MacBook Pro (Late 2008) - Hard Freezes & IDE Controller Errors

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Fuzzb, May 3, 2009.

  1. Fuzzb macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    I've got a strange problem with my MacBook Pro, where it will hard freeze running Windows, but will work perfectly fine in OS X. I've experienced the same problem running Windows Vista 32-bit, 64-bit and Windows 7 RC 64-bit.

    Looking at the Windows event log, I have many errors which predominantly seem to be the following which occur every few minutes:
    • The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Ide\IdePort0.
    • The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1\DR1.
    • The platform firmware has corrupted memory across the previous system power transition. Please check for updated firmware for your system.
    • The embedded controller (EC) did not respond within the specified timeout period. This may indicate that there is an error in the EC hardware or firmware or that the BIOS is accessing the EC incorrectly. You should check with your computer manufacturer for an upgraded BIOS. In some situations, this error may cause the computer to function incorrectly.

    To troubleshoot this issue, I have:
    • Re-partioned & re-installed Windows 20+ times
    • Replaced the factory installed 2x2GB memory with 1x1GB
    • Tried installing Windows from an external USB2 DVD drive to rule out the built in SuperDrive.
    • Replaced the factory installed Apple 128GB SSD hard disk with:
      1. Western Digital Scorpio Black 320GB
      2. Samsung 256GB SSD

    I have also run the Apple Extended Diagnostics and Memtest86 overnight, but no problems were found.

    Despite my attempts above, the hard freezes and ATAPI errors continued.

    I borrowed a MacBook Pro similar to mine from a friend and did a side-by-side test of the two laptops. The other MacBook Pro worked perfectly and there were no ATAPI errors or hard freezes, unlike mine. Therefore, I suspect that there is a problem with the SATA/IDE controller on the motherboard.

    I've called AppleCare several times and taken the MacBook Pro into the Genius Bar three times, however they are all dismissive as soon as I mention that the problem only manifests itself running Windows. I believe that there is a hardware problem, but because it only happens in Windows, Apple are refusing to support me.

    Has anyone else had similar problems?

  2. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    This is a known issue to the users that Apple has been very quiet about. I've had this problem since I got this laptop back in November. A member here, Timur, has done a lot of work with Bootcamp to lower the DPC latency for recording audio in Windows. He has found a number of issues with Bootcamp drivers and with the issues, he has also found many fixes, but not really solutions to make these problems fixed.

    First off, the IDE controller stuff. Yea, that's Apple's BIOS acting up. I don't believe anyone can do anything with it. I haven't noticed any issues coming up when this occurs, but it does bug me as well. So for now, don't worry about the ATAPI problems.

    Second, the hard freezes. Timur found that there is a large latency issue with the NVIDIA driver when it changes performance mode. After sticking it on high performance 3D or low performance 3D, he noticed that his freezing problems go away. I think the problem is that when the driver automatically switches to the lower power mode, the 2D mode, it underclocks the GPU too much which can cause a freeze. Why this happens on our Macs? I don't know. How to fix it? Here's the thread on low DPC latency. Read what Timur says in post 12. I had this problem for the longest time, and then I followed this guide that he made, and I didn't have a freeze at all! He also said that XP doesn't have this problem, which I can confirm since I have been using XP since February when I got fed up with Apple not supporting their own product enough to figure out why it was freezing. XP is stuck in High Performance 3D all the time because of a bug in the driver. This bug keeps the laptop from freezing.
  3. Fuzzb thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    Thanks for your reply, it's good to know that other people are experiencing the same frustrations with their new, 'improved' Unibody MacBook Pros. I'll fefinitely try the RivaTuner fix, although it seems to me that there is an inherent hardware issue that is causing the 9600GT to be provided with less power than is needed, hence resulting in a lock up. I guess the OS X drivers don't support the same non-3D / 3D modes that the Windows driver does.

    So am I right in saying that you get the same ATAPI errors in the Windows system event log?
  4. ryannazaretian macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    Yep. I get the same ATAPI errors. I don't know of a fix, but I also don't see any problems with it happening. I called Apple and they said it's Microsoft's problem, which is complete BS.
  5. egaertner macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2009
    I am having the first and third event log errors repeatedly as well as hard freezes. Interesting to note, I'm on an early 2008 Macbook, so no NVidia components...

    I ran Windows 7 Beta flawlessly on the stock hard drive for months, I've now had two aftermarket drives (WD 320GB Black and Seagate 500GB 7.2k) exhibit these issues on Windows 7 RC.
  6. sascha h-k macrumors 6502

    sascha h-k

    Apr 26, 2004
    vienna / austria
    the "funny" thing is, that on my imac 3.06 running win7_rc1 64bit, absolut NO issues with boot camp drivers (2.1) ! :D

    dpc latency is only green and max. 2mm size ...

    but on my umbp 2.93 17" with win7_rc1 32bit WITHOUT boot camp drivers several are red and in maximum size ! :(

    (all systems fresh installed)

    at least both are running perfect !

    so whats going on ?!

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