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Slow access times causing hangs

Last response: in Storage
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November 26, 2009 6:29:33 AM



For the past few days my pc has been hanging on every app after boot. At first I thought it was a memory issue, but after viewing resource monitor and access times pushing as high as 15k I think I've found the culprit.

This goes on for 30 seconds up to a few minutes after an app has been launched, at which point it calms down and the access times drop back to normal levels and the app is useable.

I've checked and double checked my access mode, it's listed as DMA. The built-in Vista speed test shows bursts of 130 and 80 sustained fairly consistently even while everything else is crapping out. Write Caching is enabled under the drive properties.

This is a WD SATA 500gb. It's listed as WDC WD50 00AAKS-00YGA SCSI Disk Device. The controller is a NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller.

I've swapped SATA cables, I've swapped Ports. I've disabled my paging file. I've turned indexing off, I've turned it on. I've disabled superfetch. I updated the NVidia drivers. Nothing I can think of has made any difference at all. Well I lie, I tried PIO mode, there was no difference in the spiking latency but normal operations were much slower.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gateway GT5662
Vista 32bit Home
Phenom 9500
ECS MCP61PM-GM AM2 mATX
4 gigs memory




a b G Storage
November 26, 2009 6:19:54 PM

Did you do a disk degraf?
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November 26, 2009 10:20:58 PM

Yeah, I've defragged, ran chkdsk, checked event viewer for odd disk errors, restored to last previous known working build...

At this point I'm ready to call it a hardware failure and move on, but the write/read test coming back fine throws me off. I thought maybe it was a Vista problem, hell... I just don't know at this point.
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a b G Storage
November 27, 2009 2:00:00 AM

^yes, maybe the problem is more from the OS that the disk.
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November 27, 2009 8:58:31 AM

Well...

Came home from work tonight to a BSOD. First time I've ever seen one on Vista. Critical Failure, restart machine ect ect. After a reboot the bios refused to even recognize the drive. This is the first time in over 20 years of PC ownership to have a HDD bite the bullet and I guess I was expecting at least audible signs of impending doom.

Had my eyes on a velociraptor anyways. Thanks for the assistance.

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a b G Storage
November 27, 2009 12:56:01 PM

Will it boot up at all? If so, download a program like SpeedFan, which can read SMART data from hard drives, and you can do an in-depth analysis to see if it is really the hard drive (which, honestly, it probably is).

Also, if you're REALLY looking for some speed, an SSD as the boot drive and a separate storage drive would ridiculously improve performance. My computer went from booting in 40-70 seconds to 10 seconds flat.

Good luck!
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