I need help with debugging the BSOD's I've started to receive on my system for the past 2 weeks. They have been on the following dates:
24th June, 1st July, 4th July, and 5th July (today) and thus have started to come with increasing regularity.
The OS on my system is the preloaded Windows 7 from Lenovo, which I started using on the 11th of June.
Here are my system specifications:
· OS - Vista/ Windows 7 ? - Windows 7 · x86 (32-bit) or x64 ? - x64 · What was original installed OS on system? Windows 7 Professional x64 (this is the original preload) · Is the OS an OEM version (came pre-installed on system) or full retail version (YOU purchased it from retailer)? OEM version · Age of system (hardware) - less than a month · Age of OS installation - have you re-installed the OS? - no I have not reinstalled the OS, this is the OEM preload
· CPU - Core i7-2760M · Video Card - Nvidia Quadro 1000m · MotherBoard - Lenovo W520 · Power Supply - brand & wattage - this is a laptop
· System Manufacturer - Lenovo · Exact model number (if laptop, check label on bottom) - Lenovo W520 42763KU
We've seen a number of BSOD issues with SSD's. Here's the information that I've compiled so far:
There's not a whole bunch available to test SSD's. The "easiest" test is to remove the SSD, install a platter-based hard drive, install Windows and test for stability that way.
Here's some suggestions:
- Update the SSD's firmware to the latest available version (VERY IMPORTANT!!!)
- Update the motherboard controllers drivers to the latest available version from the controller manufacturer (NOT the mobo manufacturer unless you can't find any on the controller manufacturer's website)
- Slow the memory (RAM) down to the next slower speed (I've only seen one person who claimed that this worked for them).
- Use any manufacturer's utilities that you may have. If you don't have any, then try this free one (I haven't used it myself): http://crystalmark.info/?lang=en
- Update chipset and storage controller drivers to the latest available from the manufacturer of the device (not the manufacturer of the motherboard). Be sure to update ALL controllers on the motherboard!
....NOTE: Recently (Nov 2011) we had BSOD issues with the Marvell 91xx controller and an SSD. You may have to switch controllers also.-
Replace the SSD with a platter based hard drive and see if that stops the BSOD's. If it does, then it's likely that there's a problem with the SSD OR an incompatibility with your system.
It's my opinion that SSD's aren't reliable enough (with current hardware) to be used on a system that needs to work reliably. Until I see reliability I will not recommend, nor will I use, SSD's for critical applications.
06 Dec 2011 - This post tends to confirm issues with certain SSD chipsets and certain controllers - http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f299/cant-find-the-cause-of-bsod-f4-613075.html#post3537179
29 May 2012 - The frequency of BSOD's with SSD's seems to have been decreasing over the last several months. It may be approaching time to re-evaluate my stand on their suitability for use in production systems.
NOTE: Both Intel and nVidia graphics drivers are listed in the memory dumps.
I don't trust these new-fangled video contraptions - and we've had a few issues with them in the past (particularly with VIRTU software).
I'd suggest ensuring that you have the latest video drivers from Intel and nVidia - along with the latest switching software (something similar to VIRTU I'd presume).
1) Update fingerprint software with latest version from Lenovo;
2) Update modem drivers with latest version from Lenovo;
3) Disabled Nvidia Optimus (their automatic switchable graphics solution) and running exclusively on the dedicated graphics card.
I went about 2 weeks without a BSOD on the system, and my previous laptop (a T420) had an SSD without any bluescreen issues. Going back to a platter drive isn't something I'm willing to do yet at this point.
In addition, I've also removed the extra memory modules (the system came with 1; I added another 2) leaving 4Gb in the laptop.
Is there any way I can test this setup's stability? The BSOD's do come a minimum of a day apart, and running for a few hours with no problems really doesn't tell me anything at this point.
If there are any further steps I need to take I'd appreciate any guidance as well - thanks again in advance.
If you haven't already, you will still need to update the SSD's firmware. Don't assume that because an SSD worked on one computer that it'll work on another, or that because one SSD works all SSDs will be fine. There's always potential for SSD failure early in its life, and there's also the problem of incompatibility and bug issues involved in an SSD's firmware, which is quite frequent. Updating the SSD firmware has resolved issues with a lot of people owning SSD drives, so it'd be wise to do so at earliest convenience.
Follow the rest of the instructions usasma gave, especially those involving Driver Verifier, for improved data collection.
Thanks for the response. I'm using an Intel 520 SSD, which I believe only comes with 1 version of firmware (the release version).
I'm looking into Driver Verifier right now, but am getting cold feet from reports of others not being able to boot into their systems after running it. My data is mission-critical and I don't want to run any risks of losing it. I'll post back later with any further findings.
If DV finds a bad driver at startup, it'll BSOD the system, causing a boot loop. You can simply enter Safe Mode through F8 and then turn DV off from there. Make sure when you set up DV to only select 3rd-party drivers, and do not select Force Pending I/O Requests, IRP Logging or Low Resource Sim checks, as they'll cause false positives. All other checks will do.
I ran Driver Verifier using the instructions posted on Carrona's website. The system now hangs DURING the Windows 7 logo at the start, with a blue screen that's too quick for me to see what the stated issue is.
Pressing F8 doesn't give me an option for Safe Mode - just Startup Repair, and Start Windows normally (which leads to the boot loop as you mentioned).
I don't have a Windows DVD, only a USB drive, and when I boot off it, it doesn't seem to see my Windows install.
Please guide me on what further step to take - thank you.
The Driver Verifier instructions include the necessary steps to recover from a BSOD that results in the system becoming non-bootable:
So, I'd suggest that you first backup your stuff and then make sure you've got access to another computer so you can contact us if problems arise. Then make a System Restore point (so you can restore the system using the Vista/Win7 Startup Repair feature).
I'm also adding System Repair Disc instructions and "Disable Automatic restart on System Failure" instructions to the Verifier webpage for additional assurances.
We fix these kind of BSOD's in one of several ways:
- Safe Mode (you can turn off Driver Verifier there)
- Repair Discs (Start...All Programs...Maintenenance...Create a System Repair Disc) - using System Restore
- Repair Discs - using Startup Repair
- remote mounting of the registry hives and editing them
Additionally, depending on the cause, we can also start/stop the loading of some drivers through the Repair Disc or remote mounting of the Registry.
Then the only requirements are:
1) that you make a System Repair disc if you don't have a full installation DVD
2) that you make a System Restore point before starting.
3) that you have access to another computer so you can get back in touch with us should that happen.
Yes, I did make a System Restore point before I ran Driver Verifier.
I'll look into creating a Repair Disc on this other PC I have here (also ensured I had another running PC available before I ran DV).
I'm missing (1) out of the 3 requisites and am working on fixing that (good thing this PC runs Win 7 as well). I'll post back on any developments, meantime the PC in question refuses to boot and looks like a dead end there. Booting from my USB Win 7 drive allows me to see my hard drives, but doesn't seem to allow me to do anything with them.
You may not be pressing F8 early enough. If you're doing it when the Windows logo has popped up, it's too late. It's best to just continuously tap it in rapid succession during boot-up to get to the bootup menu. It's more difficult to reach that sweet spot when it'll trigger the menu on an SSD than an HD because of SSDs loading faster.
I'm now able to boot back into my main PC. Unfortunately it appears that no dumps were generated, and the only information I gleaned from Driver Verifier is that the crash occured almost immediately; during the Windows logo swirling animation.
Please let me know what the next step is, thanks!
to usasma: I'm good on the System Repair disc I think - it IS the same across all versions of Win7, correct? My entertainment PC runs Home Premium while my work laptop runs Professional.
The only difference is between 32 and 64 bit versions.
Do the Driver Verifier thing again and see if you can get this info: When booting, get to the Safe Mode menu and scroll down to "Disable automatic restart on system failure" - select it by pressing Enter
Then, when the system BSOD's it'll stop at this screen (Get the info in RED):
That may help us to ID the issue further. Right now we're pretty certain that this is either a system-start or a boot-start driver, and that it's a 3rd party driver (not a driver from the Windows operating system). It should be fairly easy to pin it down despite the missing memory dump(s).
BTW - check the date/time stamp on this file: C:\Windows\MEMORY.dmp
If it's around the time of the last Driver Verifier crash, then that's most likely it.
What you can do is set it up so it doesn't restart at BSOD. Type "view advanced system settings" in Start Menu, then click Settings button under Startup and Recovery, and uncheck "Automatically restart". You may need to set "Small memory dump" if it already isn't set to such. You can also give us a JCGriff Report, as it should at least produce an event in the syslog of the occurrence if the crashdump did not produce.
It pointed at your iaStor driver, which would explain why crashdumps wouldn't be generated (iaStor is your Intel storage driver). The bugcheck itself is generic, but it also does show that either Driver Verifier wasn't on at the time, or this was a crash not triggered by DV. If you can assure us that DV was on, then we are certainly dealing with a faulting drive.
Given that this system is so young and it's an OEM, it's best you put your fresh warranty to use. If you wish, you may still try and install any update for your BIOS and your storage drivers (it may be called Intel Matrix Storage), but I don't believe they're at fault here. It's not unusual to get a laptop from an OEM that craps out on ya early, so run through the procedure on getting a free replacement/repair by Lenovo.