Purple Screen of Death

Well, my ASRock C2750D4I Build has not been doing so hot…

I woke-up one morning to find VMware crashed with a PSOD (Purple Screen of Death)… and then the next day it crashed again.  Over the next few days I had several crashes, often after only an hour of uptime.  Here’s a sampling of the errors I’d see:


PCPU1 Locked up.  Failed to ack TLB invalidate…


Uh oh, now it’s PCPU3!


Machine Check Exception: Fatal (unrecoverable) MCE on PCPU0 in world 36026 …looks like it got the Minecraft server that time.


And my favorite!  The recursive panic!  Recursive panic on same CPU (cpu 1, world 40471).

Machine Check Exception when the CPU is already in Panic: CPU1.


PCPU 0 locked up.  Failed to ack TLB invalidate.


#PF Exception 14 in world 35467:wmm3 …bummer.


Machine Check Exception: Fatal (unrecoverable) MCE on PCPU1 in world 35089.

I thought it might have been the ram so I swapped it out but got the same problem.  I emailed ASRock support and an automated email suggested I contact my dealer, so I’ve started an RMA process with SuperBiiz.

In the meantime I needed to get back up and running. I have an extra E3-1240-V3 so I thought I’d switch over to an 1150 socket so I bought a SuperMicro X10SL7-F-0 which is a great little board with a built in LSI-2308 which can be flashed into IT mode for ZFS… only in my haste I didn’t realize it wasn’t a Mini-ITX board.  I guess SuperMicro doesn’t even make a Mini-ITX board with an E3 socket.  So I ordered an ASRock E3C224D2I which seems like a great board, but for some reason I couldn’t get it to even post.  Had I been able to get it to work I would have had to use the IBM ServerRaid M1015 HBA to get 8 drives, but doing so would have cost me a hotswap bay or I would have had to use a riser and somehow stuff it in the case.  I think I exhausted the Mini-ITX options (SuperMicro has some, but they’ve switched to SO-DIMM on their Mini-ITX form factor and I don’t have any).   So I went back to the Supermicro X10SL7 board… but it doesn’t fit in my case…. so I’ve got sort of a makeshift setup while I look for a real server chassis… (don’t try this at home):

At least I’ve got two Ethernet connections for failover!


I think I’m going to give up on my Mini-ITX Small form factor SilverStone D380 case and stick with a Micro-ATX or ATX because there’s more options for motherboards in that size.

14 thoughts on “Purple Screen of Death”

  1. Wow. Really sorry to hear about these issues. Hope that ASRock come to the party on getting a new board sorted for you.

    Spooky timing too as I had just convinced myself that the “noise” surrounding this ASRock board series had subsided to a point where I thought they had gotten their quality control in order. I was even told that the maintainers of FreeNAS themselves are using the C2750D4I in their FreeNAS Mini commercial offerings. I was looking at the C2550D4I (little brother to your board) was the way to go and was set to purchase today.

    Think I’ll be looking at the C2550 version of this board now ;


    I decided to go with the U-NAS 800 case for my main Lab server and will be getting a DS380 for a media server for my home theatre. If you want to offload yours for cheap I’d be happy to take it off your hands ;-) . I suspect the freight to Australia might be a bit of an issue however :-) .

    Good luck! I’ll be checking back to see how you get on with ASRock.

  2. Doesn’t look like those Asus boards are out yet, so it seems that the C2550D4I/C2750D4I are the only Avoton boards available right now in Mini ITX format with capacity for 8 SATA3 disks onboard. That is somewhat disappointing as I was really wanting to get something done sooner rather than later.

    So just to be 100% clear with the Silverstone DS380, there is no way you could get something like the IBM M1015 controller into the PCIe slot of a regular Minit ITX board without removing a hot swap drive bay? Cable management aside, what are the tolerances here for using an expansion card without removing the hot swap bay? Had a quick flick through the user manual and there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of detail regarding this.

  3. Seems you can run an IBM M1015 in a DS380 so long as you don’t mind some case modifications;


    I actually did something similar (although a bit neater) with a Fractal Design Array case so I could fit a PERC 6/i card in. Seeing as I’m going to look at using an IBM M1015 anyway, no point getting a server class board in my view. Reducing power consumption footprint is the No.1 priority for me with this NAS build, so thinking a cheap 10W Celeron J1900 based board will do. Question is do I get a more expensive Gigabyte GA-J1900N-D3V where I’ll be able to reuse existing 240 pin DDR3 that I already have but be limited to 8GB of RAM, or go with the cheaper ASRock Q1900B-ITX along which will require SODIMM RAM but can accommodate 16GB of RAM. The ASRock has my favour at the moment as I’ll be using FreeNAS which loves RAM plus I’ll also be looking to run a few Plugins/Jails. Hopefully the current state of the C2550D4I/C2750D4I boards isn’t reflective of ASRocks wider quality control. Funny thing is that my HTPC has been using an old AM2+ based ASRock board I purchased way back in 2007 and it hasn’t missed a beat.

    • Having used both ASRock and SuperMicro boards I think the ASRock C2550D4I/C2750D4I have some of the best features for the size… I really liked mine except that it died. Having used the out of band management features on both I like SuperMicro’s IPMI / KVM over IP interface a little better but that may be personal preference.

  4. Definitely A+ to ASRock for effort. Even more of a pity since I’ve read a review on STH that shows the higher spec’d Marvell controllers on the Asus P9AIC2550SAS4L run at 5W a piece compared to 1W each on the ASRock (according to their doco). Also a good low power server round up there that showed boards equipped with a BMC used several Watts more than regular boards. Final nail for me for the Asus boards is early reports of the C2550 board being around $350 in the USA, and read the C2750 version was to be nearly $700 from a local reseller here in Aus.

    Have Ordered the ASRock Q1900B-ITX, 2x8GB Geil 1.35v SODIMM, DS380 and am seeking out an LSI SAS2008 based controller on Ebay now.

  5. C2750D4I for some reasons REQUIRE ECC ram to POST. I wasn’t able to get it to POST either. I tried switching E3-1220V3 and E3-1230V3, didn’t work; try 3 different PSUs, didn’t work; try different non-ECC DDR3 rams from 1033/1333/1600 sticks, didn’t work. Then UPS ringed my door bell, there were my Crucial ECC rams. Hey, it POST! Surprise.

  6. Well, I finally got the RMA back and I’ve been running it for a few days and no PSODs yet! I couldn’t really find any MicroATX NAS cases so I’m probably going to stick with this build unless it continues to give me trouble.

    • Well, the RMAed board I got back is hanging with a different error, this time not a PSOD…. I event went so far as to swap out the Kingston memory for 2x8GB modules of Crucial memory on the HVL just to make sure it wasn’t the memory. This time I get no PSOD but the VMware console completely hangs and the ASRock event log shows “Critical Interrupt – I/O channel check NMI – Asserted” … I wonder if this is an issue with the Marvell SATA controller.

  7. Good to hear you are back on track Ben. Hopefully this board fairs better. I’ve just completed my FreeNAS build based on the ASRock Q1900-ITX. The plastic disk trays of the DS380 aren’t half as bad as I was suspecting. On to my main build now in the U-NAS NSC-800 case, just waiting on a PCIe 8x riser cable to arrive. Makes the DS380 seem spacious!

  8. Hi, thanks for your series of posts on FreeNAS, ESXi and the Asrock mobo. I’m working on something quite similar (just waiting for the RAM to arrive) and following your exploits has prepared me for, possibly, having to RMA my motherboard a few times until one with a working Marvell controller shows up.

    I’m going to hammer the system with as much I/O as I can manage before running it in anger; should cause a PSOD if my controllers duff right?


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