Computer hands, with solid ON HD LED on a rare basis.

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I had a couple "hangs" on my "new" PC where the Harddisk LED turns on
continuously and the performance goes to near zero. The PC consists of a
Gigabyte Ga-P31DS3L motherboard, Q8200 processor, eVGA 790 GTO videocard, 2x2GB
Crucial PCII-6400 memory, 2 SATA harddrives, SATA DVD-R drive, OCZ 500W supply
and a floppy drive.

The problem shows as a failure to respond to keypresses, and sometimes the
mouse, for minutes at a time. This has only happened a couple times in 2 weeks.
If I push the power button for shutdown, it does eventually do it, but has taken
many minutes to complete the shutdown, even up to 1/2 hour or maybe longer. On
the next bootup, everything is fine again.

Looking at the task manager while the problem is occuring, I saw no evidence of
any task using any significant amount of processor time, with the "idle" process
generally being 97-99%. It thus seems like this is a problem with the disk
related components or software.

Trying to Google this, I found references to at least one notebook that had a
similar problem that they thought ws related to updated drivers being bad.

Has anyone heard of any such problem with this or similar motherboards? Any
clues that might help me? Any suggestion of a utility that might help me monitor
what the hard disk system thinks it is doing?

Thanks for your help.

Re: Computer hands, with solid ON HD LED on a rare basis.

Bob F wrote:
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I have a clue this morning. It failed again. I noticed that Speedfan had an
error message something like "cannot read SMART data on HD1. I tried pulling the
power cable off of that hard disk, with no change. Then I pulled the power on
the DVD RW drive that mastered that SATA port, and in a few seconds everything
came alive.

I have now swapped a different DVD RW drive in with a new SATA cable. Now I have
to give it time to fail again, if it will.

Re: Computer hands, with solid ON HD LED on a rare basis.

On Sun, 11 Jul 2010, Bob F wrote:

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I've had similar issues on past computers with gigabyte boards that I
didn't overclock and several that I did overclock. 80% of the time I was
able to fix the issue with a bios update, gigabyte is famous for "rush
development" and often fail to discover bios bugs before release. Other
causes have been bad drives which looks like you have found, and then
there is the chance of having a faulty ram chip (though this is much more
rare nowadays). I believe that you may have found your culprit in that
optical drive. I got tired of gigabyte boards and have opted to go with
other brands such as eVGA and of course ASUS which cater to overclockers
and have better QA testing than most other board makers. Best of luck.

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