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Hard disk activity peaks and freezes

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August 17, 2010 5:32:04 PM

I have 2 hard drives. 1 for windows and other stuff and the other just for games.

It's a Seagate 500GB hard disk which I have for about a year plus.

What happens is while I'm playing Warcraft III (DotA) or Modern Warfare 2, the game will occasionally just freeze up and the hard disk activity peaks (LED is fully lit). The game music still goes on but the game just stalls. After waiting for awhile, everything just goes back to normal. As for DotA, it'll do that "waiting for player" thing and at times, if I exceed the 45 second grace period, I would most likely get disconnected.

Is my hard drive dying? Or is there something I can do via Windows 7 to stop this from happening.

(I've done the CHKDISK and all was fine)

Thanks! :) 
a c 93 G Storage
August 17, 2010 5:41:40 PM

What GPU are you using? Are you overclocking? From what you are describing, you are not having a HDD problem, rather you are having a heat/PSU/GPU problem. Your symptoms are often the result of an overheating GPU or an underpowered GPU (possible weak or failing PSU). Also need to know what PSU (make/model) you are using.

I am sure someone in the forums can help, but we need to know more.
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August 17, 2010 5:52:44 PM

COLGeek said:
What GPU are you using? Are you overclocking? From what you are describing, you are not having a HDD problem, rather you are having a heat/PSU/GPU problem. Your symptoms are often the result of an overheating GPU or an underpowered GPU (possible weak or failing PSU). Also need to know what PSU (make/model) you are using.

I am sure someone in the forums can help, but we need to know more.


I'm using an ASUS ATI HD4850 with the newest drivers. (10.7) I'm not overclocking.

For the PSU, I'm using a Coolermaster Real Power Pro 650W (RS-650-ACAA-A1)

I just opened up my computer a week ago to install the new hard drive and to upgrade to Windows 7.
I'll go check if the wires got caught in the GPU fans. (Using Antec 900v2 which has the PSU at the bottom. :(  )

Thanks for the prompt reply! I hope it's not the GPU or PSU!
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a c 93 G Storage
August 17, 2010 5:57:21 PM

Both your GPU and PSU should be fine, the 4850 can produce a lot of heat. Check all of your fans and try to have as clean an airflow as possible. You may have to rearrange some wiring/cabling for a more optimal airflow.
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a c 371 G Storage
August 17, 2010 6:11:59 PM

You didn't mention your system specs. It sounds like it could also be that you need more ram and your system is heavily paging to the hard drive.

Try shutting down unnecessary programs and services when you are gaming.
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August 17, 2010 6:17:02 PM

COLGeek said:
Both your GPU and PSU should be fine, the 4850 can produce a lot of heat. Check all of your fans and try to have as clean an airflow as possible. You may have to rearrange some wiring/cabling for a more optimal airflow.


I shifted my GPU a little further up to another PCI Express slot to give it more ventilation. Rearranged some wires. Hope it works!

Cleaned all my filters and sucked up some of the dust.
Thanks!
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a c 93 G Storage
August 17, 2010 6:19:58 PM

OK. Which PCI-E slot is your GPU in? The primary one is usually the one closest to the PSU and where it should normally be installed. Is that the one you are using?

Depending on your motherboard, the other slots may not provide full x16 bandwidth. You will need to check your mobo manual.

Good luck! Hope you got it figured out. If not, we'll try something else.
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August 17, 2010 6:20:05 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
You didn't mention your system specs. It sounds like it could also be that you need more ram and your system is heavily paging to the hard drive.

Try shutting down unnecessary programs and services when you are gaming.


I've got a pair of 2GB OCZ RAM both running at 1066mhz.

Using Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit, so I think that's more than sufficient?

CPU: AMD Phenom II 940 BE
Mobo: Asus M4A79 Deluxe

It's still a pretty good rig. This is probably the only problem I have with it.
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August 17, 2010 6:22:05 PM

COLGeek said:
OK. Which PCI-E slot is your GPU in? The primary one is usually the one closest to the PSU and where it should normally be installed. Is that the one you are using?

Depending on your motherboard, the other slots may not provide full x16 bandwidth. You will need to check your mobo manual.

Good luck! Hope you got it figured out. If not, we'll try something else.


Yeah, I checked my mobo manual before I shift it up. It was in the X8 slot.

Now I shift it up, it's in the X16 slot.

Will that help out? (Damn means I've not been using my graphics card to its potential more over a year!)
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a c 93 G Storage
August 17, 2010 6:24:15 PM

Good system overall, but why the 32-bit version vice 64-bit? With 64-bit, you would be able to fully use your 4GB of memory. As it is now, you can only use 3.25GB (32-bit OS limitation).

Also, I just noticed your RAM speeds. If still unstable after improving your airflow, set your memory to 800mhz and see what happens. You will notice very little difference (if any) and you will reduce some of the heat your system is generating.
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a c 93 G Storage
August 17, 2010 6:26:20 PM

You aren't likely to see a lot of difference in your performance, as odd as that may seem, because under most circumstances the GPU doesn't use all of the bandwidth available in a x16 slot. You should, however, have better airflow now and that is a big plus.
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August 17, 2010 6:34:42 PM

COLGeek said:
Good system overall, but why the 32-bit version vice 64-bit? With 64-bit, you would be able to fully use your 4GB of memory. As it is now, you can only use 3.25GB (32-bit OS limitation).

Also, I just noticed your RAM speeds. If still unstable after improving your airflow, set your memory to 800mhz and see what happens. You will notice very little difference (if any) and you will reduce some of the heat your system is generating.


Ah, yeah I was contemplating on whether to get 32bit or 64bit. Still alittle hesitant cause I'm not sure about application compatibility from 32bit to 64bit and I was afraid some of my drivers wouldn't work on the 64bit OS. I guess those are the things that's holding everybody back from migrating ain't it?

Ahh ram speed. That might be it. Cause I didn't have problems previously. I just increased the ram speed recently. Could it be the culprit? I would like my ram running at 1066 though. Sounds faster. But is the difference that minimal?
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August 17, 2010 6:50:09 PM

Erm okay. Another symptom. It might not be GPU related anymore.

Just opened up Steam, and the hard disk activity peaked and it was not responding for awhile. (Steam is installed in the problem hard disk)

I'll go switch the ram speed back to 800 and observe.
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!