Hello, I've got a Seagate Raptor, and it's always had this bizarre problem. After a certain amount of data has been accessed (for example, installing a game, playing said game for a while) everything starts coming to this stuttery halt. Any song/video playing in Winamp whilst I access anything at all starts sounding like an alien transmission, really stretched out and slow. It's almost like a blockage forming in a water pipe, where the data just can't get through at all.
When the stuttering starts check the hard drive controllor in the device manager and see what it is running at. If its running PIO mode instead of Ultra DMA mode then the drive or cable is bad. If its a SATA drive then it might not show this. Try changing the SATA cable.
Never heard of a Seagate Raptor. Did you mean a Western Digital Raptor?
Ah sorry, it was a Seagate Barracuda, the drive that works fine is a Western Digital, whoops. Anyway, under IDE ATA controllers the primary IDE channel is listed as PIO, but the Barracuda is SATA. I'll try swapping the cable out and seeing if that helps. Cheers!
It may also be the drive going bad or bad sectors on the drive.
After the Windows IDE/ATAPI Port driver (Atapi.sys) receives a cumulative total of six time-out or cyclical redundancy check (CRC) errors, the driver reduces the communications speed (the transfer mode) from the highest Direct Memory Access (DMA) mode to lower DMA modes in steps. If the driver continues to receive time-out or CRC errors, the driver eventually reduces the transfer mode to the slowest mode (PIO mode).
Oh irony, you're a cruel one. Just as I'm saying the other drive is fine, it just failed on me completely. It's not even being detected in startup, and powered up with a reassuring 'clunk clunk clunk' noise.