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Windows 7: HDD freezing periodically


10 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 professional 64-bit
 
 
HDD freezing periodically

Hi

None of the solutions to similar problems I've read seems to apply to me:

I use my PC for general purpose, but also to record and watch TV which is when this problem occurs: Every 5 or 10 minutes the Disk Activity goes to 100% and the Disk Queue Length goes to 10 - 40ms, but with very little data transfer taking place (often <1MB/s) and low CPU usage. This causes whatever video I'm watching (and everything else) to freeze. Disk Activity stays at 100% for about a minute, then goes back to working normally and everything is fine. See screen capture of Resource Monitor below.

I've run Crystal Disk Info (see screen cap) and HD Tune, and they both report that everything is okay.

System specs:
OS: Windows 7 64-bit pro
HDD: 500GB WD Caviar Green WD5000AADS as my only internal drive.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240
Memory: Kingston DDR2 800MHz 2GB

Any ideas?



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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

1) Put in more RAM, 2GB isn't enough for normal multitasking.

2) What is the first process listed in resmon.exe?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 professional 64-bit
 
 

Hi Frostmourne

You could be right about more RAM, but I didn't think that it was the cause of the problem because it generally shows about 80% used, even when it has the disk activity problem. If the problem was because of page swapping I would have expected a much higher disk transfer rate.

The first process in resmon (ehrecvr.exe) is the TV receiver/recorder, which is writing a temporary video file.

If no one has any alternative theories I will go get some more RAM and see if helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

80% usage is pushing it. Also, that hard drive is a green drive, which isn't a good idea as it can slow down its spin speed, slowing down whatever you are doing too. I would:

1) Close all apps and reboot

2) Run Disk Defrag and then chkdsk.

3) Install the latest chipset drivers for your motherboard from Gigabyte's site (great board choice by the way for your setup).

4) Install all your other drivers with the guide in my sig.

5) Post a screenshot of the msconfig startup tab.

This is custom built right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 professional 64-bit
 
 

OK
1) Have tried that a couple of times, but still have the problem
2) Have checked disk defrag, but it says 0% fragmentation. Will run chkdsk.
3) Glad you approve of the MB :-) Will check for latest drivers there
4) Will install other drivers from your sig's site
5) Only startups in MSConfig are AVG antivirus and the #@$%@#$% Java Update Scheduler which I've deleted a thousand times and will delete again.

Yes, custom built.

I'll be back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Uninstall AVG with a removal tool too. It is junk - use Microsoft Security Essentials. Now I'd put in another 2GB stick, same as your first one. Then after all this take another look at your performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 7 professional 64-bit
 
 

I've gone to the Gigabyte web page with updates for Windows 7 64-bit drivers for this motherboard.

A lot the updates look like bloat to me - Is there any way just to update the necessary drivers?
Here's what there is:

Audio
Realtek Function driver for Realtek Azalia audio chip
Have downloaded and installed. It updated the audio driver but also added a whole lot of stuff I really don't need like environment sound effects.

Chipset / VGA / SATA RAID
AMD Chipset Driver (include chipset\sata raid\vga driver)
Have downloaded and started the setup ("ATI Catalyst"). But that wants to install 7 components (see screen cap). I'm not sure what is really necessary to install here just to update drivers. I don't think I'll need legacy support for USB 1.0 audio devices, the Catalyst Control Center so I'll leave those out.
But do I need the "North Bridge Filter Driver" and the "AMD SATA AHCI Driver"?
Unfortunately the ATI Catalyst Install Manager is a forced-install component.

LAN
Realtek Ethernet Diagnostic Utility
Don't think I need to install this

SATA RAID
AMD SATA AHCI Driver
I guess this is an important one?
AMD SATA RAID Driver
Not using RAID - Do I need to install this?


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2010   #8

Windows 7 professional 64-bit
 
 

Frostmourne, I've just read on your sig link page where you say "Don't bother with driver programs."
I think we're on the same track there.

And I've replaced AVG with MS Security Essentials as you suggested.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Sorry for the delay. I meant install the chipset/VGA driver etc and that's it. The audio is OK although the general driver from Realtek is better. The SATA/RAID driver you definitely don't need. So the chipset only. Flash the BIOS too. Now thats done, install the memory, and yes you need everything recommended by the chipset installer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2010   #10

Windows 7 professional 64-bit
 
 

I've installed the updated drivers. But after doing that and replacing AVG with MS Security Essentials, the memory usage seemed higher and the problem worse.

Now I've added another 2GB memory to give 4GB total, and run Chkdsk with the repair option.
Only thing I haven't done yet is updated the BIOS.
Will see how things go now.

But I still don't understand why the disk activity would be 100% without much data transfer happening. If it was due to memory paging I would have expected high data transfer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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