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Is my HDD causing stuttering?

Last response: in Storage
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November 18, 2011 12:26:59 AM

Detailed info about the problem


- Choppy movement whenever I move in games
- Animations play smoothly as long as im not moving
- Amount of stuttering varies depending on the game i'm playing
- Amount of stuttering varies on which map I play in some games
- Some games play pefectly fine (most games don't)



Why I think its the hard drive


- Hard drive is 6 years old
- I got the bsod and the hard drive made a loud "hum" noise
- Hard drive has been making a "chirping" noise like the one in the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQfQ3ZVUd68
- Constant activity noise from the Hard drive when im not doing anything


Why I think it may not be the hard drive

- Hard drive has been making that "chirping" noise for years now.
- When I played games from an external hard drive I got the exact same stuttering
- No errors in diagnostic tests


Things I've done to try to alleviate the problem


- Reformat of HDD
- Defragment of HDD
- Used 4 different drivers for the GPU
- Cleaned CPU and applied fresh Thermal Compound
- Switched out GPU
- Turned Vsync and triple buffering on and off
- Disabled Sound drivers
- Ran HDD Diagnostic tests with no errors
- Ran every game on multiple resolutions and graphical settings
- Made sure all drivers were installed
- Ran Memtest86 with no errors
- Ran stress test on CPU (it never gets above 45 degrees)


Also, I think I may be getting that stuttering when I scroll up and down on the browser but i'm not sure. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!



More about : hdd causing stuttering

a b G Storage
November 18, 2011 12:47:32 AM

look like you drive had made is time use the maker of drive tools to test and back up all essential data now
November 18, 2011 2:39:22 AM

I know my hdd is on its way to death but based on my info would it be fair to say the hdd is causing the stuttering? I really can't afford to replace more than one part trying to figure out what it is.
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a b G Storage
November 18, 2011 3:23:39 AM

( Constant activity noise from the Hard drive when im not doing anything )this is not good the drive should not have activity if you dont use it,try full virus check
November 18, 2011 3:41:50 AM

scout_03 said:
( Constant activity noise from the Hard drive when im not doing anything )this is not good the drive should not have activity if you dont use it,try full virus check



Even after a fresh reformat without going to any websites other than the ones I need to go to for drivers I still get the activity.
a b G Storage
November 18, 2011 3:49:40 AM

do virus and malware test in safe mode without network connected
November 18, 2011 2:56:09 PM

The light will flash and i'll hear the noies for a second about every 4-5 seconds and it will stop after being idle for a couple of minutes. I may have unintentionally exaggerated the noise.
November 18, 2011 3:39:12 PM

The HDD as the source of the problem makes little sense. You say everything runs fine when not moving. Well, all the resources are loaded at that point. If you move no resources are loaded (unless you move far enough) so the HDD has little affect on the graphics output. So if you are seeing stuttering right away, then it isn't the HDD. If you walked for a while, then it broke down because it had to load new content then I'd agree. Also, stuttering while browsing also would say it isn't the HDD. Also, the fact that you get the same behavior with the game installed on an external HDD again says it isn't your HDD.

As for the constant activity, that could be explained by indexing or some other background task. With modern OS's I never expect them to actually stop accessing the disk. Even Ubuntu insists on accessing HDDs every 30 seconds or so.

More likely it is a GPU/CPU/Motherboard issue. There have been two instances where I've experienced this kind of behavior. First, I had a graphics card that was failing. The second, was I was trying to play a game that was too demanding for my old GPU.

You say you swapped the GPU. I'm assuming from a machine where you've played these same games. If that is the case, then you can rule out the GPU. I'd try to find someone you know with a computer with the same CPU socket and ask them if you can swap out parts for a test.
a b G Storage
November 18, 2011 3:53:46 PM

How much RAM on the system? Maybe it's paging the HDD too much.
November 18, 2011 5:32:46 PM

house70 said:
How much RAM on the system? Maybe it's paging the HDD too much.


That crossed my mind, but then I'd have to assume that one of the sticks of RAM went bad. You could always swap in some new RAM and see. I've seen RAM be bad but still pass memtest. In other words, it past memtest, but I replaced it and my computer started working properly.
a b G Storage
November 19, 2011 10:10:21 PM

nordlead said:
That crossed my mind, but then I'd have to assume that one of the sticks of RAM went bad. You could always swap in some new RAM and see. I've seen RAM be bad but still pass memtest. In other words, it past memtest, but I replaced it and my computer started working properly.

I was thinking insufficient RAM; some programs/games might be happy with it, whereas others might be more memory-hungry. In that case, more paging occurs, hence more HDD activity that will cause stuttering. I have seen that before. He could borrow some RAM sticks and see if with the upgraded amount the games run fine.
November 22, 2011 3:25:58 AM

I've tried swaping out both sticks and putting them in different slots. Even at 55% ram usage I get bad stuttering. I'm starting to lean towards my motherboard being the problem now. When I first got it I got bad artifacting and blue screens the first 2 days I had it (but no stuttering) but since then I haven't had any problems that I can knowingly blame on the motherboard. Is it even possible for a motherboard to cause the problems i've been having?

It looks like im just going to have to blindly buy a part this week for replacement and hope thats what the problem was. I may go with the motherboard since its the cheapest to replace. Anyone have any other ideas?


Asus M4A78LT-M Motherboard
Phenom II x4 840
Vapor-X Radeon 5770
G.Skill Value series RAM 4GB
Antec eco 520c
November 22, 2011 3:43:41 AM

nordlead said:
That crossed my mind, but then I'd have to assume that one of the sticks of RAM went bad. You could always swap in some new RAM and see. I've seen RAM be bad but still pass memtest. In other words, it past memtest, but I replaced it and my computer started working properly.



Also, when I get the stuttering and choppiness the framerate doesn't drop at all.
July 31, 2012 7:47:19 PM

*BUMP*
Having somewhat the same issue.
a b G Storage
August 2, 2012 11:19:23 PM

noztrozer said:
*BUMP*
Having somewhat the same issue.

Details, please?
a b G Storage
August 2, 2012 11:29:25 PM

I think the only way your going to see if it's the HDD or not is if you plug in a new drive. What kind of computer do you have? Perhaps it's the graphics card?
!