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Old 01-17-2006, 12:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Maxtor 6L300S0 Very Erratic

I'm having massive problems with a maxtor diamondmax 10 sata 300gb drive that i bought about a month ago. i'm using it as a storage drive for video, audio and music samples. It all appears fine in the bios (except it's shown as UDMA5) and had no problems partitioning in xp but it's perormance is very erratic. When using it to watch video etc it runs perfectly for a random amount of time (Can be seconds, minutes or hours) then suddenly it seems to slow down massively, the video becomes jerky and audio crackles.

This problem affects all transfers to and from the drive. A 100mb file takes about 3 minutes to copy to or from the drive (between another HD). The whole PC's operation is slowed down, the mouse pointer becomes jerky, programs load VERY slowly, when i cancel the transfer all is back to normal.
I have tried the maxtor diagnostic tool powermax but no errors shown.

I transferred this drive to my girlfriends pc with an asus a8n-sli deluxe and it appears to work perfectly (even though the drive has been claimed to be sometimes incompatible with nforce 4 chipsets). I tested the drive in this system for about 2 weeks solidly and no errors occured.

There must be some incompatability with my PC somewhere but i haven't got a clue. I have tried googling other people with same problem but no luck. Someone please help, it's driving me crazy!! I'm a musician and desperate to get my sample library working! I would contact maxtor but they have a very bad reputation for customer service and as it's been over a month since i bought it it's probably to late to take it back to the shop.

My system
asus p4p800-x motherboard
Intel p4 2GHz "Northwood" Retail CPU
2GB Corsair Value Select (4x512mb) dual channel Ram
Creative Labs nvidia MX420 64MB Graphics Card
M-Audio Delta 1010 Sound Card
Western Digital 40GB WDC WD400JB-00ENAO Hard Drive (System)
Maxtor Diamondmax 10 300GB Sata 6L300S0 Hard Drive
Lite-on SOHW-1673S DVD-RW
350 Watt PSU

Girlfriends System
Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
AMD 64 3000 Socket 939 Retail
1GB Corsair Value Select (2x512mb) dual channel Ram
Asus Nvidia EN6600 PCI-E Graphics Card
Maxtor Diamondmax 10 250GB Sata Hard Drive
Pioneer DVR109 DVD-RW
Xclio 550 PSU
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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it could be your graphics card, not the hard drive.

i am assuming your hard drive is new, so its not faulty

your video card is probably about three years old, so it might be shot. I think you need to do something about it.
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Old 01-17-2006, 07:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply...

Yeah my HD is new, just over a month old.

When i placed the HD in my girlfriends PC for two weeks i continued to use my PC regularly and there were absolutely no problems so i suspect it's not the graphics card. It's old because i mainly record music on it and any graphics card will do for that.

The only problem that occurs is when accesssing the maxtor. So if i transfer and the problem occurs, then cancel the transfer, the slow down and jerkyness dissappears and i can continue using the PC as normal, just not the maxtor.

The thought i had was maybe the power supply had too low a rating but using online PSU requirement calculators has led me to believe i'm well within the 350 Watt range. Maybe the seperate voltage rails etc but i don't really understand the details.
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you transfering large audio files or running DXi wave add-ons? You may have hardware acceleration issues. I have a project recording studio and it may be your CPU hanging! If I run a number of DXi effects, the CPU gets jammed and the program stutters. Vst...No problem. The problem is exacerbated by mastering in excess of 8 tracks in the multitrack mode and running Dxi while running effects in the single track edit mode in Adobe audtion 1.5. I usually have to save my multitrack work raw and then reload and when it hangs up with heavy DXi effects mastering, I drop out of adobe when it first starts to slow down, reboot and reload. It's a pain but I gotten used to it.
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This may sound stupid, but enter the BIOS and check and make sure that HyperThreading is Enabled.

I don't think it's a HDD issue or a lol - videocard issue.
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks for replies

to RicoDirenzo - I haven't even got as far as running my daw yet, i'm referring to the simple transfer of avi files or wav files (Just to test drive) etc from 1 HD to another with no software running simultaneously, if it can't even manage this there's no point in attempting to produce anything.

to HAVOC2k5 - My CPU is Northwood A and so doesn't support hyper-threading, sorry i should have clarified. It is therefore turned off in the bios.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ah, no i doesn't. It is a socket 478 right?

You could hook yourself up with a P4 3.2E for about $225 USD.
You're motherboard would fully support it.

After doing some research I came across someone that was having a similar issue. He recommended to upgrade the BIOS to version 1008.
Which fixed the hanging HDD issue.

This may-be a fix for you and it might not be. Check you're BIOs version. If it's earlier then 1008, consider flashing it. Make sure you back up your current BIOS. I'm sure you have the asus easy flash utility. here is a link to the download

http://support.asus.com/download/dow...Language=en-us

Good luck
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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to HAVOC2k5, thanks for reply

yeah its 478. It's definitely about time i bought a new CPU. I chose between a new processor and HD for my christmas present, i think i made the wrong decision!

I started with 1008, tried 1009, now on 1010 beta and no change sadly.
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe i should further clarify the problem....

The problem seems to occur at random when transferring files or watching media but can be intentionally brought about by doing both of these simultaneously. ie i'm listening to an mp3 on the maxtor and then copy a 1GB file from the maxtor to my system disk, this works fine for a few seconds and then the audio starts spluttering / cutting out completely & the estimated time for the file to transfer jumps wildly up into the hours. The entire system becomes sluggish. I then cancel the 1GB file transfer and the MP3 audio comes back in but is very spluttery. The sluggishnes of XP disappears fully and I can continue with everything as normal to full speed on my system drive but the maxtor is basically unusable, file transfer takes many many times longer, and MP3 & DivX are too choppy to bear more than a couple of seconds. This problem occurs until reboot after which everything returns to normal until of course it happens again shortly afterwards.

I have tried updating bios, changing various bios settings, removing sticks of ram, removing DVD-RW, placing maxtor on SATA channel 2 (IDE channel 4), 2 sata cables, 2 sata to molex converters, reinstalling windows XP Pro, using intel chipset software update (which did appear to rename the ide controller in device manager but made no actual difference). None of this makes any difference at all.

Could the problem just be down to the fact i'm running p-ata AND S-ata HD's with the P-ata as my system drive, i know this shouldn't be a problem but installing xp on the S-ata is something i havent tried yet. I wanted 2 disks but this has been going on for so long i could just get rid of the WD drive if it would actually solve the problem?

Another thing i haven't tried is the PSU. I'm not sure how this could account for the behaviour i describe though ie after the heavy load is reduced the erratic behaviour continues. I don't have a spare PSU of any greater quality or wattage than my current one so i would have to be sure that this was the problem before buying one. Any software available to help in these circumstances, i tried Asus PcProbe and this showed no great fluctuations but i don't really know what i'm looking for or how accurate it is anyway. I don't really fancy sticking a voltmeter inside.

Any other suggestions?? Please......
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Try uninstalling the drivers for that Maduio PCI card and then change the PCI slot for the cards. Probably won't help but that card is a resource hog. I have two Gadget Labs PCI's in my DAW and they do suck up the bandwidth!! One other possibililty....It is, afterall, a Maxtor. I, personally, only buy Western Digital or Seagate drives because of the bad rap on maxtors. My back up DAW is a northwood core 533fsb just like yours but I never had the problems you are describing. I would seriously consider buying a Western Digital SATA and putting that maxtor in an external USB HD enclosure. Given the DAW applications, you are going to need more storage anyway!!
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