Or know what is going on with my computer? I have posted in a couple other places about this because I am really trying to figure out how to make this stop and some people suggested replacing the SATA cable. I am a little hesitant about swapping stuff out, though, since I have no idea how to recreate the incident and don't wanna get brand new parts only to have it crash two weeks later.

Here are the updated specs btw:
CPU: i7-4790k
Mobo: Asus z87-a
GPU: MSI GTX 970
PSU: Corsair HX 1050
SSD: crucial MX100 255gb

HDD: WD 1TB
RAM: 16gb ddr3
OS: windows 8.1 64-bit

 

Edit: On a side note, all these parts are pretty much brand new, excluding the PSU and CPU which I had swapped out after the first crash, and the HDD, Case and RAM which I am using from my previous build.


Edited by mudwub, 10 November 2014 - 11:29 AM.


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#2 zingo156

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:30 PM

After reading the other thread you had, I would recommend you try running windows on just the HDD by itself (disconnect the ssd and dvd drives) only the hdd should be connected and see if you have any crashes.

 

If not, then connect and run windows only from the SSD by itself (again disconnect the HDD and DVD drives) and then see if you experience a crash with only the SSD. If you do, my bet would be your ssd is faulty.

 

Since you re-used your ram, you may want to run memtest86+ to verify you have no errors there, download one of the versions and boot to memtest, run at least 3 passes and report any red lines (error lines) if you have them pop up. http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

 

** Memtest86+ V5.01 (27/09/2013)**


Edited by zingo156, 10 November 2014 - 12:30 PM.

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#3 mudwub

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 01:12 PM

The HDD is currently empty. I dont have an OS or anything on it at the moment. Would I need to reinstall windows 8.1 on the HDD or could I just test the SSD first?

 

Also, another concern that I have is since it took so long for the second incident to happen, would my best bet be to just wait it out with the HDD and DVD unplugged or is there any surefire way to test if a drive is faulty or not, like a similar program to memtest but for hard drives? Or recreate the incident?

 

And then for the memtest, I need to install it on a CD and then boot from the CD that it is installed on right?

 

The first time it crashed i did a memory diagnostics through the windows recovery screen and no problems came up, not sure if thats the same thing or not.


Edited by mudwub, 10 November 2014 - 01:39 PM.


#4 zingo156

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 01:55 PM

The HDD is currently empty. I dont have an OS or anything on it at the moment. Would I need to reinstall windows 8.1 on the HDD or could I just test the SSD first?

 

Also, another concern that I have is since it took so long for the second incident to happen, would my best bet be to just wait it out with the HDD and DVD unplugged or is there any surefire way to test if a drive is faulty or not, like a similar program to memtest but for hard drives? Or recreate the incident?

 

There are tests for hard drives and ssd's I would probably suggest using the manufacturers test for the ssd. you could try to wait it out with just the ssd connected. However if it freezes, you will be back to trying with the hdd (load windows on it) and then disconnect the ssd.

 

 


And then for the memtest, I need to install it on a CD and then boot from the CD that it is installed on right?

Yes you burn it to a disc and boot to the disc. There is also a flash drive bootable version, backup your data on the flash drive if you go that route as it requires a format.

 

I am not sure which memory diagnostic that is. I would still suggest memtest86+ as it is reliable and I know it works very well.


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#5 mudwub

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 02:05 PM

I will probably go ahead and do the memtest first then when I get home later today. How long does it take for the test to do 3 passes? I have never used the program before.

 

And will putting windows on the HDD force me to have to reinstall in on the SSD after im done testing it? Basically will it cause any copyright issues with the disc.

 

I tried looking for a crucial diagnostics tool but was unable to find one. The only thing I saw on their site was a system compatibility tool that people use to determine if the parts theyre looking for are compatible with their system.



#6 zingo156

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 03:06 PM

I will probably go ahead and do the memtest first then when I get home later today. How long does it take for the test to do 3 passes? I have never used the program before.

 

And will putting windows on the HDD force me to have to reinstall in on the SSD after im done testing it? Basically will it cause any copyright issues with the disc.

 

I tried looking for a crucial diagnostics tool but was unable to find one. The only thing I saw on their site was a system compatibility tool that people use to determine if the parts theyre looking for are compatible with their system.

Memtest typically takes a few hours to run 3 passes. Since you have 16gb of ram, I would suspect between 2-4 hours.

 

Installing windows on the HDD should not force you to have to re-install on the SSD. Just make sure you disconnect one or the other first. Since it is the same version of windows on the same computer, there should be no copyright violation. Hard drives fail, it is quite common.

 

I am not certain what the best SSD testing utility is. Maybe someone else reading this thread can drop in. I generally use MHDD for HDD's and have used it a few times for older SSD's. You could try it but it does not support AHCI mode. Also if this is a very random issue, it might not find any problems at all. I will post the instructions for MHDD below in a new post.


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#7 zingo156

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 03:07 PM

Disconnect your other drives first and then run MHDD:

 

If a hard drive has a smart status warning or the drive is questionable this test may be of use NOTE this test does not work with AHCI or Raid sata operation. It must be done with IDE, ATA, or compatibility mode:

 

Before running this test it would be a good idea to backup any data that you cannot afford to lose. This test uses the hard drive at 100%. If the drive is failing or has problems it is possible for the drive to fail suddenly especially during heavy use as this test will do. It is unlikely but still I recommend backing files up to be safe. Here are the instructions to run the test:

 

The first step will be to burn MHDD to a disc as an image (cd preferably). MHDD Can be found here: http://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/  Click the Last version of MHDD, CDROM iso-image download and burn this file directly to a disc.

 

TO CHANGE SATA OPERATION: (You may need to use your keyboard arrow keys and enter key if you can not click to change settings).

After burning the disc, restart the laptop and start tapping f2 or f1 or delete right away to get into the bios. There you should see System Configuration, expand that by clicking the + button (or using your arrow keys and enter key). In that list there should be something called Sata operation. (Sata Operation may also be by itself in that first screen list)

Click on sata operation and take note of the current setting to the right it will probably be set to AHCI it will need to be switched back to this after MHDD is done running. Select ATA, compatibility or ide mode and then click apply. Save and exit the bios, or if apply was the only option you can use Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart.

COMMON BOOT MENU/BIOS keys: https://support.fixmestick.com/hc/en-us/articles/201577043-How-to-get-to-your-Boot-Menu-or-your-BIOS-settings

 

Now with the burned disc in the drive after a restart, start tapping (F12 Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo), (F9 HP), or (Esc HP, Samsung, Sony) on the keyboard (or change your boot options to boot to cd/dvd first). This will bring up the boot options menu. Select cd/dvd/cd-rw drive and hit enter.

If this worked correctly and booted to mhdd you should see a screen that says Microsoft windows 98 startup menu. You can let the timer run out or just hit enter on option (2 . Start computer without SCSI support).

 

Now you should see a screen with numbers, most of these will not have any device listed behind them but one number should for example on my dell computer number 6 has WDC WD1600BEVT-75A23T0… and at the end a number in white which is the size of the drive.

Example: If your drive is a 500gb I would expect that number in white to be somewhere around 500,107,862,016 or close to. Find the correct drive to test then on the keyboard type the number in front of the drive (in my case it was 6) and then hit enter.

 

Now you should have a screen with MHDD> and a blinking cursor.

Now hit F4 on the keyboard 2 times and this will start scanning the hard drive.

You should be able to see the computer start scanning, each block represents 255 sectors (130560 bytes) on the hard drive. What we are looking for will show up on the right side of the screen.

There is a list on the right which shows numbers:

<3

<10

<50

<150ms

Etc…

 

Anything below the <150ms is a slow sector or a problem sector. Slow sectors <500 or >500 will slow down the computer. If there are a lot of these one after another (several 1000 or more) the drive should probably be replaced. Also if you have any at the end that were marked as UNC this means the drive has uncorrectable errors and the hard drive should probably be replaced.

Basically if you have any sectors that are below <150 (green) let me know and if possible the total number of them.

 

If all of the sectors were ok and fell within the range of:

<3

<10

<50

<150ms

Then the hard drive is ok, if there are only a few that are slow <500 or >500 the hard drive should be ok to use.

 

NOTE: that if there are many slow sectors one after another or you start having error after error the drive is in bad shape and I recommend ending the test. To end the test hit the Esc key.


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#8 mudwub

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 03:26 PM

Alright I will most likely start with the memtest then. Probably tomorrow, though, when I have some time off.

Also, just curious, can either of these tests damage the components in any way?

Edited by mudwub, 10 November 2014 - 03:26 PM.


#9 zingo156

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 03:31 PM

They should not damage either. MHDD using the instructions I posted above is only performing reads, not writes. The only way it might cause an issue is if the drive is already failing. (I would recommend you backup any data you do not want to lose before running the test).

 

Memtest will put a load on the cpu and ram, however it isn't like prime95 where that would max out the cpu. It might raise the temperature a little bit. As long as all of your cooling is working correctly it won't cause any problem.


Edited by zingo156, 10 November 2014 - 03:32 PM.

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#10 mudwub

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 03:59 PM

Alright, thank you so much for the help. I always seem to have the worst luck with computers, it's always something whenever I get some new parts.

 

I will be sure to burn memtest and mhdd to discs tonight and then I will probably run both tests tomorrow. And since I have the whole day to do this tomorrow, does it matter what test I run first?

 

I am probably also going to call tiger direct sometime tonight since I bought all the parts from them and also had them put the parts in for me. 



#11 zingo156

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 10:28 AM

It doesn't matter which test you run first. You can run either at any time.


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#12 mudwub

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 02:41 PM

I was actually able to take my computer to tiger direct, the place where I bought the parts, and have them do a diagnostics for free since it was still under warranty. 

 

They strees tested it, ran the memtest and all that and no problems turned up with any of the hardware. They were unable to recreate the issue. So now I have no clue what could have caused it? Maybe a cord did come loose? Or maybe it was an anomaly?



#13 zingo156

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 03:46 PM

It is really tough to say for certain. If they can not recreate the issue, it is known as an intermittent problem. Those are the hardest to diagnose. It could be just about anything. If the BSOD continues or becomes more frequent, at that point it should be easier to determine.


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#14 mudwub

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 04:38 PM

There is actually no BSOD when it happens. All of the 2 times that it happened, that is. That's actually what they asked me as well just a few hours ago. I had forgotten to tell them beforehand that there is no BSOD when it happens. The computer just kind of locks up, as if a program isn't responding. I can still move the mouse and everything but can't bring up any alt tab menus or right click or anything. I could also still communicate with friends on Skype but other than that nothing until I force restart. At which point the ssd wasn't found until I shut it all the way off then turned it back on again. Then after that it ran great for the remainder of the night.


Edited by mudwub, 12 November 2014 - 04:59 PM.


#15 zingo156

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:32 AM

Until it is very frequent it may be tough to figure this out. I can tell you that certain games have problems with certain headsets, audio chipsets, etc. For example battlefield bad company 2 had problems with many audio chipsets and would crash the game in a manor that requires a hard reset, by holding the power button or hitting the reset switch. In fact even Bf4 crashes on my machine occasionally. If the freeze always occurs while running the same software together, you might try running just one or the other, for example if you are running skype and also playing a game, just try playing the game alone.

 

Intermittent issues that can not be recreated every time you try are a nightmare to figure out.


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