I’ve had two recent freeze-ups, and on rebooting my PC, I noticed that a couple of my hard disks (I think the SSDs) have a new BIOS startup message: “Ultra DMA S.M.A.R.T. Capable and Status OK.” I recently installed a new SSD and put Windows 10 on it. Did WIndows 10 add this new BIOS feature? And could it be somehow related to my two recent freezes? Many thanks in advance.
That sounds like one of those pointless BIOS boot-up status notifications (disk detected, etc). Just a dashboard idiot light.
Unknown whether it might be related to any freezes. Does your motherboard have custom disk controller drivers? It could be a problem with those.
Thanks for your reply. I don’t think my motherboard has custom disk controller drivers, but I’m not sure. I’ll dig into it.
So SMART is basically a built in health-check system on your drives. The status is ok, so that’s great, nothing to worry about there. Not sure about Ultra DMA bit which, afaik applies to the old PATA connector and not the SATA type which you’ll no doubt be using. You could tell us a bit more about your drives - models, connectors, etc. however it’s most likely that this won’t be important anyway and you can just ignore it.
Random crashes are hard to diagnose until you pin down the problem a bit more. You can download and run a CPU stress test with Prime95. This is quick to install and use and usually whenever I’ve had an unstable system (CPU running too hot, not enough voltage, whatever) it’ll crash the PC entirely in only a few minutes.
If it runs for awhile (say, the time it takes to make a cuppa), fine, move on to testing your memory with memtest. This takes longer and you’ll have to make a bootdisk for it.
If that all works with your system still being stable at the end… Things get a bit fuzzier. Give the above a go first.
Thanks for all those suggestions, @fox.ferro! I appreciate the help. Yes, I’m using SATA. One is an older Intel 150MB SSD, the other a pretty new Samsung 1TB SSD. I also have a couple older SATA HDDs, but I’m not sure I’ve noticed the “SMART” line next to them during boot-up, but it goes too fast to be sure.
Anyway, I’ll try those stress tests you mentioned. I’ve had only two freezes, so it’s not a crisis yet, but still a bit surprising after weeks of stability.
Ultra DMA support hasn’t been a consideration since IDE.
Yeah, that was my first reaction. But this strange message didn’t appear until some time after I moved to Windows 10, which was pretty recently.