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Thread: Windows 7 Freezing Problem




  1. #1
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    Default Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    I've got the Windows 7 Freezing Problem on my new Z68 Fatal1ty board. After a random amount of time, usually around 15 to 30 minutes, I'll start getting long pauses of being able to only move the mouse but not click on anything, then get a few brief periods of activity, until everything freezing completely. This problem seems well known...Google "windows 7 freezes" brings up tons of forum entries dating back to 2009 with hundreds of "cures", many of which refer to problems with hardware drivers. Has anyone else experienced this with the Asrock Z68 Fatal1ty, and found a cure?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    If you got complete freezing which could only be solved by power off, not even by reset, then welcome to see the following thread and ppl. there are waiting for a solution, or even a reply, from Asrock.

    http://forums.tweaktown.com/asrock/4...-received.html

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    Haven't had a single BSOD with this board; just the freezing.

    Given the sheer number of people who've reported this problem with a wide variety of hardware (including laptops) since 2009, I'm not convinced it's something specific to the Z68 Fatal1ty. Nor does it seem to be a single specific problem, as various people have claimed cures (like changing the W7 power setting to "Performance) that worked for them, but not for others (like me).

    One thing I've noticed by keeping Task Manager running: Just before a freeze occurs, an entry with an Image Name of "System" and a Description of "NT Kernal & System" will suddenly jump from a CPU usage of zero to 25-26% (on my i5-2500K). Googling "NT Kernal & System" has just revealed discussions complex enough that I haven't had time to delve into them yet.
    Last edited by Anthony2816; 09-20-2011 at 03:13 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    A new discovery: My original configuration included quite a few drives:

    1. A pair of SATA III 120 GB SSD drives in Raid 0 in the Intel SATA III ports, the Operating System C: drive.
    2. A pair of 2 TB hard drives in Raid 0 in two of the Intel SATA II ports.
    3. A pair of 1 TB hard drives in Raid 0 in two of the Intel SATA II ports.
    4. A 1 TB hard drive in an Asmedia SATA III port.
    5. A DVD burner in an Asmedia SATA III port.
    6. A SATA II 120 GB SSD drive in an Asmedia SATA III port.
    7. Four external USB drives (2 TB, 1.5 TB, 1 TB, 500 GB) in four of the rear panel USB 3.0 ports.

    With all those installed, I'd go no more than 30 minutes before the NT Kernel & System service maxed out one of the CPU cores, showing 25%, and freezing Windows.

    So I unplugged all but the C: drive Raid array, and was able to go over eight hours without a freeze. I then powered down, and am now in the process of incrementally reintroducing the various drives until the freezing problem reasserts itself.
    Last edited by Anthony2816; 09-21-2011 at 10:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    Well, the latest is this: If I hook up all the drives except for the two HD Intel Raid arrays, I get no freezes...everything works fine. But if I hook up either or both of those two arrays, in 20-30 minutes NT Kernel & System will go up to 25%, a core of my i5-2500K will max out, and Windows 7 will freeze.

    Thus, it seemed I couldn't have more than one Raid array on the Intel controller, even though it has enough ports for three pairs of Raid.

    However, I then found this thread:

    Intel Rapid Storage Technology: overtaxes system - Windows 7 Forums

    This says that the Intel raid controlling software can't handle it when Windows' power options shut down the hard drives. Indeed, I went into the advanced power options, changed the hard drive shutdown time from 20 minutes (now where did I run into that time before?) to "never", and problem solved.

    Except that now I have four hard drives running continually when they don't otherwise need to be.

    Am I seriously the only one who has run into this problem?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    Anthony2816, thanks for sharing your findings. I had the same problem on two different Z68 boards. And I'm pretty sure that the problem appeared on my Intel board after I introduced the second RAID (the first one was caching to SSD). With my ASRock board, I started with 2 RAIDS: SSD caching and RAID0; so the problem showed up right away. However, they talk about RAID1 in the link to Intel RST you provided. I'll check your solution hoping it will work in my case too. I'd better uninstall RST than disable my hard drive shut down, but I really want to use my SSD caching. Thanks again

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    Glad the info helped. I'm guessing that the problem isn't more widespread because not too many people are using more than one Raid array (including SSD caching which, as you note, is in effect a Raid array itself).

    My next question is whether the freezing can be fixed by uninstalling Intel Rapid Storage Technology (and maybe Intel Management Engine Components)? Or are those programs vital to using the Raid arrays under Windows 7 64-bit? Since I have my C: drive on the SSD array, and a total of 6 TB of storage on the other two Raid arrays, I'm a bit hesitant to uninstall those two programs on my own machine for fear of ruining the arrays, but if someone else could try it (or already knows the answer), I'd love to know. I hate having those four hard drives running continually if it isn't necessary.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    Disabling the hard drive shut down solved my problem of the freezing system. I'm happy. I was also glad to find out that my system goes to sleep and wakes up with no problem. This solves the issue of the hard drives spinning 24/7. Thanks again.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    I'm still not happy with all my hard drives spinning whenever the computer is on.

    I was hoping someone else might try uninstalling the Intel Raid software to see what happens, but I guess I'll have to take the plunge myself. Just hope it doesn't destroy the arrays...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Windows 7 Freezing Problem

    Anthony, if you haven't still done anything about your system, my story might be of interest to you. Yesterday I moved my operating system to my SSD. At this point, I no longer needed the Intel RST. When I started uninstalling it, it gave me a choice to read their documentation on how to move to the operating system handled arrays. It said all the RAID data might be lost. However, my RAID survived! Again, it's RAID0 with no operating system on it. I made my drives shutdown after a period of inactivity again; and there is no freezing problem anymore. Hope you find this info useful and encouraging.

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