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Thread: XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

  1. #1
    bmore is offline Junior Member
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    Default XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

    I'm using an ASRock A770DE+, and at first XFast USB 3.02.21 was working fine for me with the on-board USB 2.0 ports, and my Renesas USB 3.0 PCIe add-on card. Then I started re-organizing my archived files on my external USB hard drives, and Windows 7 x86 started having a lot of BSOD's displaying IRQL_More_or_Less, or something like that, with the mini-dumps indicating XFast USB.

    I tried to download from ASRock an older or newer version of XFast USB, and only could download XFast USB 3.02.30. The BSOD's didn't go away, and I noticed a new problem. If I had a USB 3.0 drive connected to a USB 2.0 port, and XFast was set to Turbo for that drive, any data copied to that drive was immediately corrupted. I couldn't delete the folder because the data associated within the folder was corrupted. I ran checkdisk, but it kept aborting repairs saying insufficient space to repair the Bitmap file. Even after deleting found files, checkdisk continued finding them again, attempting the same exact repairs, and aborting due to the same exact error. After a few tries, I realized that XFast USB in Turbo mode seemed to be trying to communicate with the drive using USB 3.0 specifications, but the drive was connected to a USB 2.0 port! As soon as I set that drive to Normal under XFast USB, checkdisk corrected the partition and data so I could delete the folder and start over again.

    Long story short, I re-installed XFast USB 3.02.21, and I now know that the blue screens happen once I've gone beyond a certain number of files or Giga-Bytes of data. Just as a precaution, I updated the Renesas firmware and drivers, but no difference. I don't know if having any version of the Seagate Manager installed is causing a conflict, but I do know that something has changed with XFast. Originally Seagate Manager could not make changes to the power management in the drive when the drive was set in Turbo mode in XFast, but now it can. Uninstalling XFast USB, Seagate Manager, and the Renesas drivers, and re-installing them hasn't restored things to how they were originally. I'm depending upon the uninstaller for XFast, but I'm wondering if it isn't removing a corrupted file or registry entry. I've tried Seagate USB 3.0 2TB and 3TB GoFlex and Backup Plus drives, and size model, or age make no difference. I don't use WD MyBook's due to dedicated and factory enabled hardware encryption.

    I had a BSOD last night just trying to verify 530 GB of data in read-only mode with the drive in Turbo mode with XFast USB 3.02.21. I set all USB hard drives to Normal mode, and then exited XFast today, and not only was I able to do the crc32 verification, I was also able to move all the data to another drive. So I suspect a corrupt file or setting not uninstalling. Or else, why would ASRock even provide XFast USB?

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

    If your board only has the Renesas USB 3.0 controller, that itself could be part of the problem. Users complain about the add on USB 3.0 chips, either on board or on a PCI card. A common complaint, the interface disconnects or is lost.

    If XFast USB makes it worse, then don't use it. Given a questionable interface in the first place, having more software in the mix will likely only make it worse.

    XFast USB is a feature that ASR hopes will attract buyers. Who knows how it works, but it may clash with the Seagate Manager software.

    IMO, XFast USB is annoying, with the need to reinsert the drive to get it started (USB flash drives) so I don't use it. I saw a review of an ASR board that tested this feature, and it did speed up the connection, but how they tested it I don't know.

  3. #3
    bmore is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

    First, thank you for your reply. And second, I'm confused as to what you are referring to by the word, "interface."

    I actually read a technical explanation somewhere as to how XFast USB speeds up data transfer, according to the actual software developer. I don't remember the company's name at the moment, or the exact phrasing, but normal transfer is something like a single or sequential transfer, but XFast USB allows multiple transfer. Without XFast the data transfer rate to or from the external USB 3.0 hard drive runs an average low of 56 MB/s, and average high of 68 MB/s, as reported by Windows 7. With XFast enabled and in Turbo mode, the average low rate is 69 MB/s, and average high of 108 MB/s, again as reported by Windows. Using just time to complete transferring 200 GB of data, XFast USB in Turbo mode is faster, simply because the transfer completes in less time. Most of the reviews I've read involving XFast also relied upon external SSD's and test software like HDTune or whatever. XFast USB seems to average a 20 to 30 percent speed increase with USB 2.0 devices as well, based upon my usage.

    Also, XFast only asks me once to disconnect and reconnect an external USB hard drive, if it is the first time connecting the device to the computer. There is an FNet folder under Program Data with a file that seems to record the Hardware Device ID and other parameters. Whether it is because of the file or Device Manager installing the device the first time is the reason the device needs to be disconnected and reconnected, I haven't tried to figure out yet.

    I have read complaints concerning the NEC/Renesas cipset causing dropouts and other issues, but I thought it was limited to the first generation chipset. Mine's a 200a, and I've got four installed, one with the ASRock, one with an ASUS, and two with a different model ASUS motherboard. It might just be luck, but so far I haven't had any issues with any of the cards; except XFast causing crashes due to IRQ related issues, or corrupting data when a USB 3.0 hard drive is connected to a USB 2.0 port.

    Your suggestion is valid, but with 12 TB of archived data that needs to be sorted and moved, I was really hoping I could depend upon XFast USB saving me some time. Then again, what's life if there aren't any complications? lol
    Last edited by bmore; 02-05-2013 at 09:34 AM.

  4. #4
    - wardog -'s Avatar
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    Default Re: XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

    As you say XFast is seemingly creating a folder that maintains HWID's and such, is your problem maybe that the folder/files this folder contains/records info of the initial USB 3.0 connection and this only happens when you go and connect it to a USB 2.0 slot? ie: records 3.0 connection, works fine - but when swapped sometime afterwards to a 2.0 connection problems occur
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    bmore is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

    There are actually two issues with XFast USB:

    1. Going beyond a certain number of files, but most likely beyond a certain amount of continuous data transfer, Windows crashes with a BSOD due to something like an IRQL_More_or_Less issue. (At this point I really don't know the actual cause or trigger, but the crash only happens if I transfer a large amount of data. 28.3 GB is fine so far, but >= 100 GB ends up with a BSOD.)

    2. When XFast USB is set to run in Turbo mode for an external USB 3.0 hard drive connected to an on-board USB 2.0 port, or externally powered (AC adapter) generic USB 2.0 hub, any data transferred to the USB 3.0 drive is corrupted. However, and this is the interesting part, if XFast USB is set to Normal mode for the USB 3.0 drive, file transfers complete successfully without any corruption. (I wondered about corrupted files or settings, so I deleted the FNet folder under Program Data after uninstalling XFast USB, and verified that the XFast USB folder under Program Files was removed. I haven't checked the registry or App Data, whatever, yet for anything left behind after uninstalling.)

    I know next to nothing about IRQ, but when the crashes began I first uninstalled ASRock's Ram Disk. I was running Windows 7 x64 with 8 GB of RAM, but due to a third-party software which doesn't support 64 bit, I am forced to use Windows 7 x86 until I'm finished. PAE is still enabled, and the 8 GB of RAM is still installed, but even if it could be the cause of issue 1, I don't see how Physical Address Extension being enabled could cause issue 2. And with so little documentation to rely upon to try and isolate the cause, I'm at a loss presently.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

    IRQL_Not_Less_Or_Equal errors are usually memory related.

    If I was a betting man I'd say...... Wait a sec. By chance you running a ram disk to make use of the remainder of that 8GB in Win7 x86?

    If you are running a ram disk disable it, reboot, and retry.
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    bmore is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

    To be honest wardog, I was initially running XFast RAMDisk to use the remainder of the RAM to hold the swap/paging file, but after the sixth crash I disabled it. After the eighth crash, I completely uninstalled it and XFast USB, and then installed XFast USB again. I have XFast USB 3.02.21, and the ASRock site has 3.02.30, so I've tried both. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't see anything in either XFast RAMDisk or XFast USB warning against using either or both with a 32 bit operating system. (If I remember correctly, XFast RAMDisk and AMD's New RAMDisk are both developed by the same company.)

    Since you mentioned it, I will reinstall XFast RAMDisk, just to make sure that I didn't leave any settings changed, and uninstall it again. Then I will use BCDedit to disable PAE, and hopefully the Interrupt Request errors will go away.

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    Default Re: XFast USB doesn't like me... maybe?

    I was referring to the Renesas USB 3.0 "interface" in general as potentially problematic, and with the XFast software possibly causing more trouble.

    I wonder if CPU power saving options kicking in, like C States, causing problems.

    You can disable the XFast RAM drive, which appears as a device in Device Manager, whether one is created or not.

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