I left home for a few days over Thanksgiving, and when I came back I found that my computer was behaving oddly. I built the computer myself only this May, so I'm quite upset that it's already having performance problems.
First, the specs:
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 3.30 GHz (quad-core)
RAM: 4 GB
Mobo: Asrock P67 Extreme
GPU: Ati Radeon 5770 1G
HDD: Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ Solid State Hybrid Drive
Basically, what is happening is that the computer will frequently hang for one, two, or even three seconds while performing basic tasks. I first noticed it while watching videos on YouTube, and now itís very obviously happening with everything I do on the computer. The computer had been performing wonderfully up until that point; it just developed this problem all of a sudden.
Hereís a breakdown of the performance issues that Iíve noticed:
Startup: Startup seems to take longer to get from power off to desktop.
Watching streaming video: The video will frequently freeze for a couple of seconds, but the audio will continue as normal.
Clicking: When I hover over something with the mouse, it sometimes takes a second or two for the item to be highlighted. Computer occasionally hangs when clicking on anything: a link, a program icon, etc.
Scrolling: Sometimes hangs when scrolling with mousewheel, even on pages with simple text.
Opening programs: Occasionally takes significantly longer to open than normal. Program begins opening up but does so slowly.
Closing programs: When I click to close a program such as a word document, it sometimes takes a second or two to begin closing when before it would do so instantaneously.
Word processing: When editing a text file, sometimes when I try making a change using my keyboard to enter or delete text, the computer hangs and it takes one or two seconds for my changes to appear.
Gaming: This is the worst problem. Since noticing the problem, I tried loading up Medieval II: Total War, which I had been playing quite a lot recently with absolutely no problems. However, now the title screen hangs for a second or two every 10 seconds or so, and the game is completely unplayable because every few seconds it will hang and the audio will freeze and loop.
General: I can still move the mouse normally whenver the computer hangs like this, but the cursor gets stuck in whatever form it was when the hanging started.
The CPU usage in Task Manager looks normal. I don't notice any CPU spikes when these hangs happen.
I cleaned the dust out of the interior of my computer with compressed air. It wasnít particularly dusty, but I got all of the dust off of the case fans, the RAM, the CPU fan, and the light collections of dust everywhere else.
I did a full virus scan with up-to-date Avast. No infections.
Defragmented C: drive. It was only 3% fragmented.
Ran a disk error-check. Didnít seem to be any problems.
Hereís what I think is going on. After reading some things online, it seems like many people with my model of hard drive have had the exact same problem: the HDD works great for a while, but within 6 months Ė 1 year (or sooner), they start experiencing hanging problems. The company has released firmware updates to address the issue, but I upgraded to the latest firmware and the problem still persists. Others claim to still have the problem after updating the firmware, as well.
Any ideas? Iím really at a loss. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.