I recently completed a custom built desktop machine:
- Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 500W PSU
- AMD FX 4100 CPU ( deliberately overclocked @ 19.0 Step / 3800GHz )
- ASUS M5A97 EVO Motherboard (automatic settings of NB @ 2200MHz, SB @ 2200MHz)
- Patriot Divison 4 Viper Xtreme DDR3 RAM 4GB DIMM (x4; total 16GB) @ PC3-15000 / 1866MHz
- ASUS Radeon HD 6770 DirectCU 1GB GDDR5 GPU
- Crucial M4 128GB SSD
- Western Digital Caviar Blue SATA III 7200RPM 1TB HDD
- Windows 7 64bit Professional OS
I setup the SSD as the primary hard drive and installed the OS onto there, and set up the HDD as a secondary storage drive. Both were set up using AHCI SATA configuration. I did not set up any kind of Raid array.
For the past 3 or so weeks after installation of the OS, the machine has been working nominally with no hiccups (other than trying to play Mass Effect 1, but that's a separate issue as that application has problems running on W7). Last night, I shut the computer down normally. This morning, I turned it on, and after leaving it for a few hours, came back to find an American Megatrends BIOS error message:
"S.M.A.R.T. Status Bad, Backup and Replace"
Upon pressing F1, I was deposited into the ASUS UEFI BIOS interface, from which I forced a boot from the M4 SSD. Windows then attempted to start up, but quickly froze and resulted in a dark screen. Several restart attempts later, and I was able to get a black-and-white prompt asking to start up Windows in recovery mode or normally. I selected the recovery mode, and again it attempted to load Windows, but this time it dumped me into a BSOD which gave the following error code:
"STOP: 0x0000007E (0xFFFFFFFFC0000005, 0xFFFFF8000C0CB423, 0xFFFFF880009A93B8, 0xFFFFF880009A8C10)"
Any subsequent attempts to load windows -even in safe or recovery mode- have failed, either resulting in the same BSOD error as above, or in a completely dark screen. When the former happens, the Motherboard BOOT_DEVICE_LED indicator light turns on, and when the latter happens, the VGA_LED indicator light turns on.
Is this likely a problem with the SSD? If so, what diagnostic tools are available to me given that I can only access the motherboard BIOS? I have a backup computer (from which I'm writing this message) that I can install the SSD into as a tertiary hard drive; could I install diagnostic tools onto that machine instead to see if the hard drive really is the problem? Will I be forced to re-format the SSD and start over again from scratch (something I'd like to avoid if at all possible)?
I'd appreciate any insights that you all could provide for me. Thank you again for taking the time to read this.