Win 7 randomly freezes with HDD light on


  • I'm struggling with this for some time now. My win 7 x64 just freezes from time to time with HDD light on constantly. I've read almost all threads, tried almost every advise, but just could't solve the issue. 

    I have win 7 Enterprise x64 + SP1 installed on PC:

    Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q8400 @2.66GHz

    Gigabyte P43-ES3G

    8GB RAM (4x2GB Kingston DDR2),

    2x1TB HDD (WD)

    NVIDIA FeForce 9500GT

    Next, I'll list what I've already tried (without success) to not waste anybody's time - tried to change hardware, scan HDD for errors, set memory timings, reinstall win, scan for viruses, update all drivers, update BIOS.

    (Maybe) important is that the same thing happens in safe mode. However, I've got no problems with other OSs like Linux or Win XP x64.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012 11:32 AM

All replies

  • When you say you have scanned the drive for errors, did this include the
    SMART statistics, or did you simply do a chkdsk -r -f?

    -- Mike Burr
    Thursday, January 12, 2012 3:06 PM
  • Thanks for the reply. I've tried with chkdsk, but tried also with several specialized tools like WD's Data LifeGuard Diagnostics. They have found nothing wrong.
    Thursday, January 12, 2012 5:07 PM

  • Have you checked the Event logs for any warnings/errors that may have occurred during these lock-ups? Does Ctrl-Alt-Del do anything at all?

    SC Tom

    Friday, January 13, 2012 12:09 AM
  • Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, I have. There is nothing suspicious just standard entries. Actually, there is no sign of any issue. This freeze is most similar to the failure of CD read (to clarify, this is not a cause in my case) when system is trying to read from scratched CD and then stops responding - nothing is wrong, there is no error/warnings etc, but system is slow or non responsive. This is the reason I doubted in HDD, but it is certainly not what's causing the freezes. So, in my case win just stops responding for some time which can be from ~1 minute up to 10 minutes after which all returns to normal. The only guide is that HDD light is on.

    As for the Ctrl+Alt+Del - at the moment of freeze, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Also, mouse works normally, keyboard changes the state of Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock. 

    One more thing. If some music is playing, it also has pauses. All of these are pointing to HDD, but again, it is certainly not the problem.

    Friday, January 13, 2012 9:38 AM

  • It's possible that it's a RAM problem. Download and run Memtest86+ . It creates a boot CD that runs the tests on boot-up.

    If the RAM is ok, read these two articles:

    How to "clean boot" in Windows 7
    How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows 7

    Hopefully something there will give a hint as to what is causing the freezes.

    SC Tom

    Friday, January 13, 2012 11:55 AM
  • Thanks for the reply.

    It took a while, but I checked all you've suggested. Unfortunately, I've found nothing. RAM is ok, clean boot didn't help. However, after re-installing NVidia drivers, there are no freezes in Safe Mode. After that, I also re-installed all motherboard drivers, but this didn't help. Any other suggestion?

    Sunday, January 22, 2012 5:29 PM
  • This issue still isn't resolved. The next step I've tried was updating all drivers with DriverMax. So far without success. I'm open for any suggestion.

    Just to recapitulate - no hardware issues, nothing in the log file, clean boot didn't help. Windows still freezes randomly.

    Monday, January 30, 2012 11:27 PM
  • Two months later, still no solution. Unfortunately, I have to say that I'm disappointed, mostly because of MSFT's approach - no help at all and I'm certainly not the only one with this problem (just look the counter, there are 1000 people with similar/same issue).
    Monday, March 26, 2012 8:42 AM
  • Download process explorer, and the next time it happens, run it and move the mouse over the performance graphs.  It will show the process using the most cpu or i/o.  You can keep it running in the system tray.

    Monday, March 26, 2012 2:53 PM
  • Thanks for the reply.

    Unfortunately, that isn't possible. I tried that without success. Once the windows freezes, I can't do anything except moving the mouse pointer around. I can't change active window, or in rare case when i manage to activate another window, it just shows the last content on the top of the rest of opened windows, with frozen picture (no changes whatsoever). And if I lose my temper and I start clicking around, the whole desktop stops responding and gets gray overlay, showing error message on every next click on it. However, I'm pointing again that mouse pointer work and moves normally, so as the keyboard - I can turn on/off Num Lock, Scroll Lock, Caps Lock.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:09 PM
  • I have the same problem on two systems.  One Lenovo (Intel) laptop.  One Asus/AMD based Desktop.  I also have a friend with an I5 based system that has the same problem.
    Thursday, April 05, 2012 5:06 PM
  • comibat & ddrouin: Usually when I run into situations like this, the presumption is that its a relatively new issue, meaning, you haven't have this problem from day 1 of computer ownership.  Right?  So, the first thing is to examine what changed recently?  We should be considering things like, but not limited to, the following:

    • Application installation or removal
    • System configuration change
    • Driver installation or removal
    • Hardware installation or removal
    • Windows updates
    • Etc.


    When you boot into Safe Mode (with & without networking; that could be key) & let it sit, for a while, does it seem to hang?

    When you performed a clean boot & left it for a while, it also hung, correct?

    Does it seem to matter whether or not your machine is connected to a network (wired or otherwise)?

    If this something repeatable, like within an hour for instance, you may want to load up Resource Monitor & leave it in the foreground until it happens.  When it comes back to normal there should be some results for review.  (It may not update while its in its hung state, but, when it 'comes back to life' it should show you throughput, usage etc and the process(es) associated with it.  Unfortunately, this may mean leaving the computer on for a while & not touching it.  (Unless of course its unique to a sequence of events.)

    You should consider loading up Performance Monitor as well and creating a counter.  Unfortunately, this is probably something you'll just have to let run until it happens, then make note of the date & time for review once it 'comes back to life'.  I would do some research on Performance Monitor & how to setup counters.  You could try this counter...

    Logman.exe create counter Perf-Counter-Log-1sec -o "c:\perflogs\PerfTest1sec.blg" -f bincirc -v mmddhhmm -max 500 -c "\LogicalDisk(*)\*" "\Memory\*" "\Network Interface(*)\*" "\Paging File(*)\*" "\PhysicalDisk(*)\*" "\Processor(*)\*" "\Process(*)\*" "\Server\*" "\System\*"  -si 00:00:01

    ddrouin: If you haven't already done so, you may want to consider starting your own thread.  (I haven't checked, just a suggestion incase you have not)  That said: In addition to the above, is there any commonality between the three systems (the Lenovo, Asus & your friend's computer)?

    Thursday, April 05, 2012 7:07 PM
  • I have the same probem with Hp Pavilion (desktop) core quad with nvidia geforce gt 130, I didn't know where the problem came from,  Is the CPU does that or maybe I think the problem from the HHD because the light goes solid when it freezing :( .

    I hope someone can help .

    Friday, October 11, 2013 7:28 PM
  • I suspect someone is controlling or even stealing data from my PC although it isn't likely that case.
    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 8:58 AM