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I have a OCZ Vertex 2 SSD that I've been using for a few years in a Win2k8 64-bit "Server" (Dell Precision M4300). Every few weeks it gets in a mood during which it temporarily freezes very often for about 60 seconds. During the freeze, any application or thread that is not dependent or blocked on disk activity is still functional.

The drive firmware is up-to-date.

Here is a screen cap of my resource monitor during a freeze. There is no legend for the Resource Monitor or description in the help, but I gather that green is good, the blue line is bad.

Imgur

I've already opened a ticket with OCZ (finally, now that they have a proper support system) and they're recommending it to be replaced. But I'd like to know whether there's some setting that I've got wrong that could be fixed without replacing the drive, or which if unaddressed, will cause the same problem on a replacement.

UPDATE:

The drive was kindly and without hassle replaced by OCZ for an Agility 3. I've restored the Windows 2008 system onto the new drive and to my surprise, the behavior persists! (Actually, it seems even more intense than with the first drive).

I'm having some luck uninstalling the ICH8M SATA Controller in the device manager - at least through one test, uninstalling it made the freezing cease, but it came back when I rebooted.

Disabling the AHCI mode in the BIOS seems to get rid of the problem altogether, but at what cost in performance or even data stability? TRIM?

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I had exactly the same behaviour in a Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive. I believe it's a firmware issue, but aside from that, I cannot help any further. My solution was to replace my drive. –  user3914 Apr 17 '12 at 23:13
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Is the BIOS set for AHCI mode, or IDE emulation? –  Kyle Smith Apr 17 '12 at 23:42
    
I'll second the "probably a firmware issue" - I had a very similar experience with the SSD in my desktop. –  Shane Madden Apr 18 '12 at 0:34
    
@Kyle - It is in AHCI mode. –  uosɐſ Apr 18 '12 at 20:43
    
Replace your drive, fail rate is at 1/8. See: codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/… –  Bart De Vos Apr 22 '12 at 23:37

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

We've got a bunch of these drives. This is one of 3 ways that the Vertex series goes bad:

  • Random freezing for ~60 seconds
  • Blocks come back as 0, but no failure reported
  • Dead dead (does absolutely nothing at all)
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So, I just updated this question to say that I replaced the drive with an Agility 3 (new in bubble pack from OCZ) and the same 60 second freezing is happening in the AHCI mode as with the Vertex 2 (actually, this drive freezes longer or just more often than the Vertex 2). Are you saying that this new drive arrived faulty? –  uosɐſ Apr 24 '12 at 0:34
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This isn't attached via an Intel chipset is it? Like an Intel Southbridge or similar? If so, you can't use the Intel drive, you have to use the generic driver or you'll see lots of strange issues. Intel's chips don't conform to SATA spec and the SandForce chips (that OCZ SSDs are based on) bump into those divergences. –  Chris S Apr 24 '12 at 2:09
    
It is an Intel chipset. I can't figure out what alternative/generic driver to use. Strangely (to me) the only options are have "IDE" in the name, which seems to be synonymous with ATA - or at least equally exclusive of AHCI. –  uosɐſ Apr 24 '12 at 14:14
    
There should be a "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" option available. –  Chris S Apr 24 '12 at 15:55

Does your server have SATA hotswap support enabled in the BIOS? With the vertex 3's at least, having SATA hotswap enabled on the port that the SSD is on would cause what you're seeing.

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Thank you, but my BIOS doesn't seem to have that option (by that name) –  uosɐſ Apr 23 '12 at 23:57

Upgrade your firmware. Otherwise try to bring it back to your shop, the Vertex 2 hasn't got the best reputation concerning reliability. You didn't do anything wrong or used a bad configuration. It's just that the Vertex 2 has a high fail rate.

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As stated, the firmware is already upgraded. And I'm already working with their support. –  uosɐſ Apr 18 '12 at 20:42
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I don't think you did anything wrong, the fail rate on these are about 12% –  Lucas Kauffman Apr 18 '12 at 22:28

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