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Old 10-15-2011, 04:47 AM   #1
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Default Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

Since I've lost my trust in the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (crashed 3 times with complete loss of data each time) and the warranty has expired I've bought a new HDD - a Western Digital Caviar Green (1TB) and with it the first time to install an OS (Win XP 32bit) on my own.

I've noticed that the new HDD supports a so-called advanced format which is compatible with Vista and higher but with a few extra steps also for XP. So I've downloaded WD Align and ran it on the freshly installed XP to make it compatible with the advanced format. Everything ran fine and there were no problems so far.

Then I've installed the drivers for the NForce Mainboard, ATI Radeon HD 5750 and Realtek HD Audio. The CPU (Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300) and other hardware components seemed to not need any drivers.

The PC ran fine for about 2 months.

The first BSODs and freezes (even the mouse cursor is frozen then) started roughly a week after I've forced a shutdown while Win XP was installing updates after shutdown (It took more than 1 hour and since the PC is near my bed, its lights annoyed me while trying to sleep so that I kept pressing the power button until it went off). And I still don't know if the problem is related to that mistake.

They first appeared just once every 2 weeks but the frequency slowly increased with the time. Last week it was almost guaranteed that XP starts with a BSOD but normal after reboot. The last two days it caused BSODs five times every day, of which most appeared after starting the PC for the first time in the day.

The most common BSOD-messages were: PFN_LIST_CORRUPT, IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and something with PAGE_FAULT (don't exactly remember these ones).

And finally, in the last day, XP started to lag extremely. It booted up like that:
* The normal Windows XP loading screen appeared (that one where the three blue dots move through a white-framed bar) and it takes the usual time to load
* then it goes black and the mouse cursor appears. The cursor lags unsteadily between 0.5 and normal fps (It was weird since I thought that the mouse is hardware-accelerated independently from the OS).
* After roughly 10 seconds, the usual blue-colored Welcome-screen appeared but without the big "Welcome" in the center and with the XP logo in the right center of the screen and "Please wait..." below it. This never appeared before.
* Then, after roughly 15 seconds, the usual "Welcome" screen appeared. The cursor still lags.
* It now takes extremely long for XP to load. After roughly a minute, the custom background appears, after 5 minutes the icons are completely loaded and it takes 5 minutes to open the start menu or 5 minutes to open the image preview for a single 100x100 picture.

As frustrated as I were, I forced a shutdown and ran the Win XP CD, chose the Install XP option and pressed R for repairing it without loss of data. Other than the said 37 minutes the progress took about 3 or 4 hours. Even through the installation progress the cursor appeared with the same lag spikes.

I've thought that some hardware is corrupt. So I've booted up puppy linux I've burned on a CD earlier (It boots up from the CD, runs entirely in the RAM and saves its data on any HDD or USB after shutdown). But the results confused me:
* Puppy 5.2.6 starts with no problems, can mount and read the files from the HDD with no problems and runs extremely smooth with both the 3D Rubix Game and the mouse cursor. It also previews the same 100x100 picture from the new HDD within a second.
* Just one problem: Puppy seems to be not able to show the usual after-shutdown message which asks me to save the data on a hard drive or USB and the PC lights are still on after shutdown. I don't know if this is related to my XP problem, never tested puppy on this PC before the problem started.

I have these suspicions:
* The mainboard is corrupt - would explain the after-shutdown problem with Puppy and the mouse cursor lag for me but Puppy itself runs perfectly which makes me think that it is only XP related and the after-shutdown problem may just be a BIOS setting I haven't set yet.
* XP is corrupted - but I've repaired it from CD.
* The HDD is conflicting with XP (advanced format?) - but it ran perfectly before the problem started and between the freezes and BSODs. Puppy also has no problems to read it.

I don't know what to do. To buy a new mainboard? To buy a new HDD and reinstall XP without loss of data? Or it is the cause of this problem something else I haven't considered so far?

I appreciate you for taking the time to read it and will be thankful for every help.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

Those blue screens are tied to your page file, which is stored on your hard drive. First things first, I would test your hard drive using Western Digital Data Lifeguard which is a free download. Make sure you run the extended test option. It will tell you whether or not the hard drive is working properly.
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

I agree with nathan, STOP USING THE SYSTEM, back up your data ASAP if you haven't already, and run the WD test ASAP. I'm willing to bet your drive is about to give up the ghost.
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

Thank you for your answers. I'll copy the data from the HDD to an external one and then run the extended test with this one. Is it okay to copy 100 GB via linux or should I use some special program in favor of the HDDs?
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

Any way you copy it is fine, just as long as you have a backup.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

Well, there's a problem now. When booting up from the CD with the Data Lifeguard Tools, it says that it loads Caldera DOS and as soon as I should see the options it just becomes an empty black screen.
After a bit of googling, I seem to be not alone with this problem. It is said to be some compatibility issue with newer systems (shame on you, WD, if this is the case).
I guess there is no other way than to format the drive, install XP on it and then run the Windows version of Data Lifeguard Tools...
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

Driver IRQL not less than or equal = more than one driver installed for the same device, or two drivers with the same IRQ allocation.

Page fault in non paged area is usually a memory problem.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

you could put the hard drive in another system with windows, that would allow you to test it without having the trouble of reinstalling xp.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

panzer does present a valid way to do it. I haven't had to use the new WD tools myself, because I still use GWSCAN (available on the Hirens Boot CD, which is pretty cut and dry, you burn it to CD or make a bootable flash drive, and then just boot the system to the software, go to DOS tools, hard disk tools, and it's the second or third menu deep). It's essentially the WD Diagnostics but certified to work with more than just WD hard drives.

That software will definitely tell you if the drive is bad or not.

I definitely recommend downloading Download Hiren and using that, following my instructions to find GWSCAN.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Extreme Lag with XP - HDD, XP or Motherboard?

Thank you, og. This CD is very useful.

According to GWSCAN (Quick and Full Media Scan) I have no errors. I also scanned my memory with Memtest86+ and it said that I have no errors.

I reinstalled XP now and aligned the partitions with the WD Align. XP runs with no lags and very fast now.
But the random freezes (meaning everything, even the mouse freezes completely) still exist. And I've just got a bluescreen with the file "ati3duag.dll" noticed there.

What can cause such freezes? Can't be any temp files or virus fault as said in google results since it's a fresh install.

I guess it's a problem with the drivers. I installed the nForce Driver for 750a SLI mainboards (I have a Scaleo P2 MS-7504) first, then the Realtek HD Audio Codecs and after that the ATI Radeon HD 5750 drivers. It's the drivers I need according to several google results and the ATI driver search. Am I missing something or doing something wrong?

Or it is the HDD even though there are no errors according to the scan? Maybe XP doesn't get along with the advanced format.

EDIT: Might be the RAM. Even though the test showed no errors, removing one of the RAMs seems to have helped. Will test it for a week now.
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