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Vista random HDD hangs, resumes OK after some time

Last response: in Storage
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July 25, 2008 1:19:43 PM

hi all, this is my first post here.
i hope this goes into the right section..

i've got a really annoying problem, which i would like to get feedback on.

symptoms:
(this happens only under Vista, not under XP)
system installs and boots fine, everything is fine, except i get these random hangs.. no matter what i've been doing, even if no programs are running, my hdd led becomes frozen solid, hdd does nothing (makes no sound), and though the system doesn't actually freeze up, i can do whatever i want, as long as that particular action doesn't require hdd activity. i can move the cursor, type, bring up start menu, even work with open applications: right until it wants to read or write from/to the hdd. then i get the busy cursor, and the waiting begins.. the time the system recovers all by itself vary from around 20 seconds to several minutes, after that, like nothing happened, everything works fine.. until the next random occasion, when it starts all over again. no error messages or entries in event log either..
it seems like the request sent to the hdd times out without response.

this error is present even with a clean install.

things i've tried so far:
- drivers: native vista drivers, mobo drivers that came with mobo, latest chipset drivers from nVidia website
- samsung hdd check utility (HUTIL): did a complete surface scan (took 3 hours :s): reported no errors.
- other sata cable, other sata port
- two different psu (400w and 430w), with every combination of sata power cables possible

i tend to think it is more a software issue than a hw issue, because under xp, this error didn't occur..

my system is:
cpu: amd athlon x2 6000+ (stock speed, @3.GHz)
mobo: gigabyte ga-m52l-s3 with nforce 520le chipset
memory: 2x1gb ddr800 kingmax (only @750Mhz, because of cpu)
hdd: samsung sp2504c, 250gb sata2
gpu: msi geforce 8800gts 320mb oc edition

any suggestions are welcome, i have spent tha last 2 days googling, and found nothing. closest case was a dell pc issue, where the guy had the exact same symptoms as me, but plugging the sata cable to another slot fixed his problem, but not in my case..
July 25, 2008 1:32:56 PM

I used to have exactly the same problem. It went away when I installed Intel Matrix Storage drivers and chipset drivers from Intel's site on my 965 ASUS Commando M/B. Before this, I used microsoft's drivers and it seems they created the problem. If you cannot find proper nVidia drivers that fix the problem, try changing your SATA mode in your BIOS. If it is Native or AHCI turn it to Compatible or ATA mode, or the opposite. It might help.
July 25, 2008 1:42:06 PM

steffato said:
I used to have exactly the same problem. It went away when I installed Intel Matrix Storage drivers and chipset drivers from Intel's site on my 965 ASUS Commando M/B. Before this, I used microsoft's drivers and it seems they created the problem. If you cannot find proper nVidia drivers that fix the problem, try changing your SATA mode in your BIOS. If it is Native or AHCI turn it to Compatible or ATA mode, or the opposite. It might help.

i checked just now, no settings in the bios regarding sata, only 'enable onboard sata controller', which is of course 'enabled'.

Quote:
Did you format before you loaded vista?

yes. i created two equal size partitions with vista installer's partitioner, formatted the first, and installed vista there.. the seocnd one is not in use yet..

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July 25, 2008 1:47:08 PM

Quote:
Also your really loading your power supply. What brand are these 400-430w psu's?
You should look into a good quality 550-600w.


psu.. the 400w was a codegen psu, i just replaced it with a 430w hkc: 12V output rated at 22A..

i just installed vista a few days ago, before that i was using xp for about a month, i played a lot, back then with the 400w psu, no signs of underpowering, no hangs, no strange things..
July 25, 2008 1:52:38 PM

i just checked gigabyte's site, the vista drivers available for download are the same as the drivers on the cd that was in the package..
July 25, 2008 1:56:03 PM



i did, thank you!

though i don't think that's my problem, the drive is over a year old, and never have i had any data errors in my documents or files. but i will check out samsung's site for this fix.
July 25, 2008 2:02:46 PM

bandras said:
i did, thank you!

though i don't think that's my problem, the drive is over a year old, and never have i had any data errors in my documents or files. but i will check out samsung's site for this fix.


just did, didn't find anything of this matter..
July 25, 2008 2:07:30 PM

Quote:

Your really pushing it with that power supply.

8800GTS power requirements: Requires a minimum 400W PSU capable of outputting 26A on the +12V rail.


i'm sure you're right. but how come this wasn't an issue, not even with my old 18A psu? like i said, no hiccups during playtime..

but this hdd issue occurs at desktop.. i didn't even get to starting up a game..
July 25, 2008 2:28:36 PM

Quote:
Maybe your old 18a psu had dual 12v rails?

maybe, i don't know about that..
July 25, 2008 2:35:58 PM

strange thing is, i used vista (or more like 'tried') on my previous pc, with this exact hdd, and there were no issues. that was also an amd setup with msi board with nforce250 chipset..
so it's gotta be the motherboard that's acting up. or rather, the chipset (driver).

but isn't it a bit weird, that for 2 years, the guys at gigabyte haven't made a new driver for vista? (driver's date on the site is 2006 something) and as we see, the current driver is far from perfect..
yet, the error persists even with the latest official nvidia driver..

it's a real head scratcher.. :) 
July 25, 2008 2:51:15 PM

I think this is a vista issue. My pre-loaded Vista Ultimate install on a lenovo T-61 had this exact problem. Lenovo even replaced the mobo and it didn't solve the problem.

I wonder if it is part of the ultimate build - are you on ult?
July 25, 2008 2:53:59 PM

odoketa said:
I think this is a vista issue. My pre-loaded Vista Ultimate install on a lenovo T-61 had this exact problem. Lenovo even replaced the mobo and it didn't solve the problem.

I wonder if it is part of the ultimate build - are you on ult?


nope, business. i have an msdnaa (student) key.
September 27, 2008 12:48:07 PM

Updates on the issue..

I gave vista another shot yesterday, i was hoping by now there were newer drivers, patches that hopefully solved this problem.
Also, this time I went with the x64 edition. Additionally, I've added another samsung drive, also 250Gb, but different model.
Current config:
- 2x samsung 250Gb in RAID 1 (mirror)
- latest nForce drivers from nvidia website
- all updates from Windows Update

No hangs in the past 48 hours.

Still keeping my fingers crossed though...

Conclusion: this was (?) definitely a driver/OS issue.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 9, 2009 3:52:41 PM

im experiencing the same problem with my desktop

nForce 790i ultra
quad core
8800GTX GeForce
140GB raptor WD HDD which has the Vista Ultimate 32bit install
4 x 500gb WD in stripped RAID using nVidia Raid utility
3GB ram
1200W PSU

i have the desktop for over 8 months now and didnt have a single issue at all.

when i went on holidays at christmas i left it downloading while i was away.

When i came back and went to use it the notification area was saying RAID Access Failure on SATA 3.0 with disk name.

this was causing constant freeze on start up so i deleted the raid array from the BIOS menu. Then i updated the drivers on the 790i and reinstalled windows with the 4 500gb drives disabled. when i reconnected the 4 500gb drives this time the nVidia software auto disabled the faulty drive. Which i then removed from the system (i havent done seperate tests on the drive yet). the 3 heathy drives are not in RAID configureation at the moment and are unformatted. so the system is only seeing the main 140GB drive. The freeze (hanging) is still persistant and faily regular but no particular action causes it. It might be 1min of hang or 10mins.

all lastest drivers installed

Nothing on the system registers as faulty

help this is really annoying.

had the system for ages with no problems and now this.

Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 16, 2009 1:26:34 PM

Try stopping the windows defender service, and switching it to manual startup. Seems to solve a lot of problems on my system
April 7, 2009 8:26:53 AM

hi,

Just had a quick read of the posts and I think I maybe suffering from these random hangs - although I experience a slight difference.

OK, just before my HDD hangs (which again is a Samsung - (dont have the model no. at hand)) The rpm of the fans seem to slow down for a slight second, then somethin from the tower clicks - and then the HDD is just hanging....

I used to get this problem on my vista home premium upgrade, so I installed a full version copy on a formatted drive - and I still get this problem - only difference is now that alot of the time when it hangs - it never comes out of it - I get a total lock up - mouse doesn't move or anythin'.

Reason I said it sounds as if the rpm of my fans seem to slow is because my tower is sat on a wooden floor and you can hear the vibration. This dip in rpm is for about a second, then I hear a click which I havn't pinpointed the exact location as yet. - what could possibly make this click in the first place? its not loud - but it is noticeable, I cant really explain it any more than that.

My pc set-up is as follows;

OS: Vista home premium
Mobo: Asus m2n32 sli Deluxe
GFX: Gainward Bliss 7900GT
PSU: Hiper Type-r 580w
Case: Gigabyte 3D Aurora
RAM: 2GB Corsair TwinX DDR2 Dominator
HDD: Samsung (IDE)

Just to point out, I had no problems running XP.
July 30, 2009 8:51:51 AM

s1ree1z said:
hi,

Just had a quick read of the posts and I think I maybe suffering from these random hangs - although I experience a slight difference.

OK, just before my HDD hangs (which again is a Samsung - (dont have the model no. at hand)) The rpm of the fans seem to slow down for a slight second, then somethin from the tower clicks - and then the HDD is just hanging....

I used to get this problem on my vista home premium upgrade, so I installed a full version copy on a formatted drive - and I still get this problem - only difference is now that alot of the time when it hangs - it never comes out of it - I get a total lock up - mouse doesn't move or anythin'.

Reason I said it sounds as if the rpm of my fans seem to slow is because my tower is sat on a wooden floor and you can hear the vibration. This dip in rpm is for about a second, then I hear a click which I havn't pinpointed the exact location as yet. - what could possibly make this click in the first place? its not loud - but it is noticeable, I cant really explain it any more than that.

My pc set-up is as follows;

OS: Vista home premium
Mobo: Asus m2n32 sli Deluxe
GFX: Gainward Bliss 7900GT
PSU: Hiper Type-r 580w
Case: Gigabyte 3D Aurora
RAM: 2GB Corsair TwinX DDR2 Dominator
HDD: Samsung (IDE)

Just to point out, I had no problems running XP.

If something in your tower clicks, it's 99% gotta be a broken HD. The thing that's clicking is the read/write head of the HD.

I've been having the exact same problem as the rest of you peeps, but my problem stretches to an ever worsening boot problem. I've just managed to replace broken system drivers in the cmd prompt of the Vista Install CD, and did a chkdsk which repaired my faulty File System.

I sugest people go through their event loggers to weed out any problems. Run a chkdsk.
July 30, 2009 8:53:58 AM

...and my computer just hung again... grr
!