SSD Freezing Fix

A while back I picked up an SSD to speed up my laptop. It worked great – I got a nice improvement in speed, especially when running virtual machines, which I use regularly. I’d really recommend it as an upgrade.

Although it worked great 99% of the time, I ran into an issue where the system would completely freeze for about 1 minute (with the hard drive access light on) and then would return to normal. This would happen every 3 or 4 days. I had heard of freezing issues with SSD’s before purchasing mine, but I assumed this was a thing of the past. Apparently not.

It took a lot of searching (which is why I am reposting it here), but I eventually found a fix:

http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD/Solution-C300-Disk-Freeze-ups-in-Windows-7-solved-for-me/td-p/38766

Essentially the issue is an incompatibility with the LPM (Link Power Management) feature of Intel SATA controllers. LPM is a power saving feature. Considering the prevalence of Intel SATA controllers, I’m really surprised that Crucial didn’t catch this before they shipped their drives, or at least didn’t have a firmware fix available shortly after shipping.

To fix the issue, LPM needs to be disabled. It can be disabled with a registry change:

  • Open up notepad and copy the following into it:
 Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Parameters\Port0]
 "LPM"=dword:00000000
 "LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
 "DIPM"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Parameters\Port1]
 "LPM"=dword:00000000
 "LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
 "DIPM"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Parameters\Port2]
 "LPM"=dword:00000000
 "LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
 "DIPM"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Parameters\Port3]
 "LPM"=dword:00000000
 "LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
 "DIPM"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Parameters\Port4]
 "LPM"=dword:00000000
 "LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
 "DIPM"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStor\Parameters\Port5]
 "LPM"=dword:00000000
 "LPMDSTATE"=dword:00000000
 "DIPM"=dword:00000000
 
  • Save the file as “fixssd.reg”.
  • Double click the saved file.
  • You will get a User Account Control prompt asking if you want “Registry Editor” to make changes to your computer. Click “Yes”.
  • You will get a Registry Editor prompt confirming you want to make changes. Click “Yes”.
  • You will get a success message. Click “OK”.
  • Reboot your machine.

SSD freezes should now be a thing of the past!

Notes

I have a Crucial M4 512 MB drive (M4-CT512M4SSD2) running on a Lenovo T500 ThinkPad. It’s running the 000F firmware. This issue could potentially be fixed with a newer firmware that wasn’t available when I solved my problem. At the time of writing, firmware revisions 010G and 040H are available. Firmware 010G includes the following fixes, which sound promising:

  • Improved resume-time from low power modes, and improved reliability of warm reboot
  • Improved power consumption by disabling HIPM (Host Initiated Power Management)

Although I am running a Crucial SSD, I expect the issue has to do more with the controller than the manufacturer of the drive itself. The Crucial M4 drives use a Marvell controller. The following companies (and probably a few others) also produce drives using Marvell controllers, so this fix could potentially apply to them as well:

  • Corsair
  • Plextor
  • OCZ

6 Responses to “SSD Freezing Fix”

  1. Stefan says:

    I run a Crucial MX200 500GB SSD and have random freezes wich usually result in either a reboot, or me pressing the reset button.

    Sadly, the fix you provided didnt work for me. I followed the description and everything worked out as it was supposed to be, except for the result.

    But thank you.

    • In my case the system never crashed – it was just unresponsive for a long period of time, with the hard disk lite solid. So it sounds like you might have a different issue unfortunately.

  2. Ian says:

    Didn’t work for me, sadly.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] one last desperate search later, I came across this thread and in the same search this page suggesting two methods I hadn’t tried. I did not try disabling LPM (some sort of power saving […]

  2. […] work with the Intel AHCI SATA controller drivers, check to see if you've disabled LPM. See e.g. http://blogs.visigo.com/chriscoulson/ssd-freezing-fix/ for a how to. Reply With […]

  3. […] Some SSD have issues that are prone to freeze the system for several seconds (e.g. Plextor SSD Freeze problem in Chinese).  This is a particularly hard issue to resolve, since different people using the same firmware on the same SSD have different results.  Anyway, if you happen to be experiencing this problem, see if a firmware that fixes it is available.  Also check out why this some of these SSD Freeze problems are related to Link Power Management and how to deal with it in for Intel chipset users (in Chinese) for AMD chipset users (in Chinese) or and in English. […]