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First of all - I am relaying this issue from a friends PC and I try to be true to my source and give any information that is available to me at this time.

Windows 7 (64-bit) freezes frequently when starting programs like Firefox for example. Other file operations like emptying the wastebin might trigger this also. The issue can be forced by opening multiple programs before initial loading after startup of the OS is complete.

While freezing the mouse cursor still respondes to input, but the system will not respond to clicks or mouseover effects. The cursor remains in Sandclock mode (or equivalent in Windows 7) for the time of the freeze.

The freeze was observed to be lasting from 5 minutes to open end - where it was only solved by restarting the system via reset.

The System is installed on a 60GB SATA600 OCZ SSD Drive which is configured as AHCI at the moment.

Memory Consists of 8GB-Kit Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 MHz CL9 (2x4GB) modules.

The Mainboard is an Asus P8Z68-V Pro - Motherboard - ATX - LGA1155 The PC is freshly bought and has a moderate graphics card and an adequate (not overpowered) power supply.

  • My first guess would be a faulty memory module.

  • My second guess would be a faulty SSD or maybe a bad configuration, but I am not well versed in the possible pitfalls when connecting or configuring highspeed SSD drives.

  • My third guess would be a graphics driver issue. This was brought up in simmilar cases on superuser that resulted in Windows 7 - freezes. Somehow this seems unlikely to me given that the trigger for the freezes seems unconnected to graphical display.

I am open to any suggestions here and will apply my findings shortly (day after tomorrow) but not immediately.

update

Ive run HDTune 2.55, but im not good at interpreting the data received. HDTune warns me that the SSD has reached a critical temperature of 128°C, but I sincerely doubt that, because the disc is not even warm to the touch.

Here is the Health Data:

HD Tune: OCZ-VERTEX3 Health

ID                               Current  Worst    ThresholdData       Status   
(01) Raw Read Error Rate         94       94       50       223087281  Ok       
(05) Reallocated Sector Count    100      100      3        0          Ok       
(09) Power On Hours Count        100      100      0        16         Ok       
(0C) Power Cycle Count           100      100      0        36         Ok       
(AB) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        0          Ok       
(AC) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        0          Ok       
(AE) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        10         Ok       
(B1) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        0          Ok       
(B5) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        0          Ok       
(B6) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        0          Ok       
(BB) (unknown attribute)         100      100      0        0          Ok       
(C2) Temperature                 128      129      0        8454272    Ok       
(C3) Hardware ECC Recovered      120      120      0        223087281  Ok       
(C4) Reallocated Event Count     100      100      3        0          Ok       
(C9) TA Counter Detected         120      120      0        223087281  Ok       
(CC) Soft ECC Correction         120      120      0        223087281  Ok       
(E6) GMR Head Amplitude          100      100      0        100        Ok       
(E7) Temperature                 100      100      10       0          Ok       
(E9) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        388        Ok       
(EA) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        360        Ok       
(F1) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        360        Ok       
(F2) (unknown attribute)         0        0        0        441        Ok       

Power On Time         : 16
Health Status         : Ok

The Benchmark

HD Tune: OCZ-VERTEX3 Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 185.5 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 358.0 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 226.5 MB/sec
Access Time           : 0.2 ms
Burst Rate            : 111.2 MB/sec
CPU Usage             : -1.0%

The Error scan did not turn up anyting:

HD Tune: OCZ-VERTEX3 Error Scan

Scanned data   : 57219 MB
Damaged Blocks : 0.0 %
Elapsed Time   : 5:42

I also used Crystal Disk Info to verify the Data the HD Tune gave me.

Here is the report:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskInfo 4.0.2 (C) 2008-2011 hiyohiyo
                                Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OS : Windows 7 Home Premium Edition SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)
  Date : 2011/07/31 12:52:11

-- Controller Map ----------------------------------------------------------
 - JMicron JMB36X Controller [SCSI]
 + Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO SATA-RAID-Controller [SCSI]
   - RAID
   - HL-DT-ST BDDVDRW CH10LS20
   - OCZ-VERTEX3
   - HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH22NS70

-- Disk List ---------------------------------------------------------------
 (1) OCZ-VERTEX3 : 60.0 GB [1-1-2, pd1] - sf

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 (1) OCZ-VERTEX3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Model : OCZ-VERTEX3
        Firmware : 2.06
   Serial Number : OCZ-TL9W141YO1704KIL
       Disk Size : 60.0 GB (8.4/60.0/60.0)
     Buffer Size : Unknown
     Queue Depth : 32
    # of Sectors : 117231408
   Rotation Rate : ---- (SSD)
       Interface : Serial ATA
   Major Version : ACS2
   Minor Version : ACS-2 Revision 3
   Transfer Mode : SATA/600
  Power On Hours : 16 hours
  Power On Count : 36 count
     Temparature : Unknown
   Health Status : Good (100 %)
        Features : S.M.A.R.T., APM, 48bit LBA, NCQ, TRIM
       APM Level : 00FEh [ON]
       AAM Level : ----

-- S.M.A.R.T. --------------------------------------------------------------
ID Cur Wor Thr Raw Values (7) Attribute Name
01 _94 _94 _50 00008E0D4DA08E Raw Read Error Rate
05 100 100 __3 00000000000000 Retired Block Count
09 100 100 __0 30A21000000010 Power-on Hours
0C 100 100 __0 00000000000024 Power Cycle Count
AB __0 __0 __0 00000000000000 Program Fail Count
AC __0 __0 __0 00000000000000 Erase Fail Count
AE __0 __0 __0 0000000000000A Unexpected Power Loss Count
B1 __0 __0 __0 00000000000000 Wear Range Delta
B5 __0 __0 __0 00000000000000 Program Fail Count
B6 __0 __0 __0 00000000000000 Erase Fail Count
BB 100 100 __0 00000000000000 Reported Uncorrectable Errors
C2 128 129 __0 00007F00810080 Temperature
C3 120 120 __0 00008E0D4DA08E On‐the‐Fly ECC Uncorrectable Error Count
C4 100 100 __3 00000000000000 Reallocation Event Count
C9 120 120 __0 00008E0D4DA08E Uncorrectable Soft Read Error Rate
CC 120 120 __0 00008E0D4DA08E Soft ECC Correction Rate
E6 100 100 __0 00836400000064 Life Curve Status
E7 100 100 _10 00000000000000 SSD Life Left
E9 __0 __0 __0 00000000000184 Vendor Specific
EA __0 __0 __0 00000000000168 Vendor Specific
F1 __0 __0 __0 00000000000168 Lifetime Writes from Host
F2 __0 __0 __0 000000000001B9 Lifetime Reads from Host

It would be great if someone could help me interpret this data. Some values seem illogical to me like for example the "Reported Uncorrectable Errors = 100".

share|improve this question
    
I would try a Linux live-cd and see how it runs. This will basically "test" everything except the ssd (not used) and Windows, then go from there. FWIW, I think it's likely the ssd, as I've had a bad SCSI drive in a RAID setup cause similar symptoms. –  Joe Internet Jul 30 '11 at 0:44
    
Added the benchmarks retrieved from crystalDiscInfo and HdTune. I hope someone can make sense of the numbers, because the tools tell me all is OK. –  Stefan Fassel Jul 31 '11 at 10:59
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2 Answers

I would not expect it to be a faulty memory module. I believe that bad memory would be more likely to produce a blue screen of death. You can run memtest overnight to see if it produces any errors just to make sure.

I think it is more likely an issue with the SSD. You can check the health of the drive with crystalDiskInfo or HdTune. Sometimes doing a benchmark with HdTune can provide hints about the problem too. The fact that it happens when your computer tries to access files on the hard drive seems like a hint at it being a hard drive (ssd) issue.

You might find this CodingHorror blog about ssd's interesting.

Crashes and hangs do also happen from bad video cards. I've fixed several computer issues by blowing the dust out of video cards or replacing bad fans. This would become more apparent when you try to run something graphics intensive. This is probably not the issue with your computer.

share|improve this answer
    
As you can see above I have run several benchmarks on the HD and nothing obvious seems amiss. In the end it appears that the effects did disappear after reinstalling windows. Since I experience simmilar effects on my own PC (completely different hardware) after switching SATA-Mode as I did in the above case (After installing the OS) this seems to be the most likely candidate for a cause to me. –  Stefan Fassel Aug 22 '11 at 15:43
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Best thing I can recommend is to get some specific data. I'd setup perfmon on their computer and run the computer through its paces.

The following counters are the ones you should add. Go under logical disk: - Average Disk per Sec/Transfer - Average Disk per Sec/Read - Average Disk per Sec/Write

These counters will show the average time it takes to complete a disk operation. By default it will scale to seconds.

  • Average Disk Bytes/Transfer
  • Average Disk Bytes/Read
  • Average Disk Bytes/Write

These counters will show the average size of each disk operation.

This will basically help us tell if either the disk access time or the bandwidth are issues. Then load up firefox. Open some jpegs. Run a few searches. Anything disk intensive and look at the data.

This will also help if you have to return the drive.

share|improve this answer
    
After reinstallation of Windows the problem could not be reproduced anymore. The reinstallation took place in order to repair a problem with the SATA-Mode setup in BIOS wich caused Windows to stop booting in RAID-Mode after switching from AHCI. Since I have simmilar freezes now on my own PC with a completely different hardware setup it seems most likely to me that switching SATA-Mode somehow messes with the previously installed OS and causes those lags. However I can only be 100% sure once I have reinstalled my own PC again. –  Stefan Fassel Aug 22 '11 at 15:46
    
Sadly, sometime that's the fastest option. –  surfasb Aug 22 '11 at 19:08
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