Strange Hard Drive issue and extremely slow read/write speeds

About a year ago…..
I was just on my browser when my computer completely froze (except for the mouse which I could still move. I heard a strange sound pattern coming from the computer. It was a recognizable whooshing sound for a few seconds followed by a sharp beep at the end. *This cycle of sounds kept on repeating throughout the whole explanation bellow*. Eventually I got a BSoD with error code of: 0x000000f4 (0x00000003, 0x8916bbc0, 0x8916bd34,0x805d29b4). After restarting the computer, I noticed that it got stuck for quite a while on the check 5A (which meant: Resetting PATA/SATA bus and all devices) and then moved on. 5A repeated twice (as usual) during the POST BIOS checks. The pattern of sounds continued as I entered the BIOS password into windows. To my dismay, I got the same blue screen on death. I restarted once more. This time I got taken to a black Intel Boot screen, which tried to sign me into a network. It skipped hard drive completely, and went into the same screen twice, telling me it couldn’t find a bootable device. I am not the owner of the computer, but my brother is. He just simply decided to reformat the hard drive when I guess he found no way of getting back into windows. Problem solved? NO.

About a few months after the mysterious 5A issue occurred, I noticed that the computer freezed all of the sudden. I heard the sounds again. I immediately shut down the computer in the hope of preventing the same fate from last time. With a series of restarts (and never letting the computer go into windows) and shutdowns for intervals of time, I waited and managed to make the sounds go away. Windows booted up as normal. I simply thought “what the heck”?

Now……
The problem just happens completely at random (like about once every 3 months). What made me create this thread? It happened about a week ago but that time the whooshing sounds didn’t stop. The computer did boot completely back to normal after I disconnected and reconnected the SATA cables to the drive (everything inside was covered in dust, including the hard drive…my brother just doesn’t take care of the computer as he should -__-). But I’ve had enough of this. I’ve only realized this now, but the computer has gotten slower and slower and slower by the months. For analysis, I tried copying and pasting a 1GB file last week, and windows displayed that it would take like 16 minutes. I’ve been using HDTune to see how the hard drive is working, and I haven’t seen speeds of more than 6MB/s for neither read nor write. Something is seriously wrong here. Whenever an application request intense use from the hard drive (For example, the defragmentor), my CPU usage shoots up to like 50% from “System interrupts”. The IRs make the computer nearly unusable…everything slows down to a crawl.
But that’s enough ranting. I’ve attached some screenshots and a few logs of my hard drive’s slow performance. Anyone got suggestions? Thanks

And I also have pictures from tests from HDScan (I also have the logs from the software if anyone wants them)...Hard drive verification was done extremely quickly (at speeds of more than 90,000 KB/s :ouch: ), while reading took about 20 hours at no more than 4MB/s :o . Could this show that the hard drive can properly read itself but has some trouble when sending data accross?

P.S: Everytime the PC boots up, it displays an INTERNAL ERROR (9)- HARDWARE_UNSUPPORTED. The computer boots up to windows fine…but could this maybe hint towards the cause of the problem?
My PC information:

Intel Desktop Board D945GPM, Intel Pentium D CPU (3.00GHz), Speed: Slow :S, 2.00 GB RAM, 250 GB SeaGate SATA II Hard Drive.

Kudos for any help. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks, and take care y'all!


Here is the link to the images:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66658875@N08/
3 answers Last reply
More about strange hard drive issue extremely slow read write speeds
  1. Your drive has already replaced 350 bad sectors with spares.

    The performance graphs are abysmal.

    Here is a reasonably good one:
    http://www.zghdd.com/uploads/201005/58d8cda8d8e375767ad220728ff149cd.jpg

    Your flat 4MB/s read performance graph would suggest that your drive is running in PIO mode. Windows will downgrade a drive's performance from DMA mode to PIO if it detects an excessive number of CRC errors. You can see this in the hard drive's properties under Device Manager.

    In short, I would backup your data ASAP and replace the drive.
  2. fzabkar said:
    Your drive has already replaced 350 bad sectors with spares.

    The performance graphs are abysmal.

    Here is a reasonably good one:
    http://www.zghdd.com/uploads/201005/58d8cda8d8e375767ad220728ff149cd.jpg

    Your flat 4MB/s read performance graph would suggest that your drive is running in PIO mode. Windows will downgrade a drive's performance from DMA mode to PIO if it detects an excessive number of CRC errors. You can see this in the hard drive's properties under Device Manager.

    In short, I would backup your data ASAP and replace the drive.


    Thanks for your answer. I really appreciate your reply.

    I agree with you....this hard drive really has unbelievably abysmal performance. I would like to check that PIO mode thing, but it doesn't show an advanced option on the SATA Intel Controller the hard drive is hooked up to. One of the IDE controllers was running on PIO do, but I believe the old CD and floppy drives are the ones using it. Is there anything else that I should check for? Thanks for your help.
  3. I can't think of anything else to try. IMHO, your drive is unsalvageable. :-(

    BTW, floppy drives use DMA, not PIO.
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