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PC stuck momentarily when HDD works (read /write)

Last response: in Windows XP
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November 22, 2010 6:15:40 PM

The problem I have is that constantly, when the hard drive works (ie the LED lights indicating you are reading / writing), the PC slows down momentarily. It is noted for example in the mouse (the cursor is "stuck" half a second, repeatedly for one or two seconds), or if I'm listening to music from an internet radio station, the music also gets "stuck", repeating a syllable for a moment (example: "la, la, la, and continues). The more you use the hard drive (ie copying a large file), the more acute the problem is.

All PC drivers are installed (at least the PC does not alert a driver is missing.) The PC discs operates with RAID1. The RAID1 seems to be well configured. I started the PC with both discs separately, but I have the same problem.


The PC has:
Windows XP (SP3).
ASUS P5K MotherBoard.
RAM: 4 Gigabytes.
Processor: Core 2 Duo E8400 3.00GHz, 1333FSB, L2: 6MB, 65W, rev.C0
BIOS: AMI Version: 0704.
HDD: two hard drives in RAID1, Seagate 7200.10, 500 GB, ST3500630AS, firmaware: 3.AAK, Device Type: HDD 3GNCQ
RAID Controller: I found two possible names for the RAID controller:
-> JMicron JMB36X version: 1.17.15.0 (03/24/2007)
-> JRAID SCSI Disk Device 5.1.2535.0 (07/01/2001)
Moreover, each HD driver is: Intel (R) ICH9 2 port Serial ATA Storage Controller 1 to 2921.

What do you think the problem is? What may be happening and how do you think I can solve it?
Thank you very much.
November 23, 2010 2:07:39 AM



Windows manages interrupts for itself, but the hardware interrupt is still there. Modern devices share interrupts. If windows assigns the same interrupt number to too many devices, it has to translate what device it's going to access at any given moment in time. If your RAID is piled up with other hardware IRQ's, it has to be managed, and hard drives, CD ROMS get a high priority.

Your board doesn't have too many slots to move things around to force Windows to consider a different interrupt, but anything you can swap/trade may make a difference.

To see the Windows assigned interrupts in place, go to:

Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information>Hardware Resources>IRQ's
and see what is assigned the same interrupt(s) as your RAID controller. Maybe something can be swapped/moved that will result in that device getting a different IRQ number from Windows.
November 23, 2010 10:12:41 AM

Thanks Tigsounds,

The list of IRQs is:

IRQ 0 Cronómetro del sistema OK
IRQ 1 Teclado estándar de 101/102 teclas o Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard OK
IRQ 4 Puerto de comunicaciones (COM1) OK
IRQ 5 Intel(R) ICH9 Family SMBus Controller - 2930 OK
IRQ 6 Controlador estándar de disquetes OK
IRQ 8 Sistema CMOS/reloj en tiempo real OK
IRQ 9 Sistema Microsoft compatible con ACPI OK
IRQ 13 Procesador de datos numéricos OK
IRQ 16 Intel(R) G33/G31/P35 Express Chipset PCI Express Root Port - 29C1 OK
IRQ 16 Radeon X1550 Series OK
IRQ 16 Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2937 OK
IRQ 16 JMicron JMB36X Controller OK
IRQ 16 Intel(R) ICH9 Family PCI Express Root Port 6 - 294A OK
IRQ 16 Controladora de host VIA OHCI compatible con IEEE 1394 OK
IRQ 17 Intel(R) ICH9 Family PCI Express Root Port 1 - 2940 OK
IRQ 17 Intel(R) ICH9 Family PCI Express Root Port 5 - 2948 OK
IRQ 17 Controladora estándar PCI IDE de doble canal OK
IRQ 17 Attansic L1 Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T Controller OK
IRQ 17 PCI SoftV92 Modem OK
IRQ 18 Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2939 OK
IRQ 18 Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293C OK
IRQ 18 Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2936 OK
IRQ 19 Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2935 OK
IRQ 21 Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2938 OK
IRQ 22 Controlador de bus de Microsoft UAA para High Definition Audio OK
IRQ 22 Intel(R) ICH9 2 port Serial ATA Storage Controller 1 - 2921 OK
IRQ 22 Intel(R) ICH9 2 port Serial ATA Storage Controller 2 - 2926 OK
IRQ 23 Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB Universal Host Controller - 2934 OK
IRQ 23 Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293A OK


The RAID controler is in IRQ 16 (IRQ 16 JMicron JMB36X Controller), how I have to change the interrupt of the other devices?

Many thanks!!
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November 23, 2010 3:33:01 PM



The list is to be expected. IRQ 16 is busy with the most intense items in the machine in your system.
There is little to nothing you can do about it. The somewhat low traffic USB system is well cared for, but look at what IRQ16 has going on. It isn't bad on paper, looks like everybody's covered, but in real life, there are a lot of machine cycles happening to juggle those devices.

What can be done? Not much. You may be able to manually assign different interrupts in the BIOS, and XP will adjust itself from it... maybe. Sometimes simply swapping a card to a different slot can have a profound effect, but you are quite limited here.

You can read more about interrupts from Microsoft
HERE and HERE and this second link has advice on moving high performance cards to different slots in case of problems, except you have few options to do this in your system.

One item of interest is Task Scheduler Service. Make sure it is enabled. It does more than first meets the eye.

We offer advice and tips here. There are things I would do myself if it were my system, but those things carry a high level of risk of malfunction but would completely solve the problem if successful. Some things I would do is free up interrupts manually and allow/force Windows to spread things around but it would not be prudent to say how that is accomplished here due to risk. We can't be telling people to do things that will render their machines crippled or even dead, well, most of us won't do that anyway.

If you have a method of performing a System Restore Point rollback, without the use of Windows to do it, then there are options with dangers that can be laughed at as they would be easily reversed.

This all sounds much like a doctor telling the patient that he has a cure for their cancer, but it might cause a headache, so can't be administered. This is a public forum, and help must be non-destructive.

So advice is to manually set interrupts in the BIOS for a high speed, data hungry device, and see how Windows reacts to the change. If you can uninstall the device in Windows, shut down the computer, make BIOS change, then re-start the computer, Windows may look around for a better/different interrupt when it finds the hardware and installs the driver again. If the change makes things malfunction, put BIOS settings back to original values. To find what slot and interrupt you are dealing with in the BIOS sometimes is a trick in itself. Many (not all) BIOS boot screens can show devices, slots and actual pre-windows interrupts they are using. If your BIOS allows you to see boot information (turn off pretty boot screens), then be prepared to press the "Pause" button on your keyboard during boot to freeze booting at the screen that show this information.
November 24, 2010 10:18:31 AM

Thanks Tigsounds,

My plan is:
0. Backup everything.
1. Update RAID1 controller driver (JMB36X Controller). The manual indicates that I need the JMB363 controller, yet the Properties of My PC indicate that I have the JMB36X in my system.
2. If the above does not work -> Change slot video card (Radeon X1550 Series), to see if after rebooting the system, it uses a different IRQ (not 16). (Move from slot to slot PCIEX16_1 PCIEX16_2).
3. If the above does not work -> update the BIOS. (There are 4 new versions) (What are the risks of updating the BIOS?)

What do you think?

Regards,
November 24, 2010 1:44:09 PM



Quote:
(What are the risks of updating the BIOS?)
Biggest risk is system losing power during update. Second biggest is flashing the wrong binary to your BIOS. Know what you're flashing, don't kill power and it's not that risky.
!