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Windows 7: i5, Z68, trashing disks, no load, no activity

15 Nov 2011   #1
peterpallesen

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
i5, Z68, trashing disks, no load, no activity

I'm having this weird problem with a PC trashing disk to the point where the PC becomes completely unresponsive, yet, perfmon does not seem to indicate any load. CPU is 1-3%, memory used <1.5GB. Disk-IO is indicated to <100 KB/sec, yet, and this is the weird bit, the blue line "highest active time" hammers on at 100% non-stop, and the HD activity light is on constant.

This is the hardware:
GIGABYTE Z68MA-D2H-B3 MB
i5-2400 CPU
2 x 4GB 1333MHz RAM
2 x 320GB WD SATA3 (3GB) disks connected to the MB 3GB SATA connectors.

It started with an upgrade from an AMD64 with an Asrock MB which had worked fine for years. First I just replaced the MB, CPU and RAM and after the usual complaints by MS, Win7 eventually settled and everything worked fine for a couple of days until suddenly the trashing that I described above started. I thought this was perhaps due to some leftover drivers from the AMD time, so I reformatted and reinstalled Win7. Problem solved for a few days again until suddenly it started the same trashing again.

The trashing eventually goes away, for example if I leave it alone overnight, it might have calmed down in the morning, or if I turn off the PC and turn it on again, it may take anything from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, but eventually it starts again.

I already checked for malware. I've used Avast for years, but decided to switch to MSE to see if it made any difference (it didn't). I also ran Malwarebytes, also didn't find any problems.

Win7 has been updated with all the latest updates and patches and SP1 as well as with the supplied Gigabyte Drivers.

Tried running MSCONFIG and reboot with a Diagnostic Startup. It seemed to have removed the problem. And so what? There doesn't seem to be a way to start services one by one to see if that would catch the offending service.

I'm kinda at the end of my wits here. What to do? Reformat and install Linux?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
15 Nov 2011   #2
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by peterpallesen View Post
I'm having this weird problem with a PC trashing disk to the point where the PC becomes completely unresponsive, yet, perfmon does not seem to indicate any load. CPU is 1-3%, memory used <1.5GB. Disk-IO is indicated to <100 KB/sec, yet, and this is the weird bit, the blue line "highest active time" hammers on at 100% non-stop, and the HD activity light is on constant.

This is the hardware:
GIGABYTE Z68MA-D2H-B3 MB
i5-2400 CPU
2 x 4GB 1333MHz RAM
2 x 320GB WD SATA3 (3GB) disks connected to the MB 3GB SATA connectors.

It started with an upgrade from an AMD64 with an Asrock MB which had worked fine for years. First I just replaced the MB, CPU and RAM and after the usual complaints by MS, Win7 eventually settled and everything worked fine for a couple of days until suddenly the trashing that I described above started. I thought this was perhaps due to some leftover drivers from the AMD time, so I reformatted and reinstalled Win7. Problem solved for a few days again until suddenly it started the same trashing again.

The trashing eventually goes away, for example if I leave it alone overnight, it might have calmed down in the morning, or if I turn off the PC and turn it on again, it may take anything from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, but eventually it starts again.

I already checked for malware. I've used Avast for years, but decided to switch to MSE to see if it made any difference (it didn't). I also ran Malwarebytes, also didn't find any problems.

Win7 has been updated with all the latest updates and patches and SP1 as well as with the supplied Gigabyte Drivers.

Tried running MSCONFIG and reboot with a Diagnostic Startup. It seemed to have removed the problem. And so what? There doesn't seem to be a way to start services one by one to see if that would catch the offending service.

I'm kinda at the end of my wits here. What to do? Reformat and install Linux?


It could be indexing, page file, hibernation file, etc.

Do you have a page file on the same HD as the OS

Have you turned off UAC?

does it do the same thing in safe mode (F8)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #3
peterpallesen

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I don't think it's indexing or page file. This PC has 8GB RAM and <1.5GB is used when it happens. I have 3 other PC's with Win7 and I rarely notice the indexing happening. Not like in this case where the system completely freeze up for hours.

I've tried moving the pagefile to the secondary disk but it makes no difference.

No, I haven't turned off UAC, how would that affect anything?

In safe mode everything starts out fine but as soon as I do anything - open control panel for example - it starts trashing. It seems to stop a little faster than in normal mode.

It's like the driver is somehow hosed, doing a 1000 disk operations where one would suffice, or write one byte per write instead of a block.

Here's a screen shot example. The actual programs running are not necessarily the same, I think they're more a symptom than the problem itself.

Any known problems with this MB/drivers?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Nov 2011   #4
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by peterpallesen View Post
I don't think it's indexing or page file. This PC has 8GB RAM and <1.5GB is used when it happens. I have 3 other PC's with Win7 and I rarely notice the indexing happening. Not like in this case where the system completely freeze up for hours.

I've tried moving the pagefile to the secondary disk but it makes no difference.

No, I haven't turned off UAC, how would that affect anything?

In safe mode everything starts out fine but as soon as I do anything - open control panel for example - it starts trashing. It seems to stop a little faster than in normal mode.

It's like the driver is somehow hosed, doing a 1000 disk operations where one would suffice, or write one byte per write instead of a block.

Here's a screen shot example. The actual programs running are not necessarily the same, I think they're more a symptom than the problem itself.

Any known problems with this MB/drivers?
How big is your profile?

Can we get the writes tab sorted. It appears that the system is the culprit but we need the breakdown
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #5
peterpallesen

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by that (profile and tabs). If you could please clarify I'd be happy to provide.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #6
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by peterpallesen View Post
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by that (profile and tabs). If you could please clarify I'd be happy to provide.
Sorry.

I am working on Win 8 atm. See snips. It is in system control panel.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2011   #7
peterpallesen

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I see the problem both logged in as Administrator (profile: 14.5M) and my usual user (Admin user, profile: ~1G.)

I ran MSCONFIG with both diagnostic and selective startup, but now I can't seem to get it back to normal. I've ticked normal startup and it is still there after the reboot, but all the services are still stopped. I'm now trying to restore a restore point now from a few days ago when the system at least worked in between the trashing. Once that's in place I'll try for a screenshot of the disk monitor sorting on write activity.

I already looked at both total, read and write activity, and there really isn't particularly much going on during the trashing. I often see it with 0 KB/sec in the green box while the blue box is on 100%.

.. later ..

I ran system restore but it failed with some obscure message, something like "System restore did not complete successfully.... An unspecified error occurred 0x8000ffff". After rebooting it still came up saying that the system had been restored to an earlier point.

The PC is behaving right now, but that's happened before, a few hours where everything is fine and dandy, then suddenly all hell breaks loose again.

Also not sure what happened with the services, after some reboots they now seem to be running again.

This is how it looks when things are good:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2011   #8
peterpallesen

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Things are still working fine so far, but that has happened before, the pc working fine for days then suddenly the trashing starts again.

In fact right now all the processes I used to see during the thrashing seems to be running, yet there is no performance lag on the pc and no thrashing is taking place (note how Highest Active Time is still 0%).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 i5, Z68, trashing disks, no load, no activity




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