I've endured this issue for weeks, and despite trying everything under the sun I can't seem to nail down what the problem is. My machine will consistently hit 100% disk utilization - even though nothing in Task Manager indicates much of a load on the drive - and freezes the entire machine for minutes at a time.
I noticed this for the first time earlier in the year, shortly after Witcher 3 came out. I'm playing the game, the HDD LED on my case goes solid and the machine freezes. Sound continues to play as though the system is still running as usual. Mouse is visible after attempting CTRL + ALT + DEL but screen is black and no further keyboard input is accepted; sometimes instead of CTRL + ALT+ DEL, I can ALT + TAB to desktop, but after that initial switch no futher input from mouse or keyboard are accepted. After 2-3 minutes, the machine snaps back to its normal state and "catches up" on the input from the time when the machine was frozen - in the ALT + TAB situation, clicking on Start menu, Window Search field, Quickstart icons, etc will all execute in order.
Once this happens (usually during a game), it is guaranteed to happen again within 5-10 minutes. System continues in running-frozen-running pattern indefinitely until I exit the game.
I did see a small number of BSODs - KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR and one other that I can't recall. System will not successfully write dump information to disk, even after leaving it for half a day in the hopes it would.
Whenever this happens, I can check the System log in Event Viewer and find tens if not hundreds of entries regarding the storage device. Most are in the following pattern:
|Warning||10/23/2015 1:35:14 AM||disk||153||None|
The IO operation at logical block address 0x227b0708 for Disk 0 (PDO name: \Device\0000002d) was retried.
|Warning||10/17/2015 6:00:18 PM||disk||51||None|
An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk0\DR0 during a paging operation.
After a ton of those, I will come across one or more entry that says:
|Warning||10/23/2015 1:35:12 AM||iaStorA||129||None|
Reset to device, \Device\RaidPort0, was issued.
As the errors point to an issue with the page file, I checked Advanced System Settings and under Virtual Memory, "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" is checked. Currently Allocated is 1024MB.
I've attempted the following software fixes:
- Installed Intel SSD Toolbox and ran Optimizer, Quick Diagnostic, and Full Diagnostic
- Installed and Uninstalled multiple versions of Intel RST software
- Installed multiple versions of standalone AHCI/RAID driver, both RST and RSTe
- Deleted all Intel RST and RSTe drivers from system
- Stopped and disabled Superfetch, Windows Search, BITS services
- Applied registry "fix" found here: Fixing an SSD Freezing on Windows 7 | IT Hacks
On the hardware side, this problem has persisted despite the following changes:
- Swapped out SATA cable that was attached (bundled with MB) for the one bundled with the drive, then a 3rd-party cable
- Two completely different sets of same speed/density memory (Crucial and PNY)
- Two completely different video cards (MSI GTX 770, PowerColor R9 390)
- Multiple power supplies
- Two completely different motherboards!
If this isn't a software/driver issue. I'm down to the drive or the CPU at this point. My machine is currently set up with the following components:
Intel Core i7-3820 (stock, never overclocked)
MSI X79A-GD45 Plus motherboard (most recent BIOS - 17.9)
4x4GB PNY Anarchy DDR3-1600
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390
Corsair H90 Liquid Cooler
Intel 730 SSD 480GB