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Windows 7: Weird behavior & bad performance with new HDD


29 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 
Weird behavior & bad performance with new HDD

Hi everybody

About 1 month ago I had some weird issue with my HDD after a power failure so I had to change the HDD with this one.

I cloned it and for a short perod of time everything seamed to be fine.
However, 1 week leater I start experiencing system lag & freezing. For example, if I try to copy something (usually big files or many files and when I try to copy to/from USB drives), I simply can't watch a movie or surf the web without lag & browser/player freezing. Sometimes even the whole system freezes. At first I couldn't figure it out since in the same period of time I upgraded my AV software (N360), browser (Opera - lately Opera seams to be a CPU & memory hog so it was the first thing I suspected) & uTorrent client (not the first time I'm having problems with it so this was my second thought).

So I uninstalled them all and tried to figure it out. Unfortunately nothing changed so I am starting to suspect the new HDD. I ran a full test before cloning the old one and ran another few test when I start experiencing those problems but nothing showed up.

The system was fully tested after the power failure & HDD replacement, just to be sure.

Another weird thing is that CrystalDsk Info doesn't show up the correct info and doesn't detect the RPM/buffer size and Speccy shows 10k RPM when the HDD has 7200.

There is another problem: the new HDD is SATA3 with 64MB cache while the mobo only supports SATA2 (32MB the old drive). I wasn't expecting any issues however. Besides that, there wasn't any SATA2 HDD bigger (and I checked about 15 retailers & online shops) than 640 (the old one) so that I could clone it.

I am somehow thinking th mobo doesn't support 64MB cache drives and somehow this results in bottlenecking (sorry if this sound stupid).

My motherboard is ASUS Striker II Formula, BIOS up to date. The old HDD was a Caviar Black 640 SATA2 32MB. Quite similar to the new one I'd say.

Any ideas? This HDD is the 10th or 11th HDD I am replacing in 4 years :| Somehow me and HDDs don't get along well.
BTW the SATA cable is new. Also, ignore H:\ in CristalDisk Info screenshot. It's an old laptop drive I use with an external enclosure for temporary storage.

LE:
Think I should mention I don't experience those problems unless some file copy/transfer/download (torrent client) is involved. I can run 5 movies and 5 instances of Winamp, surf the web, chat online & download Steam games at the same time. I actually tried this.




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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The FAEX's RPM and cache come up as unknown in CrystalDiskInfo here as well so it's not an isolated occurrence, it's probably just the HDD and CrystalDiskInfo disagreeing with each other. There is probably nothing to worry though, since the SMART info appears to be read correctly.

I'm afraid I can't constructively advise regarding the performance of the HDD though, I've never had an HDD act like that before so I have no experience to relate to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2013   #3

 
 

First, 64mb vs 32mb cache no bottleneck with your board. It will simply utilise only 32mb.



Drive data looks normal.


When you experience lags, how many torrents and what speed are they downloading at? The disk can become overloaded with multiple torrents running, especially torrents you've just started. The client itself is fine. I've had zero dramas with it.


If its only utorrent causing the lag, it's simply your hdd becoming saturated. Is it worse with fresh torrents? They allocate space and can cause disk overloading.


While its downloading, the disk is busy. When you transfer files, it's put into the que where windows allocates the priority of data access/transfer hence the slow speeds.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 May 2013   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

Sorry for my late reply and thanks for your answers.

It doesn't really matter how many torrent I have active but usually if it's more than 2-3 and the speed goes over 2MBs. And usually my speed in uTorrent is around 8-9 MBs unless we're talking about many small files.

Also, it's no difference with fresh torrents. Actually, there are moments when I can use the system just fine.
For example, I didn't experience problems while downloading something and playing games online.
The problem with uTorrent is that I get CPU fluctuations even if there's no active torrent. It can go from 0 to 25% and back to 0 in seconds.
I asked on the official forum (this is the second time I'm having this issue with uT) and they said it's most likely caused by Norton. That's one of the reasons I decided to uninstall it and check if the issue is still there.

As for the file transfer, I (lately) use Total CMD for this since I experienced some Win Explorer crashes before so I want to avoid this. I will try using Windows Explorer instead of TCMD, see what happens.

And again, I still suspect Opera to have a major part in this, since if I keep it running for a long time I get system & apps freezes (but no lag).

Also, any piece of advice that could help reducing this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2013   #5

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Just to clear something up. The cache on the HDD does not need to be supported by the motherboard, it does not care. The cache is for the HDD. You could have an old IDE HDD with 64MB of cache, it won't matter. The cache is for the HDD.

I have a feeling that it might have been the cloning of the old drive. It might be advisable to start fresh with the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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