Warning! Latest Windows 8 updates and SSD Acceleration!

So last night upon returning home, I found one of my super machines wanting to be restarted so that it could start to apply a batch of Windows 8 updates to it. This particular machine is one of the Z series motherboards which uses an SSD card as a cache drive for the primary drive (in this case a 1 TB ) so that your most used stuff gets cached but you still get the benefit of  having a very large drive. It is an incredibly fast combo that gives you the best of both worlds….faster boot up and apps just scream in loading up if they are in the cache.

Upon restarting, I got introduced to what appears to be the new Windows 8 sad face blue screen. No biggie, it says it is gathering some information and sending it off or something like that before rebooting. After rebooting, it would go to the recovery screen ..I pick automatic recovery mode so that it should try to self-heal itself. It reboots…self-healing mode…BAM! Sad face screen again… (Sigh). I guess it is time to go back to yesterday’s image but 1 TB will take a while. So reboot…..recovery screen…. recover from image… error cannot find …. recover from specific image…..error cannot find…. (sigh)…so possibly a disk problem?

I do the following …

1. Check BIOS

2. Run various CHKDSK

3. Run specialized disk scanner

4. Sync SSD card with hard drive

5. Clear SSD cache

Nope….Nadda… no love from the OS… perpetual  sad face / reboot / recovery. It starts to look like I will have to do wipe/ rebuild and then apply an image ( my images are all on a separate drive of course ). The thought of loading Windows 8 last night was less than exciting so I decided to do one more thing. I removed acceleration from the primary drive, leaving the SSD in the same semi- RAID 0 configuration but basically making it inert.

BINGO! Windows starting! Woot!  So I login…everything looks good…. reboot….put acceleration back on….Sad face screen again… Hmmmmm… so I removed acceleration again until I can figure out exactly why Windows 8 dislikes my SSD cache drive so much.

So if you are running into the Blue Sad Face Screen on Windows 8 after a set of updates and you are running the same configuration. You may want to try removing the acceleration from the primary drive. It won’t be as fast but its better than having your box brick on you.