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Strange Hard Drive problem that's detrimental to system performance

This is a discussion on Strange Hard Drive problem that's detrimental to system performance within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I know this is really long, but it's the best way to give everyone a good understanding of the problem.


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Old 08-17-2011, 10:43 PM   #1
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I know this is really long, but it's the best way to give everyone a good understanding of the problem. Tech geeks like me should enjoy this . Please help me! If you don't feel like reading, then just look at the attached images, or just skim through it. The readings are way too slow...

I have a major issue in my computer'sperformance which I believe couldoriginate from the Hard Drive or it'scontrollers to the mother board.It all started a long time ago.

About a year ago.............
I was just on Chrome when I noticed that the computer just completely froze, except for themouse which I could still move around.I looked down at my my PC case when I heard sounds coming from it. Then I looked upand to my horror, a BSoD had came up. Ithad an error code under 0x000000f4(0x00000003, 0x8916bbc0, 0x8916bd34,0x805d29b4). In terror, I restarded thecomputer. A whooshing sound followed by a sharp Beep were being produced from the computer. The front light blinkers (theones that light up and shut down dependingon how active the hard drive is, Ibelieve) lit up during the whooshing and shut down right after the beep. The whooshing and beeping repeated in anendless cycle. I also noticed that thecomputer would get stuck on the "5A" forabout 30 seconds (it would normally gothrough it in about 2 seconds) checkduring the BIOS POST procedure. I lookedup on the internet what this meant, and 5Asimply checked "Resetting PATA/SATA busand all devices".

I took note of the computer's odd behavior. After the computer slowly passed through the BIOS procedures, it went on to windows as usual. It kept going through the cycle of whooshing and beeping. I noted that logging into windows was taking much longer than usual. After a while, the screen suddenly went black and I cought a glimpse of the same BSoD (the computer instantly restarted as it was set to do under a major system error). The computer restarted on it's own (I believe that the whooshing and beeping continued), but this time I did not get into the windows XP loading screen. It sent me instead to this black boot screen that was trying to load me into a network. I restarted it again in the hope of getting through to windows but the same screen came up. The computer was actually my brother's. I left him a note for what happened as I had to go out to take care of something. When I got back home, he was understandably mad, and he placed the blame on me (as he does usual). I don't know what he tried to do to save the computer, but he just ended up reformatting and re installing windows over again. Problem solved right?

NO. About a few months after the computer was fixed, I noticed that my PC froze randomly. I heard the same abominable sound coming from the computer. I instantly shut it down in terror. I then proceeded to turning it back on and heard the same cycle of sounds happening, so I shut it down again before entering the BIOS password to go to windows. I waited a little while and turned it back on, but this time the sounds were gone , so I just put in the BIOS password and let the computer go into windows. It loaded as usual. I was utterly gobsmacked, but happy that it had worked.

Now.......
The problem just happens completely at random. It happens once about every maybe two months? I don't know. But three days ago it happened again, but this time the whooshing sounds would not stop. I didn't know what to do, so I just left the computer on. I talked with a friend's dad (who knew a lot about computers ofc lol) and he told me that the HDD was probably beginning to fail. I also told him that the computer had had past problems with high levels of heat (because my brother just never bothered to clean it of dust), so he assumed that that could be part of the reason why it was failing. He gave me two disks containing operating systems that I could use in case the hard drive wouldn't come back.

So I got home and removed the Hard Drive so it would not interfere with me trying to run the OSs my friend's dad had given me. I was astonished to find everything on the inside of the computer to be covered in a happy layer of dust. The hard drive was completely covered. After quick clean up, I tried running the OSs but it turned out that my disc drive was broken (it made strange clacking noises ). After putting on my MP3 player for The Beatle's song Yesterday in that moment of great sadness , I plugged in the hard drive again and TO MY COMPLETE SHOCK, IT WORKED PERFECTLY. There were no sounds. I was gobsmacked. Utterly gobsmacked.

When I got into windows, I ran HD Tune to see how my hard drive was doing. The results are shocking. I tried copying and pasting a 1 GB file to check and see how fast the hard drive was reading and writing, but neither reading got past 6 MBs. I canceled it when it showed that it would take 16 minutes to copy it all. It also showed me that there are a lot of reallocated clusters/damaged clusters. These results are in the pictures attached.....

For some reason I thought it was normal for my computer to be slow, but never this slow. The computer will hang during a defragmentation operation if I do anything like let's say, load up the browser. The computer takes about 30 seconds to open internet explorer (I want to point out that this time goes down to about 7 seconds after I start up windows explorer for a second time; might it be because it took long to allocate memory the first time due to bad sectors?). It's just way too slow. I tried installing a large application right before it failed, and it only moved up to 3% under an hour, although the application said that it should only take about 35 minutes.

I changed the SATA cable from the hard drive to the motherboard, but the computer was still slow. I then changed the position of the SATA cable from slot 1 to 3, but I got a BSoD when I tried to boot up. I think it is because I never configured it, and everything worked to normal once I switched it back to one.

The Hard drive ins't that old either. It is only about a year old, since it was replaced after an old one failed.

Guys, what could I do about this slow computer? I really need help on this one. I think that for some reason the Hard Drive is getting damaged. Some of the slow downs might be due to problems allocating memory because of the damaged sectors. But idk, I'm just a geek :P.

I also attached a log of when the event happened....

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!
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:48 PM   #2
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Try running mhdd from HDDGURU: Laptop and Desktop Hard Disk Drives, Tests, Software, Firmware, Tools, Data Recovery, HDD Repair and see what the response time of the sectors is in the read test. there may be a lot of slow sectors that need multiple reads to validate ECC.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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Grin

Alright, I will run the program and upload images/logs of the results. I really appreciate your help!

And lol, I should have summarized my whole explanation before posting.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by raptor_pa View Post
Try running mhdd from HDDGURU: Laptop and Desktop Hard Disk Drives, Tests, Software, Firmware, Tools, Data Recovery, HDD Repair and see what the response time of the sectors is in the read test. there may be a lot of slow sectors that need multiple reads to validate ECC.
I am lost on what to do. I ran the self extracting floppy .exe and it copied itself into a floppy (remember that I stated that my CD drive is broken). I restarted my computer and even set it as the primary boot device in BIOS but all I got was a black screen with _____ blinking on and off on the top left corner. What can I do to get it to run right?

And this seems to be a whole lot more complicated than it should....could you give me a run down on what I need to do? It says that it runs on MS-DOS (uuh, I have XP... xD), has a ton of commands, warnings, bla bla.

Thanks for your help :D
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:17 AM   #5
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by raptor_pa View Post
Try running mhdd from HDDGURU: Laptop and Desktop Hard Disk Drives, Tests, Software, Firmware, Tools, Data Recovery, HDD Repair and see what the response time of the sectors is in the read test. there may be a lot of slow sectors that need multiple reads to validate ECC.
Well, I found a program called "HDDScan" and I downloaded it since I saw that it did surface scans and all those other cool HDD tests xD. I ran the verify, and it was incredibly fast....the read test however, has taken about 20 hours to complete . My poor PC will enjoy a long night of rest tonight .

I've uploaded the log for the verify and a screenshot of all the block response time as they appeared right after the test finished.
Both the log for the Verify and read test will be zipped because of the read's immense 12 MB size; I'm also uploading screenshots from the tests.

Analysis: The verify test produced speeds of upwards of 100,000 KB+ per second , while the read test produced speeds of no more than 4,000 KB per second. The response times on verify were extremely fast either. Could this be an indicator that the hard drive can efficiently read itself, but slows down to snail speed when it has to transfer the data?

I also want to point out that there was a constant (and EXTREMELY ANNOYING; the computer slows down completely and the mouse even warps and glitches through the screen) 50%+ usage on the processor from interrupts. I've also noticed this problem whenever the hard drive is put under intense use, in operations like, for example, defragmentation. What could the IRQ indicate?

Thanks for your help in advance. I really appreciate it.

P.S: This is the description of the verify from the HDDScan manual:

Verify test may work in improper way on USB/Flash devices.
In Verify mode device reads block of data into internal buffer only and checks for
consistency, there is no data transferring through interface connector. The program
measures operation time for each block. The program tests blocks one by one from
minimum to maximum.

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