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Four out of five hard drives slow, clicking


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#1 Jerry P.

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 10:14 PM

Four out of five hard drives slow, clicking

I appreciate any help. Thanks.

My computer has five hard drives. The system drive is fast and quiet. All other drives click when starting (initial boot, wake), stopping (shut down, sleep), and intermittently during use. They donít click while not in use. During the clicking, read/write stops, putting whatever Iím doing on hold for several seconds. Setting hard drives to go never go to sleep on their own had no impact.

The hard drive models are:
ē Hitachi Deskstar, 1TB, 7200RPM, SATA III, 32MB Cache (system drive)
ē Hitachi Deskstar, 2TB, 7200RPM, SATA III, 64MB Cache (x2: scratch data, including page file; second unused)
ē Seagate Barracuda, 2TB, 7200RPM, SATA III, 64 MB Cache (x2: RAID 1, storage)

The Hitachi 2TB drives actually make a chirping sound before clicking. Since this is impacting more than one brand and four drives total, I think I can rule out hardware failure. Also, I tried a variety of hardware tests and no problems were ever found (including SeaTools, Intel Rapid Storage Technology verification, Checkdisk). I had initially set up the Hitachi 2TB drives as my RAID 1 storage volume, and they were chirp-clicking in that setup as well. None of the hard drives came with a jumper, though research suggests that having one on would either just slow down the data transfer rate or reduce the capacity.

All hard drives are connected to SATA 2 ports. This is a custom build, based largely on Videoguys DIY8 Budget. Operating system is Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. Motherboard is ASUS P6X58-E Pro. CPU is Intel Core i7-950. GPU is EVGA GeForece GTX 570. RAM is G.Skill Ripjaws 16 GB (4x4). Also installed are: Hauppage 1199 WinTV tuner, BD burner, DVD burner, and an internal USB memory card reader. Hijackthis log is attached, run immediately after a normal boot.

I doubt this matters, but just in case, at one point I installed a USB emulator which is supposed to trick the GPU into thinking a separate IR transmitter for 3d glasses is plugged in, thus allowing the 3d monitor to use its built-in IR transmitter. I couldnít get it to work. Around the same time, I started getting notifications in the system tray that a USB device is not recognized. Uninstalling the driver has no impact; it just comes back on the next boot.

Also probably not related: Immediately after I installed the Seagate drives (I was already having problems with the 2TB Hitachis), the system became very unstable. After approximately an hour, one of the 8 CPU threads would be at 100%, with the others around 0%, and I could barely move the mouse cursor. I think I resolved this by manually updating the storage controller drivers for Marvell 91xx SATA 6G Controller and JMicron JMB36X Controller. (Windows had thought they were already current.) I might have also updated Intel SATA RAID Controller, Iím not sure. But like I said, I highly doubt this has any relation since the clicking happened both before and after.

HJT log removed as we rarely use it and then only for malware analysis in the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum. ~ OB

Edited by Orange Blossom, 26 May 2012 - 10:17 AM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:57 PM

My first impulse would be to check whether the PSU is adequate for my needs.

Louis

#3 Jerry P.

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 02:27 PM

Okay, I tried using this calculator.

1 CPU, Motherboard regular desktop, CPU=Intel Core i7-950, CPU Utilization=90%, RAM=4 sticks DDR3, Video Card 1=NVIDIA GeForce GTX570, 5 High RPM SATA HDDs, 1 DVD-RW Drive, 1 Blu Ray BD-RE Drive, TV Tuner-Cable, 1 external powered USB device, Front Bay Card Reader, 3 120mm LED fans, 1 250mm LED fan, system load=90%.

This gave me minimum Wattage of 593W, recommended 643W. My power supply is 850W, so I think I should be covered. Also, if the problem were inadequate power, it would seem strange for certain hardware to be consistently targeted even as I moved around the order of the drives.

Attached File  eXtreme Power Supply Calculator.pdf   78.7KB   1 downloads

Edited by Jerry P., 26 May 2012 - 03:14 PM.


#4 dpunisher

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 04:32 PM

Miscellaneous:

What SATA ports are the drives, the clicking drives, connected to? The Intel controlled ports, or the Marvel controlled ports?

In task manager select "Processes" tab, Select "VIEW>Select Columns", Check I/O Reads. I/O Writes, I/O Other, I/O Write Bytes, I/O Read Bytes, I/O Other Bytes to start with. Keep those columns visible in a small window while using your system. Any software using the hard drives/waking up a sleeping drive when the noises occur?

There are other possibilities. Any BIOS updates specifically for a storage problem? Usually the OEM wraps up any firmware updates for aftermarket controllers in the BIOS flash, but not always. Any Marvel specific firmware updates for your symptoms? (All assuming you are using the controller for your offending drives)

Any firmware update for the drives themselves?

Just throwing stuff out there for now. I do wish you luck.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#5 Jerry P.

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 04:57 PM

The hard drives are all connected to the Intel SATA II ports. The DVD drive is also connected to Intel SATA port. Since there are only 6 Intel SATA ports, the BD drive is connected to a Marvell SATA port.

I've turned on the I/O columns in task manager, but I'm not sure what to look for there. The clicking does happen when the drives wake up, and if that were the only time it happened, I wouldn't care so much. It's especially bad when I'm trying to edit video. I haven't stopped using the hard drives when one or more of the drives decides to start clicking and my playback freezes. (There's no problem if the video file is on the system drive.)

I haven't done any BIOS/firmware updates. I'll check that next.

Thanks.

Edit: My BIOS is current.

Edited by Jerry P., 26 May 2012 - 05:11 PM.


#6 hamluis

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 05:20 PM

Well...I know that loose cables...can cause I/O errors and clicking in hard drives, IME.

I would check Event Viewer for errors...and see if there are a number of I/O errors for drives documented.

Louis

#7 Jerry P.

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:00 PM

I'm going to look into firmware updates for the hard drives, but I'm doing a backup first. It looks like it won't finish today.

For Event Viewer, I don't see anything that looks significant, but it's my first time using it. Here's a list of all the errors and warnings from the last 24 hours:
Warning5/26/2012 16:2Diagnostics-Performanc  501Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/26/2012 16:2Diagnostics-Performanc  500Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/26/2012 12:4Diagnostics-Performanc  501Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/26/2012 12:4Diagnostics-Performanc  500Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Error  5/26/2012 12:0Diagnostics-Performanc  300Standby Performance Monitoring
Warning5/26/2012 12:0WindowsUpdateClient      29Windows Update Agent
Warning5/26/2012 1:23Diagnostics-Performanc  501Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/26/2012 1:23Diagnostics-Performanc  500Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/26/2012 0:24Bits-Client           16393None
Warning5/26/2012 0:24Bits-Client             310None
Warning5/26/2012 0:14Diagnostics-Performanc  300Standby Performance Monitoring
Warning5/26/2012 0:14DNS Client Events      1014None
Warning5/26/2012 0:14WindowsUpdateClient      29Windows Update Agent
Warning5/25/2012 22:0Diagnostics-Performanc  501Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/25/2012 22:0Diagnostics-Performanc  500Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/25/2012 20:4Diagnostics-Performanc  501Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/25/2012 20:4Diagnostics-Performanc  500Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Error  5/25/2012 19:4Diagnostics-Performanc  300Standby Performance Monitoring
Warning5/25/2012 19:4DNS Client Events      1014None
Warning5/25/2012 19:4WindowsUpdateClient      29Windows Update Agent
Error  5/25/2012 19:0CAPI2                  4107None
Warning5/25/2012 19:0Diagnostics-Performanc  100Boot Performance Monitoring
Error  5/25/2012 18:5CAPI2                  4107None
Error  5/25/2012 18:5CAPI2                  4107None
Error  5/25/2012 18:5CAPI2                  4107None
Error  5/25/2012 18:5CAPI2                  4107None
Error  5/25/2012 18:5CAPI2                  4107None
Warning5/25/2012 18:5Known Folders          1002None
Warning5/25/2012 18:5Known Folders          1002None
Warning5/25/2012 18:5Known Folders          1002None
Warning5/25/2012 18:5Known Folders          1002None
Error  5/25/2012 18:5Service Control Manage 7000None
Error  5/25/2012 18:5Service Control Manage 7038None
Error  5/25/2012 18:5WMI                      10None
Error  5/25/2012 18:4Kernel-EventTracing       3Session
Warning5/25/2012 18:4User Profile Service   1530None
Warning5/25/2012 18:4USER32                 1073None
Warning5/25/2012 18:2Known Folders          1002None
Warning5/25/2012 18:2Known Folders          1002None
Warning5/25/2012 18:2Known Folders          1002None
Warning5/25/2012 18:2Known Folders          1002None
Warning5/25/2012 18:2Known Folders          1002None
Warning5/25/2012 18:2Diagnostics-Performanc  501Desktop Window Manager Monitoring
Warning5/25/2012 18:2Diagnostics-Performanc  500Desktop Window Manager Monitoring


#8 hamluis

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:17 PM

How To Use Event Viewer - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic40108.html

You...need to use criteria I suggested previously and take a look at the detail for any such errors re drives/partitions...which may have been reported.

I don't know the frequency of your clicking...but I suspect it extends beyond 24 hours.

Louis

#9 Jerry P.

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 12:13 AM

Okay, I read that.

I think my problem is that there is too much information in Event Viewer and I don't know how to filter to I/O and drive errors as you suggested.

The clicking started the time the hard drives were installed and continued until now, including the last 24 hours. I limited my search to the last 24 hours just to keep the list from getting too long.

EDIT: Hmm... My Seagate firmware is current. Hitachi doesn't seem to have firmware information available without contacting them via phone or email.

Edited by Jerry P., 27 May 2012 - 02:16 AM.


#10 hamluis

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:40 AM

<<...there is too much information in Event Viewer...>>

The only information you are looking for...are I/O errors related to a drive/partition. The results for any tab in Event Viewer can be sorted by any of the columnar headings. Clicking the heading sorts in alphabetical order.

The System tab...Source column...is where I would look for I/O or drive errors.

Louis

#11 Jerry P.

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 04:43 PM

I exported the System tab to Excel and found these are the different values for Source:

Application Popup
bowser
BROWSER
cdrom
Display
e1yexpress
EventLog
Microsoft Antimalware
Microsoft-Windows-Application-Experience
Microsoft-Windows-Bits-Client
Microsoft-Windows-Dhcp-Client
Microsoft-Windows-DHCPv6-Client
Microsoft-Windows-DistributedCOM
Microsoft-Windows-DNS-Client
Microsoft-Windows-DriverFrameworks-UserMode
Microsoft-Windows-FilterManager
Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy
Microsoft-Windows-HttpEvent
Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-General
Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-PnP
Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power
Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Processor-Power
Microsoft-Windows-Power-Troubleshooter
Microsoft-Windows-Setup
Microsoft-Windows-Time-Service
Microsoft-Windows-UserPnp
mv91xx
partmgr
Service Control Manager
USER32


mv91xx only says "Adapter is detected." partmgr gave warnings for the brief time I undid a RAID and two drives had the same ID: "The disk signature of disk 3 is equal to the disk signature of disk 2." There are two messages for cdrom: "Device \Device\CdRom1 is locked for exclusive access" and "An error was detected on device \Device\CdRom0 during a paging operation."

Nothing else seems to relate to drives.

#12 hamluis

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:57 AM

Thanks :).

I guess that I'm out of guesses...let's see what the more knowledgeable here might think.

Louis

#13 Jerry P.

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:29 PM

I tried booting of the Windows installation disc. I opened DOS prompt and did "dir/s" in several directories with many files and subdirectories. I found that the clicking usually happened shortly after the output started, then it would run smoothly for a while, possibly eventually clicking and stalling again later. I realize that I've been having similar experiences booting normally. For instance, I often get clicking when starting to play a video, but once it gets going, it stops less frequently.

Thinking of this and looking at the differences between the drives, might my problem be that the drives' caches are too large? Maybe smaller caches function better with random access?

#14 Jerry P.

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

At least for now, I seem to have solved this by disabling the write-back cache in Intel Rapid Storage Technology. Everything says that disabling this is supposed to significantly reduce performance, but it's been so much better for me off.




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