So I finally got a chance to get my new HTPC up and running over the weekend. Well, mostly.
As the title indicates, it appears that semi-randomly during disk access, the computer will freeze up. It just locks, no blue screen, mouse doesn't move, etc. -- I have to hold in the power button to power it off, reset button rarely works. Anyway, I figured I'd toss the question out to the forum while I'm at work & thinking it over myself.
I've downloaded SpeedFan, temps seem to be fine, they don't seem to spike before the freezes occur. I ran memtest86+ overnight, ended up with 0 errors in 17 or 18 passes. The Vertex 2 is at the most recent firmware level, and the motherboard appears to have the most recent chipset drivers, etc.
I have poked through the Event Log some, and have mostly seen the unexpected shutdown messages that show up after booting. I'll give it a more careful review once I get home, but there was nothing immediately obvious when quickly scanning it.
I can most consistently get the freeze to occur when accessing an external USB3 connected drive (copying files from an old computer to the new one), but it has occurred at other times as well. That doesn't necessarily narrow it down to a disk access problem, but it's certainly an interesting coincidence.
I'd welcome any suggestions on troubleshooting. I haven't really exhausted all of my options yet, but would be happy to get another brain or two thinking about this.
Have you tried disabling the USB3 controller (in BIOS) and connecting via a USB2 port (ext HDD) to see what happens? USB3 is relatively new and driver support may be an issue. Are you running updated NEC USB3 drivers?
Does your BIOS support various acoustic performance settings for your HDD? You would have to dig through your BIOS to find, but some systems allow you to configure for "quiet" vs. "performance". If available, go for the performance settings and see if that helps. Quiet does what it sounds like, but spins the drives down creating a performance lag as they spin back up.