I've had extremely slow performance for a while now and haven't been able to solve the problem. Now I've done some research and have outlined a possible explanation. I just want your opinions.

My problem: after an extremely long gaming session (my computer had been on for about 9 hours) my computer's performance suddenly collapsed. The computer is sluggish when the hard disk is active. Opening applications takes a very long time and the cursor starts stuttering. This does not happen when watching, for example DVDs or listening music from a CD, indicating that the hard disk is at fault.

I ran a program called Everest and got these results:
Both linear and buffered hard disk read gave me a read speed of 3MB/s and a CPU load of 60%. Isn't the CPU value a little high for a simple hard disk read? This would indicate a bottleneck in the data transfer to the computer.

My disk is only half full (100Gb used, 180Gb capacity) and I defraged it only 7 days ago (was badly fragmented). I ran Seagate's S.M.A.R.T. -reading program and it told me that no thresholds were exceeded. Another program called HDD Health told me that a threshold had been exceeded: my disk has been overheating. The maximum operating temperature of my disk is 55 degrees celsius. My disk heated up during that long gaming session to 68 degrees celsius.

My conclusion: I believe that the HDD controller possibly got fried during the overheat and that the DMA-mode is inoperative. I just wonder if getting a new hard disk will solve the problem. Opinions?

Thanks! :)

11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by PC101

Try adding another Fan to the system case and see if that works. I have had this same problem on my pc after playing games for long periods of time and after i added the new fan it worked almost perfectly.


You failed to mention what HD model you have.
Some WD HD's have very short life span.

I noticed the heating on my HD (160 GB Maxtor) and bought (active) HD cooling. The HD cooling fans lasted me, say, a week before they started making such noise I just had to unplugg them. Later I learned that Maxtor is not your best choice of HD (doh!).

I also get sluggish overall performance when the HD is beeing accessed during gameplay (Quake 4 to be precise, while Doom 3 works like a charm) and I've tried everithing to no avail (double doh!). Right now I'm thinking about going to 64bit.

Your files may be compressed (shown in blue color in the windows explorer, if the option is enabled in your folder settings) which has direct impact on HD performance and CPU load.

Hot HD will not fry your controller, atleast 68 °C will not fry it. If it was tosted, your system would be unbootable.
The failing HD will beep you from time to time (yes, they all have little and loud beeper intergrated)
There are transfer settings in your BIOS settings and HD controller settings in device manager that cn enable or disable DMA mode.

The windows is not (I'll go easy on th microsoft here) very stable OS, so from time to time you need to reboot the system in order to kill all the processes that remained (sort of program leftovers) and they are real perfomance poopers.


I had a seagate 'bout 10 ago (860 mb size) and it did have a beeper. Beeped on me couple times before it died. I'm not sure what the beeps mean exactly.


Ahh...i really don't know about the old HD's. The earliest I've used is a 2.1 Gig HD. I'm fairly confident the newer ones don't have a speaker. The only sound I've heard from a HD is the dreaded 'click of death'...



I didn't see where you've checked for spy and/or adware. Are you certain your system is clean of these bad boys?


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