7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2010 1:27 PM by Curious592

    Intel H55 core-i3 Win XP performance issues (hangups)

    david_ffm

      I have assembled a PC with an Intel H55 board (DH55PJ), a core-i3 530 CPU and 4GB DDR3 RAM.

      I am running Win XP professional on this system. I use the on-board graphics (Clarkdale CPU) connected via HDMI to a big screen TV. It all works fine except the computer is often totally unresponsive except for the cursor moving. It hangs for maybe something between 10 seconds and a minute. In this time you can still move the cursor but no processing occurs. You can for example click on the start menu and then maybe wait 30 seconds before the menu suddenly appears. Then maybe you click on "Programs" in that menu and wait another 30 seconds before that menu appears. This is not always the case but often enough to make work on the machine difficult or nearly impossible. During these hangup periods the task manager shows nothing unusual, CPU activity is low/normal and there is a lot of free memory. There does seem to be a lot of hard disk activity but nothing unusual is running that I would expect to cause problems. I have a 1TB SATA HD running in in IDE mode (no floppy so no AHCI driver). I have installed all the chipset drivers etc. that were supplied with the motherboard.

      I suspected an OS problem or even a virus so I did a complete re-install of Windows XP reformatting the hard disk, but to no avail. So I am left with the conclusion that it must be a hardware problem. Reminds me of the interrupt conflicts one had to resolve sometimes many years ago. The windows device manager also shows nothing unusual, everything is apparantly enabled and working fine. Batch processing runs ok, when I e.g. re-encode a video the speed is ok, in fact for this kind of thing I am very happy with the performance. You just have to get enough clicks through to start the processing though, that is the problem!

      Does anyone have any ideas what I could try or what diagnostics may possibly give more information or help?

       


        • 1. Re: Intel H55 core-i3 Win XP performance issues (hangups)
          Cpt.Dogfruit

          just as a test try installing win 7.... just to see... also teh RAM is one or 2 modules?

          Also is the POST particulary slow?

           

          I would personally test the system with teh most basic setup possible and out of teh chassis,  , and even though it shouldn't affect it on a normal pc monitor..

          • 2. Re: Intel H55 core-i3 Win XP performance issues (hangups)
            david_ffm

            Thanks for the thoughts. The RAM is 2x2GB modules - the POST speed looks normal to me.

            Unfortunately I don't have a Windows 7 licence and I wasn't planning to invest in one right now just for this problem, but on the last installation (which I wiped) I did have a dual-boot linux setup. The linux X-Server/KDE seemed to behave normally (I didn't do a lot with it though), so I suspect it is a windows / H55 issue.

            I have more or less striped the system down to the basics, though it does also have a DVD drive which I haven't disconnected - could try that. What do you mean by testing "out of the chassis"? Do you suspect some sort of interference or noise in the case? The system is stable, it never crashes, always comes back and behaves normally if you just wait for a bit.

            I also tried booting windows in protected mode with VGA res. - that didn't make any difference.

            • 3. Re: Intel H55 core-i3 Win XP performance issues (hangups)
              Cpt.Dogfruit

              I am not sure really whats going on, which i swhy i am suggesting everything thing i can think, as afar as i know there isn't a specific issue with the H55 and XP. What SP is XP? ill try an do a test and install it here... also in what order did you install the drivers? did you get them form the CD or the web site?

              Do you have another HDD to test?

              Does it do this staright form installation, before installing any drivers? or activating windows?

              Also have you tested teh system with only one memory module at a time?

              • 4. Re: Intel H55 core-i3 Win XP performance issues (hangups)
                david_ffm

                Thanks for the ideas. Of course it could also be a hardware fault somewhere. I assume if it were a general H55 /  Win XP issue it would be widely known and my searches before posting would have turned up some similar reports.

                All my components are new, bought for this computer. I have Service Pack 2, slipstreamed into the Win XP install CD, which is a corporate version, so no activation. I installed windows and then the drivers from the CD supplied with the motherboard - I'm not 100% sure at what point the problem first appeared. No, I haven't tested with just one memory module - could easily do so though, will try that tonight. I could try another HDD too, though that will mean another install of course.

                • 5. Re: Intel H55 core-i3 Win XP performance issues (hangups)
                  Cpt.Dogfruit

                  Ok, a quick update, i just tested the board withg XP SP2 and it worked fine, no issue at all. I am afraid you are going to have to reinstall prob a few times and tested prob all the components and cables. when you do the next reinstall, see if it does it straight away, before any drivers or win updates are installed. when you do install teh drivers use teh ones from  teh web site and install in this order Chipset audio Video lan ME.

                   

                  I would def test each RAM module individually also the HDD and HDD cables and ports. same goes for the dvd. Sorry but it is going to be a process of elimination for you!

                  • 6. Re: Intel H55 core-i3 Win XP performance issues (hangups)
                    david_ffm

                    Hey many thanks! I am most impressed that you did an installation just to check out my problem! I was convinced it was an MB problem so your input to the contrary definitely helped me in the right direction. Well I spent a couple more days reading forums and finally found the problem so I thought I would report back just in case this helps someone else. I have a 1,5TB Western Digital WD15EARS HDD in the system and that thing is DEAD SLOW unless you first run the WD Align formatting utility on it - something to do with the WD use of 4KB blocks instead of 512B blocks. I checked out the speed with CrystalDiskMark and especially for small write operations it was unbelievably slow (0,09MB/s!), so I guess anything that e.g. updates a last access time on a file or whatever was hanging. Alternatively you can apparantly jumper pins 7-8 before installation - it's explained here

                    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/advancedformat/

                    Anyway I ran the advanced format and now the hangs in the system are all gone gone gone :-)))

                    Thanks again, David

                    • 7. Re: Intel H55 core-i3 Win XP performance issues (hangups)
                      Curious592

                      I saw a similar hangup with analog output from a set-top box with a TV card.  Being very new to Media Center I suspect I should have stopped playback before closing.  In any event it seems odd that even though CPU usage goes from about 3% with digital to 15% with analog (no hardware decoder) there would be a problem.  I'm also not sure how to interpret usage since multiple cores are present.  With XP and digital your experience is different and hard drive speed is relevant for TV particularly for full Media functionality.