| By Fred Langa |
A reader’s heavily upgraded XP system randomly freezes for several seconds from time to time.
Strangely, during these mini-hangs, other parts of the system remain unaffected.
Power settings unexpectedly affect performance
Ian has been slowly upgrading his PC, but the last change caused a problem that could be hard to diagnose.
- “We have a friend who’s a certified computer repairman. In the last year he’s replaced our PC’s power supply, put in maximum RAM, and updated the hard drive to 500GB SATA.
“This last update was done a matter of weeks ago, and since then the system is freezing from time to time — for perhaps 15 to 20 seconds — and then going again. During this time, the clock still clicks over the seconds.
“I have the latest Comodo firewall installed, plus Microsoft’s antivirus, and I also have the firewall turned on in the DSL modem.”
If the drive is set for aggressive power-savings, it may be spinning down too soon. When a drive is in a low-power standby state (sleeping), it has to wake and spin up before it can respond to read/write requests. That spin-up delay could indeed briefly hang whatever software was waiting for the drive, but it wouldn’t affect components such as the system clock.