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Windows 7: HDD freezing periodically

13 Feb 2010   #11

Windows 7

I had the same problem (with an intel chipset though) Installing the Intel Matrix Storage Manager fixed it for me. Try looking for similar software for AMD systems

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2010   #12

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64

I'd buy a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB and image 7 onto it. That green drive seems to be skewing performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2010   #13

Windows 7 professional 64-bit

Aghh! Id just written a long reply here and when I clicked post, got the message that my token had expired. Hit the back button but my reply was gone.

So here we go again.

Adding new memory has improved the problem but not got rid of it. I guess the improvement is only because more data is cached and there is less page swapping required.

I ran Western Digital Data Lifeguard diagnostic extended test on the drive and it showed all-clear.

The Caviar Green drive should be more than capable for my use, and I chose that one for its quiet operation and energy efficiency, since the PC is in my lounge and on 24/7.

It worked fine for the first few months after I built the system in October 2009 - It's just the last couple of months that it's had the "100% activity" problem. The PC is a basic system with pretty-much default settings. Not overclocked and no dubious software.

I haven't changed anything fundamental since I built it, but of course there could still be many causes: Hardware fault, automatic windows or driver updates, problem showing up because hard drive is fuller or more applications running, etc.

Any suggestions for another hard drive diagnostic I could try that won't wipe data?

Hardi, I looked at Intel Matrix Storage Manager. It is a manager for a RAID setup which I am not using. I have installed the latest drivers for the onboard SATA though.

Edit: I haven't updated the BIOS yet because it's a risk and hassle, and the change log only mentions updates that do not relate this at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Feb 2010   #14

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64

Run the Short DST in Seagate Seatools.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #15

Windows 7 professional 64-bit

OK, I ran the Short DST in Seagate SeaTools and it passed. I even ran it WHILE the disk activity was up at 100% and disk response times at around 5000mS. The test took longer but it again passed with no problems.

I found a similar thread on the Microsoft forum:
Member "DayTripper75" had exactly the same problem with the same model hard drive, which also developed after a month and got progressively worse. Maybe this thing is like a degenerative disease for hard drives

But it doesn't seem to be a common problem with this model drive.
I'm still hoping to find a diagnostic that reproduces and identifies the fault.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #16

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dacs View Post

I guess this is an important one?
Not using RAID - Do I need to install this?
If your board is set to AHCI mode, then Yes.

7 normally installs the MS AHCI driver by default, that does OK, but i would update it to the latest version.

The Green Drive will seem somewhat slower at times to respond as they go into a energy saving mode.

They are good drives for DATA storage, but I do not think id use one for the OS. Unless you do not mind the second delay waiting for it to spin up again coming out of power saving mode.

How full the drive is will impact performance further.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2010   #17

Windows 7 professional 64-bit

Thanks Wishmaster.
I installed the AMD SATA AHCI driver, but from what I see in Device manager it only updates the driver for the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Updating it made no improvement.

This 100% activity problem is definitely not related to the drive being in sleep mode and taking a couple of seconds to spin up again. It suddenly goes haywire while in use, with 100% disk activity and low transfer speeds (<1MB/s). But WD and Seagate diagnostics say it's all okay.
The drive is formatted with NTFS, 75% full with 0% fragmentation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2010   #18

Windows 7 professional 64-bit

Solved this problem at last:
I bought a 500GB Seagate Barracuda ST3500418AS drive (also quite a "green" drive), cloned all the data from my WD Caviar Green drive, and swapped them over. No more problems.

The strange thing is that I cannot find any fault with the WD drive using disk diagnostics - The problem only shows up in ordinary usage. I ran Bart's Stuff Test which writes and reads from the disk intensively, and left it going for about 12 hours and there was no problem.

I guess I'll just have to keep the WD drive as extra space now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2010   #19

Windows 7
I have/had the same issue

Hey, I just wanted to post as well that I have the exact same issue you described Dacs. The problem is the drive and there's no point trying anything else (save stopping windows and all apps from writing to the drive as frequently, which will be my last attempt with this).

OS: Win 7 x64
Memory: 4GB
CPU: E7500

The OS will completely lockup (however if you have Resource Monitor open then that is the only unfrozen window, I was confused if it was memory or hdd for a long time) and the Disk Queue Length will spike like 40+ for a while, after that everything is fine... The and hibernating is a joke (it's faster to just shutdown then turn on).

I did find this link with mention about 'a transitional point from 512-byte sectors to 4096-byte sectors' (looks like a copy paste of this threads first post).

It looks like the only fix is a new HDD. Luckily this will now be my backup drive.
This is something completely unexpected from a 32MB Cache 5400k RPM drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2010   #20

Windows 7 professional 64-bit

Hi brandonb. Thanks for the link. It looks like that could be the cause of the problem.
Four months on and I'm still using the WD drive as secondary storage and backup, and it's working okay for that.
But I'd prefer to have a drive I can rely on, and like you say it's not expected from a popular WD drive like this. I've always rated WD drives highly but this has taken them down a few notches in my book.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HDD freezing periodically

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