Mouse freezes, HD spins....

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Intel Core duo E4500 2.2G
Asus P5GC MX/GBL--2G RAM
running XP sp2

Reliable old machine but recently the cursor would just freeze
randomly. During the freeze I notice that the HD spins continuously.
After a few seconds everything goes back to normal.

(Just found out that when it freezes it is not just the cursor, the
whole system freezes. But it recovers, all the typings are
"updated"---i.e. the machine remembers what I typed during the
freeze.)

any clue?

ABC

Re: Mouse freezes, HD spins....

ABC wrote:
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If "all the typings are updated", then only the user interface
or a portion of the system is becoming non-responsive. It would
not be a total system freeze, as then, keyboard input would get lost.

When is the last time you checked your hard drive SMART statistics ?
SMART is an interface, that can warn of impending hard drive failure.
For a free tool to evaluate that, you can use the free version of
HDTune. Click the "Health" tab, to see the smart info. I tend to
use the "Current Pending Sector" indicator, where a good row of
numbers is "100 100 0 0". If the "Current Pending" statistic has
grown, it means the drive is in trouble.

http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe

Similarly, the manufacturer of the hard drive, provides diagnostic
programs for testing the hard drive. Those programs can also
check the SMART statistics and warn of impending failure.

At the very least, make sure you have an up-to-date backup of
the system, in case there is a new surprise very soon...
Like no boot at all...

    Paul

Re: Mouse freezes, HD spins....


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Thanks. See this link for the Hdtune report of the system drive. What
does the yellow shade mean?

http://atm.cyberec.com/~hello/pictures/Clipboard01.jpg

I used Hitachi's Disk Fitness Test. It was reported as a "defective
device"---Excesive Shock.

You reckon it is bad? I am still using it to type this posting.Of
course there is already a backup using Acronis.

ABC

Re: Mouse freezes, HD spins....


Done.

Replaced with a new 500G Seagate. All is well and in fact running
faster. The only complaint is that they do not sell smaller drive
anymore. I do not need 500G.


I have picked up bad HD from almost any brand ,except WD. Do you think
WD is actually better?

ABC



Re: Mouse freezes, HD spins....

ABC wrote:
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Check hard drive reviews on Newegg. You can compare brand performance
that way. It's better than no statistics at all. Both brands have failures.

*******

As for the new drives, the only problem with them, is the usage of
4KB sectors internally. This can have some annoying side effects,
which you may discover at some point. If you see transfer rate
anomalies, they may be related to 4KB sectors with 512 byte emulation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Format

    "In order to maintain compatibility with legacy computing components,
     many hard disk drive suppliers will support Advanced Format
     technologies on the recording media coupled with 512-byte conversion
     firmware. Hard drives configured with 4096-byte physical sectors with
     512-byte firmware are referred to as Advanced Format 512e, or
     512 emulation drives."

Note that, the advertising material for a drive, will never admit to
what's inside. For example, have you ever seen this logo in practice ?
I can't say I've seen it. Only the "fine print", may hint at it. And
after the 4KB Advanced Format launch, this concept has "gone underground",
hidden from view as best as possible. That's how I ended up with three
crappy 500GB disks :-( Nothing on the outside of the drive, hinting
at the contents.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e0/Advanced_format_logo.png

There was an announcement, that the industry would be completely 4K sector
internally, in a relatively short period of time. So it's not like you
can entirely avoid the topic by careful shopping. Perhaps some legacy
capacity drives, like buying an 80GB, could avoid it, but for any decent
sized drive (500GB single platter or above), you're likely to have
4KB sectors internally. Even if that fact is not printed on the label.
The "512e" concept may be at work inside.

    Paul

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