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Discussion Starter #1
For approximately 2 years I have used a home made system. It was rock solid with no problems. As soon as I upgraded to a new Western Digital 120GB hard drive I started experiencing hard locks. Convinced it must be the hard drive I then tried a 120GB Seagate hard drive with the exact same result.

I have tried a new graphics card, RAM, CPU and even a new more powerful PSU and new cooling fans. What is going on here? For some reason my system doesn't like 120GB hard drives. I have even flashed the BIOS with the same result. If I revert back to my 40GB Western Digital hard drive then the problem disappears. Logic would suggest its not a software problem.

All latest drivers from appropriate manufacturers. including Windows XP Professional updates.

Windows XP Professionsal SP1
AMD Duron 1GIG
120GB Western Digital HDD (Master) (Channel 1)
120GB Seagate HDD (Master) (Channel 2)
Samsung CD/RW (Slave) Channel 1
LG CD Rom (Slave) Channel 2
ECS K7VZA MOBO with newly flashed BOIS
nVidia GeForce 3 Graphics Card
 

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I'd examine the cable used, the system may be attempting to run at higher DMA rates with the new drives, and is getting failures. You can also disable DMA on the drive as a test to see if it runs reliably (even though very slowly), using PIO mode.

I assume you are using an 80 pin IDE cable. If not, that's the first thing to change. I'd also try swapping the cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Must admit to never even considering the cables.
I have changed them for some more (80 pin) but the system still locks up. I then changed the PIO and UDMA settings in the BIOS (disabling them) and the system still locks up.

I'm out of ideas now and would consider anything.
The only thing I haven't changed is my motherboard.
I should have just bought a new system.
 

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Hmm...

It may sound obvious, but I feel I must ask the question anyway, seeing as I didn't see any mention of it in your postings.

Does the Bios see and support the 120 GB drive cleanly? How quickly does it lock up, is it immediate or does it lock at random times?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The BIOS recognises all drives cleanly and quickly.
Lockups occur randomly.
Could be as windows loads, sometimes after 6 hours. Sometimes several times within an hour. It is baffling. Never any particular application or program. Sometimes I'm online, sometimes not - though to be fair usually online.
You can see my problem.

You collect pistols? erm ... are you American? Possession of a handgun gets you 5 years here - usually longer than killing someone with one.

Thanks for your help - it's is MOST appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Been messing around with the system. Removed the second hard drive and the CD Rom. Just got the main hard drive and the CDRW as master and slave on channel 1.
Is it my imagination or is the system running faster and smoother?
It's not locked up yet either.
Does this make sense?
 

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Connect the Hard drives to Primary IDE as Master/slave and the

CDRW as Master and CD as Slave in Secondary IDE.

Make sure you have 80wire ribbons for the HD's. The way you have it set up....the HD's slow down to the speed of the removable drives.

If you had an Intel chipset that can use the Accelerator (which you don't) it will read the correct UDMA speed of 2 different drives on the same IDE....otherwise, they default to the slower drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'll try it for sure, but let's not digress from the core issue.
Would using the hard drives on the same channel stop the system locking up?
 

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but let's not digress from the core issue. :rolleyes:

Could connecting a fast UDMA 5 or 6 Hard drive (ATA100/133) to a slow CDROM/CDRW that is PIO or DMA 2 (ATA33) cause a lockup?.....yes
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll try it for sure.
The system can lock up because the hard drive is on the same channel as my CDRW? Even when I'm not using the CDRW?
I'll try it but it doesn't seem logical to me.
Remember I have already tried disabling UDMA, and used PIO on all drives.
 

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you can research the terms on google and how to set Master/Slave. ...good luck

1.set jumpers to Master/Slave on back of drives
2.set CDRW as Master/CDROM as Slave
3.Use 80 wire ribbon for hard drives
4.Master on end of IDE ribbon/ Slave in middle
5.HD's to Primary IDE/ Removable drives to Secondary IDE
6.Set Hard drives to UDMA 5 in Device Manager.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I use the altest Via 4 in 1 drivers.
I've also set the hard drives as master and slave on the primary channel, and the CD ROM and CD/RW as master and slave on the secondary channel.
The BIOS recognises all drives quickly and cleanly and boots into windows.
Guess what? It still locks up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Now the system has started randomly restarting itself.
Remember my problems only started when I did a clean install on a new 120 GB hard drive. Just to make sure it wasn't the hard drive I then did a clean install on another 120 GB hard drive.

I will try to run the system with just the hard drive on the primary channel, with no other drives at all.

Are random restarts systematic of any particular problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Running the system with just the hard drive on the primary channel still gives lockups.
I'm now trying it on the secondary channel.
Remember the system worked fine with a 40GB drive.
Remember lockups still occur with a totally different Seagate 120 GB drive.
...and yes I do have all the same drivers.
 

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Have you considered that your lockups might be due to over-heating? This might account for the random reboots. (Larger, hotter 120gb drive.)

Also, a power supply problem could provide the same random reboot symptoms. Your larger drive may be using more watts and making the power supply fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This had already been suggested.
I upgraded to a 550watt PSU and have new fans -
CPU heat sink - case fan - graphics card fan - and hard drive blowers.
Thanks for the thought though.
 

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huh, i did a google search hoping to find some answers for the exact same problem i am having... and i ended up here

i first bought a wd120gig with an 8mb buffer and had extreme problems (including a very disturbing loud clicking noise) so i took it back and returned it for the same one without the buffer (didnt have any of the others left...)

it just goes offline and online constantly... mainly when i reboot.. and then after a few shutdowns and forcing going through auto detect in the bios it will come back online... but its bloody annoying

i only got the drive two days ago so i havent had too much time to fiddle round yet
planning on going and getting some round ide cable tomorrow and maybe another fan... just hoping to find something that will fix the problem

funny thing is that my pirmary master is a seagate 120gig that works perfectly... never had a single problem
so why would virtuall the same drive not work when set to primary slave...
 
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