An SSD, short for solid-state drive, is a type of storage device that utilizes flash memory to store data using integrated circuit modules that retain the information even when power is off. Compared to an HDD (hard disk drive), an SSD offers faster speed, lower power consumption, and improved gaming performance. As a result, more and more individuals are opting to install or transfer their OS to an SSD for enhanced PC performance.
However, some users still have reported that their SSDs experience freezing in Windows 10/11. What causes this? Below is our summary of common causes of SSD freezing:
- Incorrect SATA Port Connection: There are three SATA ports for SSDs, each with varying data transfer capabilities. Connecting the SSD to the wrong SATA port may impede its performance and cause it to operate below its optimal state.
- AHCI Mode Not Enabled: AHCI is the latest mode for memory devices, allowing a PC to take advantage of all SATA benefits. When AHCI mode is enabled, access speed to files on memory devices significantly improves and overall PC performance is greatly enhanced.
- Inadequate 4K Alignment: “4K Alignment” refers to aligning the physical disk partition with the PC’s logical partition to improve hard disk reading and writing efficiency. If not properly aligned, the SSD has to access twice as many physical sections of the disk for file operations, leading to more extended reading and writing times and a reduction in the SSD’s full capabilities.
- Physical Damage: If the SSD is physically damaged, it will not function normally. In this scenario, it is recommended to replace the damaged SSD with a new one and transfer the data using third-party disk management software.
Resolve SSD Freezing in Windows 10/11
Method 1: Enable the ACHI Mode to Fix SSD Freezing
- Press Win + X and choose Device Manager.
- Open the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers section. If there is a device containing AHCI in its name, it means that AHCI mode is used in this computer.
NOTE: Enabling AHCI mode in the BIOS after installing Windows may result in a boot loop and repeated restarts. It is recommended to enable AHCI prior to installing Windows. If you fail to do so on a computer where Windows is already installed, the steps to enable AHCI can be followed, but it is important to backup important files and data as there is a risk of data loss during these operations.
- Press Win + R to open the Run box, then type in regedit to open Registry Editor.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Services\ iaStorV, then double-click on Start element and set its value to 0.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Services\ iaStorAV\ StartOverride and set 0 for the element 0.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Services\ storahci, then double-click the Start element and set the value to 0.
- Head to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Services\ storahci\ StartOverride, and set 0 to the element 0. When AHCI is enabled, no issues will be observed. Otherwise, you will see it.
- Close Registry Editor, then restart the computer and enter UEFI or BIOS.
- To enable AHCI mode, go to the SATA settings in UEFI or BIOS, change the memory device mode to AHCI, save the changes, and restart the computer.
- After restarting, Windows will install the SATA drivers and prompt for another restart. Upon completing the restart, AHCI mode will be enabled in Windows.
Method 2: Check if Your SSD is 4K Aligned
- Press Win + R to open the Run box, type msinfo32 and press Enter to open the System information.
- Go to System Summary > Components > Storage > Disks.
- From the right pane, locate Partition Starting Offset and check its Value. The value should be divisible by 4096 to be 4K aligned. If not, then you need to align it manually. For example, you might use a third-party tool to help you with that.
Method 3: Check If the SSD Is Connected to the SATA 3 Port:
Your Windows 10/11 SSD may freeze if it’s not connected to the appropriate port, specifically, it may be connected to the incorrect SATA port. The transfer cap of SATA 3 is 6 GBPS, while SATA 2 is limited to 3 GBPS. If you have downgraded your SSD from SATA 3 to SATA 2, it can result in a decline in performance, leading to the freezing of your Windows 10 SSD. If this is the issue, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a technician to connect the SSD to the SATA 3.0 interface of your motherboard, rather than attempting to fix it on your own.
Method 4: Change Your SSD
If none of the above solutions works, the worst-case scenario is that your SSD is defective and needs to be replaced and that’s why your Windows SSD is freezing now and then. With Bitwar Data Recovery Software, you can spare yourself the plight of reinstalling the operating system once again. The software can help you recover all files and data on your defective SSD. Here are the steps:
- Go to Bitwarsoft Download Center, find and install Bitwar Data Recovery on the computer.
- Select the driver you want to recover from the Disk Partitions and Devices list.
- Choose the Quick Scan mode. You can choose the Deep Scan mode if the needed data can’t be found. It performs an in-depth search to look for data in every corner of your computer. After that, click on the Next button.
- Choose your target file type, and click Scan.
- Choose, preview the scanned files you need, then click Recover and save the files into other external storage devices.
NOTE: Remember to save all the files you want to recover to a different file location to prevent data from being overwritten!
Method 5: Run CHKDSK
- Type CMD in the search box and click Run as administrator.
- Copy and paste the following commands, then replace E with the drive letter you want to scan, and press Enter after every command:
chkdsk /f E
chkdsk /r E
- Repeat the commands for all the drives to fix the bad sectors.
In the tutorial above, you learned the cause of the SSD freezing issue and the top 5 solutions. Choose one that best fits your needs. In addition, if you are concerned about data loss due to persistent SSD freezes, you can also use software to back up or retrieve lost files.