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520 series system freezes win 8 pro

Esteemed Contributor III

Hi people.

I bought a 520 Series 120 GB SSD from TigerDirect. It was not an OEM type sale. The disk was manufactured on December 22 2012. I installed the disk in late February, but didn't finish the installation until early March.

This box has an ASUS P5Q Pro Turbo board (BIOS up to date) and a E8400 Core Duo processor running Windows 8 Pro, x64. I have the FSB set to 350 instead of the default 333. Before you say "try it set to defaults," I did; didn't change anything. After installing the latest INF update, Intel RST drivers, and the Intel Toolbox 3.12, I tried the quick disk diagnostic. The system froze. Disk activity went to 100% and I got the "soft blue" screen of death. While it (the OS) said it was collecting information about the issue, it wasn't. The system rebooted just fine. It always reboots fine, like nothing happened, except Windows loses many settings.

It seemed like this may have been related to the toolbox as using features usually resulted in a crash, but not always. I finally removed the Toolbox and tried the Windows optimize feature, the system did the optimization, but mere seconds after, disk activity on the 520 went to 100% and the system eventually crashed. I had task manger running so I could see disk activity, of which there was none, but the disk light was brightly and constantly lit. It required a hard reset, after which it was fine. This is the typical way the system crashes on this drive. Previously, I had an 128 GB M4 SSD2 installed without issue.

I've looked through quite a bit stuff about freezing 520 drives and it seems clear that I should do low-level format. Not that I want to. I've installed win8 about six or seven times, trying different things, like with the Media Center edition and without and assorted stuff like that. I'm getting tired of re-installing the OS. I would like know to if putting a system image back on the same disk after a low-level format is a good idea.

At this point all ideas are welcome. Any ideas? System specs in image.


Esteemed Contributor III


Used Active-Killdisk. Put the system image back on. Tried trim (it had been five days). OK, worked. Leave it alone for a coupla hours, try trim again. Uhm, nope. Same thing. Disk activity at 100%, no reads or writes, crashed and burned.

So, it's either the installation or the drive. That seem reasonable? Where's the flaw here?

Esteemed Contributor III

When you said perform a low level format, were you referring to a SSD Secure Erase? A HDD type format, writing to a drive, is not appropriate for a SSD.

Looked up your board, no Windows 8 support (driver downloads, etc) or certification from ASUS for your P45 chipset board. I have an ASUS X58 board with the same Intel SATA chipset as yours (ICH10R), also without Windows 8 drivers. You may be better off using the standard Windows 8 AHCI driver, storahci. You said you installed the latest INF ( and IRST driver, what version? Not listed in your system specs.

What SATA mode was used in the OS installation?

The Toolbox 3.1.2 requires .NET Framework 3.0, but your system info shows "not detected". The 520 SSD seems to take a while after a Toolbox Optimize has completed, to complete the manual TRIM of the drive. The drive will seem completely busy, but completes that phase in ~one minute (Samsung's SSD optimize takes several minutes, why Intel did not implement their optimize that way escapes me.) My Windows 8 PC with a Z77 chipset board uses 520's as the OS volume, and I don't have your freezing issue at all, and I have used the Windows 8 SSD optimize feature successfully.

Your board has a secondary SATA controller, the Silicon Image Sil5723, besides the Intel ICH10R. Which SATA controller is the 520 connected to?

Are you using the ASUS Drive Expert Software?

Esteemed Contributor III

Hello, on this case I suggest you to move the Solid State Drive to the SATA port 0 or 1 and try to select the AHCI option in your BIOS prior the installation of the operating system.

Another recommendation is to change the SATA and power cables for the Solid State Drive and try again.

The secure erase option is definitively a good idea, after that you can try to install the operating system and test the system again.

If the issue persist please contact the place of purchase if you have less than 30 days if you have more than that, please contact the Intel(R) technical support at the following phone number to replace the unit: 916 377 7000 option 7.

Esteemed Contributor III

Man, I lost an entire post. Dag, that's irritating. OK, cliff notes version.

IRST version AHCI mode in BIOS. No ASUS software, except for the E-Green thing for the optical. Swapped cables, tried another SATAIII (blue) cable and a SATAII (red) cable, both crashed on 1st trim.

Yep, Intel gathering tool missed a few key things. Probably didn't have .Net installed at that time. Event logs show I had 6 crashes in the first 3 days. The 520 is on port 0 on the Intel Southbridge.

Used killdisk from: Intel� High Performance Solid-State Drive — When to run a low-level format on an Intel� Solid-state drive?

to zero the drive. Sorry to be short, I just wrote a paper to answer your questions and it got lost.

The system runs great, otherwise. Don't think the: cables, ports, or drive are bad.