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Hardware  » Stuttering and freezing.

16 posts found
  willo248

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/17/07
Posts: 330

 
OP  4/05/13 3:09:41 PM#1

Hi guys so these past 2 days I've been having issues with mt computer randomely freezing up for a few seconds, and sometimes the audio stuttering, every so often. As far as I can tell it's completely random. It doesn't seem to happen when I am doing something intensive but more just when I'm opening a new window or a menu in a game. Which lead me to think it may be a hardrive issue.

I checked my cpu/ram load and it doesn't spike when I have a freeze but instead seems to drop. I've updated all my drivers which didn't help. I also checked my latancy with dpc latancy checker which is fine.

The only strange thing I can find is the temperature of one of my hardives: http://imgur.com/D7lcTGS, which as you can see is 98 celcius. I opened up my case and the HDD doesn't exactly feel 98 celcius so I'm not sure.

The other thing is that I don't seem to have this issue every time I restart my computer it just seems to come at  times.

 

My pc specs are:

Window 7 64bit

4gb ddr3 ram

ATI HD4850

AMD athlon 2.8ghz dual core.

  birdycephon

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/09
Posts: 1327

Not Safe For Woona (NSFW)

4/05/13 3:14:38 PM#2
Try installing process explorer and see if you can spot what is spiking durring those freezes.
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13476

4/05/13 3:15:27 PM#3

That sounds like you could have a hard drive in the process of dying.  The first thing you should do is to back up any data that you have that you care about.

Do you have two physical hard drives in your computer?

  willo248

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/17/07
Posts: 330

 
OP  4/05/13 3:33:41 PM#4

Originally posted by birdycephon
Try installing process explorer and see if you can spot what is spiking durring those freezes.

Originally posted by Quizzical

That sounds like you could have a hard drive in the process of dying.  The first thing you should do is to back up any data that you have that you care about.

Do you have two physical hard drives in your computer?

The only thing that seems to be spiking is 'system idle process'.

 

It may be a dieing hardrive, I do have 2 one which house the program files, system files etc. The other which is just used for storage and archiving. I presume the failing one would be the first. Would I just be able to add another HDD and copy the contents across?

  syntax42

Elite Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 1147

4/05/13 5:00:52 PM#5
Originally posted by willo248
Would I just be able to add another HDD and copy the contents across?

 

 

No.  Programs and Windows have all sorts of dependencies which are invisible to the average user.  They have keys in the registry and in other places which point to those dependencies.  At best, you could save downloaded data files and hope whatever downloaded them (Steam or a MMO launcher) sees them and doesn't try to redownload the same large file.  I wouldn't suggest trying that unless you are very comfortable with manipulating things in the Program Files directory.

Drive cloning and imaging is one technique professional IT employees use to get around this.  It copies everything perfectly, instead of just copying files and putting them in whatever spot is convenient.  Don't try to image your current drive over to your archive drive;  you will lose everything on your archive drive, depending on the program you use.

 

 

If this is a gaming computer, I would like to suggest taking this opportunity to upgrade to a solid state drive.  You have a mass storage drive (your archive drive) to put movies, music, and other files which don't require speed.  Put your OS and games on a solid state drive and the performance will be very nice.  If you need help choosing, post a budget and what you think you need for storage space for games you actively play.

 

Even if you don't choose to install a SSD, you should install Windows from scratch.  A fresh OS is nice to have.

  eyelolled

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3088

I am more than some of my parts

4/05/13 5:14:38 PM#6

failing HDD is the most likely cause.

 

Remember if you don't have your important data on two separate mediums, you are doing it wrong. 

All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

  willo248

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/17/07
Posts: 330

 
OP  4/05/13 5:26:40 PM#7

Thanks for the advice I don't think I'm going to purchase an ssd as it won't be too long until this system could do with a replacement. Hopefully by then there will be cheap ssds availible.

I have quite a few hardrives availible, if I remember correctly is it just a console command to image the program files?

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3418

4/05/13 7:06:54 PM#8

There is a console command for Linux/Unix/Mac (dd), but nothing quite as similar for Windows. You can copy files, but nothing quite does a full block level mirror in Windows that I'm aware of.

Short of your boot drive and Windows install, you can probably get away with just copying the files. Windows installs, some commercial programs with restrictive licensing or DRM, and poorly executed games can have trouble though if they are just copied.

There is, however, free and low cost software available.

http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2008/09/05/5-free-apps-to-clone-your-hard-drive/

I've not tried any of these, so I can't recommend any over another.
I also agree, hard drive the most likely culprit.


  jdnewell

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/04/06
Posts: 1855

4/05/13 7:26:33 PM#9

I would second the idea of buying an SSD, you will be glad you did. Even a smaller one to put the OS on will be worth it.

IMO thats better than using an old HDD you have laying around. Once you buy and use an SSD you wont want to use the HDD for anything but storage =)

  willo248

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/17/07
Posts: 330

 
OP  4/05/13 7:50:58 PM#10

Thanks for all the replies and advice. I figured out it was the archive drive that was dieing, not sure why that was slowing down the system. 

It prety much only consisted of old save game files and videos from 5-10 years ago. For nostalgia reasons I doubt I would have ever gone back to those games so it doesn't really matter. ):

  syntax42

Elite Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 1147

4/06/13 8:43:22 AM#11
Originally posted by willo248

Thanks for the advice I don't think I'm going to purchase an ssd as it won't be too long until this system could do with a replacement. Hopefully by then there will be cheap ssds availible.

I have quite a few hardrives availible, if I remember correctly is it just a console command to image the program files?

You must have been looking at the wrong SSDs if you think they aren't affordable.  If you were looking at ~1TB for SSD storage, that is far more than you need for a performance drive.  It would be like trying to buy enough Ferraris to transport your family.  Buy one Ferrari for yourself and let your family ride in the horse-drawn-wagon.  Look at the prices for 120 GB or 240 GB SSDs.  Those are around $80-$100 and $150-$200, respectively.  If all you put on your SSD is your OS and games you actively play, you will find that you only really need about 100 GB of storage for games.  With a 240 GB drive, you can get away with not uninstalling games for a bit longer.

 

If you buy a SSD now, it will still be useful when you replace your entire computer.  The same can't be said for video cards or anything else mounted on the motherboard.  

 

Windows does not include a console command to clone a drive that I am aware of.  Copying just the Program Files directory will not include the registry, boot sector, or AppData folder.  You can copy the files so you don't have to download as much the next time you install the games.  Drive cloning is something I would not suggest doing if you do get a SSD.  It sounds like your archive drive went bad, though, so you don't really need a new OS drive.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13476

4/06/13 1:12:07 PM#12
Originally posted by willo248

Thanks for the advice I don't think I'm going to purchase an ssd as it won't be too long until this system could do with a replacement. Hopefully by then there will be cheap ssds availible.

I have quite a few hardrives availible, if I remember correctly is it just a console command to image the program files?

Why exactly do you have quite a few hard drives available?  Do you keep them around forever, from one system to the next?  If so, that may be your problem.

  willo248

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/17/07
Posts: 330

 
OP  4/07/13 8:03:09 AM#13
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by willo248

Thanks for the advice I don't think I'm going to purchase an ssd as it won't be too long until this system could do with a replacement. Hopefully by then there will be cheap ssds availible.

I have quite a few hardrives availible, if I remember correctly is it just a console command to image the program files?

Why exactly do you have quite a few hard drives available?  Do you keep them around forever, from one system to the next?  If so, that may be your problem.

No, I normally buy new hardrives with each new system but I do tend to keep a lot of my old files and copy them across.

This is more the reason why I am not going to buy an SSD until I get a fresh system. I would prefer to stat with everything new than transfer some old parts. That way I know how old everything is and know if it's in warranty etc.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13476

4/07/13 9:05:15 AM#14
The standard recommendation is to replace a hard drive after five years.  Trying to keep one running until it dies can be a bad idea, because, well, you've just seen one reason why.
  spikers14

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/08
Posts: 350

4/07/13 9:12:43 AM#15

http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2008/09/05/5-free-apps-to-clone-your-hard-drive/

 

I've used Macrium Reflect a few times with success. Some cloning apps will even let you resize partitions during the cloning process.

 

Cheers

  EvilMix

Novice Member

Joined: 8/14/09
Posts: 252

4/07/13 11:03:41 AM#16
I just built a new PC 3 or so months ago, and I was getting this same problem until I swtiched my harddrive out and started using my SSD as my main one, with windows on it and everything,