System freeze from Image Guardian driver ?


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Mark8686
Mark8686
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Hello,
Relative noob here with limited knowledge, so please be gentle..
I have Reflect 7.2 installed, build 3957, on Win 7 x64. I have been experiencing what I know to be system freezes (hangs ? lock-ups ?) for weeks now. Very intermittent as in sometimes once ro twice a day, sometimes every other day... The system just hangs, I think the mouse cursor disappears, no disk activity light, keyboard not responding, and it does not unfreeze, so I need to hit Reset. No bsods, no errors. This is a 6 y/o computer that I built, it does not overheat at all, it's been cleaned, fans work, etc... I've reseated the RAM, even replaced the PSU hoping... and thinking it was 6 y/o anyway...

Upon further snooping around and with my little understanding of all things Windows : I've found in Event Viewer > System that it seems every one of the last freezes I've had is preceeded by an event linked to "MacriumImageGuardian" and I also see a quick succession of roughly 15 "mrcbt" events just before the critical error (kernel), due to the reset I guess. So... I dediced to disable Image Guardian completely and take it from there. Anotehr freeze/hang this morning ; checked Event Viewer and noticed the same pattern with the ImageGuardian driver and mrcbt events. Double-checked the settings, Guardian definitely disabled completely (I chose the "Permanently Off" option to disable it yesterday).

Another detail : I have a Crucial MX300 (SATA SSD) as system drive, which is the one I image (incrementally) to an internal HDD. These events began weeks ago, before I installed the latest firmware for the MX300, so that didn't help.
Having searched as best I can, I can't seem to find references to either Image Guardian as a potential cause, or my SSD (this SSD is roughly one year old only..). So I come here hoping I am not alone, that the Image Guardian driver could be at play... so throwing this out there. Thx

jphughan
jphughan
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Haven’t seen reports of hard locks related to Image Guardian or CBT, but did you disable link state power management when you installed that Crucial SSD? I’ve definitely seen reports of hard locks and BSoDs with Crucial SSDs when that option is left enabled.

If you want to keep delving into MIG and CBT though, you can try uninstalling those components entirely, since the driver still loads even when their functionality is disabled. To do that, go to Programs and Features, select Reflect, and click Change > Modify, then uncheck one or both. You’ll need to restart afterward.
Mark8686
Mark8686
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Thank you @jphughan for the help, much appreciated !

I have to start my reply all over, I hit the wrong key it seems and lost all 2 paragraphs... oh well...

So, about link state power management (LPM) : first time I hear of this. Looking it up, it seems to be accessible only (mostly ?) from BIOS ? I have Legacy BIOS here, not UEFI, if that matters.
This is perhaps related : the latest firmware I installed a few weeks ago on the MX300 disables "APM", so I guess Crucial are still struggling with some aspects of power management with some of their SSDs. I'm not eager to tinker in BIOS, but I might. I just need to read a little more...

Thanks for the tips on those drivers. Was scratching my head this morning when I saw the Guardian driver event, even though Guardian was *fully disabled*. Now I know... and I'll see about disabling one, or both.

Mark8686
Mark8686
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Quick update :
I've uninstalled Image Guardian, so stay tuned.
I also found a link state power management option in advanced power management settings (PCIExpress), which I set to High Performance a few weeks ago because of these lock-ups : so it is already set to disabled.

jphughan
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Happy to help! I admittedly don’t remember details about affected models, but for some reason I remember the power management option being controllable via a Crucial utility, presumably because it’s set in the SSD firmware. But if you don’t see anything like that, if the latest SSD firmware disables it entirely, maybe that’s why? I’ve never seen options for SSD power management in a system’s BIOS, though. One other place you can check is Windows Power Options, specifically the “Turn hard drive off after” setting, which should be set to Never.
Mark8686
Mark8686
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Ok, quick update. Nothing to write home about I guess, but it's been 24 hours since I uninstalled Image Guardian and have not had a system freeze. Computer has been On for those 24 hours.
Next goal : 48 hours from now. If no freezes, I can start smiling Wink

JamieW
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@Mark8686

When Windows restarts with Macrium Image Guardian (MIG) and the Change Block Tracker (CBT) enabled, it would be normal to see some Informational events from these components. Both MIG​ and CBT will report a Driver Loaded event and CBT will report various other events as it attaches to the volumes.​​​​​​

Without access the System log, it's difficult to know​​ if these are what you are seeing, but if you would like to open a support ticket at http://macrium.com/support, we would be happy to take a look.

Kind Regards,
Macrium Support​​​​​

Mark8686
Mark8686
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@JamieW ; looks like you are correct, I just had a closer look at those events. The MIG event is first, then immediately a succession of CBT events (roughly 15) and then an immediate critical Kernel event (Windows not started normally). So I now understand that the Kernel event appears on restart, which I didn't realize before. Now I've looked at the events immediately preceeding these and cannot find an obvious culprit. Thank you for offering to look at some system logs...
Now I'm almost at 48 hours without a freeze, after uninstalling MIG, though the two may be totally unrelated.

I will report back tomorrow night. maybe before if something happens... and thank you both again for the help :-)


Mark8686
Mark8686
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So... 5 days since the last lock-up, since I've uninstalled MIG because of an Event Viewer misinterpretation on my part... Pure luck ? This time I'll wait a week before reporting back, if nothing happens that is. This is honestly by far the longest I've had without Windows freezing up since this all started a month or so ago. Fingers crossed...

Mark8686
Mark8686
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Well... logic prevailed, I guess, I experienced 2 more lock-ups, 2 days in a row, since my last visit here. It became fairly obvious Image Guardian was not the culprit after I got a better understanding of Event Viewer, but I did get a fairly long period without a freeze after I uninstalled MIG, which had me wishing..
I'll keep looking... and thanks again to those here who spent time helping me out with this Wink

GO

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