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If I enable Intel's SRT acceleration and use my SSD as cache on my OS drive (a RAID0 array), the system gets fast and snappy for a while. Everything works fine until all of sudden programs stop responding one after the other, until even windows itself freezes. I have to hard reset my PC to get it working again.

If I disable SRT the system works just fine. What am I doing wrong?

Specs:

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z77
  • SSD: Crucial M4 128GB
  • HDD Setup: 2x WD Caviar Black 640GB in RAID0, WD Caviar Black 2TB for storage.
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I've experienced this exact issue multiple times. Windows is freezing because a drive is not responding (either the cache disk or one of the HDDs, though it sounds like it might be the cache disk if things work fine when you don't have it).

First, make sure you have the latest IntelRST drivers installed. There was a bug about 1-1.5 years ago which would cause the driver to think a drive was bad when it really wasn't, and kick it out of the array, which has since been fixed.

Second, turn everything on and enable SSD caching again. When it freezes, wait for the system to recover. This may take 5-10 minutes. (I can't remember, but I think the default values are a 60 second timeout and 10 retries before disks gets marked as failed; 20 minutes is too long, go ahead and force an unexpected reboot if it locks up that long).

After the system recovers, you should be able to open up the IntelRST control panel and see what drive it rejected from the array (one of the RAID 0 drives, or the cache drive). There's a decent chance that drive is dying.


I had this exact behavior when my SSD was dying and I was using it as a cache drive. Hybrid caching is rough on an SSD, and I had one of the early models that didn't handle high write cycles very well. It took forever for me to figure out because after the SSD failed, it would seem to work fine as a standalone disk for a while, but after a few months it stopped showing up in Windows at all, even other systems.

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  • Thanks for the answer. I'll look this up when I get home. I built this pc not long ago, and the drivers I got are from last month. You might be right about the SSD dying, sadly. I've had it on my laptop since early 2012 and come to think of it, the ssd worked just fine as cache for about 3 to 4 weeks before the freezes began to occur. My desktop is pretty I/O heavy so I might just have killed my SSD this way :( – elite5472 Sep 16 '13 at 17:41
  • You could write my story for me :P Even with it killing SSDs, the speed improvement is so nice. My replacement SSD has been working for ~3 months as a cache drive, let's hope it holds out better than its predecessor! – Darth Android Sep 16 '13 at 18:57

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