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Strange problem and Slow Hard Drive...


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#1 Maht33n

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 11:19 PM

About a year ago…..
I was just on my browser when my computer completely froze (except for the mouse which I could still move. I heard a strange sound pattern coming from the computer. It was a recognizable whooshing sound for a few seconds followed by a sharp beep at the end. *This cycle of sounds kept on repeating throughout the whole explanation bellow*. Eventually I got a BSoD with error code of: 0x000000f4 (0x00000003, 0x8916bbc0, 0x8916bd34,0x805d29b4). After restarting the computer, I noticed that it got stuck for quite a while on the check 5A (which meant: Resetting PATA/SATA bus and all devices) and then moved on. 5A repeated twice (as usual) during the POST BIOS checks. The pattern of sounds continued as I entered the BIOS password into windows. To my dismay, I got the same blue screen on death. I restarted once more. This time I got taken to a black Intel Boot screen, which tried to sign me into a network. It skipped hard drive completely, and went into the same screen twice, telling me it couldn’t find a bootable device. I am not the owner of the computer, but my brother is. He just simply decided to reformat the hard drive when I guess he found no way of getting back into windows. Problem solved? NO.

About a few months after the mysterious 5A issue occurred, I noticed that the computer freezed all of the sudden. I heard the sounds again. I immediately shut down the computer in the hope of preventing the same fate from last time. With a series of restarts (and never letting the computer go into windows) and shutdowns for intervals of time, I waited and managed to make the sounds go away. Windows booted up as normal. I simply thought “what the heck”?

Now……
The problem just happens completely at random (like about once every 3 months). What made me create this thread? It happened about a week ago but that time the whooshing sounds didn’t stop. The computer did boot completely back to normal after I disconnected and reconnected the SATA cables to the drive (everything inside was covered in dust, including the hard drive…my brother just doesn’t take care of the computer as he should -__-). But I’ve had enough of this. I’ve only realized this now, but the computer has gotten slower and slower and slower by the months. For analysis, I tried copying and pasting a 1GB file last week, and windows displayed that it would take like 16 minutes. I’ve been using HDTune to see how the hard drive is working, and I haven’t seen speeds of more than 6MB/s for neither read nor write. Something is seriously wrong here. Whenever an application request intense use from the hard drive (For example, the defragmentor), my CPU usage shoots up to like 50% from “System interrupts”. The IRs make the computer nearly unusable…everything slows down to a crawl.
But that’s enough ranting. I’ve attached some screenshots and a few logs of my hard drive’s slow performance. Anyone got suggestions? Thanks

And I also have pictures from tests from HDScan (I also have the logs from the software if anyone wants them)...Hard drive verification was done extremely quickly (at speeds of more than 90,000 KB/s ), while reading took about 20 hours at no more than 4MB/s . Could this show that the hard drive can properly read itself but has some trouble when sending data accross?

P.S: Everytime the PC boots up, it displays an INTERNAL ERROR (9)- HARDWARE_UNSUPPORTED. The computer boots up to windows fine…but could this maybe hint towards the cause of the problem?
My PC information:

Intel Desktop Board D945GPM, Intel Pentium D CPU (3.00GHz), Speed: Slow :S, 2.00 GB RAM, 250 GB SeaGate SATA II Hard Drive.

Kudos for any help. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks, and take care y'all!


PERFORMANCE IMAGES:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66658875@N08/

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 02:21 AM

Hello and welcome to bleepingcomputer.

First thing you should do with this computer is get a can of compressed air and a toothbrush, use both to clean out the computer case of all signs of dust accumulation.

Use the toothbrush to clean off all cooling fan blades or stubborn stuck on dust from all of the interior hardware.

Make sure you use proper precautions against electro-static build up damage, ground yourself to the computer case before and during the cleaning process.

DO NOT allow the cooling fans to spin from the force of the compressed air, or for safety reasons, disconnect the cooling fans from the motherboard first.

Your hard drive is most likely failing, by either being affected by too much heat exposure or the drives controller board is failing.

You should try using the proper disk utility and allow it to scan the drive for read/write errors.

Since you have a SeaGate hard drive, I recommend using SeaTools for DOS, make a bootable disk and boot to it. Do not run it from Windows!! This utility is meant to be burned to a bootable disk and booted to.

Here is the link: http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=seatooldreg&vgnextoid=480bd20cacdec010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD

This version listed here can be run from within Windows: http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=seatools-win&vgnextoid=552bd20cacdec010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD

Run the long tests and see what the results are.

As for slow drives, there are a few factors involved here that can cause this.

One is what your UDMA settings are set to, UDMA 5 and PIO 0 is best, some drives resort to PIO 5 and UDMA 0, which is very, very slow!

Make sure your swap file is large enough to handle the load if virtual memory is needed.

Make sure your hard drive has been de-fragmented and cleaned up using Windows built in utilities, disk clean up and disk de-frag.

Make sure your not running low on physical memory, which causes more hard drive thrashing and the use of your swap file more often.

2 GB of memory is not much when running OSes such as Windows XP through Windows 7, adding another GB of RAM would certainly help in decreasing any hard drive thrashing.

Hopefully my suggestions get you back on track, but to be truthful, I believe your seagate hard drive is failing.

Bruce.
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