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Windows 7: Intermittent hanging with no CPU usage but 100% HDD

14 Jun 2010   #11
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

I had this issue with an Intel SSD an tha nvidia nForce motherboard.

WHat fixed it was turning off Native Command Queueing on the ATA channel that the SSD was connected to.

Symptoms, randomyly (sometimes during boot!) program I was using would freeze, then after several seconds or longer the mouse would also freeze, harddrive light on solid.

To fix, go to the device manager, then to your ATA ports. Then on the ATA port for your root drive (There will be several ATA ports listed) On "Port 1" or "Port 2" tabs, uncheck "Enable Command Queueing".

For my SSD this actually speeded things up a little, but on a rotating drive it might slow it down a little.

Turning off NCQ on the SSD port (Was not necessary on my secondary drive) absolutely stopped the issue dead.

Enabling AHCI mode on my newest computer and using an intel G2 SSD did not require this fix (nor is it even an option int he device mamager for the AHCI driver)


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15 Jul 2010   #12
TC2000

Windows 7 home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Fianally Fixed My Windows 7 Hanging Issues

I had the same hanging issues on a brand new custom built computer that ran perfect for 5 months. All of a sudden in March the hanging began.. First once in awhile, then as time went by more and more persistent hanging with the HDD light on solid .. After 3 months of messing around, testing, reinstalling, trying everything i could think of I replaced the motherboard thinking it was the problem only to have the same thing happen, so I went and bought a WD blue drive and partitioned and formatted reinstalled windows 7 and magically the hanging went away. My PC's running like new again, the problem was the western digital green drive... it showed no errors in multiple tests with both Windows 7 and WD's software. I cant believe I let something so simple baffle me like that for 3 months. I guess some drives don't play well or cant keep up with with Windows 7..
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15 Jul 2010   #13
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

[duplicate post removed... what was I on last night?!? ]
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16 Jul 2010   #14
atf

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

I too have a similar/the same problem. Random hanging whilst doing anything on my PC. HDD light is lit up solid throughout the freeze.

How do you change the settings of the ATA drivers? I have checked device manager and cannot find a way to bring up settings for these devices.
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16 Jul 2010   #15
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

It looks like the option may or may not exist depending on the ATA controller drivers.

But it should be on the properties for "ATA Channel 0" etc under "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" if in IDE mode. The feature may not be listed if in your SATA ports are in AHCI mode...
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16 Jul 2010   #16
TC2000

Windows 7 home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote:
It looks like the option may or may not exist depending on the ATA controller drivers.

But it should be on the properties for "ATA Channel 0" etc under "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" if in IDE mode. The feature may not be listed if in your SATA ports are in AHCI mode...
So does that mean while running in AHCI mode that Native Command Queuing is not enabled? Ive now got the bad drive installed as a storage drive since it shows no errors and when i access its files and folders you can definitely tell its somethings not right with it. After clicking on a folder it takes a few 5-8 seconds for the contents of folders to show up but not always its random.. lol kinda like the hanging.
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16 Jul 2010   #17
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Hmmm it may actually be a bad drive then, is it old? Or brand new? If Windows runs into a bad sector with data on it it will try for a LONG time to get the data off. It can take at least 90 seconds I believe after many many tries before giving up.

Though I wouldn't necessarily put the nail in the coffin till I saw windows come back and actually say there was an error reading the drive. Could also do a check disk on it from the drive properties/tools dialog.

The appearance of the ability to turn off NCQ may come and go with the driver :/ though I believe that in AHCI mode it is probably on, just you can't turn it off. (There could always be a registry setting for it I suppose, even if there is no checkbox in a GUI)

You could always try updating the storage drivers too. I.e. if yo uhave an intel chip set, update the Intel Matrix Storage drivers and if it's an nForce, get the latest chipset drivers from nvidia.
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17 Jul 2010   #18
TC2000

Windows 7 home Premium 64 bit
 
 

The Western Digital Green WD5000AADS drive was only 6 months old when this hanging began and both my boards use the AMD/ATI Chipsets (ASUS M4A79XTD-EVO) (GIGABYTE 790XTA-UD4) and all drivers were up to date. I ran chkdsk and wd's disk tools multiple times on the drive with no errors reported so I dismissed the drive as being the cause of the problems and focused on the onboard chipset being bad. Next I went and bought the gigabyte board and swapped all my parts over to that, only to have the same problem manifest itself on the new board also. So now Im thinking its a problem related to AMDs specific chipset since both boards use the same one, and I continue to tinker with it for 3 more weeks with no luck and the hanging becoming more and more persistant. Well this week I swapped out the green drive with a blue version and the problem's are totally gone along with the 3 months of time I wasted trying to solve this conundrum. Im just happy I can actually enjoy my PC again instead of constantly trying to find a fix for a software problem that was actually a hardware one..
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16 Aug 2010   #19
Ironhead

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I'm almost positive that the WD Green drives are the culprit. I've been experiencing the same random freezing (can still move mouse but all programs are unresponsive and can't start new programs until the HDD activity stops). I have tried all of the software fixes out there (Installed the Intel Matrix Storage driver, AHCI mode was already enabled, disabled and re-enabled write-caching, ran diagnostic tools which reported no problems, etc) and have come to the conclusion that it's my HDD that's the problem. Almost everyone I have seen who is reporting this problem is running WD Green drives, especially Caviar WD5000AADS drives.

I have a 500MB Seagate drive as my D: drive that I just use to backup my "User" folder and some other stuff. I think I'll back everything up to a 1TB drive and swap my C: and D: drives and install Windows 7 on the Seagate. I'll bet the problem goes away and doesn't come back.
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17 Aug 2010   #20
Reo Baird

Windows 7 X64 build 7600
 
 

WD green drives were the culprit.

I recently upgraded my cpu/mobo/processor/ram/video card/Harddrive (1TB WD black). I put a fresh copy of 7 on the black drive. The old drive's install still had the problem, the WD black does not.
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 Intermittent hanging with no CPU usage but 100% HDD




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