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Intermitent I/O problem

By Ad Astra
Dec 7, 2005
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  1. Hi

    I have Dell Dimension 4500 running Windows XP SP2 with a 120GB IBM drive (IC35L120AVV07-0) and a Western Digital 250GB drive (WDC WD2500JB-55GVA0). This has worked fine for many months until the last few days. I now get intermitent hangs when trying to do I/O involving the IBM 120GB drive, the PC will just hang for up to 20 seconds. E.g. opening a folder in Windows Explorer or listening to music the sound will just pause.

    I have tried chkdsk /r (no errors found) and defragmenting the drives but this has not helped. I have scanned for malware using MS Anti-spy, Ad-Aware and Norton Anti-virus and all come up clean. I can not see anything wrong in task manager, but it is probably hung too so that is not much help. Nothing has been changed recently that could explain the hangs.

    The 120GB IBM drive is partitioned into two: a 25GB C: drive for Windows & programs (60% full) and the rest as a D: drive for data (35% full). I have run chkdsk and defrag on both partitions. The other 250GB drive is partitioned into several partitions including a dedicated page disk, and other partitions are used for infequently used stuff including a cycle of backups. I have 1GB of RAM so the page partition on the WD disk is hardly used.

    Any suggestions what could be causing these intermitent hangs? I suspect that maybe there is something failing on the hardware side on the IBM 120GB drive. If so how can I test this?

    Many thanks
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    I would run a manufacturer's diagnostic on the IBM drive (if you believe it is to blame). You can find more information here.
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html

    You can also get an idea of the scope of the errors by taking a look at Start -> Run -> Type: eventvwr.msc and press [Enter]

    Click on the system tab and if you scroll down, you'll get more information about the errors recorded by Windows. You're I/O errors will appear to (Or should at least). They will tell you what drive they originate from (if that is in question).
  3. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Many thanks for the prompt reply. I checked out the event viewer logs. I cleared the system logs and then managed to reproduce the I/O hang quite quickly just veiwing folders in Windows Explorer. Alas, there were no new error messages added to log during this time.

    I will check out the diag tools and see if they report anything wrong. Any other ideas what could cause a hang during I/O? Sounds like I/O to me as it happens whilst doing disk access related tasks.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Do you have any big video files in your folders? Explorer hogging all the CPU when generating the preview for a big movie is a known "feature".
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