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Just got another BSOD, question

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Drjones, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Hi guys....still working out bugs on the new PC I built myself.

    I have not OC'd it, all BIOS settings are stock, just got a BSOD.

    THEN when I went to reboot the machine, I got the "Reboot and select proper boot device..." message....

    To me, that would indicate the hard drive is faulty.....what do you guys think?

    Damn you, OCZ!!! (PC has an OCZ Agility 3 SSD Hard Drive in it)

  2. Here's the specific BSOD code: 0x000000F4 (0x00000003, Parameter2, Parameter3, Parameter4)

    A cursory google definitely points to RAM or Hard Drive....I'm more inclined to suspect hard drive, since when I went to reboot today it gave me the "insert boot device" message, which to me would say the PC isn't seeing the HD, which would indicate a problem with the drive.

    Just trying to narrow this down before I buy a new drive and wipe and return this one......grrrrrr......

  3. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I agree, the recurring "no find'um any boot thingy" error would lead me to believe it's the drive. Do you have an old drive you could stick in there temporarily to replace it, and see if the problem goes away?
  4. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    On another machine, download and burn any of the Linux live CDs. They'll show all the attached drives. If the drive's toast, it won't show up.

  5. I do, but this is such a random and infrequent issue that I'd rather just replace the hardware while it's still easy to ship it back to Amazon at no charge. :supergrin:
  6. MrSmoofy


    Jul 16, 2008
    Tallahassee, FL
    Do you have another drive to try? Could be the controller on the motherboard.
  7. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I asked some of the guys I know and discovered that is an ongoing issue with the OCZ Agility and Vertex SSD drives. Occasional BSOD and the failure to find the boot device. When that happens the drive activity LED will usually just stay on and doesn't blink or go out.
    They recommended trying the following as it has worked for them.

    You've already updated to the latest firmware.
    Turn off indexing on the drive, it's fast anyway, you don't need indexing.
    Turn off Prefetch
    Make sure Hibernation is not enabled.
    Move the swap file off the SSD and to another drive if it isn't already. If you have enough RAM it won't use the swap, but Windows will still insist on playing with it anyway.
    Go to Device Manager and check Properties on the drive controller. Click on the Driver tab and if it's using a Windows driver then install the latest Intel driver for your motherboard. It's probably on the CD that came with the motherboard, but you may find a later revision online.

    They seem to think the last item, having a better driver, is the best bet for solving the problem. If that doesn't do it then change the other settings and see how it goes.
  8. harrygunner


    Sep 4, 2010
    I keep a CDROM with Finnix Also supports bootable USB flash drives.

    It's a Linux administration distribution. It will find disks and attempt to mount them. Several troubleshooting tools on there as well.

  9. Wow, thanks for the informative post!!!

    I am going to work through that list, probably want to try one at a time to see how it affects my system. I already disabled indexing.

    As for the swap file, should I just disable it? I don't currently have another drive in the tower - I've got 12GB RAM. I think I've read you can disable the swap file with that much system RAM. I would like to put my 2TB back in my system, just haven't gotten around to it yet. Surprisingly, 120GB is a decent amount of room for me to do what I need, and of course all my media is on my NAS.

    I did just disable hibernation too.

    Dumb question, on the drive controller, exactly what is that called? Is that Intel Rapid Storage or what?

    On my mobo driver download website - - it lists Intel Rapid Storage and Marvell drivers under "SATA"

    I know that my board has both Intel & Marvell SATA ports (why do they mix two different manufacturers on one board? Seems like a recipe for problems like mine... ) and I'm 99% certain I've plugged my drive into an Intel port and have disabled the Marvell in the BIOS.

    Are those the drivers you're talking about?

    Also, just for the hell of it, I ordered a new SATA cable for my drive, just to rule out as much hardware as possible.

    Thanks again.
  10. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    Normally I would say don't disable the swap as it is beneficial in memory allocation, but I personally don't think keeping your paging file on an SSD is a good idea. Although it would be much faster if the system needed something, the swap is going to be doing a lot of extra writes to the SSD which has a finite number of writes anyway.

    Some programs like Photoshop and AutoCAD that work with large files may refuse to run without a swap file, even if they never use it. When programs start up they request more memory space than they will actually need, always have, always will. This extra pre-allocated memory space that is not being used will be moved to the swap file and won't take up any additional system RAM, and unless it's needed will never be accessed from the drive either. Windows itself will pre-allocate space for swapping, anticipating that it will be needed. If you don't have a swap file it will reserve some space in RAM that can't be allocated to programs, decreasing the available amount.

    I would add another drive and move the swap to that. Windows will be happier, your programs will be happier, you'll have more available RAM, and you'll be making fewer writes to your SSD. You have enough RAM that it won't really be used for push and fetch operations, but Windows will move all the unused pre-allocated memory there rather than tying up RAM. You could disable it for now and see how it goes as a test, but for the long term I would definitely add another drive and move the swap file there.

    I would use the Intel rather than the Marvel, and that would be the Intel Rapid Storage drivers, I got another email on it with another suggestion to try, but it would require re-installing the operating system. In the BIOS select AHCPI as the SATA mode, and then try Intel driver if you're still having problems while using the driver. Unfortunately this would need to be done before the OS is installed. If you switch to AHCPI mode after installing and you're booting from a SSD SATA you will get blue screen crashes with the error code "0x0000007b".

    If you go that route put your Windows install disc in the drive, cancel out of anything that comes up on the autorun, then reboot. Enter the BIOS after the POST and set ACHPI mode for SATA then exit the BIOS and save changes. It will finish booting and load the setup for install. After the OS is installed then install the new drivers.

    Or at least that's what I've been told by some guys that have been there....
  11. BIOS was already set to AHCI, just installed the latest Intel RST driver as you suggested.

    My drive is not plugged into the Marvell port, and the Marvell controller is disabled in the BIOS.

    Will try the other recommendations too...

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  12. Looks like the SSD technology still has to go through some serious growing pains...
  13. Here's my latest one BSOD.

    It's really odd that this usually only seems to happen when I let the computer sit overnight - I came in this morning & found it like this.

    I ordered a new SATA cable; it's sitting on my desk, I haven't installed it yet. I will do that soon.

    I just disabled prefetch & superfetch in the registry.

    Next step, I think, is to just RMA the damn drive if this happens again...

    Any other thoughts?


  14. Nah, people get errors & problems like this with traditional hard drives, if they are faulty like my drive seems to be.
  15. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    That is a drive error. The 7A stop code and the reference to partmgr.sys which is a driver for your drive. Plus the fact it couldn't perform a memory dump means it couldn't access the drive even after attempting to initialize it.

    Go to Device Manager and select 'Disk Drives' then right click on the drive for 'Properties'. Click the 'Driver' tab, then the 'Driver Properties' button. See who is listed as the Provider for the partmgr.sys driver. The drivers should be Intel rather than Microsoft. Also do you see any yellow exclamation points for the drives, indicating there is a problem?

    In Device Manager select View>Hidden devices. Is anything there flagged with the yellow exclamation point?

    From what I've learned the problem is with the Sandforce controller used by OCZ and many others, especially when the drive is plugged into a SATA 3 port. Nobody I've talked to has managed to get that combination to work reliably. If SATA 3 (6gbs) that may well be the problem, try it in a SATA 2 port if it's available.
  16. That's what I thought as well.....

    When I right-clicked on my OCZ drive, the driver is Microsoft, date 6/21/2006, version 6.1.7600.16385

    How would I get the intel drivers?? I've already installed the Intel RST drivers...

    And no, there are no exclamation marks.

    There are no hidden devices flagged with exclamation marks, but there are two USB controllers flagged, and one unknown device. When I first build this rig, I do not recall being able to remove those, not even by downloading all drivers from the manufacturer's website.

    Well that's just #@$%^&* great.

    What should I do at this point; return the OCZ and get an Intel (or other brand) drive, or try to mess with this one some more??

    Thank you again so much for the help
  17. Also, I ran chkdsk and it did not find any bad sectors.
  18. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    There are several layers in the disk I/O system, each has it's own drivers.

    That is the base level driver. Move up a layer (or down depending on your perspective) to the controller level and see what you have for drivers. I don't know if SSD's would be SCSI or show up in device manager as IDE, probably SCSI since you're using AHCP. I've never used an SSD drive so I don't know how Windows sees it, no experience with that. Check both.

    Check the properties for the IDE/ATAPI controller to see what drivers you have there. And then check the SCSI/RAID controller and see what drivers it shows.

    Does your board only have SATA 3 ports (6gbs), SATA 2 ports (3gbs), or both?

    I have found problems using SATA 3 drives on SATA 2 ports. I have two Seagate Barricuda's that are SATA 3, they won't even show up if plugged into a SATA 2 port. They don't exist. Western Digital Caviar Black SATA 3 drives have a PHY jumper so you can set them to SATA 2 and they work fine, as long as you jumper them to the slower speed. Without the jumper they don't show up either when plugged into a SATA 2.

    EDIT: The Seagate and Western Digital SATA 3 drives will show up in the BIOS, when plugged into a SATA 2 port. But the OS doesn't see them when it boots up, they don't show up in disk management.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011