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Old 10-21-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
fashion_m
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Default Sometimes I can't boot from my SSD (Intel 320 Series)

Hello, at first some background information. There is a know conflict under Windows XP x64 between Adobe Flash Player's hardware acceleration and the GeForce display drivers. When Flash HW acceleration is on, the PC sometimes hangs. I've told this to Adobe and Nvidia and I am waiting for a fix. With every new version of Flash I enable HW acceleration and check to see whether the PC will crash. It always crashes when I am running XP x64. Several days ago I updated to flash 11 and checked whether it will crash. I prepared the PC for a crash - stopped all programs except the browser, disabled write caching on the SSD and played a flash video. The PC crashed. after the crash, the PC booted normally. I enabled write caching on the SSD and continued my work throughout the day. On the next morning, I turned on my PC, and after the BIOS - BAAAM, black screen (with turned on monitor). I restarted the PC and Windows loaded normally. Throughout that day I restarted my PC several times and everything was fine. Since then, every morning when I first turn on my PC, it doenst detect Windows. Just a black screen with turned on monitor. After restart it loads Windows normally. Sometimes at boot time there is a message like "Last time Windows didn't load properly" and I have several choices - Last known good configuration, Start Windows Normally... I choose Start Windows Normally and throughout the rest of the day everything seems fine.

So It looks like that if the PC has stayed 10-12 hours without electricity, the SSD doesn't boot from the first time. I've checked the SSd with CHKDSK, performed Full diagnostic scan with Intel Toolbox, checked it for bad sectors, checked the SMART attributes - EVERYTHING IS NORMAL.

Why is that?

EDIT: The SSD is always detected in BIOS (even when it cannot boot Windows), and POST never shows any errors.

Last edited by fashion_m; 10-21-2011 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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From your post title, I was expecting that it booted fine from a regular hard drive, and not from the SSD... I doubt the problem has anything to do with the SSD. Windows XP 64bit is pretty much dead so I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for a fix.

It sounds like the problem is that the computer just doesn't start up after it's gone to sleep. Are you turning off the PC when you are done using it, or are you letting it idle and then go into sleep mode?
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kmmatney View Post
It sounds like the problem is that the computer just doesn't start up after it's gone to sleep. Are you turning off the PC when you are done using it, or are you letting it idle and then go into sleep mode?
When I'm finished working on the PC, I shut it down and pull its socket out of the outlet. It's always been like that.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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I'd look into troubleshooting the power supply or motherboard. Reminds me of capacitors that aren't charging fast enough or reach correct voltage or a power supply that isn't stable with the various loads during bootup.

Try unplugging enough stuff to get your computer into windows after a very cold boot.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:53 AM   #5
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I'd look into troubleshooting the power supply or motherboard. Reminds me of capacitors that aren't charging fast enough or reach correct voltage or a power supply that isn't stable with the various loads during bootup.

Try unplugging enough stuff to get your computer into windows after a very cold boot.
Usually when you have a weak power supply with cold boot problems, it doesn't POST (the fans spin up briefly and then stop), but this could very well be what is going on. The way to test would be to open up the PC and unplug devices that aren't required for booting up (DVD drives, secondary hard drives) and try a cold boot. If there are still problems, its most likely a power supply or motherboard (bad capacitors or VRMs) issue.

I would just leave the computer plugged in when you power down. This will send a very small amount of power to the motherboard, keeping capacitors charged and ready to start.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razel View Post
I'd look into troubleshooting the power supply or motherboard. Reminds me of capacitors that aren't charging fast enough or reach correct voltage or a power supply that isn't stable with the various loads during bootup.

Try unplugging enough stuff to get your computer into windows after a very cold boot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmmatney View Post
Usually when you have a weak power supply with cold boot problems, it doesn't POST (the fans spin up briefly and then stop), but this could very well be what is going on. The way to test would be to open up the PC and unplug devices that aren't required for booting up (DVD drives, secondary hard drives) and try a cold boot. If there are still problems, its most likely a power supply or motherboard (bad capacitors or VRMs) issue.

I would just leave the computer plugged in when you power down. This will send a very small amount of power to the motherboard, keeping capacitors charged and ready to start.
Thanks for the replies. At certain point I also thought this could be a power supply shortage, but later I considered this possibility unlikely. I've been using this configuration for a long time and I've never had any problems. I play heavy modern games, use resource-intensive apps and I didn't have problems. The fact that this problem appeared after the abrupt reset on Monday keeps me thinking that it's more like a SSD problem. The PC is from 2008. At that time the PSU was pretty expensive and high-end - Chieftec 450W, active PFC. I've used several power consumtion calculators and the results are 350W-380W power consumtion of my PC. So the PSU should be enough, right? Also, right now I cannot bring the PC up and open it, so I am looking for more software-like solutions. I installed Paragon boot manager and tomorrow morning I'll see whether I will boot from the first time.
Also, the capacitors on the mainboard and on the videocard are solid-state, not electrolytic. I paid special attention on that when I assembled this PC. Also, the SSD is always detected in BIOS, even just befor a failed boot. The POST never shows errors. The voltages are OK.
The fact that sometimes immediately after boot there is a message like "Last time Windows didn't start properly" and I have several choices - Last known good configuration, Safe mode and Start Windows Normally keeps me thinking that it is more like a MBR/file system problem. But I've done numerous scans and there are no errors.
An SSD's power consumption is negligible, it's a miniscule fraction of the overall PC consumption. And the assumption that exactly the SSD may fail due to power shortage at boot-up (and not some other more power-hungry component) looks implausible to me. And even if this is the case - why is the SSD detected in BIOS?

Last edited by fashion_m; 10-21-2011 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:48 AM   #7
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Two days since I installed Paragon Boot manager on the SSD. Here are the results: In the cold mornings, Paragon boot manager always starts. But still if I quickly enough select and press "Windows XP Professional x64", the Windows doesn't start and crashes on black screen, before the Windows Logo. If I wait some time and then select "Windows XP Professional x64", it starts normally. To some extent this looks like a software problem - Windows may have become corrupted after I abruptly restarted the PC on Monday. But why if I delay launching Windows, it starts normally?
I am puzzled. And all this started on Monday.

Last edited by fashion_m; 10-22-2011 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:14 PM   #8
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Sounds like you know your stuff, but theory is not real life. If you really want to solve this I would simplify, isolate and troubleshoot. Otherwise as I got older, I got lazier and live with it until it just poops and it's obvious what to clean up.

Last edited by razel; 10-22-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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