Systems lags every few seconds, possible HDD issue

By nckomodo ยท 9 replies
Jul 3, 2008
  1. Hi :)
    Last night I switched everything over to a new case (The only other change was replacing an old CRT monitor with a new LCD, but I can't imagine how that would cause any problems) and something seems to have gone wrong somewhere, as my computer generates a disk boot error on boot unless I have the win XP cd in the drive and let it sit at the "boot from cd" prompt for a few seconds.
    When it does boot the entire system lags every few seconds (mouse/keyboard input, sound is choppy, etc) and the cpu useage as reported by speedfan stays around 50% but having a look at the process manager does not showing any tasks sucking up more than their fair share of the cpu.
    The temps reported by speedfan are all in the okay range, no change there. (highest temp is currently 34C)
    We've also had a very bad storm all night and at one point while booting it up to make sure I plugged everything in right we lost power for a split second which had the nasty side effects of corrupting my bios settings but I've checked in there and everything seems to be at their correct settings.
    I'm thinking there's something up with the HDD but I'd like to hear of any possible alternatives before reinstalling everything in case that doesn't solve anything.
    I am currently defragging the HDD in question as well.

    CPU: AMD 4000+ at 2.4ghz
    RAM: 2 GB corsair something or another
    GPU: nvidia 9600GT
    OS: Win XP
    MOBO: a8n-sli premium
    150 GB HDD on an IDE connection (The one the OS is installed on)
    500 GB HDD on SATA
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Have you run a full harddrive diagnostics? If not, go to your HD manufacturer's website and download their free utility to do this analysis.

    Make sure you do a full analysis and not just the S.M.A.R.T. option. This will take time but well worth it.

    Also wonder if that storm affected your power supply and/or motherboard.
  3. nckomodo

    nckomodo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Will do once chkdsk finishes.
    Also I hope not, I just replaced the PSU D:
  4. nckomodo

    nckomodo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Gonna have an aneurysm, especially if it turns out something other than my hdd is going bad D:
    Heres the current state of things:
    Reinstalled windows onto the primary hdd.
    Have the SATA drive disconnected.
    disk boot error has disappeared (I think this might've been due to tghe boot order of the hdd, not entirely sure though)
    Lag still remains
    Can't install graphics drivers as they installer crashes on load

    What i'm going to do now is plug the SATA drive back in, see if the disk boot error reappears, and if not (or regardless) I'll try reinstalling windows onto the SATA drive and see how that goes.

    What are some utilities I can use to test the other components of my computer, namely the mobo and power supply?

    Edit: Error Loading Operating System
    This is the message I get after installing to the SATA drive

    Aneurysm imminent D:
  5. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    I know many who have IDE/SATA configuration issues. They don't always play nice. When you switched to SATA did you remmeber to place it as first bootable? Did you remove it from slave mode?
  6. nckomodo

    nckomodo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    when abouts should I have switched? I've been trying all sorts of different things ranging from changing the boot order to only having on device plugged in at a time when installing windows

    I'm getting ready to copy my data over to the IDE drive, then completely format the SATA drive (which is probably going to take all day at 500 GB) and trying to install windows on that)

    Edit: also I thought SATA drives didn't have master/slave modes
  7. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    You're right on SATA not needing to be slave/master. My bad.
  8. nckomodo

    nckomodo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well crud, I finally got windows to install onto my 500 GB SATA drive, thought the lag had gone for good, installed the mobo drivers, and the lags is back.
    I'm going to try updated mobo drivers and if those don't work looks like I'll have to buy a new one :(
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Buy a new what? I suggest that this really isn't a OS software issue as it is a hardware issue with possible driver concerns.

    That being said, I would post on one of the hardware forums here, perhaps the one dealing with drives and tell them what you have been dealing with.
  10. wakasaki

    wakasaki TS Rookie

    Hi nckomodo,
    My brother's computer was lagging every couple seconds non-stop in the past. I made sure there was no spyware, adware, malware and viruses.

    We figured out in the end it was a setting on the Hard drive, the transfer mode.
    For some reason, most likely spyware or some kind of virus, the computer would set the hard drive to PIO Transfer Mode every time we would reboot.

    To get to this option, go into Device Manager, go to your IDE or SATA channel, then find your hard drive that has your operating system installed, then open that up and go to Advanced Settings. Then for Transfer Mode, switch it to something other than PIO Mode, such as DMA mode.

    Sorry if this was of no use to you. Just trying to help you out :)
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