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I've had my HP Pavillion dv6 laptop since last November - and it has had 8GB RAM and a 256GB Crucial M4 SSD installed since the start.

I use it for software development and it's had a Windows 8 RTM installation since early September.

Yesterday I had to give a presentation at a customer site - so used Powerpoint for the first time since installing Win8... since that point my machine has 'frozen' every 2 hours or so after startup.

There doesn't seem to be any easy to see reason behind the freeze - the system just freezes, even if I have left it idle with just a desktop there.

My immediate suspicion is that the SSD is the mostly likely cause of the problem. I've looked at some of the questions on here - e.g. How do I troubleshoot hardware issues related to a computer freeze/crash? - but don't really want to start taking my laptop apart.

Another suspicion is that this might be related to the WiFi adapter (Broadcom 802.11n) since I have noticed that this doesn't seem to play perfectly with things like Hyper-V in Win8.

Can anyone recommend any software diagnostic tools that I can run in order to evaluate the health of the SSD or of other parts of the system?



P.S. I doubt Powerpoint is the cause of this, but I may use it as an excuse never to use it again... More realistically perhaps something got damaged during travel to the customer site?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Narrow your search

I think your suspicion is well informed, but you should check out the Windows Event Viewer.

See if you can spot an abnormality in the log.

How to test an SSD

You should be able to test the SSD with the OEM software. You should also consider upgrading the internal firmware of the disk. In late September the Crucial people pushed a patch which could be relevant to Windows 8.

Firmware version 010G includes improvements which are
specific for Windows 8 and new UltraBook systems, although
Windows 7 and other operating systems and computer
platforms may also see improvements. Any m4 firmware
version will function normally in Windows 8. However, the
following improvements were made to meet new certification
requirements for this operating system

How to test your WiFi

This is harder and frequently reported problem, you could for example not use it and see if the crashes persist. The cost of dongle is ~10USD. This thread discusses the issue, but it seems that the crashes are blamed on WiFi + other things. So, if you include a lockup due to WiFi (not frequent) you should also greatly expand your potential candidates.

Remember this software is still in early release and MS and hardware vendors will be rolling updates in the coming days. This is motivation to verify that your hardware is the latest beta version as given on the OEM's website.

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+1 - Thanks - currently doing the mother of all backups - will then run some of these things. – Stuart Nov 3 '12 at 11:18
@Stuart This is not dissimilar to Saddam Hussein's war plans. – Mikhail Nov 3 '12 at 11:25
Thank you hugely - since installing the firmware update this PC has been back alive for 24 hours. Now I'm off to hide in a pipe for a few months ;) – Stuart Nov 4 '12 at 22:19

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