Is my HDD dying?

By syndr0me ยท 15 replies
Mar 18, 2008
  1. Hi,

    I have a problem. When loading windows, it boots for 15 minutes on the logo screen and goes no where so I reboot the computer and boot in safe mode, which takes like 10 minutes to boot. The computer is extremely slow! At the moment I am backing up my files to my modified xbox with XBMC with a 200gb HDD which usually goes @ 10MB/s. Now it's doing like 500KB/s to 1.5MB/s. It's taking forever! When ever my HDD is Idle ( no blinking red light on case or HDD read or write sounds) my CPU is normal. Open a foler, file, rar, a browser, and FTP, anything, my CPU spikes to 50% with a certain task called "Hardware Interrupts". It hogs my CPU @ 50%. It doesn't specify what the hardware is. I think it could be my HDD.if I were to close the FlashFXP, It shoots right down to 0%. Anything I open or execute, BOOM, 50%.

    Could it be my HDD dying? or would a simple re-format fix it?

    SMART screenshot:


    SMART says all is OK but the values = worst. is that normal?

    What do you guys think?


    System Specs:

    Mobo: Asus P5K-Combo
    Proc: P4 3.0ghz Prescott (overclocked to 3.6ghz)
    RAM: Corsair XMS 2x1gb 667mhz (overclocked 720mhz)
    Video: Sapphire x1650pro 512mb
    HDD: View Screenshot please
    PSU: Some 450W PSU with 18 amps on the 12v

    (I re-posted this in the Storage and Networking forums, seemed more appropriate. sorry.)
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Yes I'm thinking drive issue too.
    It would be better to run a Diagnostics on it (from the manufacture)
    Please refer here:

    Just In Case, remove any internal PCI cards (Sound; Modem; Extra Video Card; ...) and also unplug all externals, except Power; (!) Video; Keyboard; Mouse
  3. syndr0me

    syndr0me TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Already using the minimum, always have :p

    Thanks for the link, ill check it out and report back.

  4. syndr0me

    syndr0me TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hmm, ye.. I am in safe mode, it wont run. Cant boot windows normally either.. well I haven't let it boot for more then 25 minutes but I think it ain't going to get further then that anyways.

    P.S. Backups are all done now. I am just waiting for "x" eyes to appear on the hard drive now :haha:
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    OK just remove the partition too (I'm looking ahead)

    Also once I waited for an hour for a computer to start, and amazingly it did (try pressing ESC <-- it has worked !)
  6. syndr0me

    syndr0me TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Are u talking about re-formating my D partition only and see how that goes?

    That's what i have been doing now since its all backed up.

    Ill post back when finished.

  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Yes, and No

    I said remove the partition first ! (the silly L prompt in Windows CD)
    Or use Gparted (Free partition checker/fixer)
  8. syndr0me

    syndr0me TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh ok.. but I dont want to restart my computer :( scared that it will never boot again)

    Re-format of the D partition is almost finished.
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    By the way NTFS ? cluster size 4k (don't worry if you don't know)
  10. syndr0me

    syndr0me TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Correct. message to short.. -.-
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    . .
  12. syndr0me

    syndr0me TS Rookie Topic Starter

    K, it's finished formatting. Still slow, Hardware interrupts don't spike more then 20%. Let me try transferring stuff to my xbox to see how its reacts.
  13. syndr0me

    syndr0me TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Was doing 7MB/s but now its back to 500KB/s


    Ill reformat the whole drive tomorrow, but i think my windows is so scratched, that it doesn't copy all the files. and its SP1... 150 something updates lol I got a 5 hour job in front of me.
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Yes you do (cause I've done it many times)

    And you mean repartition remember!

    Install Xp SP1
    Install Xp SP2
    Now install the drivers
    Install Security updates (really Antivirus on MS alone, you don't need)
    Activate during process
    Reboot 2000 times, and Install updates !!!
    Install AVG (that'll do) update 3 times on 1st install
    Install Adobe (actually I hope you checked the harddrive way before this)
    Install Flash
    Install Office

    Extra step (that I do)
    Uninstall AVG (read on)
    Run CCleaner and remove all temp files
    Remove CCleaner
    Oh optimize all settings, ie System Restore just needs one restore point
    Image entire drive (I use ghost)

    Once complete
    Re-Install AVG (I don't like having an old AntiVirus if ever have to re-install)
    And then re-load all your data.

    By the way, if you do make an image (ideally) don't personnalize it with all your stuff, even the Windows username should be generic (and computer name)
    That way, if you ever sell it, just image back and it's perfectly clean.

    Oh yeah when you get to the language setup screen in the install process, make sure all tabs say your language (this helps Office use the correct size paper)

    That's all I can think of for the moment lol :)
  15. syndr0me

    syndr0me TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes thanks, i have done it many times.

    Execpt your extra step thing. I dont make a ghost image.

    Thanks for your help.

    But still, if it worth it? or by the looks of it, should i just get a new hard drive?


    Ill just reinstall windows, sp1, see if i get Interrupts. If i do, ill buy a new HDD.

    Thanks for you help kimsland!
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Done :)
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