Okay so I have a 7200 RPM HDD. It has been acting strange ever since I bought this computer from NewEgg (around September 2012) and it was an open box, pre-built computer. I noticed that sometimes programs would take a while to load. So maybe a month ago I wanted to try my hand at making YouTube gaming videos, and decided to stick with Dxtory. I ran a r/w test on my HDD and the speeds were extremely low, like around 5Mbps. So maybe fifteen minutes later, I ran it again and the speeds were pretty fast, in the 110s and 130s. It goes back and forth between speeds every day (about every few hours, I can tell because programs open slowly).
So does this mean my HDD is failing? I've tried defragmenting it with the windows defragger. Would there be any other way to fix this before spending $150 on a SSD?
I also just thought of this, could it be my motherboard? It is a Gigabyte M68MT-S2. When I bought the computer I was told that the motherboard was more of a 'budget' motherboard and wasn't the best.
Also, my PC specs:
CPU: AMD FX 8120
GPU: Radeon 6850
MOBO: Gigabyte M68MT-S2
Ram: 8Gb DDR3
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200 Rpm 931Gb
(Let me know if I forgot anything and I will gladly give it to you)
It's tough to tell from the symptoms, but it sounds like a bad connection/driver issue. Windows (I assume you're running Windows) is occasionally having problems reading from the drive, so it degrades it to a slower speed until it can get a reliable read.
Check all your cable connections, make sure they're firmly in place (the SATA cables don't wiggle up and down or side to side). About half the times I've seen problems like this it was the cables. I started paying a few cents more for the SATA cables with clips, and haven't seen the problem since.
If the cables check out OK, check the Windows log files. Start -> Computer -> right-click -> Manage -> Event Viewer. This is where it gets a bit tricky since there are so many logs. Probably Windows Logs -> System is a good place to start. You'll be looking for some recurring errors. If you find some which seem related to the disk system, try to figure out how you could fix them.
Edit: Also, you say this was an open box purchase. Did you wipe and reinstall Windows before using it?
I have had to reinstall Windows a few times actually. It turns out windows update (that is what I have narrowed it down to, it may be something else, but who knows.) doesn't like my computer too much and Windows corrupts itself. But yes, I have reinstalled windows.
Alright, so I tried pushing the sata cable into the HDD and it made a clicking sound, although I'm not too sure if it was the cable going further in or it just moving a bit. I also pushed onto the motherboard connection. It seems to be fine as of now but it might change. I'll let you know if anything happens.
Thanks for the help (that was a lot simpler than I thought haha).