Question NVME SSD locks up during heavy load

May2ko

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Whenever I am producing a heavy load, such as installing an update for a game or even error checking, my NVME SSD (240GB Kingston A1000), hits 100% utilisation (which I see is normal) but what is not normal is the fact that the response time, read speed and write speed all sit at 0 ( View: https://imgur.com/WcEZGnT
) and my whole operating system, which is on my NVME SSD becomes unresponsive for a significant amount of time; I'd say around 10-20 seconds for the majority of the time sometimes even longer. By unresponsive I mean it literally locks up and freezes but my mouse is able to move.

I have run an error check for my disk drive and it has not returned any errors. I have reinstalled Windows 10 twice. First reinstall, the issue began even during the setup stage. Reinstalled again but removed all my other drives (1TB HDD, and 120GB SATA SSD) and the issue did not come back.

I will be running a full system scan overnight using Microsoft Safety Scanner to see if I have any malware or viruses.

In the meantime, it would be great to see if anyone has a potential solution.
 

Karadjgne

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  1. Should always disconnect any other drives while installing windows or windows will include itself on the other drives which can get funky with pagefile.
  2. You say the issue goes away totally after disconnecting the other drives? Which ports? Usually 0-3 are Intel ports, 4-5 is ASmedia or Marvell. I'd make sure you have the latest drivers from mobo website for both, then try disconnecting/swapping Sata ports around, see if it's one port or drive in particular.
 

May2ko

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  1. Should always disconnect any other drives while installing windows or windows will include itself on the other drives which can get funky with pagefile.
  2. You say the issue goes away totally after disconnecting the other drives? Which ports? Usually 0-3 are Intel ports, 4-5 is ASmedia or Marvell. I'd make sure you have the latest drivers from mobo website for both, then try disconnecting/swapping Sata ports around, see if it's one port or drive in particular.
1. Yeah I did do that second time round.

2. I can’t swap SATA ports or anything since the issue is with an M.2 SSD
 
As any SATA drive with issues ( or w/ a faulty SATA cable) can drag/hang/freeze an entire system to a crawl/sputtering stop, I'd first see if the issues disappear when running only the SSD for a few days, then add a drive one at a time, test for a day or two, etc...

Additionally, check/pull SMART data on any spinning drives....(CRystallDiskInfo or GSmartControl)

Not saying the Kingston isn't the issue, and, if your issues persist without the other drives connected, obviously they are not causing the hangs...)
 

May2ko

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So I downloaded the Kingston SSD Manager tool to update my firmware but I was told that I had 98 spare blocks and as a result the overall health was degraded:

 

Mandark

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As was mentioned before in this thread Kingston does not make very good SSDs and used under heavy load they perform very poorly I would stick with crucial or Samsung

As you can see you’re wear indicators is at 98%
 

Karadjgne

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According to Kingston, they over-provision their SSDs @ 7% of the drive. This is normally invisible to the user as it's only used by the nand controller. That's your spare blocks. If you are down to 98% then there's enough damage to the SSDs main section of nand to warrant moving some of the over-provision to mainstream usage. In a hdd this is commonly known as a bad sector. But that should not affect size or performance as such since you are still at 100% capacity, 100% healthy.

On your mobo, you should have @ 6 Sata ports. You said the issue with the NVMe went away when unplugging the other 2 drives. The other drives are a Sata ssd and a Sata hdd. 4 of those Sata ports are usually Intel Controller, the other 2 being ASmedia or Marvell controller. 2 of them are shutdown for the m.2 NVMe use, leaving 4 viable Sata ports for 2 drives.

Your entire issue may not be with the NVMe as such, but with one of the other drives using probably the ASmedia port being accessed during heavy use on the NVMe and running into driver conflicts. So see if the Sata ssd and hdd are on the Intel ports or ASmedia ports, maybe swap them up or just use the unused Intel only.

My mobo uses 4x Intel, 2x Marvell. The Intel function great, but due to lack of driver support after Windows10 Creators Edition was released, the Marvell controlled ports now function like half dead dogs. Any drive on them works at roughly ⅓ its rated read/write, which for a hdd is abysmally slow. Needless to say, those 2x ports are not used anymore, even for the optical drive.
 
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May2ko

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According to Kingston, they over-provision their SSDs @ 7% of the drive. This is normally invisible to the user as it's only used by the nand controller. That's your spare blocks. If you are down to 98% then there's enough damage to the SSDs main section of nand to warrant moving some of the over-provision to mainstream usage. In a hdd this is commonly known as a bad sector. But that should not affect size or performance as such since you are still at 100% capacity, 100% healthy.

On your mobo, you should have @ 6 Sata ports. You said the issue with the NVMe went away when unplugging the other 2 drives. The other drives are a Sata ssd and a Sata hdd. 4 of those Sata ports are usually Intel Controller, the other 2 being ASmedia or Marvell controller. 2 of them are shutdown for the m.2 NVMe use, leaving 4 viable Sata ports for 2 drives.

Your entire issue may not be with the NVMe as such, but with one of the other drives using probably the ASmedia port being accessed during heavy use on the NVMe and running into driver conflicts. So see if the Sata ssd and hdd are on the Intel ports or ASmedia ports, maybe swap them up or just use the unused Intel only.

My mobo uses 4x Intel, 2x Marvell. The Intel function great, but due to lack of driver support after Windows10 Creators Edition was released, the Marvell controlled ports now function like half dead dogs. Any drive on them works at roughly ⅓ its rated read/write, which for a hdd is abysmally slow. Needless to say, those 2x ports are not used anymore, even for the optical drive.
How can I identify which ports are intel and which ports are not? What confuses me, however, is the fact that I have never switched over my SATA ports and never had this issue previously. Also, just to clarify, do I want them on intel ports or non intel ports.
 

Karadjgne

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If you look at the manual for your mobo it'll tell you. Also, many times they'll be slightly different colors. My intel are black, the Marvell are dark blue. Moving ports may or may not fix the issue, but it can't hurt to try. Personally I've always had the best luck with Intel ports directly, Renasus is also good, ASmedia has been hit/miss with the controller chip on the mobo getting overheated and Marvell has to be setup right in the bios or it gets iffy too. Most of the issues can be laid right at the feet of Microsoft, the way its Win10CE is done now, any legacy 16/32bit driver is suspect. It's bad enough that even though support for my mobo stopped in October 2013, MSI has actually had to revamp several drivers (audio, Lan, mostly). Very nice of them to continue that, or I'd have a useless pc, constant freezes, bsod in any game etc.
 

May2ko

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If you look at the manual for your mobo it'll tell you. Also, many times they'll be slightly different colors. My intel are black, the Marvell are dark blue. Moving ports may or may not fix the issue, but it can't hurt to try. Personally I've always had the best luck with Intel ports directly, Renasus is also good, ASmedia has been hit/miss with the controller chip on the mobo getting overheated and Marvell has to be setup right in the bios or it gets iffy too. Most of the issues can be laid right at the feet of Microsoft, the way its Win10CE is done now, any legacy 16/32bit driver is suspect. It's bad enough that even though support for my mobo stopped in October 2013, MSI has actually had to revamp several drivers (audio, Lan, mostly). Very nice of them to continue that, or I'd have a useless pc, constant freezes, bsod in any game etc.
Thank you for the help. I’ll try changing ports around when I get home
 

May2ko

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If you look at the manual for your mobo it'll tell you. Also, many times they'll be slightly different colors. My intel are black, the Marvell are dark blue. Moving ports may or may not fix the issue, but it can't hurt to try. Personally I've always had the best luck with Intel ports directly, Renasus is also good, ASmedia has been hit/miss with the controller chip on the mobo getting overheated and Marvell has to be setup right in the bios or it gets iffy too. Most of the issues can be laid right at the feet of Microsoft, the way its Win10CE is done now, any legacy 16/32bit driver is suspect. It's bad enough that even though support for my mobo stopped in October 2013, MSI has actually had to revamp several drivers (audio, Lan, mostly). Very nice of them to continue that, or I'd have a useless pc, constant freezes, bsod in any game etc.
So, I removed all the drives and left just the NVME SSD in. I was able to replicate the issue and I can say that it is still indeed locking up at 100% utilisation. The other drives are not a factor.
 

Karadjgne

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Are all the motherboard drivers for Sata and pcie upto date? If so then you've pretty much exhausted all avenues of possible complications, which only leaves the drive itself.

Next stop would be a call to Kingston support.
 

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