PC stuck momentarily when HDD works (read /write)

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: (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.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. If it wasn't for the fact that these drives are in RAID 1, it sounds like the drives are running in PIO mode instead of DMA.

    Have you tried updating the raid drivers? Your computer has two controllers with two ports on each controller. Do you have it hooked up to the ICH9 controller or the JMicron controller? Which ever controller you have it attached to will determine which driver you need to download. I'm assuming it's on the ICH9 controller. If so, you can download the drivers from intel's web site.
  2. This sounds very much like a PIO issue.

    Could you show me HDTune benchmark of each storage volume (disk or RAID volume) you have in your system? One of them should be showing very low performance.

    This can be caused by bad cabling; checking the SMART data would be highly recommended. To solve this issue under XP, often deleting/uninstalling the storage controller (AMD AHCI controller for example) would work. After rebooting it will be found again and the channel reset.

    This is a very common problem on XP. Generally i advise people to start upgrading to a more modern OS; XP is 10 years old and getting really dated with current technologies.
  3. Hello

    Drives are running in DMA mode. (Actual Transf Mode = DMA Ultra Mode 4) Principal IDE Channel.

    I can not show you HDTune benchmark because I don't how to insert a picture in the post.

    Another guy has told me that IRQ 16 is busy with the most intense items in the machin:

    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

    To summarise 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?

    PS: How can I know if it's hooked up to the ICH9 controller or the JMicron controller?

  4. The ICH9 ports are sata_1 thru sata_4. According to the manual, sata_1 or sata_2 should be used for boot drives. Sata_E2 and the eSata are on the JMicron controller as well as the IDE connectors.

    Sharing IRQ's is fine. This was more of a problem with Win98 and Win95 and lower.

    If you only have a single video card, you want it in PCIEX16_1.

    I'd create a full backup and try updating the RAID controller. You can try updating the bios last, but it looks like the last 4 releases were mainly for CPU updates. The last revision does state "Fix the system sometimes takes about 30 seconds to get into the OS when many USB devices are plugged into the system.", but that doesn't seem to be your problem.

    Normally, bios updates go smoothly. I normally update my bios before installing an OS. I won't update it again unless it fixes a specific issue I'm having. Another school of thought is to always update to the newest bios, but I have not found that to be necessary.

    You can find intel drivers here:
  5. Thanks Hawkeye22,

    I'm not using sat1_1 to sata_4, because the 2 HDD are using SATA_E2 and F_ESATA for the RAID1 (according to the manual this is the correct configuration for a RAID1). This means, that in my system the boot device is not in SATA_1 to _4. Hope this is not a problem!

    I'd try to upgrade the RAID controler.

    A let you know how it goes!

  6. I should have read a little more closely. The manual (page 2-30) reads, "If the sata ports are configured as IDE, then the boot drive must be on sata_1 or sata_2". I don't know how this effects performance or the computer in general if you don't have it configured this way.
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