Computer Help forum

General discussion

Hard Drive turns on and off

by Xplodzion / August 10, 2007 3:51 AM PDT

When I play games, sometimes my Hard Drive will turn off and then 3 seconds later turn back on again, Windows does not crash and everything still runs fine there after but sometimes it can do this twice in succession.

My Hard Drive is a Western Digital WD2500JS 250GB and it is fairly new, I only got it new about 6 months ago.

These are the things I have done with the HDD so far:

1. Made sure my power supply is producing enough juice (it is)

2. Checked all of the cables (they are all tightly fitted)

3. Took a few temperture scans, the tempertue is normal and should not be enough to overheat the hard drive, plus there is a small fan cooling the hard drive too.

4. Downloaded the WD Diagnostics tool and did an extended scan (it said everything is fine)

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Hard Drive turns on and off
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Hard Drive turns on and off
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
reply to: Hard Drive....
by caktus / August 10, 2007 8:03 AM PDT

You didn't mention what Operating System you are using. If you are using an XP system, try resetting the DMA. Go to Support Suite and download the One stop DMA resetter. The download is on the right side of the page. After downloading it, double click on it and follow the prompts to reset the DMA. Keep this tool as you may need it from time to time, even if it doesn't help with the current problem.

Does this problem occur while any other applications are running? Can you try the game in a different computer?

What happens to the screen when the problem occurs? Does the screen go black, or just freeze up? In an [attempt] to further rule out heat, try runing the game while the cover is off the computer. Also, blow out any dust, etc. that may be inside the case. Also, try running a fan on the computer to help disapate heat. If it is a tower case, it can be safely placed on it's side, vents facing up to help disipate heat.

Hope something here is helpful.


Collapse -
by Xplodzion / August 10, 2007 8:56 AM PDT

@ bob b

I know it's the Hard Drive because after months of using my computer I got used to hearing that distinct loading noise from it, I also got used to the "click" sound it makes when it turns off (when shutting down the computer) Happy

@ caktus

Thanks very much for the tool you directed me too, I will have to try it later when I get back home.

I am currently using Windows XP Professional SP2

Now onto the other things.

The problem does not occur when I am doing normal tasks such as office work, it only occurs when when I am playing games such as the Sims 2 or Oblivion.

When the Hard Drive stops, the game I am playing either carries on like normal or it will freeze until the Hard Drive powers back up, then it plays normal again, nothing serious like crashing or the monitor going off.

The computer case side panel has been off ever since I built it, I never really like putting the whole case together because of overheating problems.

My other Computers Specs are:

CASE: Akasa AK-ZEN-01
MBOO: Gigabyte GA965P DS3
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
GPU: ATI Radeon X1800PRO
RAM: 2GB Corsair DDR2 XMS2-6400C4 TwinX
PSU: Akasa AK-P050FG8-BKUK 500W
System Fans: 1X standard case fan rear, 1X Standard HDD Fan, Artic 7 CPU Fan, Stock ATI GPU Fan

Think it would be best to buy a new HDD?

Collapse -
by caktus / August 11, 2007 9:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

Sounds like you've got enough memory to run about any games you want.

While it is a fairly new HDD and you ran a mem test, perhaps the HHD is intermittantly failing. Such could well be difficult to diagnose w/o running the tests many times back to back w/o interruption. And even then an interittant failiar can be difficult to diagnose. And although a tiny bit rare, bad or damaged componants do make it onto store shelves. Same for RAM sticks.

Perhaps you should start backing up important HHD data and prepare for the worst.


Collapse -
Just curious.
by Bob__B / August 10, 2007 8:19 AM PDT

How do you know the hd is turning off?

My hd is so quiet that I could not tell if it was running or not.

Is there some error that leads you to believe it's a hd issue?

Collapse -
RE: How do you know the hd is turning off?
by caktus / August 11, 2007 9:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Just curious.

This type of thing happened to my PC yesterday evening durring the sudden on-set of a lightening storm. Two times I'd hear the click sound of the machine turn off, the power-on LED on the power button went out. Yet the monitor and present screen stayed on as if frozen as if an overheating issue had occured. Then in about a half second the computer power light came back on, the printer reset and all was back to normal. After the second time, I got scared and shut-down and unplugged for the night.

Not trying to highjack soneone elses Quest for help. Just thought I'd FYI that appearantly such symptoms can occur.


Collapse -
Recheck power connection to HD
by Steven Haninger / August 12, 2007 10:32 AM PDT

and look specifically at the individual connectors. The jack or "female" connector will be split and will sometimes deform and not fit tightly enough to ensure good connection. Any vibration can make current flow intermittent causing the drive to spin down until the connection is solid. I believe the drives logic will attempt to park the heads and prevent damage. Anyway. If you can pinch those connectors back into shape where they make a better connection that might correct your problem. I have had similar symptoms. It will appear the mouse has frozen and I will hear the tell tale sound of a drive spinning up...after which the mouse acts normally. It doesn't have to be the boot drive but any HD connected to the system and monitored by Windows.

Collapse -
by Pat20105 / August 18, 2011 10:52 PM PDT

I have the same problem when I am playing "Test Drive Unlimited 2" (Awesome game btw) but my HDD wont turn back on until I restart.

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
2 GB ram
2.90 GHz Amd processor (Dont know the name)
Asus motherboard

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


iPhone 8: Everything we know so far

This is all the iPhone 8 reports and rumors in one place. From a 5.8-inch OLED display, reports of wireless charging and even a 3D scanner for facial recognition, it's all here.