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Windows 7: Is it normal for SATA HDD to cause lag in games?


23 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Is it normal for SATA HDD to cause lag in games?

So this has been happening to me recently: with a Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB HDD installed as a secondary HDD on my desktop, with some games installed to it. Sometimes when a game is loading, the whole screen will pause about 3-4 seconds and then continue as usual. It also happens at times while in-game.

There aren't any other indications of abnormal behaviour: no skipping or fragmentation of pixels on the screen or anything unusual, just lag/delayed-response on the screen. I have not been super-concerned because the average frequency for it is maybe at most once every 1-2 hours.

When the pause happens, I can tell the HDD is whirring, and there aren't any sounds of note coming from it besides that. (I found a website online where they had sample HDD sounds from drives gone bad, nothing like that at all; also, I ran a full extended test of Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Diagnotic in addition to the regular SMART test: all reported normal/Pass).

So, my question becomes: anyone else have this experience? Is it normal for hard drives to do this? Are there any tune-up suggestions to remedy it?


Ty for input in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Dec 2012   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

It could be that the system is writing out some log at that time and interferes with your game.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

What kind of log would Windows need to write that often? Seems odd to me, but I'm still relatively new to Windows 7 (<10 months).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Dec 2012   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Double click on your C: partition (in Computer) and write logs into the search field at the top right. You will be amazed how many different logs the system maintains.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #5

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Yeah sounds like HDD activity to me as well. Could be CPU activity as well though.

Another possibility would be a program doing some background task with that disk every now and then. file indexing maybe?

I'd say to open up performance monitor, write "perfmon" in the search box in the Start menu to find it fast (it is also accessible from the Performance tab of Task Manager). Then you leave it there open on the disk usage tab, reordering the entries by disk usage, and whenever you have that slowdown you quickly alt-tab to get back to desktop and look at the performance monitor to see what is the offending process (if the HDD tab does not show any unusual HDD work, check the CPU usage tab instead).

Then if you cannot figure out what it is on your own you can post its name here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #6

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional
 
 

If the disk has damaged sectors performance will be way below average.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Establish a Clean Boot, check the logs for repeat errors to resolve, utilize the System Resources to solve Problems and Generate a System Health Report as shown in Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7.

If these fail, complete all the steps given.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Is it normal for SATA HDD to cause lag in games?




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