Computer freezes and now D: Drive goes missing.

leftfieldlegacy

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I have a desktop computer that was built by Micro Center in 2015. There are 2 drives installed. A 250GB SSD C: drive and a 3TB HDD D: Drive. Over the past few months the cursor and keyboard have started to freeze and everything becomes unresponsive. I do a manual shut down by pressing and holding the power button until it shuts down, wait about 15 seconds and re start. Everything would work perfectly until it would happen again a few days later. I was concerned that this could be a possible hard drive failure so I bought a WD - Easystore 8TB external USB 3.0 Hard Drive at Best Buy on sale for $150 and backed up all my important files. I am a hobbyist photographer so the bulk of my storage is taken up by photos as well as old video tapes that I am digitizing. I keep these stored on the D: drive. There is approximately 600 GB stored on the 3TB drive. The C drive has 2/3 free space available.

A few days ago I went to email a photo but discovered that the D: drive was not listed on my File Explorer. Otherwise the computer was working fine. I did a "RE-Start" and the D: Drive magically re-appeared. This has happened several times since then. Anyone want to take a stab at a diagnosis and solution?

If it helps, here is a list of the components from the original build with the only change being the OS which is now Windows 10.

Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz LGA 1150 Boxed Processor
ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Socket LGA 1150 ATX Intel Motherboard (DVI, HDMI and Diplayport)
MS OEM WIN 8.1 64 BIT ENG 1 PK DVD
LG GH24NSC0B 24x Internal DVD Rewritable SATA Drive
Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 8GB Memory Modules)
CORSAIR CARBIDE SERIES 300R CASE
CRUCIAL 250 GB MX200 2.5 SATA SSD
TOSHIBA 3TB 3.5' 7200
Thermaltake TR2 Series 600 Watt ATX Power Supply
Logitech M510 Wireless Laser Mouse
Microsoft Wired Keyboard 200
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Halfway thru ONLY your first paragraph, my immediate thought was to make sure that you're not over heating, by cleaning out all of your heat sinks, fans, and grills. Second thought would be (and I'm hesitant to suggest this, as a reboot appears to get you up and running for a day or two) to make sure that your memory is seated properly.
 

LoweTek

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Replace the D: drive permanently would be my suggestion. Also, six years is a pretty good run. You may want to consider a replacement.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Replace the D: drive permanently would be my suggestion. Also, six years is a pretty good run. You may want to consider a replacement.
Yes to D: replacement, but six years isn't all that old if he doesn't need the firepower. Mainboard appears to have an M2 slot, maybe take advantage of that after ditching the current D: HDD.
 

Max Power

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Replace the D: drive permanently would be my suggestion. Also, six years is a pretty good run. You may want to consider a replacement.
Right. An even cheaper test would be running with the D: drive disconnected for a few days if you're not using anything on there. Just yank the SATA cable from it and see how it goes.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Could be a ton of things. Could be a drive failing, could be overheating, could be the power supply.

For the time being, download a program called Hardware monitor and just let it operate when you re doing the most intense work you do in order to monitor temperatures.

Then you need to check on the health of your hard drives.

I would first run a scan disk through windows and then download Western Digital Diagnostics program.

Check this page as well.

https://www.lifewire.com/free-hard-drive-testing-programs-2626183

I assume that you have backed up all the valuable info you have on your new drive.

In general, be patient. The principal here is trial and error until you find the culprit. Good luck.
 

AlNipper49

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The mouse lock is either RAM or the CPU (the aforementioned cleaning them off and checking the ram is a low impact first step). The D drive failing at the same time is weird. Six years is not a lot of time but honestly anything over 5 years old is a good candidate to replace, particularly as it’ll be a tax write off.

and back your crap up online dude. You’re flirting with disaster otherwise.
 

tonyandpals

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I was getting intermittent mouse locking. Did a chkdesk while in safe mode on the volume that had the OS and there were bad sectors it found and repaired. Seems to have fixed the problem for now...
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Thanks for the responses.Overheating seems to be a common thread with cleaning being one solution. This also occurred to me several weeks ago because there was a build up of dust on the screen covering the front and rear fans. I used this to blow out the dust which was considerable. The inside looked great afterwards but the problem persisted. FF to today when I used Hardware Monitor (per Nick Kaufman's post) to monitor the temps. It appears that several of the CPU Cores are running hot but I'm not sure I'm interpreting the numbers correctly. I have included a screen shot of those numbers. The most intensive thing I do on my computer is to edit photos, so I used that app while the HWMonitor was running. Also of note is that the computer froze today immediately after start up with D; Drive missing but everything resolved with a re-boot. It froze again after I was away from the computer for about 2 hours this morning, but again a re-boot got it up and running again.
 

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Nick Kaufman

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Those high temps you are seeing aren't from the CPU, they are from your mobo. A google search reveals that other people have that problem and it's probably bad readings. Your CPU temps seem fine though I did notice that CPU utilization had reached max, which it probably shouldn't do most of the time.

If you see it reach 100% again, open task manager and see which programs causes that spike in this utilization.

All in all, you re probably fine on this front. You can also try reseating your memory sticks to make sure they are seated properly.

Do run chkdsk. As things stand, most likely problem is hard drive IMO, so this is what I would focus right now.
 

cgori

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If those temps are real those cores are very hot. It's possible the thermal compound is not well/fully-applied to the CPU? Or possibly one of your fans is installed backwards and it's really inhibiting your airflow. Those are the only things I can think of now that you have cleaned the fans.

EDIT: whoops, nevermind, those are temps from motherboard components, not CPU cores. Still not great but if they are faulty sensors then that's another issue altogether.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Those high temps you are seeing aren't from the CPU, they are from your mobo. A google search reveals that other people have that problem and it's probably bad readings. Your CPU temps seem fine though I did notice that CPU utilization had reached max, which it probably shouldn't do most of the time.

If you see it reach 100% again, open task manager and see which programs causes that spike in this utilization.

All in all, you re probably fine on this front. You can also try reseating your memory sticks to make sure they are seated properly.

Do run chkdsk. As things stand, most likely problem is hard drive IMO, so this is what I would focus right now.
I think MS Photos is the app causing the spike in CPU utilization. Without MS Photos open The Hardware Monitor and Task Manager both showed low to very low CPU activity. As soon as I opened MS Photos, CPU activity went to 100% on Hardware Monitor and Task Manager went to High - Very HIgh.
chkdsk came up clean.
 

Max Power

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Wild ass guess at what's going on... Your photos are all stored on the D: drive. The Photos app is trying to index and thumbnail them in the background, but the D: drive is failing and causing the SATA controller on your motherboard to go nuts, overheat, and slow everything down.

If you've copied everything off it already, just disconnect it and see how it runs. If it's good, order a replacement drive and move the stuff back on it. If it's still slowing down, you likely have some other hardware issue and should consider just replacing the entire computer.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Wild ass guess at what's going on... Your photos are all stored on the D: drive. The Photos app is trying to index and thumbnail them in the background, but the D: drive is failing and causing the SATA controller on your motherboard to go nuts, overheat, and slow everything down.

If you've copied everything off it already, just disconnect it and see how it runs. If it's good, order a replacement drive and move the stuff back on it. If it's still slowing down, you likely have some other hardware issue and should consider just replacing the entire computer.
I appreciate your feedback. I think you might be onto something because during one of the tests I ran this morning, I opened MS Photos to check the CPU activity and the photos app went all wonky. It started flashing and afterwards I was not able to locate many years of photos. (Everything is backed up). I closed the app and checked for the D Drive which was again missing. I closed everything, restarted the computer and immediately opened the photos app. Sure enough, it had completely re-populated the entire photo library and the D: Drive was there.

Unfortunately, the thought of opening the box and disconnecting anything as a DIY project makes me break out in a cold sweat. I can usually figure out the software end of things but I make it a practice to avoid tinkering with the guts. Luckily, I found a friend of a friend who is an IT guy who could easily handle this type of thing. I'm kind of hoping he recommends a new computer!
 

Max Power

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It's actually really easy to disconnect it. Pop open the computer and find the hard drive, which should look something like the picture below. There are two cables connected to it, power and SATA. Just disconnect them both. If there's a metal clip on the SATA cable (the one on the right), you have to squeeze it to pull it off, but it's probably just a regular one that unplugs by tugging. There's never a clip on the power cable (the one on the left).

 

TenCentBeerNight

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It's actually really easy to disconnect it. Pop open the computer and find the hard drive, which should look something like the picture below. There are two cables connected to it, power and SATA. Just disconnect them both. If there's a metal clip on the SATA cable (the one on the right), you have to squeeze it to pull it off, but it's probably just a regular one that unplugs by tugging. There's never a clip on the power cable (the one on the left).

Perhaps worth trying to disable the drive in the BIOS instead of physically disconnecting it.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Those high temps you are seeing aren't from the CPU, they are from your mobo. A google search reveals that other people have that problem and it's probably bad readings. Your CPU temps seem fine though I did notice that CPU utilization had reached max, which it probably shouldn't do most of the time.

If you see it reach 100% again, open task manager and see which programs causes that spike in this utilization.

All in all, you re probably fine on this front. You can also try reseating your memory sticks to make sure they are seated properly.

Do run chkdsk. As things stand, most likely problem is hard drive IMO, so this is what I would focus right now.
I ran Task Manager/performance /memory and it showed the correct total of16GB of RAM with 3.0 GB being used without the photo app open and 3.9GB used during a photo edit. If the memory sticks were not seated properly could the task manager still recognize the correct amount of total memory?
 

AlNipper49

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It’s probably the CPU with those numbers. If it’s not you’re still just better off replacing it because it becomes a witch hunt. CPU issues, followed by messed up drivers, are the #1 cause of spotty mice
 

Nick Kaufman

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I ran Task Manager/performance /memory and it showed the correct total of16GB of RAM with 3.0 GB being used without the photo app open and 3.9GB used during a photo edit. If the memory sticks were not seated properly could the task manager still recognize the correct amount of total memory?
1. Power computer off.

2. Unplug it.

3. Press power button to release any potential static electricity.

4. Open computer.

5. Find Drive D: It's connected to one power cable and one data cable. Unplug either power cable or both.

6. Work on your computer, see if you are still facing any of the weird problems.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oImcy5ArdMw


If you do, it might be what Nip is saying about the culprit being the CPU, or it could be the powers supply. If not, you will know it's the drive and replace it.

It's going to be alright, do it.

PS. As long as you re in there, you can reseat the memory sticks. FWIW, I don't think that's the problem, but it's not tough to do and it's nice to exclude the possibility.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g93tDdz7ydY