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Windows 7: Random Reboot to BIOS -- No BSOD

20 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
Random Reboot to BIOS -- No BSOD

Have benefited from reading many great posts on this forum, but can't yet find quite what I need.

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit has been running fine for six months, but has begun rebooting to BIOS after about half an hour. Restarting from BIOS doesn't seem to work -- have to power off and back on to return to Windows.

When problem occurs, Windows becomes sluggish for about a minute ... programs and start menu slow/non-responsive ... then restart.
  • No known changes have been made to the system.
  • No overclocking. Temps OK. Corsair TX850 PSU
  • No programs need to be opened for it to happen.
  • Tends to happen about half an hour after startup.
  • Windows Updates current.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials virus protection in place.
  • Updated BIOS, but didn't fix the problem.
  • 8 Passes of MemTest+ 4.20 completed without error.
  • No problem if boot into CD-based OS such as MemTest or Linux LiveCD.

I've been struggling to learn about dump files, and I'm starting to think that this event just isn't creating them because I can't find them even though I'm pretty sure they're enabled. C drive is on an SSD. Maybe that disables dump files?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

System Health Report now attached.

No problems apparent there (to me).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

It is probably related to your SSD or your RAID array. Please provide us with more information about your system:
  • Fill in your system specs in your profile and not in a post in this thread: System Info - See Your System Specs

  • Please upload your msinfo32.nfo file. To get this: Start Menu -> Type msinfo32 into the Search programs and files box -> When it opens, go to File, Save -> Save as msinfo32.nfo and save in a place you will remember -> Let it finish the process of gathering and saving the system info -> Right click the .nfo file, click send to compressed (zipped) folder -> Upload the .zip file here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

Profile updated with specs.

nfo file attached.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Sorry, I should have been a bit clearer. For the hard drives in your specs, can you provide the manufacturer(s) and model(s) of your SSD drive(s).

FYI: RAID was designed for servers in mind and not for the home user. Also, further reading regarding the RAID setup: Why RAID is (usually) a Terrible Idea - Puget Custom Computers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

Two, crucial ct064m4ssd2 SSDs in RAID0.

Appreciated your article arguing against desktop RAID. I'm completely willing to scrap that and just use one of the drives as C drive.

If possible, it might be wise to first identify the problem with the current config.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Are both SSDs up to date with FirmWare? Also, make sure the following are up to date:
  • BIOS Version
  • Chipset Drivers
  • Hard disk controller drivers/SATA drivers
  • If you have a Marvell IDE ATA/ATAPI device, make sure the drivers are up to date from the Intel site or Marvell site and not from your motherboard/vendor support site.

I know you said it happens every half hour, but there is a known problem with M4s causing crashes every hour; it may be related to the half hour issue with RAID since I am not familiar with what issues might arise in RAID configurations with those drives. Further Reading:

The other thing I wonder about is if the drives are disappearing from the system: Try doing a power cycle of the SSD. The following steps should be carried out and take ~1 hour to complete.
  1. Power off the system.
  2. Remove all power supplies (ac adapter then battery for laptop, ac adapter for desktop)
  3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds to close the circuit and drain all components of power.
  4. Reconnect all power supplies (battery then ac adapter for laptop, ac adapter for desktop)
  5. Turn on the system and enter the BIOS (see your manual for the steps to enter the BIOS)
  6. Let the computer remain in the BIOS for 20 minutes.
  7. Follow steps 1-3 and physically remove the SSD from the system by disconnecting the cables for a desktop or disconnecting the drive from the junction for a laptop.
  8. Leave the drive disconnected for 30 seconds to let all power drain from it.
  9. Replace the drive connection(s) and then do steps 4-8 again.
  10. Repeat steps 1-4.
  11. Start your computer normally and run Windows.

The above steps were a result of: Why did my SSD "disappear" from my system? - Crucial Community

While that may not be your drive, a power cycle should be the same on all SSD drives. See how the system responds after the SSD power cycle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

Updating of SSD firmware appears to have fixed the problem, even without altering the RAID configuration. I took it a step at a time to make sure, and from the moment I did the firmware the problem stopped.

FYI, some other stuff I tried that didn't seem to help:
  • SFC /scannow
  • chkdsk
  • Updating BIOS
  • Updating chipset drivers

Don't know how you did it! What made you think SSD? Intuition based on tons of experience? Whatever the case, thank you.

And I'm following your advice and switching to a single drive rather than RAID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Experience pointed to the SSD, as you said; I've seen a lot of M4 related crashes with old firmware. :)

You're welcome.

I am glad to see it solved!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

Still working fine.

Was re-thinking this whole problem this morning and realized that Memtest and the various Linux LiveCD's didn't trigger the problem because they would be running from RAM rather than the drives. I had misinterpreted this behavior to mean that it was the OS or the drivers specific to it, but it was just that the OS in question, Windows 7, was the only guy not residing in RAM.

Got rid of the RAID array. Working fine. The simpler setup is worth it just for the peace of mind.

Again, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Random Reboot to BIOS -- No BSOD

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